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Fishing

SILVERS ARE ARRIVING, BIG PRIZE FRIDAY WON BY JIM ROTHENBUHLER
 VALDEZ, Alaska – The silver salmon are returning to Valdez slowly but surely. The first week of the silver derby was slow with very few fish weighed in, but Big Prize Friday fishing picked up and some nice size fish were brought to the weigh-in. Jim Rothenbuhler caught the biggest one to win the $500 cash prize. Rothenbuhler’s 13.66 pound fish also won him the daily 1st place prize worth hundreds of dollars and put him in the top spot on the Silver Salmon Derby overall leader board.

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TWO NEW LEADERS ON THE HALIBUT BOARD, SILVERS RUNNING

 
VALDEZ, Alaska – While the kids were slaying the pink salmon Saturday, halibut fishing in Valdez hit a high point with two anglers breaking into the overall standings. Jeff Maurer of Elysburg, PA caught a 171.4 pound halibut July 17th aboard the Dawn Treader to hop into 2nd place and Mark Clark of Sutton, Alaska is currently in 3rd place overall with a 163.8 pound halibut he caught July 17th aboard the Dan Orion.
Halibut fishing continues to be consistent with larger fish coming from Ocean Entrances reports the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Ling Cod season is open and many are arriving to Port Valdez. ADF&G suggests, “jigs fished 10 feet off the bottom near and on top of steep rocky ridges and reefs work quite well for lingcod”.
Nearly 300 kids converged on Valdez for the 7th Annual Kids Pink Salmon Derby on Saturday and the largest fish brought in was a 7.5  pound pink caught by Aaron Williams of Fairbanks. The fish landed Williams a longboard skateboard and a 5-year subscription to Fish Alaska Magazine as well as bragging rights as one of the Top 10 Kids Derby Anglers in the derbies seven year history. Williams Fish is the 5th largest ever caught in the derby. This list is comprised of nine fish weighing over seven pounds and one just shy of 7 pounds. The largest fish ever caught in the derby was a 7.92 pounder caught by Theron Lee of Winfield, Alabama in 2012. A list of the Top 10 can be found at www.valdezfishderbies.com.

The silver salmon derby started Saturday and among the string of pink salmon caught by anglers young and old were bright silver salmon. Andrew Freerksen of Everson, PA caught the first silver salmon of the year and currently in the top spot on the leader board. Freerksen caught a 5.86 pound silver.  



 
Halibut Derby – Overall Leaders
1st        Scott Hebig                 Wasilla, AK                203.6 lbs.         June 20            Amanda Rose
2nd        Jeff Maurer                 Elysburg, PA               171.4 lbs.         July 17             Dawn Treader
3rd        Mark Clark                  Sutton, AK                 163.8 lbs.         July 17             Dan Orion
 
Halibut Derby – Weekly Winners – Week #9
1st        Jeff Maurer                 Elysburg, PA               171.4 lbs.         July 17             Dawn Treader
2nd        Mark Clark                  Sutton, AK                 163.8 lbs.         July 17             Dan Orion


Silver Salmon Derby – Overall Leader – Week #9
1st        Andrew Freerksen      Everson, PA                5.86 lbs.           July 19             Christa June
 
 
For more information on the Valdez Derbies, visit: www.valdezfishderbies.com
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WINNING FISH IN KIDS PINK SALMON DERBY TIPS SCALES AT 7.5 POUNDS
VALDEZ, Alaska – There is nothing better than the happy shout of a child with a fish on their line and Saturday there was plenty of hooting and hollering both from shore and from boats in Port Valdez. Fishing was a bit slow early morning, but picked up just after high tide at 8am. The winning fish was caught from a boat, but there was plenty of action from shore.
Nearly 300 kids converged on Valdez for the 7th Annual Kids Pink Salmon Derby Saturday. The weigh-in station gave away 300 free t-shirts to kids age 5 to 16 that got a line wet. Just over 200 kids weighed in a fish and the 11 to 13 year-old age division was competitive. Eleven year old Aaron Williams of Fairbanks won his age division and took top honors for largest fish in the derby with a 7.5 pound pink salmon. His fish made it to the 5th position on the list of top fish caught in the history of the 7-year derby. Aaron Williams said, “The secret was a green pixie”. Aaron Williams, who has come from Fairbanks the last three years to fish the Kids Derby, said he is coming back next year and bringing green pixies. Warren Williams took 2nd place in the same age division and had the 2nd largest fish with a 6.28 pound pink.
In the 8 to 10 year age division, Mark Boedefeld of Anchorage took top honors as well as the 1st place prize of a longboard skateboard and 5 year subscription to Fish Alaska Magazine with a 5.52 pound pink salmon. Branden Van Landingham of North Pole won the 14 to 16 year old division with a 5.33 pound pink and Kelsey Prax of Valdez won the six to 8 year old division with a 5.32 pound pink salmon. First place winners in each age division received a longboard skateboard and 5 year subscription to Fish Alaska Magazine. The 2nd place winners received a skateboard and 3 year subscription to Fish Alaska Magazine and the 3rd place finishers took home a fishing pole from Prospector and a one year magazine subscription.


Valdez Kids Pink Salmon Derby – 2014 Winners

5 to 7 Age Division
1st        Kelsey Prax                             Valdez, AK                 5.32 lbs.
2nd        Liliana Garcia                          Fairbanks, AK             5.06 lbs.
3rd        Kevin Craddock                     Eielson AFB, AK       4.92 lbs.

8 to 10 Age Division
1st        Mark Boedefeld                      Anchorage, AK           5.52 lbs.
2nd        Courtney Sisk                         North Pole, AK           5.44 lbs.
3rd        Brice Sawin                             Washington, DC         5.24 lbs.
 
11 to 13 Age Division
1st        Aaron Williams                       Fairbanks, AK             7.5 lbs.
2nd        Warren Williams                     Valdez, AK                 6.28 lbs.
3rd        Jade Watts                              Valdez, AK                 5.90 lbs.
 
14 to 16 Age Division
1st        Branden Van Landingham     North Pole, AK           5.33 lbs.
2nd        Devon Heal                             Palmer, AK                 5.28 lbs.
3rd        McKenzie Williams                 Valdez, AK                 5.12 lbs.
 
Top 10 (2008 through 2014) Pink Salmon Derby Winners
 
Place               Name                         Year    Age                 Weight            City                 State
1                     Theron Lee                  2012    14-16yrs          7.92 lbs.           Winfield          AL
2                     Janaea Koch                2010    8-10yrs            7.78 lbs.           Valdez,            AK
3                     Janissa Arzie               2010    14-16yrs          7.60 lbs.           Chugiak,          AK
4                     Kailey Fowlkes           2012    11-13yrs          7.53 lbs            North Pole       AK
5                      Aaron Williams           2014    11-13 yrs         7.5 lbs.             Fairbanks         AK
6                     Jonathan Dupee          2012    5-7yrs              7.46 lbs            Fairbanks         AK
7                     Riley King                   2012    8-10yrs            7.36 lbs            Valdez             AK
8                     Brynn Illingworth       2012    8-10yrs            7.32 lbs            North Pole       AK
9                     Clayton Hill                2012    8-10yrs            7.00 lbs            Palmer             AK
10                   Canyon McAllister      2010    11-13yrs          6.92 lbs            Valdez ,           AK
For more information on the Valdez Derbies, visit: www.valdezfishderbies.com
If you would like to be removed from the Valdez Fish Derbies press release list,
Please respond by e-mail and ask to “unsubscribe” – Thank You!
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Halibut Derby Week #5


                                                          

WASILLA MAN BREAKS 200 POUND MARK, WINS HALIBUT HULLABALOO AND LEADS HALIBUT DERBY
 
VALDEZ, Alaska – In addition to netting him the weekly prizes, Scott Hebig’s 203.6 pound halibut won him $1,000 cash in the 10-day Valdez Halibut Hullabaloo tournament. His fish also won the 1st place weekly prize and put him firmly in 1st place in the halibut derby standings. Hebig’s halibut is the first weighing more than 200 pounds to be brought in during the 2014 derby. Hebig was fishing June 20th aboard the Amanda Rose. The Valdez Halibut Derby runs through Sunday, August 31st and the grand prize for the person catching the largest fish is $15,000 in cash.


Matthew West of Morris Plains, New Jersey is currently 2nd in the overall standings. West caught a 152.8 pound halibut June 2nd aboard the Dan Orion. Currently in 3rd place overall is Nicholas Baker of Gatesville, Texas with the 145.6 pound halibut he caught Mary 26th aboard the Jaime Lynn. The 2nd place prize is $5,000 cash and the 3rd place prize is $3,000.

Sunshine and calm seas seemed to be the perfect recipe for wildlife viewing in Valdez as many anglers reported seeing multiple whales and other wildlife. Tour boats on the sound have reported seeing orcas and humpbacks nearly every day.

With Ling cod opening July 1st and a big celebration on the 4th of July, Valdez should be hopping while the pink salmon make their way into Port Valdez. The 4th of July celebration will feature a block party, community bonfire and fireworks. On Saturday, July 5th, Valdez will put on the Pink Salmon Festival with a pink salmon cook-off, community fish fry and other events.
 
The Kids Pink Salmon Derby is set for Saturday, July 19th. The Kids Derby is open to children age 5 to 16 and there is no fee to enter. Kids just need to weigh-in a pink salmon at the Valdez Fish Derbies weigh-in station Saturday, July 19th to get a t-shirt and have a chance of winning one of the top three spots in their age division. A free family barbeque and awards will follow the day of fishing. The first 300 kids to stop by the weigh-in will get a free t-shirt courtesy of Alyeska Pipeline Service Company and the Valdez Fish Derbies. The Silver Salmon Derby will start July 19th and the Women’s Derby is August 8th and 9th.
 
Halibut Derby – Overall Leaders
1st        Scott Hebig                 Wasilla, AK                203.6 lbs.         June 20            Amanda Rose
2nd        Matthew West                        Morris Plains, NJ         152.8 lbs.         June 2              Dan Orion
3rd        Nicholas Baker            Gatesville, TX             145.6 lbs.         May 26            Jamie Lynn
 
Halibut Derby – Weekly Winners – Week #4
1st        Scott Hebig                 Wasilla, AK                203.6 lbs.         June 20            Amanda Rose
2nd        Tim Smith                   Eielson AFB               137.0 lbs.         June 21            Dan Orion
 
For more information on the Valdez Derbies, visit: www.valdezfishderbies.com


Halibut Derby - Week #3


WEEKLY HALIBUT WINNERS IN THE 114 POUND RANGE
VALDEZ, Alaska – The Valdez Halibut Derby weigh-in station was busy with anglers weighing in fish for a chance to take home the $1,000 Halibut Hullabaloo prize. Many fish were weighed in just over 100 pounds. At the end of the derby week, the weekly winners were Justin Heminger of Fairbanks with a 114.8 pound halibut he caught aboard the Aleashia June 12th. Brian Lee of Anchorage took the 2nd place weekly prize with a 114.0 pound halibut he caught June 9th aboard the Jaime Lynn. Heminger’s sizeable fish was caught the day before the start of the Halibut Hullabaloo tournament so he will not have a chance at the $1,000 cash prize, but he did take home a coveted Valdez Fish Derbies jacket and a bevy of prizes.

Just ounces short of being a weekly winner, John Savage of Eagle River brought in a 113.8 pound halibut June 13th, the first day of Halibut Hullabaloo, to take the lead in the tournament. The prize for the person catching the largest halibut between June 13th and 22nd is $1,000 cash in addition to the weekly prizes.

In the overall standings, it’s still the early fish holding onto the lead. Matthew West of Morris Plains, New Jersey caught a 152.8 pound halibut June 2nd aboard the Dan Orion and is still solidly in 1st place overall. Nicholas Baker of Gatesville, Texas is currently in 2nd place overall with the 145.6 pound halibut he caught May 26th aboard the Jaime Lynn and Bonnie Woods of Valdez is currently in 3rd place overall with the 126.2 pound halibut she caught June 2nd aboard the Dan Orion.

Local Valdez resident Rod Morrison and Dave Wilson of Fairbanks both reported seeing salmon jumping around Hinchinbrook Island. Mike Wells said the Valdez Fisheries Development Association is permitted to release 219 to 220 million pink salmon fry this year. According to Wells, the anticipated return for pink salmon is 12.9 million. “This should make for pretty lively fishing along the banks by the hatchery”. Wells said he expects the fishing for pinks to start late June. “By the first week in July, fish are starting to settle in around Allison Point and the fishing there is good into the first part of August,” Wells said.

To give anglers an idea of how good angling is for pink salmon in Valdez, one just needs to compare the pink return to the anticipated silver return. While 12.9 million pinks are expected to return to Port Valdez, just 601,000 silver salmon are expected return to Valdez. The silver fishing in Valdez is well regarded and half a million fish is a pretty standard return. There are just that many more pink salmon. “Pinks are a great fish for kids,” commented Wells. “There are so many of them and they’re easy to catch’. The Kids Pink Salmon Derby is Saturday, July 19th. The Kids Derby is free and the first 300 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.

This coming weekend will bring the end of the Halibut Hullabaloo tournament, but the Valdez Halibut Derby runs through August 31st. The City of Valdez will be hosting a Kite Festival in Valdez Saturday, June 28th, a big 4th of July Block Party on Friday, July 4th and fun events for the Pink Salmon Festival Saturday, July 5th.


Halibut Derby – Overall Leaders
1st        Matthew West                        Morris Plains, NJ         152.8 lbs.         June 2              Dan Orion
2nd        Nicholas Baker            Gatesville, TX             145.6 lbs.         May 26            Jamie Lynn
3rd        Bonnie Woods                        Valdez, AK                 126.2 lbs.         June 2              Dan Orion
 
Halibut Derby – Weekly Winners – Week #4
1st        Justin Heminger          Fairbanks, AK             114.8 lbs.         June 12            Aleashia
2nd        Brian Lea                    Anchorage, AK           114.0 lbs.         June 9              Jamie Lynn
We have two new leaders in the overall Valdez Halibut Derby Standings
Halibut Derby – Overall Leaders
1st           Matthew West - Morris Plains, NJ - 152.8 lbs. - June 2 - Dan Orion
2nd          Nicholas Baker - Gatesville, TX - 145.6 lbs. - May 26 - Jamie Lynn
3rd           Bonnie Woods - Valdez, AK - 126.2 lbs.- June 2, 2014 - Dan Orion
 

Halibut Derby - Week #2



TEN DAY HALIBUT TOURNAMENT BEGINS JUNE 13th
VALDEZ, Alaska – Early season halibut fishing will get a boost mid June as anglers converge on Valdez in hopes of being the angler to catch the largest halibut June 13th through 22nd in the Halibut Hullabaloo. Organizers of the Valdez Fish Derbies are offering a prize of $1,000 and say they started the tournament a few years ago to promote halibut fishing before the silver salmon hit the Port. One of the committee members suggested making a big hullabaloo about Halibut and the tournament was born. There is no fee to fish in the Halibut Hullabaloo Tournament. Anglers will just need a valid Valdez Fish Derbies ticket for the day(s) they fish. A daily halibut derby ticket is $10 and a season ticket for the halibut derby is $50.
Each year, the City of Valdez hosts military from all over the state for a Military Appreciation weekend. This year, 77 service men from Alaska were taken out on halibut charters and the entire community is treated to barbeques and pancake breakfasts. Sandy Moore-Livesay organizes the event for the City and said the Charter Captains in Valdez are always eager to donate a charter and volunteer for this event.
At the end of Week 2 in the Halibut Derby, Nicholas Baker of Gatesville, TX is still the overall leader with the 145.6 pound halibut he caught May 26th aboard the Jamie Lynn. Frank Dickinson of Valdez is currently 2nd with the 111.2 pound halibut he caught May 23rd aboard the Loon-A-C and Larry Bazilwick of Fairbanks is holding onto 3rd place with the 110.2 pound halibut he caught May 23rd aboard the Jamie Lynn. Baker is the 1st place weekly winner of the halibut derby and Marvin Bumgardner of Palm Beach Gardens Florida won the 2nd place weekly prize
Alaska Department of Fish and Game reports halibut fishing was a little spotty inside the Sound this past week. Ocean entrances continue to be great places to catch halibut. Rockfish angling has been quite productive with small jigs near rocky reefs. Shrimping continues to be productive, but ADF&G reports it is generally better the farther you get away from ports and suggests anglers start moving pots out a little deeper as the summer moves on.
There’s good news for those looking to stop and dip net before or after fishing Valdez. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game will open the Chitina dip net fishery ahead of its normal June 10 start and will add bonus fish to the catch. The fishery will open June 7th and run though 11:59pm June 8th. A supplemental harvest of an extra 10 red salmon will be allowed during this period. Dip netters will legally be require to remove their nets from the water for only two minutes between Sunday night and Monday morning before the fishery reopens at 12:01am June 9th, running through the second week of the month. The June 9th opening is classified as tentative at this time, so check with ADF&G prior to your trip.

Valdez Fish Derbies tickets are available at the weigh-in shack down by the harbor and at various locations throughout town. For more information visit: www.valdezfishderbies.com
 
Halibut Derby – Overall Leaders
1st        Nicholas Baker - Gatesville, TX - 145.6 lbs. - May 26 - Jamie Lynn
2nd        Frank Dickinson - Valdez, AK - 111.2 lbs.- May 23 - Loon-A-C
3rd        Larry Bazilwick - Fairbanks, AK - 110.2 lbs.- May 23 - Jamie Lynn
 
Halibut Derby – Weekly Winners – Week #2
1st        Nicholas Baker - Gatesville, TX - 1545.6 lbs.- May 26 - Jamie Lynn
2nd      Marvin Bumgardner - Palm Beach Gardens, FL - 105.6 - May 25 - Aleashia         

 

Valdez Halibut Derby - Week #1


Frank DickinsonLarry Bazilwick
ANGLERS BREAK 100 POUND MARK TO LEAD HALIBUT DERBY

VALDEZ, Alaska – The first week of the Valdez Halibut Derby ended Saturday night and Frank Dickinson of Valdez won the 1st place weekly prize with a 111.2 pound halibut he caught May 23rd aboard the Loon-A-C. Larry Bazilwick of Fairbanks won the 2nd place weekly prize in the halibut derby with a 110.2 pound fish he caught May 23rd aboard the Jamie Lynn. These fish won’t win the $15,000 first place prize in the derby, but they are big enough to take home the 1st and 2nd place prizes in the first week of the halibut derby. The first place weekly prize in both the halibut and silver salmon derbies includes an embroidered vest and gift certificates from Valdez Fish Derby Sponsors. The second place weekly winners take home certificates and a vest too.
 
With the early spring in Valdez, lots of boats were in the water early. Fishing was a bit slow the first week of the derby, but that was because of the wind said Derby Coordinator Thale Steenhoven. “I think all of the Fish Derby Preferred Charters were in the water the first week of the derby”, commented Steenhoven. With the winds down over the Memorial weekend, boats hit the fishing grounds and found success.

According to Alaska Department of Fish and Game, a few anglers reported catching their limits near Knowles Head and Naked Island. Rockfish angling has also been quite productive with small jigs near rocky reefs. The ADF&G fishing report for Prince William Sound said, “There have been no reports of hatchery king salmon at Flemming Spit and the Old Town site in Valdez, but they should  be showing up fairly soon”.

In addition to casting a line, many anglers are dropping a pot to bring home some Prince William Sound Shrimp. Shrimping continues to be productive, but remember you need a shrimp permit. The Halibut Hullaballoo fishing dates have been set for June 13th through the 22nd, and this year the angler catching the largest halibut during that time period will win $1,000 cash in addition to the weekly prizes and any overall prizes they might qualify for.

The Kids Pink Salmon Derby has been set for July 19h.The Silver Salmon Derby in Valdez will run July 19th through August 31st and again boasts a $15,000 first place prize in addition to daily prizes. The Annual Valdez Women’s Derby is slated for Saturday, August 9th with an opening ceremony Friday, August 8th and the closing ceremony Saturday night. For more information on the Valdez Derbies, visit: www.valdezfishderbies.com

Halibut Derby – Overall Leaders
1st        Frank Dickinson         Valdez, AK            111.2 lbs.         May 23            Loon-A-C
2nd       Larry Bazilwick          Fairbanks, AK       110.2 lbs.         May 23            Jamie Lynn
3rd        Brian Brockel              Glennallen, AK       97.6 lbs.         May 24            Jamie Lynn

 
Halibut Derby – Weekly Winners – Week #1
1st        Frank Dickinson         Valdez, AK             111.2 lbs.         May 23            Loon-A-C
2nd        Larry Bazilwick         Fairbanks, AK        110.2 lbs.         May 23            Jamie Lynn


 

HALIBUT DERBY WEIGH-IN

With the Halibut Derby underway the 1st halibut weighed in, and last week’s weekly winner of Valdez Halibut Derby is Glen Sax of Valdez with an 82.1 pound halibut caught the evening of May 18th.
VALDEZ HALIBUT & SILVER SALMON DERBIES END, ALASKANS DOMINATE
The silver salmon run was strong from the Valdez Women’s Silver Salmon Derby through the end of the regular silver derby in Valdez. Anglers couldn’t seem to miss with silvers distributed throughout the Sound in large numbers. Fishing from shore at Allison Point was especially good the last weeks of the derby. Pat Olson fillets fish down at the Valdez Harbor and said there was no comparison between the number of fish he filleted in 2013 versus last year. “I only did 1,174 in the whole of last year, and for this year’s Women’s Derby I did a thousand fish. In the one day.”
 
After an exciting week in the Valdez Silver Derby, it was Michael Freerksen of Valdez who took home top honors and the $15,000 first place prize with the 16.92 pound silver he caught Friday aboard the Crista June. Catching his fish on Friday also netted Freerksen the top spot in the Big Prize Friday competition. Freerksen’s fish just edged out former leader Vernon Carlson of Fairbanks, who came in 2nd place and won $5,000 in the silver derby with the 16.72 pound fish he caught August 21st aboard the Tango. Stacey Mitchell, also of Valdez, took home $2,000 cash for 3rd place with the 16.58 pounder she caught aboard the Fog Ducker.
 
In the halibut derby, James Cully of Fairbanks took home $15,000 for the 325.0 pound flatfish he reeled up aboard the Dan Orion on July 21st. Jeff Johnson of North Pole hauled up a 208.6 pounder aboard the Center Shot on June 29th, netting him the $5,000 second place prize, and Beth Reagin of Fairbanks reeled in the $2,000 for third place after pulling up a 178.8 pounder aboard the Halibut Grove on July 25th.
 
The drawing for the 2013 Gem Green Ford F-150 4x4 truck was held at the Elks Lodge Sunday evening during the awards ceremony. Everyone who purchased a derby ticket had a chance to win the truck, but when the ticket was drawn, it was Lesley Rogers of Valdez who drove home the prize.
 
The $500 cash prize for the charter captain taking out the winning halibut angler went to Dave Wiley of the Dan Orion. Wiley also won the $500 prize for selling the ticket to James Culley. Michael Freerksen drove his own boat on Friday, so he won $500 for being the winning captain August 30th. Adam MacDonald of the Prospector won the $500 ticket-seller prize for selling the winning ticket to Freerksen. Next year’s dates, as well as pictures and information about the 2013 winners, can be found at www.valdezfishderbies.com.
 
Halibut Derby – Overall Winners
1st        James Culley               Fairbanks, AK             325.0 lbs.         July 21             Dan Orion
2nd        Jeff Johnson                North Pole, AK           208.6 lbs.         June 29            Center Shot (Private)
3rd        Beth Reagin                Fairbanks, AK             178.8 lbs.         July 25             Halibut Grove
 
Halibut Derby – Weekly Winners – Week #15
1st        Gordon Taras              Alameda, CA              163.0 lbs.         August 27       Dan Orion
2nd        Sandra Farley              Oxnard, CA                111.6 lbs.         August 30       Dan Orion
 
Silver Derby – Overall Winners
1st        Michael Freerksen       Valdez, AK                 16.92 lbs.         August 30       Crista June
2nd        C. Vernon Carlson      Fairbanks, AK             16.72 lbs.         August 21       Tango
3rd        Stacey Mitchell           Valdez, AK                 16.58 lbs.         August 26       Fog Ducker
SILVER SALMON ABUNDANT FROM JACK BAY ALL THE WAY TO PORT VALDEZ
When you talk with anglers in Valdez these days, they’re more than happy to tell you where they are finding fish. They’re everywhere. Anglers are making their way out to Jack Bay, Sawmill Bay, fishing the Narrows and the shoreline all the way to the City Dock in Valdez and catching them so fast most boats have their limit by early afternoon. Anglers fishing from shore at Allison Point are also picking up silver salmon so the fishing from shore should be hot and heavy toward the end of the silver derby Sunday, September 1st. “There are fish at Jack Bay, Sawmill Bay, the Narrows, Gold Creek, the City Dock and even Allison Point,” commented Joe Prax of Prospector Outfitters. “That means the run isn’t over. There are still lots of fish coming.”

C. Vernon Carlson of Fairbanks, AK caught a 16.72 pound silver salmon on Wednesday aboard the Tango to take the lead in the Silver Salmon Derby. Carrie Little John of Fairbanks dropped down to 2nd place with the 16.18 pound fish she caught August 9th aboard the Lil’ Vixen and Paul J. Lucio of Wasilla is holding onto 3rd place with the 16.10 pound silver he caught August 9th.
This Friday, anglers will have a chance to win an additional $500 during Big Prize Friday. The person who buys a derby ticket and brings in the bigger silver salmon Friday will win $500 in cash in addition to the daily prizes.  The Valdez Halibut and Silver Salmon Derbies end Sunday, September 1st at noon. The raffle for the Ford F-150 Truck will be held that day after the close of the derby. Everyone who purchased a Valdez derby ticket will be entered in that drawing.


In the Valdez Halibut Derby, James Culley is still in line to win the $15,000 first place prize with the 325 pound halibut he caught July 21st aboard the Dan Orion. Jeff Johnson of North Pole is currently in 2nd place overall with a 208.6 pounder, and Beth Reagin of Fairbanks is holding onto third place with a 178.8 pound halibut she caught July 25th aboard the Halibut Grove.

The weekly winners in the halibut derby were Dale Kuly of Whitehorse, Yukon, with the 116.4 lb. pound halibut he caught aboard a private boat August 21st and Josh Hughes of Gakona with a 110.6 pounder caught aboard the Jaime Lynn.
Information, pictures and standings for the Silver Salmon Derby and Halibut Derby can be found on the www.valdezfishderbies.com  website.
 
Halibut Derby – Overall Leaders
1st        James Culley               Fairbanks, AK             325.0 lbs.         July 21             Dan Orion
2nd        Jeff Johnson                North Pole, AK           208.6 lbs.         June 29            Center Shot (Private)
3rd            Beth Reagin                Fairbanks, AK             178.8 lbs.         July 25             Halibut Grove

Halibut Derby – Weekly Winners – Week #13
1st        Dale Kuly                    Whitehorse, YT           116.4 lbs.         August 21       Private
2nd        Josh Hughes                Gakona, AK                110.6 lbs.         August 24       Jaime Lynn
 
Silver Derby – Overall Leaders
1st        C. Vernon Carlson      Fairbanks, AK             16.72 lbs.         Aug 21st          Tango
2nd        Carrie Little John        Fairbanks, AK             16.18 lbs.         Aug 9th           Lil’ Vixen
3rd        Paul J. Lucio               Wasilla, AK                16.10 lbs.         Aug 9th                        Private

 

TOP 3 SILVERS ALL WEIGH IN AT SIXTEEN PLUS POUNDS
Carrie Little John of Fairbanks is still leading the Valdez Silver Salmon Derby despite the fact that hundreds of fish are being weighed in for a chance to get on the leader board. The daily 1st and 2nd place winners in the Silver Salmon Derby have been in the 14 and 15 pound range, but no one has broken the 17 pound mark. It has been more than 20 years since a fish in the 16 pound range took home top honors in the Valdez Silver Salmon Derby. With anglers bringing in their limit of silvers, there is still plenty of time for a bigger fish to hit the scales. The Valdez Halibut Derby and Silver Salmon Derby end Sunday, September 1st at noon.
In the Valdez Halibut Derby, James Culley is still in line to win the $15,000 first place prize with the 325 pound halibut he caught July 21st aboard the Dan Orion. Jeff Johnson of North Pole is currently in 2nd place overall and Beth Reagin of Fairbanks is holding onto third place with a 178.8 pound halibut she caught July 25th aboard the Halibut Grove. Bigger fish have been caught according to the Fish Derbies Weigh-In station, but the anglers did not have a derby ticket. According to Bonnie Woods, the anglers without tickets did not have their halibut weighed officially, but took length measurements that placed their fish weights at 234 and 265 pounds.  

The weekly winners in the halibut derby were Tom Swafford of Fairbanks with the 169 pound halibut he caught aboard the Magic Dragon and Dave Wiley’s 161.4 pounder caught aboard the Dan Orion.
Silver Salmon are thick in the narrows by Middle Rock and are available all the way into Port Valdez. Anglers are trolling with down riggers and cut herring all along the shoreline and a few silver salmon have been picked up at Allison Point. Rockfish angling has been quite productive with small jigs near rocky reefs according to Alaska Department of Fish and Game. It has been a great year for Lingcod fishing in Prince William Sound. Anglers are still catching large lingcod near Montague. Large jigs fished 10 feet off the bottom near and on top of steep rocky ridges and reefs work quite well for lingcod.
The Valdez Fish Derbies will have the final Big Prize Friday August 30th and the angler catching the largest silver salmon will take home $500 in addition to the daily prizes. The raffle for the Ford F-150 Truck will be held Sunday, September 1st after the close of the derby. Everyone who has purchased a Valdez derby ticket will be entered in that drawing.
Information, pictures and standings for the Silver Salmon Derby and Halibut Derby can be found on the www.valdezfishderbies.com  website.
 
Halibut Derby – Overall Leaders
1st        James Culley               Fairbanks, AK             325.0 lbs.         July 21             Dan Orion
2nd        Jeff Johnson                North Pole, AK           208.6 lbs.         June 29            Center Shot (Private)
3rd            Beth Reagin                Fairbanks, AK             178.8 lbs.         July 25             Halibut Grove


Halibut Derby – Weekly Winners – Week #13
1st        Tom Swafford                        Fairbanks, AK             169.0 lbs.         August 17       Magic Dragon
2nd        Dave Wiley                 Valdez, AK                 161.4 lbs.         August 15       Dan Orion
Silver Derby – Overall Leaders
1st        Carrie Little John        Fairbanks, AK             16.18 lbs.         Aug 9th           Lil’ Vixen
2nd        Paul J. Lucio               Wasilla, AK                16.10 lbs.         Aug 9th                        Private
3rd        Charles Flint                Fairbanks, AK             16.02 lbs.         Aug 15th          Private
 


 

YEAR NINE OF VALDEZ WOMEN’S SILVER SALMON DERBY BRINGS FAMILIES AND FRIENDS TOGETHER TO CELEBRATE

 In 2011, it was Lenore Groundwater who stole the spotlight at the Women’s Silver Salmon Derby. The spry 93-year-old Groundwater from Green Valley, Arizona went fishing with her son Lance and daughter-in-law Paula two years ago for the Women’s Silver Salmon Derby and reeled in a 16.58 pound silver that took top honors and made her Queen of the Silver Salmon Sisterhood. When asked her age on stage at the Civic Center two years ago, Groundwater quipped, “I’m 39 backward.”
Groundwater stole the stage at the Civic Center in front of hundreds of women. A video of her being crowned and interviewed at the Women’s Silver Salmon Derby was picked up by Alaska news media and shared countless times through FaceBook by anglers and on pages like GoFishN that have a quarter million likes. Stories of Groundwater surfaced in the Phoenix New Times, Anchorage Daily News, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner and various news outlets.
Valdez Fish Derbies organizers paid tribute to the Queens of the Silver Salmon Sisterhood from 2005 through 2012 before crowning Regina Blood this year’s winner with a 15.68 pound silver. When emcee Laurie Prax announced 2011 Queen Lenore Groundwater, many in the crowd stood in tribute. One of those was Groundwater’s daughter-in-law Paula. Prax told the crowd that Lenore was the “most gracious and classy queen of them all.” She told the audience how Lenore had written a beautiful thank you letter to the volunteers of the Valdez Fish Derbies organization and how she had gone to the Totem Inn for breakfast the Sunday following the Women’s Derby wearing her tiara and soaking in the notoriety that being the queen in the small town of Valdez brings. Paula Groundwater stood and cried amidst a sea of Alaskan women as Prax told the crowd that Lenore Groundwater passed away the previous year and was buried wearing her Valdez Women’s Derby tiara.

Lenore’s son Lance, who was captain of the boat when she caught the derby-winning fish, called Prax a few days before the Women’s Derby and said his wife would be bringing in a big one and would hopefully become queen. Paula did not catch a big enough fish to become the Queen this year, but she did place 5th out of the 700+ women who entered.

When Paula came up to the stage to receive her prize for catching the 5th largest fish in this year’s Women’s Silver Salmon Derby, she asked if she could have a moment to address the crowd. She told the crowd that Shannon Major had brought flowers on the boat as a tribute to Lenore this year. “We tossed them out for my mother-in-law Lenore,” Paula said. “Immediately after we tossed out the roses, we got a triple. All three of us had a fish on and that was Lenore talking to us. I told her, ‘You know, I would like a big fish …and she delivered’.” The crowd responded with thunderous applause and the Valdez Women’s Silver Salmon Derby became much more than a contest about catching fish. It became a beautiful memory, just like Lenore.

CLICK HERE to see video of Paula’s tribute

CLICK HERE to see video of Lenore Groundwater being crowned in 2011

 

FIVE HUNDRED AND ELEVEN FISH WEIGHED IN FOR
VALDEZ WOMEN’S SILVER SALMON DERBY SATURDAY

 “Soaked to the bone and covered in silver slime, it was an awesome day” is what Corrie Kossow Garrison posted on the Valdez Fish Derbies Facebook page the day after fishing in the 2013 Women’s Silver Salmon Derby. Last year the silver salmon were few and far between but the sun was shining. This Saturday the rain never stopped for the 9th Annual Women’s Silver Salmon Derby, but the fishing was tremendous.
Just over 700 women joined the ranks of the Silver Salmon Sisterhood on Saturday and five hundred and eleven women weighed in their top fish to see if they were in contention for one of the Top 50 prizes. At the end of the day, Regina Blood of Valdez took home the title of Queen of the Silver Salmon Sisterhood with the 15.68 pound silver she reeled in while fishing with friends. Sitting upon the throne set at center  stage at the Valdez Civic Center, decked out her in pink Women’s Derby bathrobe and tiara, Blood remarked, “This tiara and robe go pretty well with my Xtra Tuffs.” While Blood was willing to comment on fashion, she wasn’t telling the crowd where she caught the big one. “A lady doesn’t give up her secrets.”

When asked when she knew her fish was a big one, Blood responded, “Honestly, not until it broke the surface of the water. We really didn’t know that I was even pulling in a fish until it got really close. Then we realized it was a really big one.” When asked if it was a fighter, Blood responded, “ It was big, fat and didn’t have any energy.” sSounds like the Queen’s fish didn’t have plans, but Blood said her plans included smoking the big winner.
Jamie Arciniega of Valdez reeled in a 14.96 pound fish that gave her a big fight to take 2nd place in the Women’s Silver Salmon Derby and Denise Carter of Fairbanks took 3rd place with a 14.92 pound silver salmon. Blood took home $1,000 in merchandise and an additional $1,000 gift card from Prospector for her efforts. Her fish was just ounces shy of making it into the Top 3 overall standings. On Friday, Carrie Little John of Fairbanks took the lead in the overall derby with a 16.18 pounder. Paul J. Lucio of Wasilla is currently in 2nd place with a 16.10 pound silver, and Brenda Reichenberg of Fairbanks is currently in 3rd place with the 15.80 pound silver she caught Friday. Both Little John and Reichenberg were fishing aboard the Lil’ Vixen.
The standings in the Valdez Halibut Derby remain the same with James Cully leading the way with the 325 pound halibut he caught July 21st aboard the Dan Orion. Jeff Johnson of North Pole is currently in 2nd place with the 208.6 pound halibut he caught June 29th aboard the Center Shot and Beth Reagin of Fairbanks is currently in 3rd place with the 178.8 pounder she caught July 29th aboard the Halibut Grove.
Information, pictures and standings for the Women’s Derby, Silver Salmon Derby and Halibut Derby, can be found on the www.valdezfishderbies.com  website.
 
Halibut Derby – Overall Leaders
1st        James Culley               Fairbanks, AK             325.0 lbs.         July 21             Dan Orion
2nd        Jeff Johnson                North Pole, AK           208.6 lbs.         June 29            Center Shot (Private)
3rd            Beth Reagin                Fairbanks, AK             178.8 lbs.         July 25             Halibut Grove
 
Halibut Derby – Weekly Winners – Week #12
1st        Brian Anderson           Milwaukie, OR           124.8 lbs.         August 11       Dan Orion
2nd        No 2nd Place
Silver Derby – Overall Leaders
1st        Carrie Little John        Fairbanks, AK             16.18 lbs.         Aug 9th           Lil’ Vixen
2nd        Paul J. Lucio               Wasilla, AK                16.10 lbs.         Aug 9th                        Private
3rd        Brenda Reichenberg   Fairbanks, AK             15.80 lbs.         Aug 9th            Lil’ Vixen
Valdez Women’s Silver Salmon Derby
Saturday, August 10th
Top 50

 
1 Regina Blood Valdez AK 15.68
2 Jamie Arciniega Valdez AK 14.96
3 Denise Carter Fairbanks AK 14.92
4 Susan Clifton Fairbanks AK 14.28
5 Paula Groundwater Wasilla AK 14.22
6 Evelyn Eames Anchorage AK 14.06
7 Barb Amundsen Valdez AK 13.92
8 Shannon Keithley Valdez AK 13.92
9 Marcia Cassino North Pole AK 13.88
10 Cynthia Unger Valdez AK 13.84
11 Whitney Turner Anchorage AK 13.82
12 Rowan Miller Valdez AK 13.74
13 Janice Vanderheiden Fairbanks AK 13.58
14 Wanda Lindsoe North Pole AK 13.56
15 Julie Queen Fairbanks AK 13.54
16 Nevada Rae Walton Fairbanks AK 13.40
17 Lori Day Valdez AK 13.38
18 Cori Cunningham Wasilla AK 13.30
19 Margaret Benzo Valdez AK 13.22
20 Bonnie Hinkle Salcha AK 13.20
21 Judy Winney Green Bay WI 13.20
22 Laurie Prax Valdez AK 13.16
23 Barbara Laweth North Pole AK 13.16
24 Kaidern Meyers Cottonwood AZ 13.06
25 Joanie Olson Bigfork MN 13.00
26 Stephanie Robinson Anchorage AK 12.98
27 Terri Trudeau Wasilla AK 12.98
28 Doreen Straight Fairbanks AK 12.94
29 Jennifer Liepa Anchorage AK 12.92
30 Melissa Meyers Cottonwood AZ 12.88
31 Sonya Simon Tok AK 12.76
32 Viola Amberg Fairbanks AK 12.76
33 Cortni Yorba-Moore Cottonwood AZ 12.74
34 Amanda Hatton Valdez AK 12.74
35 Laura Jolicoeur Valdez AK 12.74
36 Hanna Rowe Valdez AK 12.72
37 Bonnie Cavanaugh Wasilla AK 12.70
38 Emily Vincent Eagle River AK 12.70
39 Betty McIntosh Valdez AK 12.68
40 June Smith Fairbanks AK 12.66
41 Dezi Wiley Valdez AK 12.64
42 Brandy Putnam North Pole AK 12.62
43 Clover Tiffany Ester AK 12.60
44 Ashley Wiley Valdez AK 12.60
45 Bonnie Woods Valdez AK 12.60
46 Cassandra Pinkel Fairbanks AK 12.60
47 Denette Buehler Valdez AK 12.60
48 Christina Passard Palmer AK 12.58
49 Marilou Woteriman North Pole AK 12.58
50 Bonnie Ganatta North Pole AK
WOMEN’S DERBY APPROACHING, SILVERS ARE IN
 The silver salmon have returned to Valdez! Last year’s silver haul was disappointing at best, but this season is already looking up. Fish cleaner Pat Olson is down at the docks most days in the summer. When asked about the silver fishing for this year, Olson replied, “(It’s) a lot better; it sucked last year.” He went on to say that last year he cleaned 1,174 fish for the entire month of August, but that he’s already surpassed that number for this year. When asked where silvers are being caught, he said, “I hear they’re in the Narrows, I hear they’re in Galena, I hear they’re at Gold Creek, Anderson Bay, Shoup Bay.” He predicted Shoup Bay to be the best bet for women hoping to catch some nice silvers during the Women’s Derby this coming Saturday.
 
Donovan, another fish cutter who’s a regular down on the docks, added, “Right now, the trolling is doing really good, but if you’re not catching them that way try mooching and try a little B2 squid jig. It works real well. They’re definitely hitting real good; all the charter boats I cut for have been coming back with full limits.”
The Silver Derby standings are changing regularly. Michael Weiss of Ione, WA remains in first place on the leaderboard with a 15.50 pounder he caught July 25th. Diane Murphy of Texhoma, OK reeled in a 14.74 pound silver August 4th aboard the Tango, and Leslie Yamamoto of Fairbanks has dropped down to third place with her 14.70 pounder she caught August 3rd aboard On the Fly.
Silvers are being caught within Port Valdez as well as the Narrows and Arm, and they’re getting closer to town every day. Last year, Californian Renee Canavan won the Women’s Derby and was crowned Queen of the Silver Salmon Sisterhood when she reeled in a 15.22 pound silver. Registration is currently underway for the Women’s Derby which includes an opening ceremony Friday night and a closing on Saturday. The theme this year is Alaskan Woman and there will be a costume contest Friday. Live music is planned for Saturday and derby organizers are expecting another exciting year. CLICK HERE to visit the Women’s Derby registration page at www.valdezfishderbies.com.
The standings remain the same in the Valdez Halibut Derby, with James Culley of Fairbanks in the lead with a 325 pound halibut caught July 21st.
 
Halibut Derby – Overall Leaders
1st        James Culley               Fairbanks, AK             325.0 lbs.         July 21             Dan Orion
2nd        Jeff Johnson                North Pole, AK           208.6 lbs.         June 29            Center Shot (Private)
3rd            Beth Reagin                Fairbanks, AK             178.8 lbs.         July 25             Halibut Grove
 
Halibut Derby – Weekly Winners – Week #11
1st        DL Morrison               Gainville, TX              164.8 lbs.         July 29             Private
2nd        Orlin Rohde                Eielson AFB               114.4 lbs.         July 28             Dawn Treader
 
Silver Derby – Overall Leaders
1st        Michael Weiss             Ione, WA                    15.5 lbs.           July 25             Go Get Her
2nd        Diane Murphy             Texhoma, OK             14.74 lbs.         August 4         Tango
3rd        Leslie Yamamoto        Fairbanks, AK             14.70 lbs.         August 3         On The Fly
For more information on the Valdez Derbies, visit: www.valdezfishderbies.com


 

WOMEN’S DERBY IS COMING AUGUST 10th
The Valdez Women’s Silver Salmon Derby is coming up on August 10th. This year’s theme is Alaskan Woman. Women’s Derby events are ONLY open to women with a 2013 Women’s Derby dog tag; unfortunately, admittance to these events is not guaranteed due to space constraints. Women’s Derby registration costs $50, plus a daily Silver Salmon Derby ticket ($10). CLICK HERE for more information about the Valdez Women’s Silver Salmon Derby!
SILVERS ARE IN, BIG PRIZE FRIDAY WON BY LAVONNE KENNEDY

VALDEZ, Alaska – The silver salmon have returned to Valdez and on Big Prize Friday, 23 anglers weighed in a silver hoping to win the $500 cash prize and another $508 in prizes for the largest fish of the day. Lavonne Kennedy of Valdez reeled in the winning fish, a 13.34 pound silver aboard the Lady Lavonne. Steve Geraghty of Fairbanks landed a 13.18 pound silver to take the 2nd place daily prize. Geraghty went fishing with Captain Dave Rental and when the captain asked for their fishing licenses, another passenger asked if they had derby tickets. The passenger explained that it was Big Prize Friday and also that they could win $15,000 for the biggest silver in the derby and possibly win a truck just for buying a ticket. After hearing about the prizes, Geraghty asked Captain Dave if he had time to run and get a derby ticket. Steve raced and purchased tickets for himself and his wife. The daily ticket was $10. His 2nd place prize netted him $275 worth of prizes. According to Derby Weigh-In coordinator Bonnie Woods, anglers are catching their limit of silvers and the fishing is awesome. She said she has also seen a nice king salmon caught in the Sound.

While silver fishing has definitely heated up, another leader snuck into the standings in the halibut derby. Beth Reagin of Fairbanks brought in a 178.8 pound halibut aboard Halibut Grove to take the 2nd place weekly prize and 3rd place in the overall standings. Reagin’s fish was 73 inches long. James Culley of Fairbanks won the 1st place weekly prize and holds top honors on the leader board with the 325.0 pound halibut he caught last Sunday aboard the Dan Orion. Jeff Johnson of North Pole is holding onto the 2nd place spot with the 208.6 pounder he caught back in late June. Nice ling cod are being brought back to Port Valdez. Patricia Smillie of Whitehorse brought in a 65.5 pound ling cod on July 27th.
The Valdez Women’s Silver Salmon Derby should bring in some bigger fish, and a lot of lady anglers. The opening ceremony is scheduled for Friday, August 9th and a closing awards ceremony on Saturday, August 10th. The theme of this year’s Women’s Derby is “Alaskan Woman” and there will be a costume contest Friday. Live music is planned for Saturday and derby organizers are expecting another exciting year. CLICK HERE to visit the Women’s Derby registration page at www.valdezfishderbies.com.
 
Halibut Derby – Overall Leaders
1st        James Culley               Fairbanks, AK             325.0 lbs.         July 21             Dan Orion
2nd        Jeff Johnson                North Pole, AK           208.6 lbs.         June 29            Center Shot (Private)
3rd            Beth Reagin                Fairbanks, AK             178.8 lbs.         July 25             Halibut Grove
 
Halibut Derby – Weekly Winners – Week #10
1st        James Cully                 Fairbanks, AK             325.0 lbs.         July 21             Dan Orion
2nd        Beth Reagin                Fairbanks, AK             178.8 lbs.         July 25             Dawn Treader
 
Silver Derby – Overall Leaders
1st        Michael Weiss             Ione, WA                    15.5 lbs.           July 25             Go Get Her
2nd        Jonathan Klauke         Holmen, WI                14.50 lbs.         July 27             Swifty 5
3rd        Lavonne Kennedy      Valdez, AK                 13.34 lbs.         July 26             Lady Lavonne
For more information on the Valdez Derbies, visit: www.valdezfishderbies.com
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