Valdez Fish Derbies 

Utah woman earns the title of Queen of the Silver Salmon Sisterhood

Eight-year-old Valdez boy upsets the apple cart and takes the lead overall in cohos

 

August 15, 2018



After a raucous evening at the opening of the Valdez Women's Silver Salmon Derby Friday night, anglers set out early Saturday morning in search of the fish that would earn them the title of Queen.

"Many anglers heading out past the narrows ended up doubling back and coming back to fish Port Valdez because the silver salmon are in and plentiful close to the harbor," said Laura Saxe of Eagles Rest RV Park, who even heard that someone caught a silver salmon at Allison Point.

Leslie West of Provo, Utah had never fished for salmon in Valdez but she said she got the hang of trolling and was really excited to see such a big fish at the end of her line. West brought in a 16.48-pound silver salmon to win her first place in the derby and put her into third place in the overall Silver Salmon Derby standings.

"I've never trolled before," West said. "This was all new to me and a lot of fun. I was just so grateful we got it in. It was kind of hard netting and it was exciting there for a few minutes, but we got it in. Oh my gosh, what a feeling!"

West said she was fishing very shallow but most anglers had success fishing at depths of 40 to 70 feet.

"They were jumping, they were on the surface. We could see them everywhere. We just trolled on through and I lucked into the one," West said.

West wasn't the only one who caught a big fish on Saturday. Eight-year-old Aksel Hutchison of Valdez caught a whopper of a fish. Hutchison's fish weighed in at 17.28 pounds and puts him in the lead to win the $10,000 first place prize in the regular Valdez Silver Salmon Derby.


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Patricia Johnson of Clovis, California is leading the Valdez Halibut Derby with a 285.8 pound halibut she caught July 26. Doug Cranor of Valdez is currently in second place with a 239 pound halibut and Russell Young of Fairbanks is currently in third-place overall with a 226 pound halibut.

With silver salmon heavy in the narrows, fishing should be good from shore at Allison Point and in Port Valdez the final weeks of the derby. Most of those trolling on Saturday had success trolling at a depth of 40 to 70 feet. Hot spots this weekend were the Valdez Narrows, Shoup Bay, Gold Creek and just outside the Valdez Harbor. Both the Silver Salmon Derby and Halibut Derby end Sunday, September 2, at noon.

Photo courtesy Valdez Fish Derbies

Leslie West of Provo, Utah on Saturday was crowned Queen of the Silver Salmon Sisterhood.

 

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