VALDEZ, Alaska – The overall leaders in the Valdez Halibut Derby have all tipped the scales at more than 100 pounds and the Halibut Hullabaloo winner is currently in 2nd place overall. Kamille Mulcaire of Fairbanks, Alaska reeled in a 149.8-pound halibut on June 9th to win the Valdez Halibut Hullabaloo tournament. Chris Milles of Melbourne, Florida is currently leading the overall derby with a 150-pound halibut, but he caught his fish before the start of the Halibut Hullabaloo, so Mulcaire’s fish won the $1,000 cash prize. Mulcaire also took home the weekly 1st place prize in the regular derby and her prize package included a halibut charter from Valdez Outfitters so she will have the opportunity to fish Valdez again. When asked what she would buy with her winnings Mulcaire said, “Probably bait to go out again.”
Mulcaire said that she and her family had been out fishing all week and their patience paid off as they caught not just one big halibut but three nice size halibut in about 12 minutes on their last day out. “I tangled in everybody’s line,” Mulcaire said. Once her 149.8-pound halibut was hooked, Mulcaire said it became quite chaotic. “It cut everybody’s line except for his (her sons) line that had two fish on it.” As the large halibut came over the side, it cut her son’s line, but she said one of the other people on the boat was hanging onto the line and was able to hand pull the other two fish in. She said those two halibut weighed in at 60-pounds and 30-pounds.
According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, many anglers are headed all the way to Prince William Sound after larger halibut when weather allows. ADF&G reports anglers have caught a few halibut trolling for salmon in Resurrection Bay. For those looking to fish for other species, rock fish are coming into Valdez in big numbers, Alaskans are enjoying great catches of Prince William Sound shrimp and Ling Cod season opens July 1st. ADF&G reports king fishing has picked up with a few fish being caught from shore. Anglers trolling and jigging are also reporting success catching kings. The king salmon limit in Resurrection Bay is currently two per day, any size. There is no annual or seasonal king salmon limit in effect, and no king salmon harvest reporting requirement, but a king stamp is required.
The Valdez Fish Derbies will be hosting the Kids Pink Salmon Derby Saturday, July 23rd and the Women’s Silver Salmon Derby is August 13th. The Valdez Women’s Silver Salmon Derby will feature a “Coho Cruise Night” that will have anglers out in the Valdez community searching for fish, taking selfies and looking for winning dog tag numbers. For more information, visit www.valdezfishderbies.com.