North Pole man hits it big in last week of derby
North Pole angler Calvin Carr reeled in a cool $15,000 Sunday night after catching a 264 pound halibut a mere week before the season end of the Valdez Halibut Derby. . Carr caught his prizewinning flatfish Monday, August 26 from aboard the Otter Dodger.
A group of about 70 gathered at the Elks Lodge for the awards ceremony and to watch the truck drawing. Everyone who purchased a derby ticket had a chance to win a 4x4 Ford F-150, but when the ticket was drawn, it was Maliwan Turner of Valdez who drove home the prize.
Diana Doodchenko of Canada caught her first place winning 17.88 pound silver salmon – also worth $15,000 - July 25. She was doubtful it would hang on to take first place so early in the derby season. Doodchenko’s husband had a 3 x 5 picture printed in Valdez of his wife with her fish because he said he had a tradition of framing his wife’s prize fishing catches. As it turns out, this fish will provide much more than a memory.
In the halibut derby, Bill Kelly took home $5,000 for second place with a 237.7 pound halibut he reeled in August 28 aboard the Victorious. Mike Burke of Henderson, Nevada took third place and won $2,000 cash with the 233 pound halibut he caught August 12 while fishing aboard the Dan Orion.
Tom Parker of Billings, Montana won second place and $5,000 in the silver derby with a 16.70 pound silver he caught August 18. Joel Brown of Valdez brought home the third place prize of $2,000 cash for the 16.10 pound silver he caught August 15.
The $500 cash prize for the charter captain taking out the winning halibut angler went to Dennis Petri of the Otter Dodger who said he was planning to give the money to his granddaughter who worked as his deckhand this summer. Nancy Meador won the $500 prize for selling the ticket to Calvin Carr. Dan Eames won $500 for being Diana Doodchenko’s captain July 25 and Greg Kern of Fish Central won the $500 ticket seller’s prize for the silver derby.