VALDEZ, Alaska – Congetta Betson of Seeley Lake Montana reeled in a 163.2 pound halibut on Thursday to get on the Valdez Halibut Derby leaderboard. Betson caught her fish aboard the Amanda Rose and won 1st place in week five of the derby. She is also currently in 3rd place for the overall derby. Jeff Leaverton of Madisonville, LA is currently in 2nd place overall with the 174.4 pound halibut he caught June 16th aboard the Dan Orion and David Jamison of Fairbanks is still holding onto the lead in the Halibut Derby with the 253 pound halibut he caught May 29th aboard the Nanatuk.
According to Alaska Department of Fish and Game, halibut angling continues to be productive throughout Prince William Sound. The weekend weather prohibited some anglers from distant travels, but the ocean entrances continued to be very productive places to catch halibut for those that made the trek. Fishing around Knight and Perry islands was also productive for smaller sized halibut. Rockfish angling is productive will small jigs near rocks reefs. Lingcod season will open July 1st.
Shrimping continues to be productive throughout the Sound. Anglers report successful pulls at depths ranging from 350 to 650 feet. Alaska Department of Fish and Game suggests looking for good habitat to set pots in to improve success rate. Rocky terrain with steep drop offs are a good one to look for on charts. Don’t forget your shrimp permit as it needs to be in possession as you are shrimping.
Pink Salmon are expected to be available by the 4th of July weekend and should be in the Port of Valdez for the Annual Kids Pink Salmon Derby. The anticipated return of Pink Salmon to Port Valdez is 17.1 million. The silver salmon will be right on their tails, arriving in mid to late July. The Women’s Silver Salmon Derby is slated for August 13th with an opening ceremony Friday night. The theme of this year’s Women’s Derby is “Country Western” and there will be a group costume contest Friday night as well as live music and awards for the top 50 on Saturday night. CLICK HERE for details on the Women’s Derby.
In addition to great fishing during the 4th of July, the City of Valdez will be hosting a big Pink Salmon Festival with a Cook Off and Community fish Fry Saturday as well as a 4th of July Block Party on Monday, featuring old fashioned kids games, a parade, community barbeque and fireworks.
Halibut Derby – Overall Leaders
1st David Jamison Fairbanks, AK 253.0 lbs. May 29 Nanatuk
2nd Jeff Leaverton Madisonville, LA 174.4 lbs. June 16 Dan Orion
3rd Congetta Betson Seeley Lake MT 163.2 lbs. June 23 Amanda Rose
Halibut Derby – Weekly Winners – Week #6
1st Congetta Betson Seeley Lake MT 163.2 lbs. June 23 Amanda Rose
2nd Robert Thorton Duluth, MN 159.4 lbs. June 21 Halibut Grove