200 pounders take the lead while silvers take the bait
It was a hot week for halibut fishing in Valdez. The top three positions on the Halibut Derby leader board were all caught last week - and all weigh more than 200 pounds. Scott Jumgblom of Ione, Washington reeled in a 205 pounder last Thursday aboard the Go Get Her, but his reign in the top spot was short lived. Marvin Knapp of Gravois Mills, Missouri brought in a 227.6 pound halibut later that evening. Norman Darling of North Pole dropped to third place overall with the 202.3 pound halibut he caught July 21.
Halibut charter captains are steaming through the narrows and passing schools of silver salmon.
“The silvers are out there by Goose Island,” commented Halibut Grove charter captain Seth Grove.
The silvers might be out there, but the bite is either really on or a bit slow according to derby weigh-in volunteer Dorothy Moore.
“We have had five pound silvers win daily prizes one day and 15 pounders on the board the next day,” Moore said.
The fish in contention for the $15,000 first place prize in the derby is a 17.88 pound silver reeled in July 25 by Diana Doodehenko of Canada. She was fishing aboard the Faithful. Nicole Schutz of Woodbury, Minnesota is currently in second place overall with a 15.52 pound silver she caught July 25 aboard the Martie Kay. Schutz also holds third place in the standings with a 15.08 pound silver she caught the same day.
Jeanne Clark Chapman of Fairbanks won $500 cash in Big Prize Friday when she reeled in a 14.34 pound silver last week. The next Big Prize Friday is August 31. The person bringing in the largest silver salmon that day will have their choice of $500 cash or two round-trip tickets from Era Alaska good for travel between either Valdez and Anchorage or Valdez and Fairbanks.
The Valdez Women’s Silver Salmon Derby is slated for Saturday, August 11 with an opening ceremony Friday, August 10. There will be a closing ceremony on the night of the ladies only derby. The woman catching the largest fish will win $1,000 in cash, plus $500 in merchandise from the Prospector. Registration for the Women’s Silver Salmon Derby begins August 4. Find more information at ValdezFishDerbies.Com.