The fishing is great in Valdez this summer season
The silver salmon have returned to Port Valdez and so has Big Prize Friday. A total of 23 anglers weighed in a silver last Friday, hoping to win the $500 cash prize and another $508 in rewards for the largest fish of the day.
Lavonne Kennedy of Valdez reeled in Friday’s winner with a 13.34 pound silver she caught aboard the “Lady Lavonne.”
Steve Geraghty of Fairbanks landed a 13.18 pound silver to take the second place daily prize. Geraghty went fishing with Captain Dave Rental and when he asked for their fishing licenses, another passenger asked if they had derby tickets. The passenger explained that it was Big Prize Friday and also that they could win $15,000 for the biggest silver in the derby and possibly win a truck just for buying a ticket. After hearing about the prizes, Geraghty asked Captain Dave if he had time to run and get a derby ticket. Steve raced and purchased tickets for himself and his wife. The daily ticket was only $10 but his second place win netted $275 worth of prizes.
According to derby weigh-in coordinator Bonnie Woods, anglers are catching their limit of silvers and the fishing is awesome. She said she has also seen a nice king salmon caught in the Sound.
While silver fishing has definitely heated up, another leader snuck into the standings in the halibut derby. Beth Reagin of Fairbanks brought in a 178.8 pound halibut from aboard Halibut Grove to take the second place weekly prize and third place in the overall standings. Reagin’s fish was 73 inches long. James Culley of Fairbanks won the first place weekly prize and holds top honors on the leader board with the 325 pound halibut he caught last Sunday on the “Dan Orion.” Jeff Johnson of North Pole is holding onto the second place spot with the 208.6 pounder he caught back in late June.
Nice ling cod are being brought back to Port Valdez. Patricia Smillie of Whitehorse brought in a 65.5 pound ling cod on July 27.
The wildly popular Women’s Silver Salmon Derby should bring in some bigger fish when the ladies hit the water next week. The opening ceremony is scheduled for Friday, August 9 and a closing awards ceremony on Saturday, August 10. The theme of this year’s Women’s Derby is “Alaskan Woman” and there will be a costume contest Friday. Live music is planned for Saturday and derby organizers are expecting another exciting year. For more information on the ladies only tournament, visit the Women’s Derby registration page at www.valdezfishderbies.com .