VALDEZ, Alaska – Arizona angler James Ekstrom pulled in a 144.6-pound halibut on June 26th aboard the Bold Eagle to top the boards, taking first in the overall derby as well as the weekly. James Ekstrom enjoyed his first taste of halibut fishing: “For me it was my first time halibut fishing, everybody was pretty surprised at the fight it was giving us,” said James. When asked about his other plans for his time in Alaska, James responded: “Definitely going to do some more fishing, we’ve been having a great time with everything we’re doing out here.” Taking home the 2nd place prize for the week is Colleen Thompson with a 137.4 pound halibut caught aboard the Dan Orion. Holding onto 2nd place in the overall standings is Jeff Steenhoven of Salcha, AK with a 143.4-pound halibut, and third overall is Jessica Buchholz of Fairbanks Alaska with a 142.4-pound halibut caught aboard the Lena Claire.
Rockfish and halibut are the favorites to catch in Prince William Sound right now and Alaska Department of Fish and Game are reporting good catches out toward Montague although some nice catches were reported as close in as Rocky Point this week. Lingcod season will open July 1st. Blueberry, Thompson Lake and Ruth Pond have been stocked. Ruth Pond is an easy access location for kids to catch rainbow trout and Thompson Lake is a good spot to target Arctic grayling with a small-sized fly or spinner. Salmon season is just around the corner. Some pink salmon have been spotted out in the Sound and should be into Valdez well in advance of the Kids Pink Salmon Derby.
Valdez Fish Derbies is hosting a free Kids Pink Salmon Derby Saturday, July 24th. The Valdez Silver Salmon Derby also starts July 24th so there will be a few weeks where anglers can catch both pink and silver salmon in Valdez. There will be four grand prizes of $100 cash awarded in the Kids Derby. Eight kids will also win fishing poles. The Kids Pink Salmon Derby is open to kids age 5 to 16 and this year anglers will enter pictures via the Valdez Fish Derbies website for a chance to win prizes. CLICK HERE for information on the Kids Pink Salmon Derby.
The Women’s Silver Salmon Derby is slated for Saturday, August 14th. The 2021 Derby will be run much the same as the 2020 derby with prizes for the Top 3 biggest fish. Everyone who registers for the Women’s Derby will be entered in drawings for Prospector Outfitter prize packages and entered to win door prizes. CLICK HERE for details on the Women’s Derby.