Fish Alaska's 2016 Fishing Report
for Valdez, Alaska

Check back for updates from around the state all summer! Submit your local fishing reports here, be sure to include all pertinent information.

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Alaska Marine Guides
Mark Young

Valdez
June 13th, 2016

Halibut fishing is hot in the Gulf of Alaska, particularly along Montague Island. We’re catching our limit of halibut in the 60 to 100 pound range on curly tail jigs and circle hooks baited with herring in about 130 feet of water. The fish are fat and healthy. In addition, we are catching some nice size rockfish. Salmon, most likely pinks and chums, can be seen jumping as well. All of this combined with the great seas and beautiful weather make June the month to fish halibut out of Valdez!

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Valdez Fish Derbies
Prince William Sound
June 11, 2016

HALIBUT FISHING GOING STRONG IN VALDEZ

VALDEZ, Alaska – The Valdez Fish Derbies weigh-in station was busy with anglers weighing in fish for a chance to take home the Halibut Hullabaloo grand prize. Many fish were weighed in just over 100 pounds. Currently leading the Halibut Hullabaloo is Larry Bazilwich of Fairbanks with a 150.4 pound halibut he caught June 11th aboard the Jaime Lynn. Bazilwich stands to win a $1,000 cash prize in addition to regular derby prizes if his fish is the largest weighed in between June 10th and 19th

The overall halibut derby leader is David Jamison of Fairbanks who reeled in a 253 pound halibut May 29th aboard the Nanatuk. Bazilwich is currently in 2nd place overall with the 150.4 pounder he caught June 11th aboard the Jaime Lynn and currently in 3rd place overall is Jim Rothenbuhler of Salcha who reeled in a 145 pound halibut June 9th aboard the Bucket List.

The overall grand prize in the Halibut Derby is $15,000. The 2nd place prize is $5,000 and 3rd place in the Valdez Halibut Derby takes home $2,000. In addition to those prizes, and the Halibut Hullabaloo tournament, there are weekly 1st and 2nd place prizes. The derby week runs fromSunday through the following Saturday. Bazilwich of Fairbanks is the weekly winner for week #3 in the derby and Rothenbuhler of Salcha is the 2nd place weekly winner. The weekly 1st 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 2nd 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 www.valdezfishderbies.com 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 18th. 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’s 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 be found at www.valdezfishderbies.com.

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Valdez Fish Derbies
Prince William Sound
May 29, 2016 

FAIRBANKS MAN TAKES LEAD WITH 253 POUND HALIBUT

VALDEZ, Alaska – David Jamison of Fairbanks is a speech pathologist who said he was anything but speechless when he started reeling in a 253 pound halibut that catapulted him to the lead in the Valdez Halibut Derby. “We have a video on YouTube of me catching the fish and I was cursing the whole time”. Jamison said. He said the day started slow. They were catching rockfish and just about to move to another spot when the big one hit his line. His reaction when he got the fish in the boat “Thank God it’s Done”. “It took a while to pull up” Jamison said “It was fun. Chris (boat captain) was the only one cheering me on. Everyone else in the boat was telling me it was a skate. 

Jamison said he didn’t realize how big the prize was in the Halibut Derby until he got back to Port. He said he purchased the derby ticket because you never know if you’re going to pull in a big one. When asked what he would do with the $15,000 grand prize if he held on through the end of the Halibut Derby September 4th, he said he would probably come back to Valdez to do more fishing. Jamison caught his fish May 29th aboard the Nanatuk. He won the weekly 1st place prize for his efforts and will be watching the standings for the next few months. 

Andrew Towne of Anchorage is holding onto 2nd place in the overall standings and took the 2nd place weekly prize with a 133.4 pound halibut he caught May 31st aboard the Amanda Rose. Currently in 3rd place overall is David Sears of Fairbanks with a 121.8 pound flatfish he caught May 29th aboard the Harvester.

If history repeats itself, the Valdez Halibut Derby weigh-in station should busy the next two weekends for the Valdez Halibut Hullabaloo. This is a 10-day tournament that runs during the regular derby. The person catching the largest fish between June 10th and 19th will take home $1,000, in addition to regular derby prizes. There is no additional ticket or registration for this tournament. Anyone fishing with a regular daily or season ticket during the Halibut Hullabaloo is eligible for the bonus prize of $1,000.

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. The Kids Pink Salmon Derby is Saturday, July 23rd. 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’s 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 be found at www.valdezfishderbies.com.      

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Valdez Fish Derbies
Prince William Sound 
May 23, 2016

60 POUNDERS LEAD THE WAY IN VALDEZ HALIBUT DERBY

VALDEZ, Alaska – Anglers returning to Port Valdez did so with sunburns the opening weekend of the Valdez Halibut Derby. Sunny skies and whales putting on a show in Prince William Sound, set the stage for a lot of activity in the Valdez Harbor. Fish Cleaner Pat Olson said he has cleaned more fish through the 22nd of May than he cleaned the entire month of May last year. In addition to halibut, rockfish have been abundant. Just a couple days before the start of the halibut derby, a woman from South Dakota brought in a 100 pound halibut but by the end of the first weekend of the derby, a 68 pound flatfish is leading.

Ernest McGehee of Mt. Vernon, Washington reeled in a 68.6 pound halibut May 22nd aboard the Jaime Lynn to take the lead in the Halibut Derby. Joe Kelly of Scottsdale, Arizona is currently in 2nd place overall with a 63 pounder he caught on the same boat Sunday and Josh Wendt of Spokane, Washington is currently in 3rd place overall with a 61.4 pound halibut he caught May 22nd aboard the Jaime Lynn.

Charter Captains in Valdez are 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 10th through 19th. The angler catching the largest halibut during this period will win $1,000 in addition to the daily prizes. 

This year, the Valdez Fish Derbies will also hold a drawing for $10,000 cash and everyone who purchases a ticket will be in the raffle, whether they go fishing or not. 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 23rd and will feature 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes in four different age divisions. The Kids derby is free and open to kid’s 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 23rd through September 4th. The Annual Valdez Women’s Derby is slated for Saturday, August 13th with an opening ceremony Friday, August 12th 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