VALDEZ, Alaska – Terrence McCabe reeled in a 202.0 pound halibut on an overnight trip aboard his vessel the Only Fins. When he first hooked into this monster halibut, he did not know how sizable a fish he had until it surfaced: “We knew in the first minute it was probably going to be over a hundred pounds, but we still had no idea until we got it up to the side of the boat how big it really was,” said McCabe. Getting a halibut of this size into the boat is no easy feat: “The fight probably took 20 minutes from the time we hooked it to the time we were able to get a harpoon in it. We had to harpoon it twice. It was quite a struggle, but we finally got it.”
Terrence McCabe is currently in 1st place in the Valdez Halibut derby with a 202.0 pound fish he landed July 5th aboard Only Fins. Natalie Cevasco is currently in 2nd place overall with a 158.2 pound halibut she landed July 7th on the Gettin’ Some. James Ekstrom of Mesa, Arizona who reeled in a 144.6 pound halibut June 26th aboard the Bold Eagle dropped to 3rd place overall.
Halibut fishing in Valdez has been very good, and pink salmon should be plentiful by the Valdez Kids Pink Salmon Derby Saturday, July 24th. The 2021 Kids Pink Salmon Derby is open to kids age 5 to 16 and will be virtual. Kids can qualify for prizes by picking up a free Valdez Fish Derbies hat and posting a picture of themselves with the hat and a pink salmon in Valdez, Saturday July 24th. An entry form for the Kids Derby will be live the day of the derby on the www.valdezfishderbies.com website. Winners will be chosen at random to win cash prizes and fishing poles. The Kids Derby is sponsored by Valdez Fish Derbies and there is no entry fee. Pink salmon fishing is generally very productive at Allison Point and along the shorelines. Pixies, spinners and Vibrax are all good options.
The Valdez Fisheries Development Associations cost recovery for pink salmon was 399,645 pounds by Thursday of last week and the average fish weight is 3.1 pounds. The Valdez hatchery is responsible for the pink salmon return and expect millions of pink salmon to find their way back to the Port of Valdez this season.
The Valdez Silver Salmon Derby starts Saturday, July 24th with a grand prize of $10,000 cash for the largest fish caught July 24th through September 5th. The Women’s Silver Salmon Derby is slated for Saturday, August 14th. In Valdez Women’s Silver Salmon Derby, prizes will awarded to the woman who registers for the derby and catches the largest fish on Saturday, August 14th. A queen will be crowned and there will also be 2nd and 3rd place prizes. CLICK HERE for more information about the Women’s Silver Salmon Derby.