Fairbanks boy sets record in Kids Pink Salmon Derby
Gear up for big-prize Friday for largest coho catch on July 29 only
Photo courtesy Valdez Fish Derbies
Christian Wingert of Fairbanks set a record Saturday in the Kids Pink Salmon Derby.
The Valdez Silver Salmon derby began Saturday and the largest fish weighed in as of Monday was a 9.76 pound silver caught by Mike Seminario of Fairbanks.
Seminario made the catch from aboard the "Alaskai."
There are daily first and second place prizes in the Valdez Silver Salmon Derby as well as a $15,000 first place prize for the largest catch of the season.
While Seminario took first place for opening day, Clayton Harris of Valdez took second place in the daily prize for the 8.50 pounder he caught aboard the "Seaward."
The silvers are not yet to the narrows but are expected to make an appearance soon.
Big Prize Friday is July 29 and the angler catching the largest silver salmon that day will win $500 in addition to the regular prizes.
In the Valdez Halibut Derby, David Jamison of Fairbanks is still leading the way with the 253 pound halibut he caught May 29.
Weekly winners were Allan Lucier of Whitehorse, Yukon with a 171.4 pound halibut he caught July 18 from the "Seahunter." Bonnie Woods of Valdez took second place for the week a 168.6 pound halibut she caught July 19 aboard "Sea Ya."
Halibut anglers had mixed reports this week.
Weather kept some anglers from travelling out to ocean entrances for big fish but success was had by many anglers throughout the Sound.
Lingcod fishing opened on July 1 and successful catches of continue to be reported to Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
Lots of pink salmon are being caught in Valdez - especially during last weekend's special kids derby.
Christian Wingert wasn't planning on going fishing Saturday, but when a stranger offered to let him use his pole at Allison Point he and his brother happily took the rod and reeled in eight pink salmon in a matter of hours. While Christian Wingert only reeled in two of those pink salmon, he did reel in the largest. In fact, he reeled in the largest pink salmon on record in the Valdez Kids Pink Salmon Derby. Wingert's 8.08 pound pink salmon is the first pink salmon caught during the Kids Derby to break the eight pound mark since the kids derby's inception in 2008.
Wingert won a longboard skateboard as the first place winner in the 8 to 10 year old age division.
The Valdez Kids Pink Salmon Derby is a free event open to kids age 5 to 16. The weigh-in station gave away 300 free t-shirts to kids age 5 to 16 that got a line wet. The derby also hosted a free family barbeque attended by 500 people at Dock Point picnic area.
Oceana Holt of Valdez said she had to work really hard to get her fish in.
"I caught a line and it got stuck around my hook. So I was trying to reel it in and couldn't get it, so I was pulled it by hand," she said.
Holt's hard work paid off as her 7.12 pound catch netted her first place in the 14 to 16 year-old age division.
Austin Evans of Tulsa, Oklahoma took first place in the 11 to 13 year age division with a 7.90 pound pink salmon. His fish made number three on the list of 10 Top Ten largest pink salmon caught in the Kids Derby. Caleb Horschel of Valdez took top honors in the 5 to 7 year-old age division with a 7.64 pound pink salmon.
All first-place winners took home a longboard skateboard from Bahama Hawks. Second-place winners received a skateboard and third-place winners received a fishing pole from Prospector. The top three winners in each age division will also receive subscriptions to Fish Alaska magazine.