VALDEZ, Alaska – Big hauls of halibut, lingcod, and rockfish are being laid out on the docks at the Valdez Harbor. Fair weather this past week allowed anglers to get to the fishing grounds past Hinchinbrook Island and the fish seemed to be biting. According to Charter Captain Josh Hughes of the Jamie Lynn, the salmon are still out quite a ways out, but they have seen some jumpers.
Doug Cranor of Valdez is still leading the Valdez Halibut Derby with the 239 pound halibut he caught June 23rd aboard the Redhead. Russell Young of Fairbanks is currently in 2nd place overall with the 226.0 pounder he caught June 23rd aboard the Dan Orion and Tim Ingraham is holding onto 3rd place overall with the 214.2 pounder he caught July 7th aboard the Jaime Lynn.
Lingcod season opened July 1st and anglers are doing well getting their limits of lingcod and halibut. The daily limit for lingcod is one per day, and one in possession. Alaska Department of Fish and Game rules say that to keep lingcod, it needs to be a minimum of 35 inches long with head attached or 28 inches with head removed.
While sport anglers are heading to the halibut grounds, the commercial charter fleet was just past the narrows seining for pink salmon. According to Valdez Fisheries Development Association, VFDA achieved 42 percent of its cost recovery goal through 7th. A total of 116,517 pinks were harvested at an average weight of 3.56 pounds and a female percentage of thirteen percent. The anticipated return of pink salmon in Valdez is 16.9 million.
The Kids Pink Salmon Derby is July 21st and the biggest pink salmon brought in during the nine year history of the event is a 10.12 pounder caught by Alex Plowman last year. Six of the top 10 fish caught during 2017 Kids Pink Salmon Derby, made the Top 10 list, including all of the top five spots. CLICK HERE for more information about the Kids Pink Salmon Derby. It’s a free event for kids 5 to 16 years of age and includes prizes and a free barbeque. Pink salmon fishing is generally very productive at Allison Point and along the shorelines. Pixies, spinners and Vibrax are all good options.
The Silver Salmon Derby will start July 21st and the Women’s Derby is Saturday, August 11th with an opening ceremony on Friday, August 10th. Valdez Fish Derbies dates, prizes, rules, winners, pictures and more can be found at www.valdezfishderbies.com.
Halibut Derby – Overall Leaders
1st Doug Cranor Valdez, AK 239.0 lbs. June 23 Redhead
2nd Russel Young Fairbanks, AK 226.0 lbs. June 23 Dan Orion
3rd Tim Ingraham North Pole, AK 214.2 lbs. July 7 Jaime Lynn
Halibut Derby – Weekly Winners – July 2nd through July 8th
1st Tim Ingraham North Pole, AK 214.2 lbs. July 7 Jaime Lynn
2nd Hunter Linden Wasilla, AK 164.2 lbs. July 3 Bold Eagle