If you ask Thomas Ronan, he'll tell you it was a great week of fishing around the Island during the second week of the Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby.

But that is to be expected from someone who lands a 39.48-pound striped bass that puts him atop the leader board and into the running for a new truck.

As far as other fishermen are concerned, though, the 30-pound bass being caught around the Island - while nice-sized fish - has them wondering where all the 40 and 50-pounders are hiding. After two weeks, Leo Lecuyer's 45.18-pound striper is the only one that has been brought into derby headquarters in Edgartown.

"A lot of us want to know where those guys are hiding," joked Thomas Langman, who won last year's derby with a 10.13-pound bonito he caught off Noman's Land. "Maybe the bigger bass will come out when the weather changes a bit. It gives them time to fatten up."

On Tuesday, Mr. Langman and Ben McCormick went out in Mr. Langman's 25-foot Boston Whaler and trolled for stripers in the shadow of the Cliffs off Aquinnah. In a morning haze and following the east tide, the pair caught and released only four small bluefish, none more than six or seven pounds. Sweeping Lucas Shoal between the Elizabeth Islands and Menemsha in the afternoon, where only the day before there were plenty of albacore and bonito, the only fish landed was another small blue.

"Just because the conditions are right and the weather is right and the lures are right doesn't mean the fish are going to be there," Mr. McCormick said. "You just don't know what you are going to find, no matter how prepared you are. That random element in fishing will drive you crazy."

It was especially frustrating later in the afternoon, when a school of albies was feeding off Menemsha beach. Despite several casts right into the crashing fish, neither Mr. Langman nor Mr. McCormick could land one. Other boaters also chasing the school up and down the beach had similar bad luck.

"They are really particular about what they go after," Mr. McCormick said. "If they are going after silver sides and there are enough of them in the area, chances are they're not going to go after your lure. They're hard to hook."

Mr. McCormick did eventually hook up, but with a small striped bass that he quickly released.

Thomas Smith had better luck reeling in an albie. On Tuesday, he slipped into first place in the shore false albacore category with an 11.36-pounder. He moves in front of Caleb Nicholson, whose 11.12-pound albie put him on top only three days earlier. No word if Mr. Smith caught the albie in the Menemsha blitz.

On Wednesday, Keith Ogren unseated Geoff Codding's comfortable perch from the top spot in boat false albacore with a 14.19-pound fish. That weighs in at almost two pounds more than last year's top boat albie, a 12.37-pounder landed by David Kadison.

Hollis Smith also became a grand leader on Monday night with the first 13-pound bluefish weighed in so far. His 13.43-pound blue caught from a boat pushes aside William Farnham, last year's winner in the same category.

In the junior division, the week saw no changes atop the leader board. But tomorrow is likely to see some activity, as the kids' derby for children ages 14 takes place from 6 to 9 a.m. at the Oak Bluffs Steamship Authority wharf.

For all the anglers, there are certainly bigger fish to be caught and plenty of time to do it in, which, if you take Mr. Langman's word for it, is half the battle.

"Time and patience," he said with a smile as his boat tossed and swayed in 30-mile-an-hour winds on Tuesday. "It's the two things you need most in this tournament."

Some hungry 40-pound stripers wouldn't be bad either.