The sport angling season in Kachemak Bay is just more than a week away as the 27th annual Homer Winter King Salmon Tournament is set for April 25.
Hosted by the Homer Chamber of Commerce, the event had a $73,000 grand prize winner in 2019.
Brad Anderson, the chamber’s executive director, told KBBI that sponsorship has always been strong.
“Scott Omer of Omer's Hardware is one of the founders of this event and he helped get it up and going and they continue to be our primary sponsor. And then we do have a few other locals, Coal Point Seafoods, you know, donates the use of their area for this as well and the Harbor Master's Office includes a free overnight mooring there in the harbor for all our boats,” Anderson said. “So it's a good way to promote you know, Homer and it's, you know, the harbor and the fishing opportunity here. And then we have a handful of other smaller sponsors.”
The total purse this year is expected to top last year’s $171,000. Anderson says much of that is based on entry fees, so it grows as entries increase.
To participate, you need a valid fishing license, a king salmon tag, and pay the entry fee. At this point, Anderson says, you’ll also need to B-Y-O-B -- Bring Your Own Boat.
“We have a waiting list of people who are trying to get on a boat. And it's really difficult because it's not a time of year that a lot of charter operators have their boats in the water yet,” he said. “So it's really, if you'd like to participate, you really need to find someone with the boat or dig your boat out of the snow and come on down.”
Anderson says even if you’re not an active participant in the tournament itself, there is going to be plenty going on for landlubbers down on the Spit as well.
“We really invite people to come out. There's a little beer garden, some food trucks and things out there. And so there's a lot of prizes. A DJ will be playing music throughout the day. So it'll be fun,” he said.
You can also follow the tournament. Go to the Chamber's website at Homer Alaska dot org. This year we're going to live stream some of the results so you'll be able to see the leaderboard and also a camera that'll be in the way-in station so you can see them come in. So no matter where you are, if you go to our website, you'll be able to follow it online.”
Though hundreds of anglers are expected to participate, and Anderson is expecting many more at Tournament Headquarters during the day, he says the semi-isolated nature of sports fishing should help keep large gatherings to a minimum as the state prepares to deal with Coronavirus. He advised anyone with symptoms to take precautions and act accordingly when deciding to participate.