The best fishing of October may have happened after the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby ended on Oct. 18. Steve Purcell, of Larry’s Tackle Shop, said that the 70 anglers participating in his month-long fishing contest called Octoberfish did well, though some found the fishing better after the derby was over. The awards ceremony for the contest was held at the tackle shop on the morning of Saturday, Nov. 1.
Octoberfish was originally created by the tackle shop’s longtime owner Ruth Meyer, after so many anglers approached her saying they wanted to to continue competing after the fall derby was over. The store is now owned by Mr. Purcell and he runs Octoberfish in his own way. This year, following the suggestions of his entrants, Mr. Purcell split the tournament in two, with a shore and a boat category.
Mr. Purcell said he had hoped to get more entrants than last year, based on early public support, but it didn’t make any difference. He had 70 entrants, the same as last year. Shore anglers did well too; the contest’s largest striped bass was caught by a shore angler.
The last two weeks of his fishing contest worked out nicely for his participants. Prizes were up too. He said he received a number of prize contributions from the tackle industry and local stores. A total of $2,000 in prize money was distributed among the winners. The money was raised by registration fees. The top fishermen got as much as $200 and the winners are as follows:
Shore: Largest striped bass: 1, Julian Pepper, 29.44; 2, Ron McKee, 26.10; 3, Neal Farrell, 24.07. Bluefish: 1, Clinton Fisher, 13.80; 2, Neal Farrell, 12.74; 3, Bob Jacobs, 11.75. False albacore: 1, Eric Wolfe, 8.43; 2, Art Crago, 7.00. Atlantic bonito: 1, Keith McArt, 7.05.
Boat: Largest striped bass: 1, Jeff Komarinetz, 23.20. Bluefish: 1, Alphonsus Simmons, 16.12; 2, Sandy Fisher, 12.07; 3, Gary Look, 11.66. False Albacore: 1, Sandy Fisher, 7.25. Atlantic Bonito: 1, Steve Baccelli, 7.88; 2, Julian Pepper, 6.80; 3, Don MacGillivray, 6.70.