Smallest halibut in derby history wins $15,000 prize
Local women come out on top in truck drawing and silver salmon derby
Photo courtesy Valdez Fish Derbies
This $15,000 halibut was caught by Scott Hebig of Wasilla last June. It is the smallest first prize winner in the history of the Valdez Halibut Derby.
History was made in this year's Valdez Fish Derbies.
Amanda Towne of Valdez owns the distinction of being the only Women's Silver Salmon Derby winner to also win the $15,000 cash prize in the silver derby. A contender came in late on August 28 that was two tenths of a pound shy of knocking her Coho out of first place when Paul Williams of Eagle River brought in a 17.52 pound silver. Williams won second place and $5,000 for the fish he reeled up aboard the Silly Billy II. Greg Ledsworth of Tamarac, Florida took third place in the silver derby with the 17.50 pound silver he caught from shore August 25.
In the last Big Prize Friday of the derby, the $500 winner was Nathen Ward of Fairbanks. He reeled in a 14.08 pound silver from aboard the "Mayhem."
In the Valdez Halibut Derby, it was Scott Hebig's 203.6 pound halibut that hung on for the first place $15,000 cash prize. Hebig caught his 203.6 pound halibut June 20 aboard the "Amanda Rose." James McQuain of Fairbanks finished second in the halibut derby with a 171.6 pound halibut he caught July 25 aboard the "Dawn Treader." Jeff Maurer of Elysburg, Pennsylvania took third place with the 171.4 pound halibut he caught July 17, also from aboard the "Dawn Treader."
Hebig's halibut is the smallest halibut on record to win the Valdez Derbies, with the exception of the years when the Chamber of Commerce held a target weight derby. In 2013, the winner of the $15,000 first place prize weighed in at 325 pounds.
Every derby ticket purchased in the Valdez Derbies gives the buyer a chance to win a Ford F-150 4x4 truck from Valdez Fish Derbies and Seekins Ford. This year's winner was T.C. Greene of Valdez.
The Captain's Prize of $500 was awarded to Dave Towne of Valdez of the "Amanda Rose" for both the halibut and silver salmon derby. Judy Bartlett sold the winning Halibut Derby ticket at the weigh-in shack and won the $500 ticket seller prize. Janis Johnson and Susie Koklich sold the winning silver derby ticket at the Prospector and will split the $500 ticket seller prize.
For more information on the Valdez Derbies visit http://www.valdezfishderbies.com.