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Centralia teen wins Westport Halibut Derby with 45-pound fish

Jun. 4—Gavin Revel, 17, of Centralia, was the daily winner of the Westport Halibut Derby on May 30 after reeling in a 45.25-pound fish.

Gavin, who goes fishing with his mother, Staci Revel, in Westport each year, has been fishing since he was about 7 years old according to his father, Kenny Revel.

When it came to landing the monster halibut, Gavin had this to say: "I baited my hook with a live flounder and started to release it down about 850 feet until I hit bottom. Then, I reeled up about five times and waited. After around five minutes, I got this giant tug on my fishing pole that made me lean against the railing of the boat. I turned on the electric reel and hunched back so I didn't go overboard. After 10 minutes of fighting the fish, I hit 20 meters and the reel turned off. I started to reel the fish up. It started to fight back and made me lose my balance. I caught myself on the railing, and I just kept reeling it up until it surfaced and the deck hand hooked it and got it on board the boat, and I picked it up for a picture."

Gavin, who was aboard the Pacific Fin II, received a check for $200 for the derby victory.

Gavin is also succeeding the classroom as he attends Centralia College through the Running Start program. He works part time at Safeway.

The daily fishing derbies are hosted by the Westport Charterboat Association, which has been sponsoring the events for more than 50 years.

Prizes include $200 for each daily derby's largest salmon and halibut. The bi-weekly ling cod derby prize is $250. There are also annual derby winners, with the angler who catches the largest Chinook salmon receiving $10,000. The largest coho nets $1,500, and the winner of the annual halibut derby gets $1,000.

Learn more about the derbies and the Westport Charterboat Association at https://charterwestport.com/.