The Division of Marine Fisheries has made some changes to their 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, giving junior anglers a better chance at catching a winning fish. The catch and release portion of the Derby has been expanded, with 32 species are now eligible for a catch and release award.
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. They 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.
Fish being entered in the weigh-in portion of the Derby should be brought to one of many certified weigh stations scattered along the coast. For a list of Derby weigh stations, visit mass.gov/dfwele/dmf. 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 at mass.gov/dfwele/dmf. Both divisions of the derby will run annually from January 1st to November 30th .