The following is courtesy of Valdez Fish Derbies:
FIRST FISH OF THE DAY WINS LISA CRONK THE DERBY CROWN
VALDEZ, Alaska – Well over 400 lady anglers hit the waters out of Valdez Saturday in hopes of catching the largest silver salmon and bringing home the coveted Valdez Women’s Silver Salmon Derby crown. At the end of the day, it was Lisa Cronk of Valdez who captured the crown and she was more excited about the title and pink bathrobe than the prize money. “I am, well, tired but besides being tired I am ecstatic. I have dreamt about sitting in that throne and it’s just mind-blowing” Cronk said. The theme of this year’s Women’s Derby was “Namaste Safe”. In an effort to mitigate large crowds, derby organizers did not hold opening and closing ceremonies at the Civic Center and limited numbers at weigh-in by limiting winners to top three fish and encouraging only those with a fish big enough to get on the leader board to weigh in.
When asked what it meant to have an outlet like fishing this year, Cronk responded “It was really important. We love to be outside. During the pandemic with everything going on we really relied on our boat …a lot to get out of the house, to be together as a family. We started off the season with a lot of shrimping and we get to end it with what we love, we love to fish”. The fishing season might be over for Cronk as she’s a teacher going back to school, but fishing should be hot through the end of the derbies.
Cronk caught her silver salmon out by Glacier Entrance on a wiggle wart at a depth of about 150 feet. Cronk won $1,000 cash and $1,000 in prizes from Prospector Outfitters in addition to the tiara and bathrobe. Dezirae Wiley of Valdez took 2nd place in the Valdez Women’s Derby with a 12.58 pound silver she caught aboard her Dad’s boat and Nedra Buck of Valdez captured 3rd place with a 12.22 pound silver salmon she caught fishing with her daughter’s family.
This weekend silver salmon were schooled up out at Glacier Island and scattered throughout the about Sound. As August continues, silver salmon will move toward the narrows and into Port Valdez. Currently holding onto 2nd place overall in the silver salmon derby, Tom Hall reeled in a 12.70 pounder trolling at a depth of 60 feet. “It was a great fish; I thought it was a king at first and then we did a double take on it and there it was a silver,” said Hall. “I was like wow! We may be on the board!”
In the Valdez Halibut Derby, Jim Rothenbuhler of Salcha is still leading with the 201.2 pound halibut he caught June 23rd. Kenny Tussey of North Pole, Alaska is currently in 2nd place overall with a 193.4 pound halibut and Andy Eiman of Valdez is holding onto 3rd place right now with a 180.4 pound halibut.
Valdez Women’s Silver Salmon Derby WINNERS
1st Lisa Cronk Valdez, AK 13.20 lbs. Aug 8 Private
2nd Dezirae Wiley Valdez, AK 12.58 lbs. Aug 8 Dan Orion
3rd Nedra Buck Valdez, AK 12.22 lbs. Aug 8 Private
Halibut Derby – Overall Leaders
1st Jim Rothenbuhler Salcha, AK 201.2 lbs. June 23 The Bucketlist
2nd Kenny Tussey North Pole, AK 193.4 lbs. July 5 Dan Orion
3rd Andy Eiman Valdez, AK 180.4 lbs. July 18 Crista June
Halibut Derby – Weekly Winners
1st Brett Nelson Palmer, AK 115.0 lbs. Aug 2 Dan Orion
2nd Brett Nelson Palmer, AK 91.6 lbs. Aug 2 Dan Orion
Silver Derby – Overall Leaders
1st Alisa Mac Innes Tampa, FL 14.88 lbs. Aug 7 Josie Whales
2nd Michael Murphy Delta Junction, AK 13.58 lbs. Aug 4 Faithful
3rd Lisa Cronk Valdez, AK 13.20 lbs. Aug 8 Private