The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

By Valdez Fish Derbies
For the Star 

Kids and pinks like peas in a pod

300 young anglers take to Valdez waters for special derby


Photo courtesy Valdez Fish Derbies

Aaron Williams of Fairbanks was the hands-down winner of Saturday's Kids Pink Salmon Derby. Williams won in the ages 11-13 category, and caught the largest humpy overall.

Organizers say there is nothing better than the happy shout of a child with a fish on their line and Saturday there was plenty of hooting and hollering both from shore and from boats in Port Valdez.

Nearly 300 kids, ages 5 to 16, converged for the Seventh Annual Kids Pink Salmon Derby.

Fishing was a bit slow early morning, but picked up just after high tide at 8 a.m. The winning fish was caught from a boat, but there was plenty of action from shore.

The weigh-in station gave away 300 free t-shirts to kids that got a line wet. Just over 200 kids weighed in a fish and the 11 to 13 year-old age division was competitive.

Eleven year old Aaron Williams of Fairbanks won his age division and took top honors for largest fish in the derby with a 7.5 pound pink salmon. His fish made it to the fifth position on the list of top fish caught in the history of the seven-year derby.

"The secret was a green pixie," he said.

Williams, who has come from Fairbanks the last three years to fish the Kids Derby, said he is coming back next year and bringing – you got it - green pixies.

Photo courtesy Valdez Fish Derbies

A fine cart of fish: the humpies caught by youngster's during Saturday's Kids Pink Salmon Derby were donated to the Valdez Food Bank.

Warren Williams took second place in the same age division and had the second largest fish with a 6.28 pound pink.

In the 8 to 10 year age division, Mark Boedefeld of Anchorage took top honors as well as the first place prize of a longboard. He brought in a 5.52 pound pink salmon.

Branden Van Landingham of North Pole won the 14 to 16 year old division with a 5.33 pound pink and Kelsey Prax of Valdez won the 6 to 8 year old division with a 5.32 pound humpy.

First place winners in each age division received a longboard and five-year subscription to Fish Alaska Magazine. The second place winners received a skateboard and three-year subscription to Fish Alaska Magazine. The third place finishers took home a fishing pole from Prospector and a one-year magazine subscription.


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