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fishing

Successful anglers can hook a big prize at area derbies

Nearly everywhere anglers wet a line, there is also the opportunity for them to pocket some cash.

From Valdez to Homer to the Valley, anglers in Southcentral Alaska can fill their wallets along with their landing nets thanks to several fishing derbies. Derbies allow fishermen to put from $100 to $50,000 into their pockets while taking home a big fish.

Here are the main fishing derbies in Southcentral:

- Downtown Soup Kitchen Slam'n Salm'n King Derby: Want to land a huge king salmon and perhaps a few thousand dollars too? Wet a line in Ship Creek for a chance at cash and prizes. Last year's winner received $1,000 in cash and a trip valued at $10,000. Tagged fish worth thousands of dollars will be released. Fishing gear can be rented at the creek. Proceeds go to the Downtown Soup Kitchen, which assists the community's working poor and homeless.

Where: Ship Creek, downtown Anchorage

When: June 8-17

Cost: $40 pro division

Phone: 646-4846

- Downtown Soup Kitchen Slam'n Salm'n Silver Derby: The popular silver salmon derby returns with thousands of dollars in cash and prizes available. Last year's winner received $1,000 in cash and nearly $900 in fishing gear. Tagged fish worth thousands of dollars will be released. Fishing gear can be rented at the creek. Proceeds go to the Downtown Soup Kitchen, which assists the community's working poor and homeless.

Where: Ship Creek, downtown Anchorage

When: Aug. 4-13

Cost: $40 pro division

Phone: 646-4846

- Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby : Homer's halibut derby, in its 22nd year, is the state's longest-running fishing derby. Last year, Duane Olson of Anchorage hooked a 341.8-pound fish and $43,612. There are prizes for monthly winners, more than $120,000 in tagged fish prizes and a $10,000 prize for a released fish.

Where: Must leave from and return to Homer harbor

When: May 1 to Sept. 30

Cost: $10 daily

Phone: 1-907-235-7740

Web: www.homerhalibutderby.com

- Kodiak Silver Salmon Derby : The fishing contest is sponsored by the Kodiak Lions Club. The top three anglers receive prizes.

When: Aug. 26 to Sept. 30

Phone: 1-907-486-3900

Web: www.kodiak-outfitters.com

- Mat-Su King Salmon Derby: The eighth annual derby features weekly prizes, youth prizes and a pro class. The grand prize is $10,000 cash. There also will be a tagged fish worth $10,000. Participants can fish in all legal waters in the Susitna and Knik river drainages. Weekly prizes.

When: May 20 to July 13

Cost: $10 adult single-day tickets, $20 full derby; $50 pro class; $5 youth

Phone: 1-907-376-1299

Web: www.matsukingsalmonderby.com, www.wasillachamber.org

- Ninilchik Halibut Derby: The first-place winner picks up $5,000, while second gets $1,500 and third pockets $500. There also are monthly winners worth $300.

When: April 29 to Sept. 4

Where: Cook Inlet

Cost: $10 daily, $20 for four-day ticket

Phone: 1-907-567-3571

Web: www.ninilchikchamber.com

- Ninilchik King Salmon Derby: The first-place winner picks up $2,000, while second gets $1,000 and third pockets $500. There also are weekly winners worth $100. Last year, David Hren of Anchorage netted a 41.7-pound king for the big cash.

When: April 29 to June 4

Where: Cook Inlet

Cost: $10 daily, $20 for four-day ticket

Phone: 1-907-567-3571

Web: www.ninilchikchamber.com

- Seward Halibut Derby: The derby returns for the first time since 2003. There are daily prizes for heaviest fish. The three heaviest fish of the derby win $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000.

Where: Leave from and return to Seward

When: June 1-30

Cost: $10 day or $25 for three days

Phone: 1-907-224-8051

Web: www.seward.com

- Seward Silver Salmon Derby : This is the 52nd derby, and thousands of fish and dollars are up for grabs. Silver salmon return to Resurrection Bay every August, and the derby is a chance to catch some fish, cash and other prizes. There are dozens of cash prizes totaling more than $100,000, including a $50,000 tagged fish.

Where: Resurrection Bay

When: Aug. 11-19

Cost: $11 daily, $52 for derby

Phone: 1-907-224-8051

Web: www.seward.com

- Valdez Fish Derbies : Halibut and silver salmon derbies run throughout the summer, with big payoffs for the winners. The two derbies have a combined payout of more than $80,000 in cash and prizes. In 2006, the $15,000 cash first prizes went to Kevin Lincoln with a 343.6-pound halibut and Paula Groundwater with an 18.42-pound silver salmon. The annual Women's Silver Salmon Derby is Aug. 11.

Where: Waters around Valdez

When: May 26 to Sept. 2 (halibut), July 28 to Sept. 3 (silvers)

Cost: $10 daily

Phone: 1-907-835-5680

Web: www.valdezfishderbies.com

- Whittier Halibut Derby : A jackpot for the biggest fish will be awarded at the end of the derby. Monthly awards are given for the first-, second- and third-place halibut that are closest to the target weight.

When: May 25 to Sept. 3

Where: Whittier

Cost: $5 daily, $25 weekly, $100 for season

Phone: 677-WHIT

Web: www.whittieralaskachamber.org

- Whittier Silver Salmon Derby : A jackpot for the heaviest fish will be awarded at the end of the derby. There is a "small fry" derby for kids on Sept. 15; entry fee is $5.

When: Aug. 31 to Sept. 16

Where: Whittier

Cost: $5 daily, $25 weekly

Phone: 677-WHIT

Web: www.whittieralaskachamber.org

Special sections editor Steve Edwards can be reached at sedwards@adn.com or 257-4316.

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