VALDEZ, Alaska – The Valdez Fish Derbies Weigh-In Station has been a busy place this past week with anglers hoping to get on the leader board in the Valdez Silver Salmon Derby. Pravat Phumin of Valdez is currently leading the derby with a 14.68 pound silver he caught August 13th aboard the Seagull 2. A 14.68 silver is a respectable fish but far from the weight of the fish that have won the $10,000 grand prize 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 12 to 13 pound range. With just two weeks in the derby, there’s a good chance the $10,000 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 two 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 1st at noon and there are prizes for the top 3 fish as well as daily prize winners. Tobey James Fisher of Tifton, Georgia is currently 2nd place in the Silver Salmon Derby with a 14.42 pound salmon he caught August 16th on the Kittywake. James Scheirel of Paynesville, Minnesota is holding onto 3rd place with a 13.88 pound silver he caught August 8th aboard the Sue Q.
In the Valdez Halibut Derby it looks like Christine Ives of Fairbanks has a lock on the $10,000 prize. She caught a 285.6 pound halibut June 6thaboard the Nunatak and has been in the lead ever since. Christopher Barnes of Moorhead, Minnesota is currently in 2nd place with a 225.6 pound halibut he caught June 24th aboard the Sea Quester. Joshua Curry of Valdez is holding onto 3rd place in the Halibut Derby with a 213.4 pound fish he caught July 21st aboard the Mistress. Last year’s winning halibut was a 285.8 pound flatfish caught by Patricia Johnson of Clovis, California.
Silver salmon fishing has been productive at Gold Creek and Mineral Creek. The last two 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 1st.
Halibut Derby – Overall Leaders
1st Christine Ives Fairbanks, AK 285.6 lbs. June 6 Nunatak
2nd Christopher Barnes Moorhead, MN 225.6 lbs. June 24 Sea Quester
3rd Joshua Curry Valdez, AK 213.4 lbs. July 21 Mistress
Halibut Derby – Weekly Winners
1stJeffrey Nettleton Klamath Falls, OR 186.6 lbs. Aug 16 The Reflection
2nd Fred Augustin Lake City, FL 146.2 lbs. Aug 12 Sea Hunter
Silver Derby – Overall Leaders
1st Pravat Phumin Valdez, AK 14.68 lbs. Aug 13 Seagull 2
2nd Tobey James Fisher Tifton, GA 14.42 lbs. Aug 16 Kittywake
3rd James Scheirel Paynesville, MN 13.88 lbs. Aug 8 Sue Q