Island women score top honors in state Saltwater Fishing Derby

From left, Division of Marine Fisheries director David Pierce, Janna O'Shaughnessy with her son, Donald, and Mary-Lee King, deputy commissioner of the Department of Fish and Game. — Photo by Katie Gronendyke

State fisheries officials presented 26 trophies to winners of the 2015 Massachusetts Saltwater Fishing Derby at a ceremony at the New England Boat Show in Boston on Saturday. Two Island women were among the top anglers.

Amy Vickers of Chilmark took the top prize in the women’s division for an 8-pound, 7-ounce bonito.

Janna O’Shaughnessy of Edgartown took top honors with a 5-pound, 11-ounce Spanish mackerel.

“Saltwater fishing is a valued part of Massachusetts’ heritage, culture, and economy, and saltwater fishing permits help pay for the important management and conservation of our marine resources,” Governor Charlie Baker said. “The annual Saltwater Fishing Derby is a fun and exciting way to honor the commonwealth’s saltwater anglers, and encourage people to take advantage of the recreational opportunities available on the beautiful Massachusetts coast.”

The Division of Marine Fisheries’ 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 75 entries from anglers living in seven states in 2015.

The annual Massachusetts Saltwater Fishing Derby runs from Jan. 1 through Nov. 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.