VALDEZ, Alaska – Silver Salmon are moving closer to Valdez and competition in the Valdez Silver Salmon Derby is expected to get fierce in the final weeks. Alisa Mac Innes of Tampa, Florida still has the largest salmon on the board with the 14.88 pound silver she caught August 8th. John Oliver of Fairbanks is a close 2nd with a 14.42 pound silver he caught last Friday and Charles Young of Fairbanks reeled in a 14.20 pound silver the same day aboard a different boat to land himself in 3rd place in the overall standings.
A 14.88 silver is a respectable fish but far from the weight of the fish that have taken home first place over the last few years. The Valdez Silver Salmon Derby features a daily 1st and 2nd place prize and the majority of daily winners have been in the 11 to 13 pound range. With the derby running through September 6th, there’s a good chance the $5,000 derby winner is still swimming in Prince William Sound.
The Valdez Silver Salmon Derby began in 1971 and the smallest winning fish on record in the Valdez Silver Salmon Derby was a 15.11 pound salmon caught that first year by Jim Burzinski. In the last 30 years of the Valdez Silver Salmon Derby, only three fish in the 15 pound range have won the derby. Only six fish weighing in at the 16 pound range have won the big money in the Valdez Silver Salmon Derby. The vast majority of winners have weighed in at 17 to 21 pounds. The Valdez Silver Salmon Derby runs through Sunday, September 6th at noon and there are prizes for the top 3 fish as well as daily prize winners.
In the Valdez Halibut Derby, Mickia Cenker is the new leader on the board with a 224 pound catch August 16th aboard the Halibut Grove. Cenker knocks Jim Rothenbuhler to 2nd place in the overall standings. Rothenbuhler, caught a 201.2 pound halibut almost two months ago on June 23rd. Andy Eiman of Valdez is currently 3rd place in the halibut derby with a 180.4 pound flatfish caught July 18 aboard the Crista June.
Silver salmon fishing has been productive at Gold Creek and Mineral Creek. The final weeks of the derby should be good fishing from shore as well as from a boat. Both the Valdez Halibut and Silver Salmon derbies will end at noon on Sunday, September 6th.
Halibut Derby – Overall Leaders
1st Mickia Cenker Fairbanks, AK 224.0 lbs. Aug 16 Halibut Grove 2nd Jim Rothenbuhler Salcha, AK 201.2 lbs. July 5 The Bucket List 3rd Kenny Tussey North Pole, AK 193.4 lbs. July 5 Dan Orion
Halibut Derby – Weekly Winners
1stTerrence McCabe Valdez, AK 173.0 lbs. Aug 13 Private 2nd David Scott Valdez, AK 162.0 lbs. Aug 9 Deep Sea Angel
Silver Derby – Overall Leaders
1st Alisa Mac Innes Tampa, FL 14.88 lbs. Aug 7 Josie Whales 2nd John Oliver Fairbanks, AK 14.42 lbs. Aug 14 Nseafish Nt Funds 3rd Charles Young Fairbanks, AK 14.20 lbs. Aug 14 Reel Dreams