VALDEZ, Alaska – Lupe Gonzales of Clint, Texas reeled in a 158 pound halibut on June 20th to get on the leader board in the Valdez Halibut Derby. Gonzales lives in Texas but fished Alaska when he was stationed in Alaska. This is the largest fish Gonzales has ever caught but he said he was afraid he was going to lose it. “It went around the anchor and my pole was bending and making a u turn”, Gonzales said. “It took 25 minutes to reel it in and this fish was taller than I was …and I’m six feet tall”. Gonzales is currently in 3rd place in the overall standings and won the 2nd place weekly prize. Gonzales said for him it was all about the experience and thrill of it. Gonzales did have a derby ticket and said getting his name on the leader board meant even more than the prizes. “If you’re going to go out, spend $10 and get a ticket. You’re crazy not to”, Gonzales said.

Tim Stadtmiller is still on top of the leader board with the 266.6 pound halibut he caught June 19th aboard the Dan Orion and Daniel Schmitz of Wasilla, Alaska is currently in 2nd place overall with the 176.6 pound halibut he caught June 12th aboard the Jamie Lynn.

According to Alaska Department of Fish and Game, halibut angling continues to be productive throughout Prince William Sound. Good weekend weather allowed anglers to get to the fishing grounds this past week. Rockfish angling is productive will small jigs near rocks reefs. Lingcod season will open July 1st.

Pink Salmon are expected to be available by the 4th of July weekend and should be in the Port of Valdez for the Annual Kids Pink Salmon Derby. The anticipated return of Pink Salmon to Port Valdez is 17.8 million. In addition to great fishing during the 4th of July, the City of Valdez will be hosting a 4th of July Celebration on Tuesday, featuring old fashioned kids games, a parade, community barbeque, live music and community s’mores roast. Most of the activities are free and open to the public

The silver salmon will be right on their tails, arriving in mid to late July. The Valdez Silver Salmon Derby starts July 22nd.

The Women’s Silver Salmon Derby is slated for August 12th with an opening ceremony Friday night. The theme of this year’s Women’s Derby is “Adventures on the High Seas” and there will be a group costume contest Friday night as well as live music and awards for the top 50 on Saturday night. CLICK HERE for details on the Women’s Derby.

Halibut Derby – Overall Leaders

1st        Tim Stadtmiller          Fairbanks, AK            266.6 lbs.         June 19            Dan Orion
2nd      Daniel Schmitz           Wasilla, AK                 176.6 lbs.         June 12            Jamie Lynn
3rd       Lupe Gonzales            Clint, TX                     158.0 lbs.         June 20            Halibut Grove


Halibut Derby – Weekly Winners – June 18th through 24th

1st        Tim Stadtmiller           Fairbanks, AK           266.6 lbs.         June 19            Dan Orion
2nd        Lupe Gonzales           Clint, TX                     158.0 lbs.         June 20            Halibut Grove

For more information on the Valdez Derbies, visit: www.valdezfishderbies.com