WON Big Fish Challenge Week 2: Two more species leaders weigh in

DEAN MANLEY'S 191-pound bluefin leads the tuna category after Week 2.

The earlier you sign up, the more time you have to win!


SAN CLEMENTE — Week 2 of the annual WON Big Fish Challenge (BFC) is in the books, and now there are leaders in three species categories (tuna, halibut, and white seabass) with the other three vacant and waiting for any qualifying weight to take an instant lead. The BFC goes on for a total of 10 weeks, so there is still plenty of time to sign up ($10 per species or $40 for “all in”) and take your shot at six huge grand prize packages as well as weekly prizes.

In Week 2, BFC regular and multiple grand-prize winner Ron Folgner took the early lead with a 19.23-pound halibut. It’s doubtful that weight will hold up for 10 weeks, but Folgner did earn a weekly prize package for the biggest model per species in a given week, and if his history in the event says anything, he will be weighing in plenty more fish between now and the end of the Challenge.


The tuna slot was also claimed by Dean Manley who finds himself on the top of the tuna totem pole with a 191-pound bluefin he caught off San Diego aboad the private boat, No Limits. He was working with a flying-fish on a 200-pound leader spliced to 130-pound braid. Again, it’s early in the BFC and there are a lot of tuna that are still out there for the taking that will surely hit one of the many official BFC weigh stations, but that is a very respectable start for Manley.

Another BFC veteran is already a species leader, and that would be kayak angler Scott Sawa who bagged a 44.54-pound white seabass in Week 1.

Each week comes to a close at midnight on Thursday, and Week 3 anglers are not only currently out there gunning for BFC glory and prizes, but there have already been a couple submissions from over the weekend.

The premise if the Big Fish Challenge is simple: head over to WONews.com and sign up for the WON Big Fish Challenge (under the EVENTS tab) and select which of the six species (tuna, yellowtail, halibut, white seabass, lingcod and bonito/barracuda) you would like to target. The entry fee is $10 per species selected, or a discounted $40 to go “all in” and shoot for all six.

Once registered for the BFC, any time a participant is fishing from a sport boat, private boat, float tube, surf board, jet ski, shore or anything else during the 10 weeks between July 2 and Sept. 9 is competing to catch the biggest model of each species. Any qualifying fish caught and registered at one of the many official BFC weigh stations up and down the coast is in the running, and a leader board will appear on WONews.com. When the smoke clears following the final buzzer in September, the angler with the biggest fish for each species gets a grand prize package worth over $5,500.The biggest of each fish each week also scores a weekly prize pack.

If this sounds like a no brainer because you’re “going to be fishing anyway,” well, that’s where you’re right.

For all rules, the leaderboard and to sign up, visit WONews.com and find the Big Fish Challenge under the EVENTS tab.