Island anglers take state honors

At the Eastern Fishing & Outdoor Exposition in Worcester on February 8, Department of Fish and Game officials presented plaques to several young Island saltwater fishing derby winners. Left to right (rear): Division of Marine Fisheries director Paul Diodati; Fish and Game commissioner Mary B. Griffin; DMF assistant director Mike Armstrong. Left to right (front): Elizabeth O’Brien won in the bluefish and bonito categories; Molly Menton largest fluke; Landon Cormie of Vineyard Haven, largest Spanish mackerel. — Photo courtesy Kris O' Brien

Officials from the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game (DFG) honored more than 80 top freshwater and saltwater anglers at the Eastern Fishing & Outdoor Exposition in Worcester on Saturday, February 8. The recipients included seven Martha’s Vineyard fishermen.

Three Vineyard junior fishermen traveled to Worcester to receive their plaques in the Massachusetts Saltwater Derby, an annual event open to all fishermen.

Elizabeth O’Brien of Oak Bluffs won in two junior categories, bluefish (12 pounds, 9 ounces) and bonito (9 pounds, 1 ounce). Her mom, Kristine O’Brien, came in first in the women’s division, also with a 9-pound, 1-ounce bonito.

Junior Molly Menton of Vineyard Haven received a plaque for her winning 9-pound, 6-ounce fluke.

Landon Cormie of Vineyard Haven caught a 4-pound, 14-ounce Spanish mackerel, a tasty southern visitor not seen in great abundance here, and won a prize.

Seasonal Island resident Brian Nunes-Vais of Vineyard Haven and New Jersey caught a 6-pound, 11-ounce Spanish mackerel to take the men’s division prize.

Robert Clay of Chappaquiddick was honored for his 11-pound, 8-ounce bonito. It was the same fish that won him a boat grand leader spot in the 2013 Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby.

Boat bluefish Derby grand leader, Daniel Hiemer of Diemelsee-Adorf, Germany, was visiting in-laws in Edgartown when he caught his winning 19-pound, 11-ounce bluefish.

For a list of winners and information on the state fishing derby go to