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

By Valdez Fish Derbies
For the Star 

Halibut weighing 253.8 pounds takes the lead

Kids pink salmon derby for the younger set is this Saturday


Valdez Fish Derbies

Fred Hyder of Willow hooked in "the big one" Friday while fishing from the "Jamie Lynn."

The biggest halibut of the 2015 Valdez Halibut Derby season was caught on a jig Friday.

Fred Hyder of Willow was fishing on the "Jaime Lynn" with a group of friends from Tennessee and Kentucky when he hooked the big one. Captain Josh Hughes said he was a bit nervous when he realized it was a big fish.

"It was the first fish of the day and it was caught on a jig which is a hook that is easier to lose fish on," Hughes said Friday Night. "It made me real nervous. I was thinking 'It's a big fish and it's on a jig, oh no.' Luckily Fred did awesome. He kept the line tight."

Hughes said the fish went under the boat twice before coming in and then speculated whether or not the fish will be worth $15,000

as the largest halibut caught this derby season.

"I kind of think it will be in the top three, but I'm not sure it's going to hold number one," he said. "Last year it was won with a 209, but everyone felt like that was a small winner."

The second-place prize in the halibut derby is $5,000 and the third-place prize is $2,000.

Hyder said that a few years back he caught a silver salmon that might have been a contender in the derby, but he didn't have a derby ticket. There is no question whether someone onboard the "Jaime Lynn" has a ticket.

"They get a derby ticket or they don't go on my boat," Hughes said.

Milton Fujino of Kaneohe Hawaii is currently in second place overall with a 216.8 pound flatfish he caught on July 11 aboard the "Jaime Lynn." Scott Widdison of Meridian, Idaho is currently in third place overall with the 194.2 pound halibut he caught June 22, also aboard the "Jaime Lynn."

Halibut have stolen the spotlight in recent weeks but salmon are swarming into port – just in time for the Silver Salmon Derby, which begins Saturday.

Valdez Fish Derbies

Fred Hyder of Willow shot into first place in the Valdez Halibut Derby Friday after reeling in this 253.8 pounder last Friday.

Pink salmon should also be plentiful and easy to catch for the Kids Pink Salmon Derby which also begins Saturday, July 18. The weigh-in will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the kids derby. The first 200 kids weighing in a fish will get a free t-shirt. A free family barbeque and awards ceremony will be held at Dock Point starting at 5 p.m. The Kids Derby is open to kids age 5 through 16 and there will be 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes for kids in four different age divisions. There is no cost to participate and no ticket necessary.

Pink salmon fishing from Allison Point has been very steady with anglers catching their limits just before and after the tides. Pixies, spinners and Vibrax or an egg rig all work but insiders are hearing that pink and green pixies are producing the best results.


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