VALDEZ, Alaska – July 1st was a wonderful day of fishing for Marlin Gogowich of Stoney Plain, Canada. Gogowich reeled in a trophy size 57.4 pound ling cod on the opening day for ling cod in Prince William Sound and followed it up by bringing in a 135.4 pound halibut. Gogowich goes fishing with a group of men, all from Canada, every year in Valdez and this was a most memorable trip. Gogowich took 1st place for Week #6 in the halibut derby.
Gogowich’s halibut was big, but not enough to get him into the overall standings. Currently Scott Widdison of Meridian, Idaho is leading the derby with a 194.2 pound flatfish he caught June 22nd aboard the Jaime Lynn. Jeffrey Group of Berlin, is currently in 2nd place with a 170.2 pound halibut and Daniel Bryant Jr. of Palmer, Alaska is currently in 3rd place with a 150.8 pound halibut caught June 21st.
According to Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the west side of Montague Island is seeing a lot of angler traffic for halibut. Success can be found in this area, but hot spots further up in the sound near Green and Night Island are doing better. Latouche and southern and northern ends of Montague are good bets also. The gulf side of Hichinbrook Island is also doing well on halibut and pelagic rockfish according to ADF&G. Lingcod season opened July 1st and anglers are allowed to have on fish per day and one in possession. Ling cod must be at least 35 inches long.
Donovan Kelly and Pat Olson are both fish filleters at the Valdez Harbor and both said they had filleted several pink salmon from Allison Point. Allison Point was a popular place for pink salmon fishing the 4th of July and the action was great. According to the Valdez Hatchery 17.5 million pink salmon are slated to return to Port Valdez this year. There should still be plenty left to catch when the Kids Pink Salmon Derby rolls around Saturday, July 18th. The Kids Derby is open to children age 5 to 16 and there is no fee to enter. Kids just need to weigh-in a pink salmon at the Valdez Fish Derbies weigh-in station Saturday, July 19th to get a t-shirt and have a chance of winning one of the top three spots in their age division. A free family barbeque and awards will follow the day of fishing. The first 200 kids to stop by the weigh-in will get a free t-shirt courtesy of Alyeska Pipeline Service Company and the Valdez Fish Derbies.
The Silver Salmon Derby will start July 18th and the Women’s Derby is August 8th.