FAIRBANKS — Steve Huisman, of North Pole, reeled in a 158.2-pound halibut on July 3 to move into second place in the Valdez Halibut Derby. Huisman was fishing on a charter aboard the Otter Dodger when he hooked the big flatfish.
The fish won Huisman the prize for the biggest derby fish caught during the week of June 30-July 6, which earned him a fishing charter and a glacier cruise, in addition to a jacket and t-shirt.
Scott Hebig, of Wasilla, remains atop the derby leader board with a 203.6-pound halibut he caught on June 30. Whether or not Huisman’s fish will remain in the top three before the derby ends on Sept. 1 remains to be seen.
The three biggest fish will net cash prizes of $15,000, $5,000 and $2,000, respectively.
Huisman wasn’t the only North Pole angler to hit it big in Valdez during the Fourth of July weekend. Fellow North Polite Theodore Kirchmeir caught a 151.2-pound halibut aboard the Halibut Grove on Saturday to take second place honors for the week.
In other fishing news from Valdez, pink salmon are being caught from shore at Allison Point and from the dock in town. There was even a report of a silver salmon being caught from the dock in town.
The Valdez Kids Pink Salmon Derby is scheduled for July 19 in Valdez. That’s also the day the Valdez Silver Salmon Derby kicks off. The kids pink salmon derby is a one-day event while the silver salmon derby runs through Sept. 1.
Valdez Halibut Derby
Standings through July 9
1. Scott Hebig, Wasilla, 203.6 lbs., June 20, Amanda Rose
2. Steve Huisman, North Pole, 158.2 lbs., July 3, Otter Dodger
3. Sharon Daniels, Valdez, 154.4 lbs., June 24, Dan Orion