VALDEZ, Alaska – When Brad Burch got to Port Valdez, there was a Bobcat waiting to haul his catch off the boat. His halibut measured was an impressive 87 ½ inches and weighed in at 296.2. Burch is the new leader in the halibut derby and stands to win $15,000 cash if his mammoth fish hangs onto the lead through the end of the Valdez Halibut Derby Sunday, September 6th. Burch comes to Valdez often to fish. When asked whether he thought his fish would hang on to win the Grand Prize he responded, “Of course it will”. If he wins the $15,000 Burch said he would give some to his Captain and then pay off some bills.
There have only been five winning silver salmon weighing in at less than 16.48 pounds in the Valdez Silver Salmon Derby since its inception in 1977, but Karen Phillips 16.48 pound silver caught August 19th has dominated the leaderboard for almost two weeks. Lots of silvers are being caught but they’re running small this year. As is the norm for this time of the year, there was a report of a 17 pound silver salmon caught without a derby ticket.
This Friday, anglers will have a chance to win an additional $500 during Big Prize Friday. The person who buys a derby ticket and brings in the biggest silver salmon Friday will win $500 in cash in addition to the daily prizes. The Valdez Halibut and Silver Salmon Derbies end Sunday, September 6th at noon. The raffle for $10,000 cash will be held that day after the close of the derby. Everyone who purchased a Valdez derby ticket will be entered in that drawing.
Silver and Halibut Derby winners will be awarded and the drawing will be held at the Derby Awards party Sunday, September 6th at 6pm at the Elks Lodge. The $10,000 cash drawing will commence at 7pm.