One of the only urban fishing derbies in the nation kicked off Friday morning in downtown Anchorage. Anglers were lined up along Ship Creek at 6 a.m., looking to reel in the big catch and support some nonprofit organizations at the same time.

Owner of The Bait Shack Dustin Slinker says this year's derby benefits the Downtown Hope Center, Battle Dawgs, Al Aska Shriners and the Alaska Sport Fishing Association.

"We can't ask for a better crowd to kick it off on a Friday morning," Slinker told Daybreak. "Take a look at the banks behind me right there. We have anglers back here fishing. We've already got fish on the bank; everyone is excited!"

Since May 15, Slinker says the run of salmon has been steady, if not great, and improving every day.

"Every day, each and every tide we're seeing more fish," Slinker said.

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Derby tickets are $20, and you can pick them up at the Slam'n Salm'n headquarters, located at The Bait Shack at 212 West Whitney Road.

"Keep in mind, this is an event that three months ago looked like it wasn't going to happen this year," Slinker said. "We picked the ball up, we ran with it. Organized a great list of sponsors, we've got a great prize bank."

The derby grand prize is valued at more than $5,000 and includes a one-and-a-quarter ounce gold nugget. The Slam'n Salm'n Derby goes through Monday, June 24.

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And for the kids, don't forget about the 3rd annual Get Out & Fish event on Saturday, June 15. It encourages children to try their hands at fishing during Ship Creek Youth Fishing Day.

The first 300 kids under the age of 15 will receive free gift bags, plus hot dogs and family fun! Ship Creek will be closed for youth anglers only, from the C Street bridge to the Bridge restaurant. Youth Fishing Day takes place Saturday, June 15 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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