Halibut catch packing on the pounds
The fishing is great out of Port Valdez this season
Valdez Fish Derbies
Nicholas Baker of Gatesville, Texas won last week's halibut derby with this 145.6 pound halibut caught May 26 aboard the "Jamie Lynn."
The leader board for the Valdez Halibut Derby keeps inching up.
Monday, Matthew West of Morris Plains, New Jersey inched out last week's derby winner when he weighed in a 152.8 flatfish. Nicholas Baker of Gatesville, Texas won the weekly derby with a 145.6 pounder he caught May 26.
Anglers can expect the fishing to remain good for the upcoming Halibut Hullabaloo. The derby within a derby runs June 14-22. Organizers of the Valdez Fish Derbies are offering a prize of $1,000, in addition to regular derby prizes. The hullabaloo was started the a few years ago to promote halibut fishing before the silver salmon hit the port. 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 for the halibut derby is $50.
Valdez Fish Derbies tickets are available at the weigh-in shack down by the harbor and at various locations throughout town. For more information visit: http://www.valdezfishderbies.com
Each year, the City of Valdez hosts military from all over the state for a Military Appreciation weekend. This year, 77 service men from Alaska were taken out on halibut charters and the entire community is treated to barbeques and pancake breakfasts. Sandy Moore-Livesay organizes the event for the city and she said the charter captains in Valdez are always eager to donate a charter and volunteer for this event.
Alaska Department of Fish and Game reports halibut fishing was a little spotty inside the Sound this past week. Ocean entrances continue to be great places to catch halibut. Rockfish angling has been quite productive with small jigs near rocky reefs. Shrimping continues to be productive, but ADF&G reports it is generally better the farther you get away from ports and suggests anglers start moving pots out a little deeper as the summer moves on.
There's good news for those looking to stop and dip net before or after fishing Valdez. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game will open the Chitina dip net fishery ahead of its normal June 10 start and will add bonus fish to the catch. The fishery will open June 7 and run though 11:59 p.m. June 8. A supplemental harvest of an extra ten red salmon will be allowed during this period. Dip netters will legally be require to remove their nets from the water for only two minutes between Sunday night and Monday morning before the fishery reopens at 12:01 a.m. June 9, running through the second week of the month. The June 9 opening is classified as tentative at this time, so check with ADF&G prior to your trip.