VALDEZ, Alaska – Tom Karlsten of St. Cloud Florida has been fishing Valdez with his wife Jane for many years, but this year they had to try some unconventional ideas to get the big silver salmon. Jane Karlsten said she prefers trolling for silvers because she loves to watch the shoreline but on August 19th the fish weren’t biting so they anchored up and dropped a line. “I always thought that jigging was not that productive,” said Jane Karlsten. “I was wrong.” The Karlstens first came to Valdez in the summer of 2011 and they knew they had to keep coming back. “If we were youngsters, we would be living here,” commented Jane Karlsten. Karlsten’s 15.32 pound silver salmon held onto the lead through the end of the Silver Salmon Derby. Karlsten and his wife not only take home the $10,000 first place prize, but Jane also won the $500 Captain’s prize. Tom Karlsten credits his wife for putting him on the fish.
Pravat Phumin of Valdez took 2nd place in the Silver Salmon Derby with a 14.68 pound silver he caught on August 13th aboard the Seagull II. Phumin’s 2nd place silver netted him $3,000 in cash. Frieda Wiley, who holds the distinction of catching the largest halibut on record in the Valdez Halibut Derby, won 3rd place in the Silver Salmon Derby this year with a 14.48 pound silver she caught August 28th aboard the Orion. Wiley’s catch was worth $1,500 cash. In 2017 Wiley reeled in a 374.0 pound halibut to win 1st place in the Valdez Halibut Derby.
In the Valdez Halibut Derby, it was Christine Ives of Fairbanks who held on to win the derby. Ives caught a 285.6 pound halibut on June 6th aboard the Nunatak. Ives said that she had never been halibut fishing before and had to be talked into buying a Valdez Halibut Derby ticket. Ives was surprised at the notoriety she received as the leader of the derby. “I’ve had people stop me around Fairbanks and be like ‘hey you’re the girl that caught that halibut’ and I was like ‘Holy Cow! I can’t believe you know about that’”.
Christopher Barnes of Moorehead, Minnesota captured 2nd place in the halibut derby with a 225.6 pound halibut caught on June 24th aboard the Sea Quester. Joshua Curry of Valdez won 3rd place in the halibut derby with a 213.4 pound halibut he caught on July 21st aboard the Mistress.
Christine Ive’s winning Halibut was caught aboard the Nunatak and the captain of that boat, Dave West, won the $500 Captains prize and the ticket seller’s prize of $500. In the Silver Salmon Derby, it was Jane Karlsten that won the Captain’s Prize. The seller of the winning Silver Salmon Derby ticket was Dixie Shipman. She won a $500 ticket seller’s prize. The winner of Big Prize Friday was John McCay of Valdez with a 12.46 pound silver. Next year’s dates, as well as pictures and information about the 2019 winners, can be found at www.valdezfishderbies.com.
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
1st Andrea Brenney Cedar, MN 174.0 lbs. Aug 27 The Reflection
2nd Brendan McCabe Valdez, AK 165.0 lbs. Aug 28 The Refraction
Silver Derby – Overall Leaders
1st Tom Karlsten St. Cloud, FL 15.32 lbs. Aug 19 Long Shot
2nd Pravat Phumin Valdez, AK 14.68 lbs. Aug 13 Seagull 2
3rd Frieda Wiley Valdez, AK 14.48 lbs. Aug 28 Orion
For more information on the Valdez Derbies, visit: www.valdezfishderbies.com