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.

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.

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.


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