Derby News – Week 6, 6/22-6/28
VALDEZ, Alaska – Sharon Daniels of Valdez reeled in a 154.4 pound halibut June 24th aboard the Dan Orion to get on the leaderboard in the Valdez Halibut Derby. Matthew West of Morris Plains, New Jersey drops to 3rd place overall with the 152.8 pound halibut he caught June 2nd. Scott Hebig of Wasilla, Alaska is the only derby angler so far to reel one in over 200 pounds. The 203.6 pound halibut Hebig caught June 20th aboard the Amanda Rose is still leading the derby.
Daniels wins the 1st place weekly prize and Lois Ogle of Medford, Wisconsin took home the 2nd place weekly prize with the 142.8 pound halibut she caught June 23rd.
Plentiful catches of bottom fish have been reported throughout the Sound, pinks are being caught from Allison Point and one of the fish cutters at the harbor said he had a client bring a silver salmon to the tables. Ling Cod season opens July 1st. Ling Cod are eligible for trophy requirements if they top 25 pounds.
According the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, halibut angling has been good to excellent in deeper water near the entrances. “Valdez anglers seem to be having more luck than anglers fishing out of Whittier,” reports ADF&G. Pacific Cod catches have been quite productive near LaTouche and Hinchinbrook. For shrimping, ADF&G says deeper sets of 350 to 600 feet are working best.
Anglers aboard Halibut Charters are seeing lots of pink salmon jumping in the narrows and into Valdez. One of the local Valdez fish cutters said he filleted 84 pink salmon in one day from Allison Point. It should be very possible to catch a pink salmon during the 4th of July weekend. With the City holding a 4th of July block party Friday and a Pink Salmon Festival on Saturday, July 5th, there should be plenty to do in Valdez once anglers catch their limit. Last year, Kyle Eames of Anchorage caught the largest pink salmon in the Kids Derby, a 5.38 pounder. Theron Lee of Winfield, Alabama caught a 7.92 pound pink in 2012. Winfield’s pink salmon is the largest pink caught to date in the Kids Pink Salmon Derby.
The Kids Pink Salmon Derby is set for Saturday, July 19th. 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 300 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 19th and the Women’s Derby is August 8th and 9th.
Valdez Halibut Derby Overall Leaders
Weekly Winners – Week 6