$1000 special prize during 10-day event
Early season halibut fishing will get a boost late next week as anglers converge on Valdez in hopes of being the angler to catch the largest halibut June 14-23.
The Halibut Hullabaloo winners will be in the running for special prizes that week, in addition to the regular prizes – including a shot at hauling in the season’s largest fish. Halibut derby organizers are offering a prize of $1,000 for that one special fish caught during that timeframe. Derby organizers said they started the tournament a few years ago to promote halibut fishing before the silver salmon hit Port Valdez. One of the committee members suggested making a big hullabaloo about halibut and the tournament was born. There is no fee to fish in the Halibut Hullabaloo Tournament. Anglers will just need a valid Valdez Fish Derbies ticket for the day(s) they fish. A daily halibut derby ticket is $10 and a season ticket is $50.
Alaska Department of Fish and Game reports halibut fishing is picking up all over Prince William Sound, with most folks limiting out with an average fish of around 30 to 35 pounds. The limit for halibut fishing out of Port Valdez is set at two for the 2013 season.
Rockfish angling is quite productive with small jigs near rocky reefs and hatchery king salmon should be showing up at Fleming Spit and at the Old Town site in Valdez any day now. ADF&G says returning adults are likely staging in the saltwater near these sites.
Laurie Deakin of Litchfield Park, Arizona is still leading the Valdez Halibut Derby with the 158 pound halibut she caught May 26 and is the weekly first place winner. Two anglers caught halibut weighing 89.4 pounds, but got bumped out of the weekly standings when David Flynn of Fort Greely brought in a 114 pound flatfish from aboard the Halibut Grove on May 29. Flynn won the second place weekly prize and is currently in second place overall in the derby. Martin Snyder of North Pole is currently in third place overall with a 106 pound halibut caught May 25.
In other derby news, hundreds of service men and women converged on Valdez last weekend for Military Appreciation Days. Service members were given a nod with free picnics and a pancake breakfast hosted by Valdez officials and the Masons. Several charter boats donated time and talents to take select members of the military out fishing.
For civilians and military alike, Valdez Fish Derbies tickets are available at the weigh-in shack down by the harbor and at various locations throughout town. For more information on the Valdez Derbies, visit www.valdezfishderbies.com