VALDEZ, Alaska – Calm seas and good weather have allowed anglers to access prime fishing grounds out of Valdez. Weekly 1st and 2nd place halibut winners have had fish weighing in at more than 100 pounds but the leader in the derby is still just a 144.6 pound halibut caught by James Ekstrom of Mesa, Arizona aboard the Bold Eagle. Ekstrom has already visited the valdezfishderbies.com webpage and understands that his 144.6 pound fish is not likely to win the derby and take home the $10,000 first place prize …but that doesn’t stop him from checking the site weekly. “I know I’m not likely to win, but it’s fun checking,” Ekstrom said.
Ekstrom caught his big halibut June 26th and it was his first time halibut fishing. “Everyone was pretty surprised at the fight it was giving us. It was definitely an adventure to bring that thing onboard” said Ekstrom. For those wanting to fish closer to Port Valdez, Perry, Naked and Lone Islands are options that are worth exploring. Ling cod season opened July 1st and last year at this time Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) reported good catches of lingcod toward Seal Rock and Wessel Reef. The bag and possession limit is one fish that is 35 inches long or longer with head attached, or 28 inches or greater with the head removed. King salmon are also swimming around Prince William Sound. For those wanting to target king salmon, ADF&G suggests trolling 20 to 50 feet down with a small to medium sized herring and an oversized flasher.
Pink Salmon are starting to come into the Port of Valdez. More fish should be arriving over the coming weeks. Valdez Fish Derbies is holding a Virtual Kids Pink Salmon Derby Saturday July 24th. Kids age 5 to 16 can get a free hat, fish in Valdez and enter their picture on the valdezfishderbies.com website for a chance to win prizes. There will be four $100 Grand prize winners chosen by random and eight other lucky kids will win a fishing pole. This is a free event sponsored by Valdez Fish Derbies to get kids involved in fishing. Anglers can catch pink salmon trolling the waters but there are also miles of accessible shoreline at Allison Point and anglers need only a fishing pole and a pixie, spinner or vibrax to hook a good one. CLICK HERE for more information about the 2021 Valdez 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.