The air was calm this morning under dark gray skies.
“The water is like a mill pond,” said Ron McKee of Buxton, Maine. “So there will be hundreds of boats out there today.”
Mr. McKee was standing with a half dozen anglers. They were all sipping coffee and talking fishing at the weigh station at the foot of Main street in Edgartown. This is the fourth Monday morning in the 63rd annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby. There is only one Monday left in the contest.
Boat fishermen are careful this year about choosing their hours of fishing. Winds of autumn continue to plague the derby. Yesterday was annoying with easterlies that produce a lot of seaweed on lines. Last night was fortunately light and northerly.
“I can’t complain about the derby. I’ve weighed in a lot of fish,” Mr. McKee said.
He sure has. This morning he wore his derby hat and across the front were four shiny pins he’d earned so far in the contest.
Mr. McKee picked up a hat trick for catching striped bass on the shore. A hat trick, as we explained in an earlier blog, is given to the fisherman able to catch a first, second, third and fourth daily prize for a specific fish in either boat or shore; it is given to all tackle fishermen and it is given to flyrod fishermen. Mr. McKee is also a boat fisherman. He fishes in a kayak.
Taylor (Ted) Collins was back at the weigh station this morning with a fish he caught from his kayak last night. It was his first striper caught and weighed in. The striper weighed 17.63 pounds.
Mr. Collins already had weighed in two bluefish from earlier exploits with his paddle. Yesterday was a busy day for him. He said he spent 15 hours catering with Jaime Hamlin. Later, he said: “After the Red Sox went into extra innings and lost last night, I went fishing.” He went out of Vineyard Haven harbor, caught ten live squid and went to his favorite fishing spot.
The striper was a great prize for the trip. He said he caught it at about 2:30 a.m. and was home by 3:15 a.m.