253.8 POUND HALIBUT TAKES THE LEAD IN VALDEZ DERBY
VALDEZ, Alaska – The biggest halibut of the 2015 Valdez Halibut Derby season was caught on a jig Friday. Fred Hyder of Willow, Alaska was fishing on the Jaime Lynn with a group of friends from Tennessee and Kentucky when he hooked the big one. Captain Josh Hughes said he was a bit nervous when he realized it was a big fish “It was the first fish of the day and it was caught on a jig which is a hook that is easier to lose fish on” Hughes commented Friday Night. “It made me real nervous. I was thinking – It’s a big fish and it’s on a jig, oh no. Luckily Fred did awesome. He kept the line tight”. Hughes said the fish went under the boat twice before coming in.
When asked whether he thinks Hyder’s fish will hold on to win the 1st place $15,000 prize in the Valdez Halibut Derby Hughes said, “I kind of think it will be in the top three, but I’m not sure it’s going to hold number one”. “Last year it was won (Valdez Halibut Derby) with a 209, but everyone felt like that was a small winner”. If it hangs on at number two or three, Hyder will still take home some cash. The 2nd place prize in the halibut derby is $5,000 and the 3rd place prize is $2,000. Hyder said that a few years back, he caught a silver salmon that might have been a contender in the derby, but he didn’t have a derby ticket. There is no question whether someone onboard the Jaime Lynn has a ticket, “They get a derby ticket or they don’t go on my boat” said Captain Hughes.
Milton Fujino of Kaneohe Hawaii is currently in 2nd place overall with a 216.8 pound flatfish he caught on July 11th aboard the Jaime Lynn and Scott Widdison of Meridian, Idaho is currently in 3rd place overall with the 194.2 pound halibut he caught June 22nd aboard the Jaime Lynn. According to Alaska Department of Fish and Game, nice weather allowed folks to get to get further out and fish ocean entrances. Latouche and the southern and northern ends of Montague were productive last week according to ADF&G.
The Valdez Silver Salmon Derby is slated to begin this Saturday, July 18th. The grand prize for the largest silver salmon caught in the derby is $15,000 and there are daily 1st and 2nd place prizes as well as 2nd and 3rd place prizes for the overall derby. Derby tickets cost $10 for a day of fishing or $50 for a season ticket for each species (halibut or silvers).
Pink salmon fishing from Allison Point has been very steady with anglers catching their limits just before and after the tides. Pixies, spinners and Vibrax or an egg rig all work but Valdez Fishing Report interviewers are hearing that pink and green pixies are producing the best results. Pinks should be plentiful and easy to catch for the Kids Pink Salmon Derby Saturday, July 18th. The weigh-in will be open 10am to 5pm for Kids Derby and the first 200 kids weighing in a fish will get a free t-shirt. A free family barbeque and awards ceremony will be held at Dock Point Saturday starting at 5pm. The Kids Derby is open to kids age 5 through 16 and there will be 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes for kids in four different age divisions. There is no cost to participate and no ticket necessary.
The Silver Salmon Derby will start July 18th and the Women’s Derby is August 8th. Valdez Fish Derbies dates, prizes, rules, winners, pictures and more can be found at www.valdezfishderbies.com.