Seward Jackpot Halibut Derby 2013

Each year the Month long, Seward tournament gets more competitive. This year the water was much cooler than normal and fishing in June was late to start. Business was a bit slow in the early part of the month but by the middle of the month it was full on and everyone was trying, hard to catch the big fish.

Both Crackerjack Sport fishing Charters and Profish in Sea Charters have both run out of the same office for the last fifteen years. Owners, Captain Andy Mezirow, and Captain Steve Zernia have worked together for the last 20 years pioneering some of the best fishing areas in Seward and over the last 15 years, have expanded their businesses to include Seward’s top producing captains. Captains Nik Ranta, Kevin Knight, and Woody Wedin all deserve mention, having worked on the boats for over a decade and all made huge contributions to our groups success, including winning some of these tournament places.

In total they run 5 boats from the office that compete with the other 75 charter boats in Seward. Crackerjack has two boats and Profish-n-Sea has three.

The tournament has a daily big fish prize for each of the 30 days and three cash prizes for the three largest halibut caught during the month.

For the last five years they have had a remarkable presence in this tournament.

Year/ Daily winners / Cash winners

2008/ 7 of 30 / Crackerjack 3rd place

2009/ 15 of 30 / Profish-n-Sea 1st and 2nd

2010/ 12 of 30 / Crackerjack 1st, Profish-n-Sea 3rd

2011/ 18 of 30 / Profish-n-Sea 1st

2012/ 16 of 30 / Profish-n-sea 1st and 3rd

2013/ 14 0f 30 / Crackerjack 1st place (211 pounds) and tagged fish

Their five boats have had fish in the money every year for the last six years

Crackerjack Voyager captured the largest halibut ever landed during the tournament, 337 pounds!

Capt. Andy says the key is

Working together to track the movements of bigger fish, keeping detailed records of where and when we catch big fish and knowing the relationship between location, tides and light conditions are all important parts of achieving consistent success in finding trophy halibut.

The other big factors include having quality tackle that can stand up to daily use and still be strong enough to move a 300 plus pound fish in the current. They choose to fish Penn International 12 VSX two speeds on Penn Carnage rods spooled with 80 pound Berkley Tracer braid for the bait rigs and Penn Torque 15’s on the Penn Carnage jigging rods spooled with 65 pound Berkley Tracer Braid with 60 pound Stren pink coral fluorocarbon. For lures they use 8 – 24 oz. lead heads with White Berkeley power bait tails. They also use Delta Bait company giant grubs in root Beer and UV, as well as Savage Gear cut herring swim baits. Aftco Belts, gaffs and gloves round out the arsenal.

Capt. Andy credits their attention to detail, great captains and top of the line equipment for our consistent success over the last five years.

Seward City News Release 2013