Superb weather and good fishing helped participants enjoy the 21st annual Martha’s Vineyard Rod and Gun Club Flyrod Striped Bass Catch and Release Tournament held last Saturday night. There were 129 fishermen in the event and a total of 123 fish were caught and released. The largest fish measured 43 inches in length and was caught and released by Rene Sehr. This tournament is the only one on the Vineyard where fishermen don’t take their fish home.
Lines went into the water at 7 p.m. Saturday evening. Anglers fished until Sunday at 2 a.m. There were many winners and few losers. The night was clear and the wind was light.
Many of the participants are repeat customers, some of them from across the country. “Having a good time is what it is all about,” said Cooper A. Gilkes, 3rd, co-organizer of the event.
Fishermen caught and released more striped bass than last year, when only 58 fish were touched.
On Sunday morning, contestants were treated to a breakfast and a special awards ceremony at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School cafeteria, headquarters for the event.
Ten teams caught the majority of the fish. Standings were based on the number of fish divided by the number of fishermen with the following results: Roberto Germani Prize (for the most stripers caught and released by a team): 1. Magnificent Seven (Ned Casey, Nelson Sigelman, Jason Zimmer, John Zimmer, Peter Duggan, Brian O’Neil, Chris Newhall), 38 fish; 2. Old School/New School (Janet Messineo, Wilson Kerr), 8 fish; 3. Team Italia (Mike Gagliardi, Steve Baccelli), 6 fish; 3. Slickos (John Piekos, Peter Sliwkowski, Greg Bobbit) 9 fish; 4. Dutch Deal (Ton Kalkman, Rene Sehr), 5 fish.
Arnold Spofford Prize (for the most fish using one fly): 1. Team Norton-Berkov (Ralph Norton, Ken Berkov), 4 fish; 2. Team Last Cast (Ed Tatro, Scott MacCaferri, Jeff Stevens) 2 fish; 3. Shore Liners (Tom Currier, Don Taft, Joe Panetta) 1 fish.
Sonny and Joey Beaulieu Prize (for the largest fish caught and released): Rene Sehr, 43-inch length, 16-inch girth.
A raffle was also held, with prizes donated by local businesses and by fish tackle companies.