Despite a flurry of action around headquarters as the Saltwater Challenge Wounded Warriors weighed in their daily catches, one important feature of the small building at the foot of Main street in Edgartown remains stagnant.
Derby volunteer Amy Coffey reported no changes at all to the overall leader board this week. The largest overall fish remains Pete Spengler’s 37.34 pound boat-caught striped bass. Adam Cummings and Phil Hennig lead the bluefish categories. Mr. Cummings’ boat-caught blue weighed in at 16.06 pounds; Mr. Hennig’s shore catch was 12.78 pounds. Andrew Wheeler leads the bonito category with his 10.29 pound boat-caught fish.
One category has remained unchanged since the very first week of competition: as of Thursday, no fisherman yet had topped Morgan Taylor’s 13.22-pound shore-caught false albacore. Mr. Taylor weighed in his fish on Sept. 10.
With over 2500 anglers (adults and juniors) now registered in the Derby, there is no shortage of fish being weighed in. As of Thursday morning, over six tons of fish (about 12,144 pounds) had been brought to headquarters. Bluefish continue to be the dominant catch, with 645 landed thus far. 235 false albacore have been caught, along with 153 bonito.
“We’ve been low-ish on the bass,” Ms. Coffey said, speaking in relative terms. The 251-strong haul of stripers is still the second-largest catch so far.
Many of the stripers end up beneath fillet knives, on their way to the kitchens of Island elder housing communities.
“People are being very generous,” evening fillet volunteer Rebecca El-Deiry said on Wednesday night. “They’re bringing in bass and dropping them right off [with us].”
One lucky striper, the last one brought to weigh-in on Wednesday, was dropped off back at home in the water. The 13-pound fish, caught just 20 minutes before it was weighed in, was still alive when it made it to the table. Fillet volunteer Eli Bonnell revived the bass in the waters of Edgartown Harbor; a small crowd watched it swim back into the depths.
Striped bass will continue to be the focus of attention this Saturday, when they are the featured Super Saturday fish. The daily winner in both the shore and boat category for stripers receives $500.
Weigh-ins at Derby headquarters take place from 8 to 10 a.m. and 8 to 10 p.m. every day at the foot of Main street in Edgartown.
Please visit mvderby.com for more information.