First time angler takes lead in Valdez Halibut Derby with a 283.8 pound halibut

 

VALDEZ, Alaska – In addition to winning the 1st place daily prize, Bernard Roberge of Quebec won Big Prize Friday with a 11.44 pound silver salmon and took home $500 cash in addition to his daily prizes. In first place overall in the Valdez Silver Salmon Derby is Darlene Juve of Decorah, IA with a 14.98 pound silver salmon she reeled in on July 24th aboard the Orion. Lavonne Kennedy of Valdez holds second place overall with an 11.92 pound silver salmon she caught on July 21st aboard the Lady Lavonne. Holding on to third place overall Steve DuBois of Livingston, MT reeled in a 11.44 pound silver salmon on July 26 aboard the Aquila.

As the silvers return to Port Valdez in larger numbers during the coming weeks, expect the size of daily winners to increase. The largest fish on record to win the Valdez Silver Salmon Derby was a 22.14 pound fish. It doesn’t always take a huge fish to win the Valdez Derbies. The smallest silver salmon to win the derby according to records dating back to 1971 is Jim Burzinski of Valdez who reeled in a 15.11 silver to win back in 1971. Visit the Valdez Fish Derbies Silver Salmon Derby “Previous Winners” page for complete list of winners and weights.

Patricia Johnson of Clovis, California got lucky on July 26th, 2018 when she hooked into a 285.8 pound halibut aboard the Harvester putting her into the lead of the 2018 Valdez Halibut Derby. Doug Cranor’s month lead has finally been broken. In an interview with the captain of the Harvester Buddy Scott, he was asked the ten-thousand dollar question: “Is winning the derby a matter of skill or luck?” Buddy responded “I’m going to have to say luck today because we have fished that area several times and just happened to have the ol’ girl swim through.” When asked what putting a big fish on the leaderboard meant to Buddy, he replied: “Up to ten thousand dollars for her and [it] makes me happy because it’s my first year as an actual captain.” Patricia’s catch also landed her first place in the weekly derby putting a little over 100 pounds between her and the second place weekly winner Timothy Schackman of North Pole who reeled in a 185.4 pound halibut on July 23rd aboard the Bold Eagle.

The Valdez Women’s Silver Salmon Derby should bring in some bigger fish, and a lot of lady anglers. The opening ceremony is scheduled for Friday, August 10th and a closing awards ceremony on Saturday, August 11th. The theme of this year’s Women’s Derby is “Circus” and there will be a group costume contest Friday. Live music and awards are planned for Saturday and derby organizers are expecting another exciting year. CLICK HERE to visit the Women’s Derby registration page atwww.valdezfishderbies.com.

Halibut Derby – Overall Leaders

1st        Patricia Johnson           Clovis, CA                   285.8 lbs.         July 26             Harvester

2nd      Doug Cranor                Valdez, AK                  239.0 lbs.         June 23            Redhead

3rd       Russell Young             Fairbanks, AK             226.0 lbs.         June 23            Dan Orion

Halibut Derby – Weekly Winners

1st        Patricia Johnson           Clovis, CA                   285.8 lbs.         July 26             Harvester

2nd        Timothy Schackman    North Pole, AK                        185.4 lbs.         July 23             Bold Eagle

 

Silver Derby – Overall Leaders

1st        Darlene June                Decorah, IA                 14.98 lbs.         July 24             Orion

2nd        Lavonne Kennedy       Valdez, AK                  11.92 lbs.         July 21             Lady Lavonne

3rd        Steve DuBois               Livingston, MT            11.44 lbs.         July 26             Aquila