Alex Bettencourt stood at Lobsterville Beach on a cool morning this week, tugging and reeling, until he finally landed a green and white false albacore, which flopped around in the surf. Without hesitating, he removed the hook, picked the fish up by the tail and dropped it back into the water.

“That’s a small guy,” he said with a smile.

Homework can wait. Brooks Carroll, 12, gets his rod from father Marshall. — Mark Lovewell

All along the narrow beach, known as the Bowl due to its long arc and steep, sandy banks, about a dozen anglers stood in waders, casting into the surf. Many wore their derby hats and pins, hoping for the next winning catch.

Art Crego, an internist who lives in Falmouth, landed another albie, this one big enough to keep. With an expert’s touch, he removed the hook in a single motion, and pulled out his measuring tape. “Twenty-eight inches,” he said, and hauled the fish up the beach, where he covered it in dried seaweed to protect it from the seagulls.

On any given day during the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, Lobsterville and neighboring Menemsha are hotspots for surfcasters and fly fishermen of all ages.

“In the afternoons, for the incoming tide, this place is a nuthouse,” said Mark Leonard of Oak Bluffs, who arrived Tuesday before sunrise. He recalled the scene earlier in the week, when about 40 anglers lined the jetties and the albies were jumping for a solid two hours. “People were just throwing left and right,” he said.

High winds and big waves in the wake of Hurricane Joaquin left most fishermen stranded on shore this week, but the albies at Menemsha and Lobsterville have been biting, lured partly by the bait fish leaving Menemsha Pond between the two jetties and running along the beach.

“I’ve caught about 50 here so far,” said Brian Gracie of North Salem, N.Y., who has returned to the Bowl almost every day this fall. This is his 25th derby. To honor the occasion, he chose 925 for his derby pin number, which he wore on the back of his hat. The nine is for September.

As of Wednesday, his friend Donald Sicard still held the lead for a 13.1-pound albie, which he caught at the Bowl last month. Mr. Sicard might have missed the opportunity if it weren’t for Mr. Gracie, who convinced him that casting was more important than a Patriots football game.

Close quarters are part of the fun. — Mark Lovewell

“He said, ‘You’re right. I should be casting,’” Mr. Gracie said. “So he walked past me, set up, and five minutes later caught the derby lead.”

On Tuesday morning, charter boats were still docked in Menemsha Harbor. Only one small center console made its way across the waves near shore. Charter captain Buddy Vanderhoop, out with his dog Wiley at Lobsterville, said runoff from the clay cliffs at Gay Head and the Elizabeth Islands had made the sea too cloudy for fishing. Steady northeast winds over the last two weeks haven’t helped, he added.

“There is so much weed and the bottom’s all stirred up. . . . But the albacore have been going nuts in here.” He hoped the winds would subside later in the week so he could get back out on the water.

At around 7 a.m. on Tuesday, brothers Jim and Scott Fraser were just leaving the Bowl, trudging through the sand with rods on their shoulders, after fishing through the night.

“We were fishing around Gay Head around one o’clock,” said Jim. “And then around five o’clock or so we showed up here and we waited for sunrise, got about an hour’s sleep in the car.” The brothers caught some albies in the morning, but had no luck with striped bass during the night. They planned to try their luck at Chappaquiddick later in the day.

Menemsha Texaco is bustling during derby time. — Mark Lovewell

While albies are literally flying out of the water at Lobsterville and Menemsha, striped bass and bonito seem less abundant this year. Local fishermen have different ideas as to the cause.

“It isn’t like it used to be,” said Mr. Gracie, who remembered the days when he would catch 30 bonito in a single derby. Fewer than that have been caught from shore and weighed in this year. He believed the problem wasn’t just a matter of the albies running them out, as many people assume, but was possibly a result of declining bait fish populations.

“In the past there used to be a school of sand eels that would run from the jetty to the Gay Head Light,” Mr. Gracie said. “It was a whole different world of bait.”

Tuesday’s lineup at Lobsterville included derby veterans and a number of new faces. Michael Mulcahy of Boston, whose shore-caught bluefish last year won him the grand-prize Eastern Boat, quietly observed the scene at Lobsterville. After fishing on the north shore that morning, he was saving his energy in case the fish started jumping. But overall, he planned to fish just as hard as he did last year, when he pressed on despite leg injuries. “Same effort, same deal,” he said. “That’s what it takes.”

His victory last year came after 23 years of competing in the derby. He planned to take the boat out on the water this week, looking for his winning catch.

Peter Boyhan, whose 11.4-pound shore-caught albie now holds first place in the senior division, came up from New Jersey with his brother Robert (a grand prize winner in 2012) of California. This is his 30th derby, and his blue hat had the pins to prove it. “I’ve got more at home,” he said. This was his first year fishing the Bowl, although he is a regular on the jetties.

Other fishermen this week hailed from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maine and Montana.

Fly fisherman Zac Horrocks of Lake Placid, N.Y. comes to the Island every fall with his father, Terry. “We’ve come every year for the last 25 years or so,” he said, casting off the jetty and pulling line into a plastic stripping basket. Mr. Horrocks does most of his fishing out of a small boat, he said. “But while it’s been windy, I’ve just been fooling around with this.” Already he held leader-board positions for bonito, bluefish and albie in the fly rod division.

Brice Contessa, another fly fisherman, won first place in the shore grand slam (all four species) last year.

“Fishing has been pretty good this year in general,” he said, while casting off from the jetty as waves crashed below. “Some really nice fish were weighed in this year. Really big blues and nice stripers.”

“Been catching some small ones and putting them back,” Mr. Contessa said. “Waiting for the big one.”