2021 Derby Dates
Halibut Derby: May 22nd through Sept 5th
The Valdez Halibut Derby features a $10,000 cash Grand Prize for the largest halibut, $3,000 cash for 2nd place and $1,500 for 3rd place. In addition, the Valdez Halibut Derby features 1st and 2nd place weekly prizes. It all starts with a derby ticket and you can find out where to get one by visiting our Tickets page.
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Week 14 – August 30 through September 6
Week 13 – August 23 through 29
Week 13 – August 16 through 22
Week 12 – August 9 through 15
Week 11 – August 2 through August 8
Week 10 – July 26 through August 1
Week Nine – July 19 through July 25
Week Eight – July 12 through July 18
Week Seven – July 5 through July 11
Week Six – June 28 through July 4
Week Five – June 21 through June 27
Week Four – June 14 through June 20
Week Three – June 7 through June 13
Week Two – May 31 through June 6
Week One – May 23 through May 30
The Valdez Halibut Derby features a $5,000 cash Grand Prize for the largest halibut, $1,500 cash for 2nd place and $750 for 3rd place. In addition, the Valdez Halibut Derby features 1st and 2nd place weekly prizes. It all starts with a derby ticket and you can find out where to get one by visiting our Tickets page.
The halibut charter season starts in May and runs into September. During May and June, halibut charters head to the icy waters of Prince William Sound in search of halibut and rockfish, but once it hits July charters also target lingcod. Halibut are found throughout Prince William Sound waters, on or near the bottom over mud, sand or gravel banks and below steep drop offs.
Anglers will catch halibut near Valdez in the Narrows and along the coastlines of the islands in Prince William Sound. Some of the closer popular fishing spots include Knowles Head and Red Head, Galena Bay, and Sawmill Bay. Further out, halibut can be found on the outside of Hinchinbrook entrance and the edge of the Gulf of Alaska. The preferred method for fishing halibut is anchoring and using bait. There are 32 species of rockfish that live in the Gulf of Alaska and lingcod up to 30 pounds are caught regularly. Fishing for salmon sharks out of Prince William Sound has also become quite popular, although there is not a shark derby.
The average halibut is 30 to 35 pound range, but several over 300 pounds have been brought back to Port Valdez. There is a two fish daily bag limit for halibut. Charter vessel anglers may keep one fish of any size per day and one fish that is no more than 29 inches in length The Valdez Small Boat Harbor has numerous fish cleaning stations available that feature high pressure hoses and disposal chutes.
While fishing in Valdez and Prince William Sound, anglers can expect to see majestic mountains, eagles, many species of birds, seals, sea lions and sea otters. Dall porpoise and humpback whales are also residents of Prince William Sound likely to make an appearance.