Press Release

Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Honors Commonwealth’s Top Saltwater Anglers

For immediate release:
  • Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
  • Department of Fish and Game
  • Division of Marine Fisheries

Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Honors Commonwealth’s Top Saltwater Anglers

Katie Gronendyke,

Boston — February 21, 2017 – State fisheries officials presented 34 trophies to winners of the 2016 Massachusetts Saltwater Fishing Derby at a ceremony Saturday at the New England Boat Show at the Boston Convention and Exposition Center. Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Commissioner George Peterson, Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) Director David Pierce and DMF Assistant Director for Recreational Fisheries Mike Armstrong presented the awards.

“Recreational saltwater anglers support Massachusetts’ valuable tourism economy and, through saltwater fishing permits, the management and conservation of our marine resources,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our administration is proud to honor these anglers, and we encourage residents of all ages to get out on the open water and participate in this year’s Saltwater Fishing Derby.”

“This year’s competition showcased the best of the Commonwealth’s fishing community, and I commend all the skilled anglers who received awards,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “As the weather gets warmer, we encourage all Massachusetts residents and visitors to take advantage of the many activities our coastal towns offer.”

“With over 1,200 miles of beautiful seashore, Massachusetts offers exceptional opportunities for saltwater fishing and other outdoor recreation on its coast,”said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “As a lifelong fisherman myself, I’m pleased to recognize these exceptional anglers for their fishing skills and outstanding catches.”

“The Massachusetts Saltwater Fishing Derby is a great way to encourage people to enjoy the tremendous fishing that Massachusetts marine environment provides,” said DFG Commissioner George Peterson. “Congratulations to all the skilled anglers for their dedication to fishing and their accomplishment in making these remarkable catches.”

DMF’s Saltwater Fishing Derby awards pins to all qualifying entries in 21 species categories and presents trophies 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). There were a total of 78 entries from anglers living in eight states in 2016. A new state record wahoo was also landed last year at 182 lbs., 12 oz. See chart below for the full list of winners:



Weigh-In Derby


Town of Residence



Heaviest Fish (lb.  oz.)

Frank Mazzulli Quincy Men's Black Sea Bass 5 lbs. 12 oz.
Crystle Calvin Dartmouth Women's Black Sea Bass 4 lbs. 12 oz.
Jack Gulachenski Southboro Junior's Black Sea Bass 6 lbs. 5 oz.
Tavin Beagle Los Altos, CA Men's Bluefish 18 lbs. 10 oz.
Brenna McCoubrey Marstons Mills Women’s Bluefish 15 lbs. 12 oz.
John Clark Marion Junior’s Bluefish 12 lbs. 4 oz.
Brian Nunes-Vais Morris Plains, NJ Men's Bonito 9 lbs. 12 oz.
Tammy King Nantucket Women's Bonito 10 lbs. 2 oz.
Alex Avila Sandwich Men’s Dolphin 24 lbs. 5 oz.
Joanne Cameron Mattapoisett Women’s Dolphin 17 lbs.
Frances Clay Osterville Women's False Albacore 10 lbs. 6 oz.
Dylan Kadison Tisbury Junior’s False Albacore 11 lbs. 13 oz.
Emilson Kruger Leite Gatiterburg, MD Men's Fluke 15 lbs. 6 oz.
Keely Ahlstrom Orleans Women’s Fluke 13 lbs. 13 oz.
William Seaberg     Sudbury Junior’s Fluke 11 lbs. 15 oz.
Jeff Lema Nantucket Men’s Halibut 89 lbs.
Kay Starzynski Wheatfield, IN Women’s Halibut 102 lbs.
Bill Potter Vineyard Haven Men’s King Mackerel 6 lbs. 14 oz.
Matt Kelly Boxford Men's Scup 2 lbs. 8 oz.
Beverly Bergeron West Tisbury Women's Scup 2 lbs. 13 oz.
Joseph Pearle Wareham Junior's Scup 2 lbs. 9 oz.
Michael Jones Carver Men's Striped Bass 53 lbs. 14 oz.
Amy Burrell Mashpee Women’s Striped Bass 51 lbs. 10 oz.
Michael Bridges Barnstable Junior’s Striped Bass 49 lbs. 6 oz.
John Pettersen Old Lyme, CT Men’s Tautog 9 lbs. 14 oz.
Ashley Brown Wareham Women’s Tautog 10 lbs. 13 oz.
Sam Jaxtimer Osterville Men’s Thresher Shark 405 lbs. 5 oz.
Derek Wittkamper Rowley Men’s Wahoo 182 lbs. 12 oz.
Rob Thompson Marshfield Men’s Winter Flounder 4 lbs. 13 oz.
Steve Dowler Vineyard Haven Men’s Yellowfin Tuna 91 lbs. 13 oz.
Jack Willis Barnstable Men’s Yellowfin Tuna 92 lbs.


Catch and Release Derby


Town of Residence


Length (inches)

Ray Jarvis Berkley False Albacore 28 inches
Frank Mazzulli Quincy Striped Bass 47 inches
Mark Forrester Quincy Winter Flounder 20 inches


The annual Massachusetts Saltwater Fishing Derby runs from January 1 through November 30 and is free to enter. Each Derby has its own set of rules and target species. To qualify for the weigh-in category of 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 category of the derby are required to submit a picture of their fish on a measuring device. Click here to learn more about the Massachusetts Saltwater Fishing Derby.

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

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.


Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Honors Commonwealth’s Top Saltwater Anglers

Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs 

The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs seeks to protect, preserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s environmental resources while ensuring a clean energy future for the state’s residents. Through the stewardship of open space, protection of environmental resources, and enhancement of clean energy, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs works tirelessly to make Massachusetts a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family.

Department of Fish and Game 

The Department of Fish & Game works to preserve the state's natural resources and exercises responsibility over the Commonwealth's marine and freshwater fisheries, wildlife species, plants, and natural communities, as well as the habitats that support them.

Division of Marine Fisheries 

The Division of Marine Fisheries manages the state’s commercial and recreational saltwater fisheries and oversees other services that support the marine environment and fishing communities.