With the 62nd annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby now at full speed, two events are running along on the side.
One is for youngsters. The other is a kayak fishing contest. Both start on Sunday.
While plenty of big fish were caught by grown adults in this first week of the derby, attention shifts Sunday morning to the youngest of anglers. Soon after sunrise, as many as 200 young children will gather for the Mini Kids’ Day Derby at the Steamship Authority wharf in Oak Bluffs.
Eight-year-old Donald O’Shaughnessy of Edgartown won the 26th annual Kids’ Mini Derby on Sunday. Mr. O’Shaughnessy caught a 14 3/8 inch scup, the largest fish of the contest. It was the first time an angler had won the morning contest with a scup. The youngster caught his fish at about 7 a.m., at a time when most Island youngsters were at home asleep.
The boy was aglow at the 8:30 a.m. awards ceremony at the Oak Bluffs Steamship Authority wharf. He also received a plaque of a good looking mounted scup, made by Janet Messineo of Island Taxidermy.
This morning, you could have seen the smallest wavelet left by a fish at the Oak Bluffs Steamship Authority wharf. The water was a flat calm, and mirrored the overhead deep blue sky. The sun cast long shadows across the wharf and more than 200 youngsters stood along the rails trying to catch fish.
You can call it the only kids’ saltwater multispecies fishing tournament on the Vineyard. Very early Sunday morning, anglers from around the Island, all under 15, went fishing at the Oak Bluffs Steamship Authority wharf. They caught lots of fish: bluefish, scup, black sea bass, skate and summer flounder (fluke). They kept nothing; the tournament is catch and release.
But there were plenty of prizes to go around. Close to 200 anglers (not all of them were children) participated. And most caught fish.
Well over 1,200 fishermen are registered in the first week of the 66th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby. In the first five days of the contest, as much as 2,500 pounds of fish has been weighed in and, as in the past, the contest landings are leaning heavily towards the bluefish.