WILTON — The fifth annual Hollandstrong Fishing Derby will be held at Wilson Lake Saturday, Feb. 1. In the past, the derby took place at Round Pond in Livermore. Deb Roberts of Wilton organizes the event in memory of her son, mariner Michael Holland.

An enlarged photo of the late Michael Holland who was lost at sea aboard the SS El Faro on Oct. 1, 2015, is displayed in a hutch at the home of his mother, Deb Roberts, and stepfather, Robin Roberts, in Wilton. Sun Journal file photo

Holland, 25, of Wilton, was one of 33 crew members who died aboard the SS El Faro, a cargo ship that sank in the Bahamas on Oct. 1, 2015, during Hurricane Joaquin.

Holland was a 2008 Jay High School graduate and a 2012 graduate of Maine Maritime Academy.

“The original organizers decided they could not help out any longer,” Roberts said. “With my husband and I taking it over on our own, we decided to move it to Wilson Lake. The lake is bigger, access to get on and off the boat launch is easier and parking is more plentiful. It is also the lake that my husband and I live on.”

All proceeds from the derby and raffle sales go to the Hollandstrong Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to graduating seniors pursuing post-secondary education in engineering, machine tool or automatic mechanics. Seniors from Leavitt Area High School in Turner, Mt. Blue High School in Farmington and Spruce Mountain High School in Jay are eligible.

Between $15,000 and $20,000 has been raised during each of the previous derbies, she said.


“We are so thankful for Mike’s friends who offered to hold the derby in his memory that first winter after we lost him,” she said. “We never imagined that the Hollandstrong derby would be such a continued success year after year. I guess we shouldn’t have been surprised. He was a special guy who touched so many lives in his short 25 years on this earth. The Hollandstrong fishing derby is a perfect way to honor a guy who loved to fish while raising money for a scholarship fund in his name. He will be in our hearts forever and the derby ensures he will never be forgotten.

“I want to send out a heartfelt thank you to all the volunteers who spent tireless hours helping to make the first four derbies such a success and a thank you to those who have stepped in to fill their shoes for the upcoming fifth.”

Select pizzas and hot and cold sandwiches will be available for free delivery from Steve’s Family Market.

In advance of the derby, a sale of memorabilia, raffle tickets and baked goods will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, at Otis Federal Credit Union on Route 4 in Jay. There are over 70 raffle prizes available.

Memorabilia and raffle tickets can also be purchased at the derby. Ticket sales will end at noon sharp, Roberts said. Prizes will be awarded at the boat launch beginning at 1 p.m.

Roberts said $3,000 in prizes would be awarded. There are adult and youth categories. New this year is a random drawing for anyone of any age who registers a 14 to 18-inch togue.


“The number of individual entries is only limited by daily catch limits,” Roberts said.

Roberts said prize winners will be announced via Facebook Live “as long as technology cooperates”.

All participants will receive a trophy donated by K.J. Awards, she added.

Roberts noted that any salmon registered at the derby must be at least 16 inches long, per Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife laws.

Derby registration is $5. Registration tickets can be purchased in advance at Robin’s Bait Shop, 237 Macomber Hill Road in Jay; Frechette’s Skidoo and Off-road, 912 US Route 2 East in Wilton; Wilton Hardware, 343 Main St. in Wilton; Steve’s Family Market, 398 Depot St., Dryden village in Wilton.

Fifth annual Hollandstrong Fishing Derby 


When: Saturday, Feb. 1. Registration from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fish officially measured until 3 p.m. sharp.

Where: Wilson Pond, Wilton

Why: Benefit Hollandstrong Memorial Scholarship

Cash prizes totaling $3,000: 

Adult 1st place: Longest toque, brook trout or salmon, $1,200

2nd place: Longest of remaining species not awarded to 1st place, $600


3rd place: Longest of remaining species not awarded to 1st or 2nd place, $400

Youth 1st place: Longest toque, brook trout or salmon, $300

2nd place: Longest any other species (bass, pickerel, perch), $200

Youth shortest fish any species, $100

Any age random drawing (one winner) for anyone who registers a togue between 14’’ and 18” long, $200

For more information go to hollandstrong.org or on Facebook, www.facebook.com/hollandstrongfishingderby.

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