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Fishing
296.2 POUND HALIBUT, TWO BIG PRIZE FRIDAYS IN SILVER DERBY


Pictured above: Brad Burch with his 296.2 pound halibut

VALDEZ, Alaska – When Brad Burch got to Port Valdez, there was a Bobcat waiting to haul his catch off the boat. His halibut measured was an impressive 87 ½ inches and weighed in at 296.2. Burch is the new leader in the halibut derby and stands to win $15,000 cash if his mammoth fish hangs onto the lead through the end of the Valdez Halibut Derby Sunday, September 6th. Burch comes to Valdez often to fish. When asked whether he thought his fish would hang on to win the Grand Prize he responded, “Of course it will”. If he wins the $15,000 Burch said he would give some to his Captain and then pay off some bills. 

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ANGLERS HOPE TO CATCH A BIG FISH BEFORE END OF DERBIES
 
VALDEZ, Alaska – With less than a week left in the Valdez Halibut and Silver Salmon Derbies, only time will tell if the leaders will hold on to win the $15,000 first place prize.

Fred Hyder reeled in his 253.8 pound halibut on July 10th and it has been on top of the leader board ever since. If you look at the record books, a 253.8 pound halibut is a plausible winner. The largest halibut on record in Valdez is a 343.6 pound halibut caught by Kevin Lincoln of North Pole but several winners over the last 20 plus years are in the mid-200 pound range. Last year’s winner, a 203.6 pound halibut caught by Scott Hebig, was the smallest winner on record in the Valdez Halibut Derby.
 
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VALDEZ ANGLERS BRINGING HOME PINKS, SILVERS, HALIBUT AND ROCKFISH

VALDEZ, Alaska – The leader board hasn’t changed much this past week in either the Valdez Silver Salmon Derby or the Valdez Halibut Derby, but lots of halibut and silver salmon are coming into Port Valdez. The silvers seem to be running a bit small this year, but it’s a great year for catching pinks, silvers and halibut all in one trip. Silvers are being caught from Allison Point, but fish cutter Pat Olson reports the bigger fish are coming from outside the narrows, which has anglers excited about a strong run of silvers and bigger fish closer to Port through the end of the derby.
A late run of pink salmon means the pinks are still bright and in good shape to catch. Couple that with an emergency order from Alaska Department of Fish and Game allowing a limit of 12 pink salmon and 12 in possession and anglers catching their limit of silvers and pinks can take home 18 salmon in a day. Throw in a couple halibut and a few rockfish and the family is fed for the winter.

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GLENNALLEN WOMAN WINS VALDEZ WOMEN’S SILVER SALMON DERBY CROWN

Pictured above: Katrina Church-Chmeilowski with her 14.24 pound silver

VALDEZ, Alaska – Friends don’t let friends fish without a derby ticket is a familiar slogan of the Valdez Fish Derbies, but it wasn’t a derby ticket that kept Kris Meyer away from the big prizes in the 2015 Women’s Silver Salmon Derby. Meyer bought a derby ticket for the Silver Salmon Derby, but did not register for the Women’s Derby so her 14.64 silver salmon won her a daily first place prize in the Silver Derby, but not the Women’s Derby Crown. Katrina Church-Chmielowski of Glennallen caught a 14.24 pound silver and was crowned “Queen of the Silver Salmon Sisterhood” Saturday night at the Civic Center.

CLICK HERE for full press release


 
SILVER FISHING HEATING UP JUST IN TIME FOR WOMEN’S DERBY

VALDEZ, Alaska – Anglers are catching their limit of Silver Salmon out of Valdez in just a few hours right now which is a welcome sight for those who suffered through a poor silver salmon run last year. “Fishing for silvers has been great”, exclaimed Barb Amundsen of the charter boat Chinook as she returned to Port Valdez “So much better than last year.”
People are catching silvers from the narrows all the way into the City Dock and anglers coming home with a full limit seem to be trolling 30 to 50 feet. It looks like it might be a banner year for silver salmon in Valdez, but the pink salmon are also making a showing in Valdez. In fact, Alaska Department of Fish & Game posted the following on their website, “Pink salmon have shown up in Valdez in big big numbers ….consequently ADF&G has issued an emergency order liberalizing the bag and possession limits. Effective Wednesday, July 29th, daily bag limits for pink salmon in the Port of Valdez marine waters are 12 fish with 24 in possession”. 

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SILVERS ARE ARRIVING, BIG PRIZE FRIDAY WON BY ISAAC WATSON

VALDEZ, Alaska – The silver salmon are returning to Valdez. After a weak silver salmon season last summer, anglers are delighted to be finding silvers at the end of their line this year. Isaac Watson caught the biggest silver salmon on Big Prize Friday to win the $500 cash prize. Watson’s 12.32 pound fish also won him the daily 1st place prize worth hundreds of dollars, however, it wasn’t quite large enough see him onto the Silver Salmon Derby overall leader board.
The overall standings for the Silver Salmon Derby are as follows: Currently in 1st place is Pam Chapman-Holloway of Rapid City, SD with 13.32 lb silver caught on July 25th. In the halibut derby, Fred Hyder of Willow, AK is currently in 1st place with a 253.8 lbs halibut he caught aboard the Jaime Lynn on July 10th.

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WOMEN'S DERBY
Friday, August 7th - Saturday, August 8th

The 11th annual Valdez Women's Silver Salmon Derby is scheduled to take place Friday, August 7th thru Saturday, August 8th.  It is the only women’s fish derby in Alaska. Early Registration for the event will begin August 1st – 8th at the Prospector Valdez. The event will start off at 6pm on Friday with the Silver Salmon Sisterhood™ Opening Ceremonies at the Civic Center and Saturday, August 8th at 8pm the Silver Salmon Sisterhood™ Awards Party will conclude the derby.

CLICK HERE for more information

BRANSHAW WEIGHS IN A 6.22 POUND FISH TO WIN KIDS PINK SALMON DERBY


VALDEZ, Alaska – The Valdez Kids Pink Salmon Derby brought hundreds of children to Valdez Saturday in hopes of winning a longboard, skateboard or fishing pole in the Valdez Kids Pink Salmon Derby. This is the 8th Annual Kids Pink Salmon Derby.
The weigh-in station gave away 300 free t-shirts to kids age 5 to 16 that got a line wet. The winner of the 5 to 7 year-old age division was seven-year old Jace Branshaw of Valdez who won his age division and took top honors for largest fish in the derby with a 6.22 pound pink salmon. Abby Wease took 2nd place and had the 3rd largest fish with a 5.44 pound pink. And Valdez local, seven year old Autumn Boone, sealed 3rd place in her age division with a 5.36 pound pink.

CLICK HERE for full press release
2015 VALDEZ FISH DERBY DIVISION WINNERS

Age 14 - 16

 
 
                            1st Place                 2nd Place                     3rd Place
                     Logan Heckathorn     Caleb Hughes             Kailey Fowlkes
                             5.28lbs                   5.10lbs                        5.04lbs
                            Age:14                   Age: 14                         Age: 15
 
Age 11 - 13

   
                          1st Place                   2nd Place                     3rd Place
                      Aaron Williams              Brad Baker                  Liberty Gum 
                           5.46lbs                       5.10lbs                          5.00lbs
                           Age: 12                      Age: 11                         Age: 11

 
Age 8 - 10

   
                          1st Place                   2nd Place                    3rd Place
                        Calvin Todd             Gracey Garrett          Camden Masson
                           5.40lbs                       4.94lbs                        4.78lbs
                          Age: 10                        Age: 9                         Age: 9

 
Age 5 - 7

   
                           1st Place                  2nd Place                   3rd Place
                      Jace Branshaw            Abby Wease             Autumn Boone
                             6.22lbs                     5.44lbs                       5.36lbs
                             Age: 7                       Age: 7                        Age: 7


253.8 POUND HALIBUT TAKES THE LEAD IN VALDEZ DERBY


VALDEZ, Alaska – The biggest halibut of the 2015 Valdez Halibut Derby season was caught on a jig Friday. Fred Hyder of Willow, Alaska 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 commented 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.

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Pictured above: Marlin Gogowich with a 57.1 pound ling cod caught on July 1st

PINK  SALMON, SILVER SALMON, LING COD AND HALIBUT ALL MADE A SHOWING IN VALDEZ

 
VALDEZ, Alaska – July 1st was a wonderful day of fishing for Marlin Gogowich of Stoney Plain, Canada. Gogowich reeled in a trophy size 57.4 pound ling cod on the opening day for ling cod in Prince William Sound and followed it up by bringing in a 135.4 pound halibut. Gogowich goes fishing with a group of men, all from Canada, every year in Valdez and this was a most memorable trip. Gogowich took 1st place for Week #6 in the halibut derby.
Gogowich’s halibut was big, but not enough to get him into the overall standings. Currently Scott Widdison of Meridian, Idaho is leading the derby with a 194.2 pound flatfish he caught June 22nd aboard the Jaime Lynn. Jeffrey Group of Berlin, is currently in 2nd place with a 170.2 pound halibut and Daniel Bryant Jr. of Palmer, Alaska is currently in 3rd place with a 150.8 pound halibut caught June 21st.
 
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BIG FISH STAY IN THE LEAD, PINKS COMING

VALDEZ, Alaska – Scott Widdison of Meridian, Idaho reeled in a 194.2 pound halibut June 22nd aboard the Jaime Lynn to take the lead in the Valdez Halibut Derby. Jeffrey Gropp of Berlin, Wisconsin is currently in 2nd place overall with the 170.2 pound flat fish he caught June 15th aboard the Dan Orion. Daniel Bryant Jr. of Palmer, Alaska is currently in 3rd place overall with the 150.8 pound halibut he caught June 21st aboard the Halibut Grove. Halibut fishing in the sound is picking up with the nicer weather allowing folks to get further out. The ocean entrances are always great places to catch halibut says a report from Alaska Department of Fish And Game (ADF&G) “Latouche and southern and northern ends of Montague are good bets too”, according to the weekly ADF&G report. 

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HALIBUT FISHING GOING STRONG IN VALDEZ

VALDEZ, Alaska – “This is the best halibut season I have ever seen”, said Freida Wiley of Valdez after returning from an overnight trip in Prince William Sound to halibut fish with friends. Wiley is no stranger to halibut fishing as her husband is the Captain of Dan Orion Charters. “It was so much fun out there. I fished for 13 hours straight. I am so tired”, she exclaimed. When asked what the secret to her fishing was Freida said, “Listen to your Captain”. When asked if that held true at home, she laughed and said “no”.

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NORTH POLE MAN LEADING HALIBUT HULLABALOO

VALDEZ, Alaska – Jason Rood of North Pole is currently leading the Halibut Hullabaloo with a 123. 4 pound halibut he caught June 13th aboard the Jaime Lynn. Rood might not be in the lead if Paul Richards of Bend, Oregon had purchased a derby ticket. Richards reeled in a fish that measured 164 inches. “According to the computer, the fish would have translated to 135 pounds”. Richards did not weigh in the fish because he did not have a derby ticket. When asked for a fishing tip, Richards, “Get a good captain, buy a (derby) ticket and get some big fish”. The Halibut Hullabaloo June 12th through 21st. The person catching the largest halibut during that time period will win $1,000 cash in addition to the regular derby prizes.
 
CLICK HERE to view full press release


 
HALIBUT DERBY OFF TO A GOOD START FOR JOSH


VALDEZ, Alaska – Warm weather and an early Spring have given Valdez charters and boat owners an opportunity to get their boats into the water and get fishing a bit early. Harbormaster Jeremy Talbott said he has seen a lot of private boaters hitting the waters to set pots for shrimp and has already seen two 75 pound halibut come across the docks. The Halibut Derby began Saturday the 23rd and the leaderboard is dominated by Josh’s. Young Josh Hughes of Wasilla Alaska is currently leading the derby with a 123.6 pound halibut he caught May 27th aboard the Jaime Lynn. Josh Kramer of Fredricksburg, Texas is currently in 2nd place with a 116.0 pound halibut he caught May 25th and Josh Wendt of North Pole is currently in 3rd place with a 109.4 pound halibut he caught May 23rd aboard the Aleisha.

Charter Captains in Valdez are also preparing for a busy season as anglers have high hopes of being the winner of the $15,000 first place prize in the Valdez Halibut Derby. A ticket costs $10 for the day or $50 for the season and must be purchased before heading out on the water. Ticket sale locations can be found at www.valdezfishderbies.com. The limit for halibut in Prince William Sound is still two per person, and one of those fish can be no longer than 29 inches in length. The derby shack located kitty corner from the Harbormasters office.

In addition to the grand prize of $15,000, 2nd place prize of $5,000 and 3rd place of $2,000 for catching the largest three fish, halibut derby anglers can also win weekly 1st and 2nd place prizes in the derby. The Halibut Hullabaloo is slated for June 12th through 21st. The angler that catches the largest halibut during this period, will win $1,000 in addition to the daily prizes.
This year, the Valdez Fish Derbies will say goodbye to the truck raffle and hello to $10,000 cash. Every daily derby ticket purchased equals one raffle ticket, and each season ticket purchased equals five raffle tickets for the $10,000 drawing at the end of the season.

The Kids Pink Salmon Derby has been set for Saturday, July 18th and will feature 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes in four different age divisions. The Kids derby is free and open to kids age 5 to 16 years of age. The Silver Salmon Derby in Valdez will again boast a $15,000 first place prize and daily prizes and runs July 18th through September 6th. The Annual Valdez Women’s Derby is slated for Saturday, August 8th with an opening ceremony Friday, August 7th and the closing ceremony Saturday night.
 
There will be a $500 prize for the vendor and operator selling the winning derby ticket in both derbies. For more information on the Valdez Derbies, visit: www.valdezfishderbies.com


 
HALIBUT DERBY STARTS THIS SATURDAY IN VALDEZ

VALDEZ, Alaska – Warm weather and an early Spring have given Valdez charters and boat owners an opportunity to get their boats into the water and get fishing a bit early. Harbormaster Jeremy Talbott said he has seen a lot of private boaters hitting the waters to set pots for shrimp and has already seen two 75 pound halibut come across the docks. Charter Captains in Valdez are also preparing for a busy season as anglers have high hopes of being the winner of the $15,000 first place prize in the Valdez Halibut Derby. A ticket costs $10 for the day or $50 for the season and must be purchased before heading out on the water. Ticket sale locations can be found at www.valdezfishderbies.com. The limit for halibut in Prince William Sound is still two per person, and one of those fish can be no longer than 28 inches in length. The derby shack located kitty corner from the Harbormasters office.

In addition to the grand prize of $15,000, 2nd place prize of $5,000 and 3rd place of $2,000 for catching the largest three fish, halibut derby anglers can also win weekly 1st and 2nd place prizes in the derby. The Halibut Hullabaloo is slated for June 12th through 21st. The angler that catches the largest halibut during this period,will win $1,000 in addition to the daily prizes.
This year, the Valdez Fish Derbies will say goodbye to the truck raffle and hello to $10,000 cash. Every daily derby ticket purchased equals one raffle ticket, and each season ticket purchased equals five raffle tickets for the $10,000 drawing at the end of the season.

The Kids Pink Salmon Derby has been set for Saturday, July 18th and will feature 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes in four different age divisions. The Kids derby is free and open to kids age 5 to 16 years of age. The Silver Salmon Derby in Valdez will again boast a $15,000 first place prize and daily prizes and runs July 18th through September 6th. The Annual Valdez Women’s Derby is slated for Saturday, August 8th with an opening ceremony Friday, August 7th and the closing ceremony Saturday night.
 
There will be a $500 prize for the vendor and operator selling the winning derby ticket in both derbies.
For more information on the Valdez Derbies, visit: www.valdezfishderbies.com

 
DERBY FEATURES BIG CASH PRIZES

The Valdez Halibut Derby is slated to begin Saturday, May 23rd. With the purchase of a $10 daily ticket or a season ticket for $50, derby anglers have a chance of winning a $15,000 cash prize if they catch the largest halibut in the derby. Anyone who purchases a Valdez Fish Derbies ticket will be entered in a drawing for $10,000 whether they go fishing or not. For more information on the derbies, visit www.valdezfishderbies.com


 
VALDEZ WOMAN WINS TRUCK , TOWNE HOLDS ON TO WIN SILVER DERBY

Pictured: TC Greene of Valdez with her prize
 
VALDEZ, Alaska – There were not many changes on the leader board the last week of the Valdez Silver Salmon Derby or the Halibut Derby in Valdez. In the Silver Salmon Derby, a contender came in late August 28th that was two tenths of a pound shy of knocking Amanda Towne out of 1st place. Towne reeled in a 17.54 pound silver during the Women’s Derby August 9th and Paul Williams of Eagle River brought in a 17.52 pound silver on August 28th. Towne owns the distinction of being the only Women’s Silver Salmon Derby winner to also win the $15,000 cash prize in the silver derby. Williams won 2nd place and $5,000 for the fish he reeled up aboard the Silly Billy II. Greg Ledsworth of Tamarac, Florida took 3rd place in the silver derby with the 17.50 pound silver he caught from shore August 25th. The Big Prize Friday $500 winner was Nathen Ward of Fairbanks who reeled in a 14.08 pound silver August 29th aboard the Mayhem.

In the Valdez Halibut Derby, it was Scott Hebig’s 203.6 pound halibut that hung on for the 1st place $15,000 cash prize. Hebig caught his 203.6 pound halibut June 20th aboard the Amanda Rose. James McQuain of Fairbanks finished 2nd in the halibut derby with a 171.6 pound halibut he caught July 25th aboard the Dawn Treader and Jeff Maurer of Elysburg, Pennsylvania took 3rd place with the 171.4 pound halibut he caught July 17th aboard the Dawn Treader. Hebig’s halibut is the smallest halibut on record to win the Valdez Derbies, with the exception of the years when the Chamber of Commerce held a target weight derby. In 2013, the winner of the $15,000 first place prize weighed in at 325 pounds. In 2014, the 1st place winner had a fish weighing 335.7 pounds; in 2013 the winner tipped the scales at 277.2.
 
Every derby ticket purchased in the Valdez Derbies gives the buyer a chance to win a Ford F-150 4x4 truck from Valdez Fish Derbies and Seekins Ford. This year’s winner was T.C. Greene of Valdez.The Captain’s Prize of $500 was awarded to Dave Towne of Valdez aboard the Amanda Rose for both the halibut and silver salmon derby. Judy Bartlett sold the winning Halibut Derby ticket at the weigh-in shack and won the $500 ticket seller prize. Janis Johnson and Susie Koklich sold the winning silver derby ticket at the Prospector and will split the $500 ticket seller prize.

Next year’s dates, as well as pictures and information about the 2014 winners, can be found at www.valdezfishderbies.com.
 
Halibut Derby – Overall Leaders
1st        Scott Hebig                 Wasilla, AK                203.6 lbs.         June 20            Amanda Rose
2nd          James McQuain           Fairbanks, AK             171.6 lbs.         July 25             Dawn Treader
3rd        Jeff Maurer                 Elysburg, PA               171.4 lbs.         July 17             Dawn Treader
 
Halibut Derby – Weekly Winners – Week #15
1st           Robert Meade             Lodi, WI                     117.6 lbs.         August 27       Dan Orion
2nd        Nikolay Oleynikov      Alameda, CA              80.2 lbs.           August 26       Dan Orion
 
Silver Derby – Overall Leaders
1st        Amanda Towne          Valdez, AK                 17.54 lbs.         Aug 9              Amanda Rose
2nd        Paul Williams              Eagle River, AK         17.52 lbs.         Aug 28                        Silly Billy II
3rd        Greg Ledsworth          Tamarac, FL                17.50 lbs.         Aug 25            Shore

For more information on the Valdez Derbies, visit: www.valdezfishderbies.com

 


 
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