For the Star 

Hullabaloo over halibut gives reel time incentive to fish

Special derby will pay out $1000 cash for biggest halibut caught by Sunday


The Valdez Fish Derbies weigh-in station is busy with anglers weighing in fish for a chance to take home the Halibut Hullabaloo $1,000 grand prize.

Many fish over the 100 pounds mark were brought in last week.

As of Tuesday morning, Larry Bazilwich of Fairbanks was in the lead of the special derby with a 150.4 pound halibut he caught June 11 aboard the Jaime Lynn. Bazilwich is a contender to win a $1,000 cash prize in addition to regular derby prizes if his fish is the largest weighed in between June 10 and 19.

The current overall halibut derby leader is David Jamison of Fairbanks who reeled in a 253 pound halibut May 29 aboard the "Nanatuk." Bazilwich is currently in second place overall. Jim Rothenbuhler of Salcha was in third place Tuesday with the 145 pound halibut caught June 9 from aboard the "Bucket List."

The overall grand prize in the Halibut Derby is $15,000. The second-place prize is $5,000 and third place in the Valdez Halibut Derby takes home $2,000. In addition to those prizes, and the Halibut Hullabaloo tournament, there are weekly first and second place prizes. The derby week runs from Sunday through the following Saturday.

Bazilwich is the weekly winner for week #3 in the derby and Rothenbuhler is the second place weekly winner. The weekly first-place prize packet included a halibut charter from Alaska Marine Guides, a Valdez Fish Derbies jacket and t-shirt as well as gift certificates to Prospector Outfitters and Sportsman's Warehouse. The second-place weekly prize included a cabin rental at Eagles Rest RV Park, gift certificates and a Valdez Fish Derbies t-shirt and vest. The list of prizes can be found at on the Halibut Derby page.

With the pink salmon season just around the corner, organizers are gearing up for the Kids Pink Salmon Derby. The pinks generally start running late June and by the first week in July fish will start to settle in around Allison Point. Anglers are already reporting sightings of pinks while fishing for halibut. The Kids Pink Salmon Derby is Saturday, July 18. The Kids Derby is free and the first 200 kids to weigh in a fish get a free t-shirt. The top three fish in four different age divisions will win a prize. There will be a free family BBQ at the end of the derby. More information on the Kids Derby, Women's Silver Salmon Derby and other derby activities and events can also be found at the derby website.

Photo courtesy Valdez Fish Derbies

Larry Bazilwich of Fairbanks shows off his 150.4 pound catch he reeled in June 11 from aboard the "Jaime Lynn."


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