VALDEZ, Alaska – An angler from the interior is holding 1st place on the Valdez Fish Derbies leaderboard in the early stages of the Valdez Halibut Derby. Doris Miller of North Pole, Alaska is currently in first place overall with a 109.6 pound halibut she caught aboard the Dan Orion May 21st. Amanda Von Imhof of Anchorage, AK is currently in 2nd place with a 107.8 pound halibut caught May 26th aboard the Go Get Her and Rosina Mancari of Anchorage, AK is currently in 3rd place with a 107.4 pound halibut caught May 24th aboard the Reel Nuts.
The investment to compete in the Valdez Halibut Derby and have the chance to win the $10,000 first place prize is $10 for a daily ticket. Those who fish a lot can pick up a halibut season ticket for $50. The 2nd place prize in the Halibut Derby is $3,000 and 3rd place prize is $1,500.
Those with a halibut derby ticket are eligible to participate in the Halibut Hullabaloo tournament for no additional cost. The angler catching the largest halibut in the derby between June 7th through 16th will win $1,000 cash in addition to the regular derby prizes.
A huge bonus for anglers hitting the waters early this year is the opportunity to see whales and wildlife in the Port Valdez and throughout Prince William Sound. Stan Stephens Cruises operates a glacier and wildlife cruise out of Valdez and this past week alone have reported sightings of humpback whales, Dall’s porpoise, Stellar Sea Lions, mountain goats, black bear as well as shorebirds such as the surf scoter, puffins and oystercatchers.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game reports that halibut fishing has been good and suggests that you don’t have to fish deep to get into some rockfish. Rocky areas are a favorite for rockfish. Rockfish limits year-round are 4 fish per day and 8 in possession of which only one per day and possession can be nonpelagic rockfish. The shrimp season began April 15th and will close on September 15th. You are required to have a shrimp permit with you and you must record your catch immediately after you harvest shrimp. ADF&G recommends that you stick to a depth range of around 300 to 400 feet for shrimp pots if you are just starting out. For those wanting to fish along the road system, Blueberry and Thompson Lakes will be stocked toward the end of June. Ruth Pond in Valdez will also be stocked toward the end of June.
The Valdez Fish Derbies will be hosting the Kids Pink Salmon Derby Saturday, July 20th. There will be a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prize for four different age divisions. The Kids Derby is free and open to kids five to 16 years of age. Valdez Fish Derbies tickets are available at the weigh-in shack down by the harbor and at various locations throughout town. For more information visit: www.valdezfishderbies.com.For more information on the Valdez Derbies, visit: www.valdezfishderbies.com
Halibut Derby – Overall Leaders
1st Doris Miller North Pole, AK 109.6 lbs. May 21 Dan Orion
2nd Amanda Von Imhof Anchorage, AK 107.8 lbs. May 26 Go Get Her
3rd Rosina Moncari Anchroage, AK 107.4 lbs. May 24 Reel Nuts
Halibut Derby – Weekly Winners – Week #2
1st Amanda Von Imhof Anchorage, AK 107.8 lbs. May 26 Go Get Her
2nd Craig Villante Lakeland, FL 98.6 lbs. June 1 Sea Quester