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

By Valdez Fish Derbies
For the Star 

Women's derby crowns Valdez woman Queen

Fickle fish were biting early but slugging later in the day


Photo courtesy Valdez Fish Derbies

Amanda Towne of Valdez was crowned Queen of Women's Silver Salmon Derby Saturday after she reeled in this 17.54 pound Coho. Towne also leads the regular derby with this catch.

Valdez angler Barb Lyons, aboard the "Lyons Den," had been out fishing Friday to scout for silvers for Saturday's Women's Derby. The fish were large and plentiful early in the day, but the catch dwindled as the hours ticked away.

"The bite was on early in the morning, and then it just died," she said.

Photo courtesy Valdez Fish Derbies

Julie Roetman (left) and Linda Dodge (right) get their inner Fairy going during Friday's opening ceremony for the Women's Silver Salmon Derby.

The pattern indeed repeated itself Saturday. Many of the big fish that came in were caught early in the morning, including a 17.54 pound silver salmon reeled in by 18-year-old Amanda Towne. Towne's fish not only won the Women's Silver Salmon Derby, it bumped Dan Eide's former first-place catch from Friday, a 17.38 pounder, into second place.

Towne, age 18, said she had her back to the pole and when her Dad hollered, "grab the pole.

"We hadn't caught anything all day so I was surprised," Towne said. "Dad said 'That's a big one,' so I grabbed the pole and yanked really hard."

Towne said she is "crazy, excited, happy," and plans to put the $1,000 she won toward college. Christy Glaza of North Pole took second place in the Women's Derby with a 16.84 pound silver and Ruby Mitvitnikoff of Valdez took third with a 15.74 pounder.

In the Valdez Halibut Derby, Scott Hebig of Wasilla is still leading with a 203.6 pound halibut he caught June 20 aboard the Amanda Rose.


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