Alaskans most consistent winners so far this season
The Valdez halibut derby is heating up with catches in the mid 100 pound range. Steven Adams of Valdez is still leading the overall derby with the 136.1 pound halibut he caught on May 23. Benjamin Davis from Fairbanks remains in second overall with the 127.1 pound flatfish he caught on May 26, while Jared Kassulke of Fort Wainwright edged out Nick Yepko’s 109.9 pounder with a 110.8 pounder that he caught aboard the Dawn Treader on June 10.
Weather in the Gulf cleared up some this week. Of course, rough water can rarely deter the hardiest halibut-seekers, but it makes it a lot easier for people to do their fishing when they’re not leaning over the side of the boat. The nicer weather on June 7, enabled Ray Castellaw from Fairbanks to pull up the 100.9 pound flatfish that netted him first place for Week 3. Texan Christopher Huff caught an 83.5 pounder that got him second place for the week.
On June 8, the derby shack weighed in a 17.9 pound yellow eye rockfish, making it just shy of the 18 pounds required to win a trophy certificate. Rockfish angling is reportedly quite productive with small jigs near rocky reefs. Once the limit of rockfish is caught, the ADF&G urges anglers to move on.
A few reports of anglers catching lingcod have been coming in. According to the ADF&G, lingcod season is closed until July 1 to protect nest-guarding males.
The Halibut Hullaballoo fishing dates have been set for June 15-24, and this year the angler catching the largest halibut during that time period will win $1,000 cash; this is in addition to the weekly prizes and any overall prizes for which they might qualify.
The Kids Pink Salmon Derby will be held July 14, and the event has gotten bigger each year. The Silver Salmon Derby in Valdez will again boast a $15,000 first place prize and daily prizes. The Annual Valdez Women’s Derby is slated for Saturday, August 11. The theme for the Women’s Derby this year is “Retro” featuring styles and fun from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.