Valdez Halibut Derby Update

The following is courtesy of Valdez Fish Derbies:

VALDEZ, Alaska – Debbie Coates of Fairbanks caught herself a pretty solid 164.4 pound halibut July 5th aboard the Billie Sue. “I caught it at about 164 feet, which is kind of cool because it ended up weighing 164 pounds,” Coates said. The day after Coates landed her halibut, Fairbanks angler Roger Horrace reeled in a 173.6 pound halibut aboard the Dan Orion, knocking Debbie out of 3rd place overall and 2nd for Week 7 of the Valdez Halibut Derby. Before even being knocked off the board, Coates had this to say: “I’m just so happy for each fisherman that can bring up that big of a halibut. Its just a great story,” Coates said. “Valdez is gorgeous. It doesn’t matter how big of a fish you catch, it’s always one of the most exciting places I have ever been.”

Currently in 1st place in the Valdez Halibut derby is Jim Rothenbuhler of Salcha, Alaska with a 201.2 pound fish he landed June 23rd aboard The Bucketlist. Kenny Tussey of North Pole is currently in 2nd place overall with a 193.4 pound halibut he landed July 5th on the Dan Orion. 

Kenny Tussey remains in second place overall with a 193-plus-pound halibut. (VALDEZ FISH DERBIES)

Halibut fishing in Valdez has been very good, and pink salmon should be plentiful by the Valdez Kids Pink Salmon Derby Saturday, July 25th. The 2020 Kids Pink Salmon Derby is open to kids age 5 to 16 and will be virtual to eliminate large numbers of people at weigh-in. Kids can qualify for prizes by picking up a free Valdez Fish Derbies hat and posting a picture of themselves with the hat and a pink salmon in Valdez, Saturday July 25th. Pictures can be posted on the website. Winners will be chosen at random to win cash prizes and fishing poles. The Kids Derby is sponsored by Valdez Fish Derbies and there is no entry fee. Pink salmon fishing is generally very productive at Allison Point and along the shorelines. Pixies, spinners and Vibrax are all good options.

The Valdez Silver Salmon Derby starts Saturday, July 25th with a grand prize of $5,000 cash for the largest fish caught July 25th through September 6th. The Women’s Silver Salmon Derby is slated for Saturday, August 8th. The Valdez Women’s Silver Salmon Derby has a few changes for 2020, including no large events at Civic Center and the leaders will not be kept a secret to mitigate the number of people weighing in fish. Prizes will be awarded to the woman who registers for the derby and catches the largest fish on Saturday, August 8th. A queen will be crowned and there will also be 2nd and 3rd place prizes. Derby officials ask that anglers check the leaderboard and only weigh-in a fish if it is a contender to be one of the top three fish. CLICK HERE for more information about the Women’s Silver Salmon Derby. 

Roger Horrace’s 173.6-pounder, caught on the Orion, was good for third place. (VALDEZ FISH DERBIES)

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        Roger Horrace            Fairbanks, AK                 173.6 lbs.         July 8              Dan Orion

Halibut Derby – Weekly Winners – July 5th through July 11th

1st        Kenny Tussey            North Pole, AK            193.4 lbs.         July 5              Dan Orion
2nd       Roger Horrace            Fairbanks, AK                 173.6 lbs.         July 8              Dan Orion