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Saltwater Fishing Derby

Saltwater Marine Fishing Regulations Massachusetts Saltwater Fishing

The Division of Marine Fisheries has made some changes to the longstanding and popular Saltwater Fishing Derby. The Derby will continue to have two major divisions: the weigh-in category and the catch and release category. For the weigh-in portion, the minimum junior qualifying weights have been lowered for many species. This will give our junior anglers a better chance at catching a winning fish this upcoming season. We will also be expanding the catch and release portion of the Derby for anglers who decide to let their fish go, which will allow these fishers a chance to showcase their angling skills as well.

Thirty two species are now eligible for a catch and release award. Anglers must catch a fish that meets or exceeds the minimum qualifying length in order to be considered for a derby pin. Anglers may submit multiple entries, but will receive only one pin per species per year for their qualifying catch.

Special annual awards will now be given out to the two anglers (adult and junior) who have the most Derby-winning fish: weigh-in, catch and release, or combined. In the event of a tie for any award category, the earliest entry will be chosen as the winner. We have also added a “Top Shop Award” for the tackle shop that sends in the most entries. Skillful skippers will now be eligible for a bonus prize, in addition to a trophy. Both the winning shop and skillful skippers will receive free advertizing in our 2018 saltwater sportfish guide.

Fish being entered in the weigh-in portion of the Derby should be brought to one of our many certified weigh stations scattered along the coast. For a list of Derby weigh stations visit www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dfg/dmf/recreational-fishing/official-weigh-stations.html. Catch and release entries should be measured to the nearest half inch and a clear photo taken of both the measuring device and the fish, indicating total or fork length. Further details and entry forms can be found at most bait and tackle shops, one of our field offices or on our web page at: www.mass.gov/eea/docs/dfg/dmf/recreationalfishing/derby-entry-form-2017.pdf. Both divisions of the derby will run annually from January 1st to November 30th .

Derby entry forms and photos should be sent to our South Shore Office in New Bedford, MA attention John Boardman at the address provided below. Photos may also be sent via email to john.boardman@state.ma.us. We look forward to receiving your Derby entries this year!

Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries

1213 Purchase St.

New Bedford, MA 02740

attn: John Boardman.

NEW Changes to the Saltwater Fishing Derby

Species

Weigh In (lb.)

Catch and Release (in.)

Adult

Junior

Albacore

30

30

30

Atlantic Blue Marlin

N/A

N/A

105

Atlantic Bluefin Tuna

500

50

30

Atlantic Bonito

5

4

24

Atlantic Cod

30

5

30

Atlantic Halibut

50

50

50

Atlantic Mackerel

2

1

16

Atlantic Sailfish

N/A

N/A

65

Atlantic White Marlin

N/A

N/A

68

Bigeye Tuna

100

100

30

Black Sea Bass

4

2

20

Bluefish

12

6

32

Blue Shark

300

300

60

Common Thresher Shark

200

200

65

Cusk

20

5

25

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

15

5

30

False Albacore

10

7

25

Fluke (Summer Flounder)

7

3

22

Haddock

8

4

20

King Mackerel

6

4

30

Pollock

12

6

30

Porbeagle Shark

150

150

60

Scup

2

1

15

Shortfin Mako Shark

150

150

60

Spanish Mackerel

4

3

24

Striped Bass

35

15

40

Swordfish

150

150

55

Tautog

8

4

20

Wahoo

30

20

40

Weakfish

8

4

22

Winter Flounder

3

2

17

Yellowfin Tuna

50

45

30

2016 Massachusetts Saltwater Fishing Derby Winners

Species

Division

Heaviest Fish

Angler

Black Sea Bass

Men

5 lb. 12 oz.

Frank Mazzulli

Women

4 lb. 12 oz.

Crystle Calvin

Junior

6 lb. 5 oz.

Jack Gulachenski

Bluefish

Men

18 lb. 10 oz.

Tavin Beagle

Women

15 lb. 12 oz.

Brenna McCoubrey

Junior

12 lb. 4 oz.

John Clark

Bonito

Men

9 lb. 12 oz.

Brian Nunes-Vais

Women

10 lb. 2 oz.

Tammy King

Dolphin

Men

24 lb. 5 oz.

Alex Avila

Women

17 lb.

Joanne Cameron

False Albacore

Women

10 lb. 6 oz.

Frances Clay

Junior

11 lb. 13 oz.

Dylan Kadison

Fluke

Men

15 lb. 6 oz.

Emilson Leite

Women

13 lb. 13 oz.

Keely Ahlstrom

Junior

11 lb. 15 oz.

William Seaberg

Halibut

Men

89 lb.

Jeff Lema

Women

102 lb.

Kay Starzynski

King Mackerel

Men

6 lb. 14 oz.

Bill Potter

Scup

Men

2 lb. 8 oz.

Matthew Kelly

Women

2 lb. 13 oz.

Beverly Bergeron

Junior

2 lb. 9 oz.

Joseph Pearle

Striped Bass

Men

53 lb. 14 oz.

Michael Jones

Women

51 lb. 10 oz.

Amy Burrell

Junior

49 lb. 6 oz.

Michael Bridges

Tautog

Men

9 lb. 14 oz.

John Pettersen

Women

10 lb. 13 oz.

Ashley Brown

Thresher Shark

Men

405 lb. 5 oz.

Sam Jaxtimer

Wahoo*

Men

182 lb. 12 oz.

Derek Wittkamper

Winter Flounder

Men

4 lb. 13 oz.

Rob Thompson

Yellowfin Tuna

Men

91 lb. 13 oz.

Steve Dowler

Junior

92 lb.

Jack Willis

* New state record

2016 Massachusetts Saltwater Fishing Catch and Release Derby Winners

Species

Length

Angler

Striped Bass

47″

Frank Mazzulli

Winter Flounder

20″

Mark Forrester

False Albacore

28″

Ray Jarvis