VALDEZ, Alaska – It’s a pretty sure bet that there’s a silver salmon bigger than 14.88 pounds swimming around in Prince William Sound but whether an angler with a Valdez Fish Derby ticket will catch it and weigh it in before the end of the Valdez Silver Salmon Derby is anyone’s guess. Currently Alisa Mac Innes of Tampa, Florida is leading the derby with a 14.88 pound silver she caught August 7th aboard the Josie Whales. Silver salmon have moved into Port Valdez and fishing has been productive at Allison Point. Five of the Silver Salmon daily prize winners have caught their fish from shore in the last seven days. Boat anglers are having success as far out as Goose Island and as close in as inside of the Valdez Narrows according to reports from Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
If MacInne’s silver is at the top of the leader board at the end of derby Sunday, September 6th at noon, she stands to win the $5,000 first place prize. The angler taking 2nd place in the Silver Salmon Derby will win $1,500 and the 3rd place derby angler will win $750. The smallest silver to ever win the Valdez Silver Salmon Derby was Jim Burzinski’s 15.11 pound silver caught back in 1971. The largest silver salmon ever caught in the Valdez Silver Salmon Derby weighed in at 22.14 pounds. John Oliver of Fairbanks is currently in 2nd place on the leader board with a 14.42 pound silver and Charles Young of Fairbanks is hanging onto 3rd place with a 14.20 pound fish. The final Big Prize Friday is this Friday, September 4th. The person catching the largest Silver Salmon for the day will win $250 cash in addition to regular prizes.
Halibut fishing has been good to excellent when weather permits getting out further, but you don’t have to travel too far. Salmon spawning in creeks have drawn halibut further and shallower into Prince William Sound. Using chum bags and having patience helps catch halibut in the Sound. Anglers have reported catching larger halibut by using oversized baits such as salmon heads.
Mickia Cenker of Fairbanks is leading the Valdez Halibut Derby with a 224.0 pound halibut she caught August 16th aboard Halibut Grove. Jim Rothenbuhler of Salcha is currently in 2nd place with a 201.2 pound flat fish and Kenny Tussey of North Pole is in 3rd place overall right now with a 193.4 pound halibut. The Valdez Halibut Derby ends Sunday, September 6th at noon.
Halibut Derby – Overall Leaders
1st Mickia Cenker Fairbanks, AK 224.0 lbs. Aug 16 Halibut Grove 2nd Jim Rothenbuhler Salcha, AK 201.2 lbs. June 23 The Bucketlist 3rd Kenny Tussey North Pole, AK 193.4 lbs. July 5 Dan Orion
Halibut Derby – Weekly Winners
1st Karen Deal Fairbanks, AK 94.6 lbs. Aug 28 Bold Eagle 2nd Cole Read North Pole, AK 93.6 lbs. Aug 23 Dan Orion
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