VALDEZ, Alaska – Crista Andersen of Valdez caught a nice fish Friday to put her at the top of the leader board in the Valdez Silver Salmon Derby. Andersen weighed in her 10.84 pound catch aboard the Crista June. In addition to winning the 1st place daily prize and leading the derby, Andersen won Big Prize Friday and took home $500 cash in addition to her daily prizes. Currently in 2nd place in the Valdez Silver Salmon Derby is Mike Seminario of Fairbanks who caught a 9.76 pound silver July 23rd aboard the Alaskai. Currently in 3rd place is Lotus Jobe of Washington, Oklahoma who reeled in a 9.60 pound silver July 29th aboard the Wild Goose.
As the silvers return to Port Valdez in larger numbers during the coming weeks, expect the size of daily winners to increase. The largest fish on record to win the Valdez Silver Salmon Derby was a 22.14 pound fish. Chuck Gard caught his winning silver in 2009 and Derek Werder picked up a 22.14 pound silver in 2009. It doesn’t always take a huge fish to win the Valdez Derbies. Last year Karen Phillips of Fairbanks won the $15,000 Silver Salmon Derby Grand Prize with a 16.48 pound silver salmon. Visit the Valdez Fish Derbies Silver Salmon Derby “Previous Winners” page for complete list of winners and weights.
There have been several trophy size lingcod and rockfish brought to Port Valdez. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Trophy Fish program has been going since the 1960’s and gives special recognition to anglers taking fish that meet a minimum weight within a species. The minimum weight to have a trophy lingcod is 55 pounds. The largest lingcod on record in Alaska is a 81 pound, six ounce monster caught by Charles Curny out of Monty Island in 2001. A rockfish needs to tip the scales at 18 pounds to be considered a trophy fish. Henry Liebman reeled in a 39 pound, one ounce rockfish in 2013 and currently holds the record for largest trophy rockfish.
The trophy weight for halibut is 250 pounds so David Jamison of Fairbanks, Alaska made the grade when he caught his 253 pound halibut earlier this year. Jamison caught his 253 pound halibut May 29th and is still leading the Valdez Halibut Derby. Kim Steiger of Westchester, Pennsylvania is currently in 2nd with a 211 pound halibut she caught July 5th and Jeff Leaverton of Madisonville, Louisiana is currently in 3rd place with a 174.4 pound halibut he caught June 16th.
The Valdez Women’s Silver Salmon Derby should bring in some bigger fish, and a lot of lady anglers. The opening ceremony is scheduled for Friday, August 12th and a closing awards ceremony on Saturday, August 13th. The theme of this year’s Women’s Derby is “Country Western” and there will be a group costume contest Friday. Live music and awards are planned for Saturday and derby organizers are expecting another exciting year. CLICK HERE to visit the Women’s Derby registration page at www.valdezfishderbies.com.
Halibut Derby – Overall Leaders
1st David Jamison Fairbansks, AK 253.0 lbs. May 29 Nanatuk
2nd Kim Steiger Westchester, PA 211.0 lbs. July 5 Halibut Grove
3rd Jeff Leaverton Madisonville, LA 174.4 lbs. June 16 Dan Orion
Halibut Derby – Weekly Winners
1st Davie Starostka Grandisle, NE 119.1 lbs. July 29 Sea Hunter
2nd Melita Roseboom North Pole, AK 101.1 lbs. July 30 Harvester
Silver Derby – Overall Leaders
1st Crista Andersen Valdez, AK 10.84 lbs. July 29 Crista June
2nd Mike Seminario Fairbanks, AK 9.76 lbs. July 23 Alaskai
3rd Lotus Jobe Washington, OK 9.60 lbs. July 29 Wild Goose