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

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Louisiana man wins a thousand bucks in Halibut Hullabaloo

Fishing in Port Valdez and Prince William Sound is heating up this season


Photo courtesy Valdez Fish Derbies

Jeff Leaverton of Madisonville, Louisiana caught this 174.4 pound halibut June 16 and won a thousand bucks for his efforts.

Jeff Leaverton of Madisonville, Louisiana caught a 174.4 pound halibut June 16 that held on as the leader through the end of the Halibut Hullabaloo, which ended Sunday night.

In addition to winning a first-place weekly prize for the Valdez Halibut Derby, Leaverton will bring home $1,000 cash as the winner of the 10-day tournament. Leaverton caught his fish from aboard the Dan Orion. Leaverton is currently in second place in the overall standings for the Valdez Halibut Derby, which runs through September 4.

David Jamison of Fairbanks is still leading the derby with a 253.0 pound halibut he caught May 29 from the Nanatuk. Larry Bazilwich of Fairbanks is hanging on to third place with a 150.4 pound halibut he caught June 11, also from aboard the Jaime Lynn.

According to Alaska Department of Fish and Game, halibut angling continues to be productive throughout Prince William Sound. ADF&G also reports Fishing around Knight and Perry islands was productive for smaller sized halibut.

The Lingcod season will be open July 1 and rockfish angling has been quite productive with small jigs near rocky reefs.

Pink salmon in Valdez should arrive in large numbers before the silvers and kids across the state are excited about that. While pinks can likely be caught July 4th weekend, there's a Kids Pink Salmon Derby in Valdez Saturday, July 23 when the fish are thick in the port. Valdez Fisheries Development Association is estimating a return of 17.1 million pink salmon to Port Valdez this year, so there should be plenty to catch. The Kids Pink Salmon 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's a free family BBQ at the end of the Derby. More information can be found at

In addition to great fishing during the 4th of July, the City of Valdez will be hosting a Pink Salmon Festival Saturday July 2 and a 4th of July celebration that Monday. The Block Party will feature old fashioned kid's games, a parade, community barbeque and fireworks.


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