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Giant Fish Crosses Two Items Off Bellevue Man's Bucket List

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- Gene Jones, a natural resource technician at the DNR office in Bellevue, crossed two items off his bucket list this summer.

The first was a trip to Alaska. The second, accomplished on that same trip: To catch a fish bigger than he is.

On July 25th, Jones was fishing three miles out of Homer, Alaska as part of the Homer Halibut Derby. He felt a big bite on the end of his line.

"As soon as I got two or three cranks in, I knew it was a fairly decent fish," he said.

After a long struggle, Jones reeled in the fish.

"The fish was tired, and I was tired by the end of it," he said.

On September 29, Jones learned that his $10 ticket to enter the derby had paid off in a big way. His 84-inch, 236-pound catch was the biggest fish caught in the derby. It netted him a $21,000 reward, and a memory for a lifetime.