The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

 
 

By From Valdez Fish Derbies
For the Star 

Big fish means Halibut Derby off to exciting start

One hundred plus pounders weighed in during opening days of contest

 

Photo courtesy Valdez Fish Derbies

Laurie Deakin of Litchfield Park, Arizona became brought in this nice 158 pound halibut Sunday after a charter aboard the” Dan Orion.”

The competition to win the weekly prizes in the Valdez Halibut Derby is already quite stiff going into the second week of the season, with a 106 pound flat fish taking first place the first week, and a very respectable 158 pounder taking the lead the first day of the second.

The first week of the derby ended Saturday night and Martin Snyder of North Pole won with the 106 pound halibut he caught last Wednesday aboard the Dawn Treader. Justin Hoppe of Valdez won the second place spot with a 97 pound fish he caught May 19. These fish won’t win the $15,000 first place prize at the end of the derby, but they are big enough to get the 2013 season off to a roaring start.

The first place weekly prize in both the halibut and soon-to-come silver salmon derbies include an embroidered vest and gift certificates from Valdez Fish Derby Sponsors. The second place weekly winners take home certificates and a vest too.

On Sunday, Laurie Deakin of Litchfield Park, Arizona jumped to the top of the overall leaderboard to begin the derby’s second week off right. She caught her 158 halibut from aboard the Dan Orion. Deakin’s fish will have to stay at the top of the leaderboard through Saturday night to win top prize for the week.

With the late spring in Valdez, fishing was slow the first weekend of the derby but derby coordinator Bonnie Woods said that fishing really picked up Memorial weekend.

“People seem to be really happy to be outside and to be fishing,” she said.

Photo courtesy Valdez Fish Derbies

Martin Snyder of North Pole took first place at the end of the first week of the Halibut Derby with this 106 pound flat fish he caught May 25 from aboard the “Dawn Treader.”

Alaska Department of Fish and Game reports Strawberry Channel, Hinchinbrook Entrance and Montague Strait are good locations and the best bets for a halibut dinner. Angling for rockfish has also been quite productive, according to ADF&G, with herring jigs and bait near herring spawning sites.

In addition to casting a line, many anglers are dropping a pot to bring home some Prince William Sound Shrimp. Laura Saxe of Valdez said her family measured one shrimp at 10.25” from tip to horn.

The Halibut Hullaballoo fishing dates have been set for June 14-23, and this year the angler catching the largest halibut during that time period will win $1,000 cash in addition to the weekly prizes and any overall prizes they might qualify for.

The Kids Pink Salmon Derby has been set for July 20. The Silver Salmon Derby in Valdez will run July 20 through September 1. The Annual Valdez Women’s Derby is slated for Saturday, August 10.

 

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