For Immediate Release - February 10, 2014

Patrick Administration Honors Commonwealth’s Top Saltwater Anglers

BOSTON – Monday, February 10, 2014 – Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Commissioner Mary Griffin presented 35 trophies to winners of the 2013 Massachusetts Saltwater Fishing Derby at the New England Fishing & Outdoor Expo at the DCU Center in Worcester yesterday.

"Massachusetts offers excellent saltwater fishing for recreational anglers of all ages and abilities," said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rick Sullivan. "We are pleased to recognize these anglers for their fishing skills and outstanding catches."

“Sponsoring the Massachusetts Saltwater Fishing Derby is one of many ways that we encourage young people and adults to get out and enjoy fishing and other outdoor activities, such as hunting and wildlife viewing," said Commissioner Griffin. “I congratulate all of those who participated, especially the skilled anglers who received awards.”

In the junior angler division (age 15 and younger), awardees included Matt Sheehan of Boston, who won for the largest bigeye tuna, yellowfin tuna, wahoo and pollock; Elizabeth O’Brien of Oak Bluffs, who caught the largest bluefish and bonito; Molly Menton of Vineyard Haven, who caught a 9 pound, 6 ounce fluke; and Michael O’Shaughnessy of Cotuit, who caught a 150 pound mako shark.

The adult winners included Daniel Hiemer of Germany, who caught a 19 pound, 11 ounce bluefish and Douglas Bennett of Nantucket, who caught 219 pound swordfish. There were a total of 101 entries from two countries and six states.

For a complete list of the 2013 winners, click here: Saltwater Fishing Derby.

The Division of Marine Fisheries’ Saltwater Fishing Derby awards pins to all qualifying entries in 21 species categories and presents trophies at the expo to anglers who landed the heaviest fish in each species category. Winners are chosen in three divisions: men, women and juniors (age 15 and younger).

To qualify for the Saltwater Fishing Derby, entries must be caught by hook and line and weighed in at DMF-certified weigh stations. Anglers participating in the catch and release component of the derby are required to submit a picture of their fish on a measuring device.

DFG officials ask anglers to practice responsible fishing. The Responsible Angler Practices Brochure instructs anglers in how to properly handle and release fish, how to use tackle that minimizes unintended harm to fish,  reminds anglers to minimize fight time, properly dispose of trash and unwanted tackle, to take steps to protect habitat while fishing, and to use circle hooks, wide gap hooks, and barbless hooks.

DFG is responsible for promoting the conservation and enjoyment of the Commonwealth's natural resources. DFG carries out this mission through land protection and wildlife habitat management, management of inland and marine fish and wildlife species, and ecological restoration of fresh water, salt water, and terrestrial habitats. DFG promotes enjoyment of the Massachusetts environment through outdoor skills workshops, fishing festivals and other educational programs, and by enhancing access to the Commonwealth's rivers, lakes, and coastal waters.

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