VALDEZ, Alaska – Christian Wingert wasn’t planning on going fishing Saturday, but when a stranger offered to let him use his pole at Allison Point he and his brother happily took the rod and reeled in eight pink salmon in a matter of hours. While Christian Wingert only reeled in two of those pink salmon, he did reel in the largest. In fact, he reeled in the largest pink salmon on record in the Valdez Kids Pink Salmon Derby. Wingert’s 8.08 pound pink salmon is the first pink salmon caught during the Kids Derby to break the eight pound mark since the Kids Derby’s inception in 2008. (CLICK HERE for Top 10 All Time) Wingert won a longboard skateboard as the 1st place winner in the 8 to 10 year old age division.
The Valdez Kids Pink Salmon Derby is a free event open to kids age 5 to 16. The weigh-in station gave away 300 free t-shirts to kids age 5 to 16 that got a line wet and hosted a free family barbeque attended by 500 people at Dock Point picnic area.
Oceana Holt of Valdez said she had to work really hard to get her fish in. “I caught a line and it got stuck around my hook. So I was trying to reel it in and couldn’t get it, so I was pulled it by hand”. Holt’s hard work paid off as her 7.12 pound catch netted her 1st place in the 14 to 16 year-old age division. Austin Evans of Tulsa, Oklahoma took 1st place in the 11 to 13 year age division with a 7.90 pound pink salmon. His fish made number three on the list of 10 Top Ten largest pink salmon caught in the Kids Derby. Caleb Horschel of Valdez, Alaska took top honors in the 5 to 7 year-old age division with a 7.64 pound pink salmon. First place winners took home a longboard skateboard from Bahama Hawks, 2nd place winners received a skateboard and 3rd place winners received a fishing pole from Prospector. Top three winners in each age division will also receive subscriptions to Fish Alaska magazine.
Valdez Kids Pink Salmon Derby – 2016 Winners
5 to 7 Age Division
1st Caleb Horschel Valdez, AK 7.64 lbs.
2nd Liam Day Valdez, AK 6.92 lbs.
3rd Kerra Albright Valdez, AK 6.86 lbs.
8 to 10 Age Division
1st Christian Wingert Fairbanks, AK 8.08 lbs.
2nd William Slater North Pole, AK 7.26 lbs.
3rd Jamie Crisp Valdez, AK 6.58 lbs.
11 to 13 Age Division
1st Austin Evans Tulsa, OK 7.90 lbs.
2nd Bryce Sawin Anchorage, AK 7.06 lbs.
3rd Brad Baker Salcha, AK 6.90 lbs.
14 to 16 Age Division
1st Oceana Holt Valdez, AK 7.12 lbs.
2nd Caleb Hughes Valdez, AK 6.46 lbs.
3rd Dahlis Talbott Valdez, AK 6.12 lbs.