Annalisa and Bobby Drew, happy with a big haul. — Ray Ewing

The false albacore, bonito and bluefish all had their turn in the spotlight this year as the 77th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby prepares to come to a close with Sunday’s awards ceremony at Farm Neck Golf Club.

At first, it was the albies, seemingly everywhere on the Island as the Derby got started. The first fish to cross the scale was an albie and they just kept biting.

“The false albacore fishing has maintained throughout the Derby which is not always the case,” said Derby president John Custer. “Sometimes they either show up late or leave early, but right from day one the albacore fishing has been really fantastic.”

A bluefish on the scale at the weigh-in station. — Ray Ewing

Next the bonito showed up in droves, adding to the action in what had already been a strong first few weeks of fishing. Mr. Custer said the bonito bite was so good that in one day at the weigh station more than 20 shore-caught bonito were brought in alone.

With all the pressure on the bluefish in the final weeks, one of the Derby’s two namesakes did not disappoint.

“We’re just in awe of the sizes of some of these bluefish that are coming in,” Mr. Custer said.

On the first day of competition, David Kadison weighed in an 18.06-pound, boat-caught bluefish that held the top spot on the leaderboard for weeks until Jason Broadley topped it with an 18.88-pound blue. Then, less than a week later, Elizabeth O’Brien brought in a monster 19.3-pound fish that currently holds the top spot on the leaderboard.

The junior anglers have also been in on the bluefish action this past week, reeling in chompers almost half their size. Some of the biggest belonged to Paige Smith at 17.71 pounds, Cuyler Fisher at 17.26 pounds and Macallan Moran with a 16.23-pound catch.

Wasque is a popular spot during Derby days. — Ray Ewing

“It’s just been kind of unprecedented to see so many big bluefish and it’s really encouraging to see that,” Mr. Custer said.

From the shore, the bluefish bite has also been hot, as Peter Hess caught the leading shore bluefish in the middle of a blustery Monday out on Chappaquiddick. Mr. Hess said he, his 92-year old father Walter and four friends practically had the beach to themselves when he set out with a brand-new rod that morning.

Peter, from Quincy, has been fishing the Derby for the past 18 years. His father Walter has participated on and off since 1955. Walter hooked up to a couple of 14-pound fish but it was Peter’s 17.16 pounder that was the highlight of their morning.

“It was pretty cool, it was in the middle of that northeaster too last week so that made it even more fun,” Mr. Hess said. “Plus, I caught it on my albie rod and that made it even more challenging. It was cool to say the least.”

Seeking a spot at The Gut. — Ray Ewing

Mr. Hess said he could tell when he hooked up it was a good size fish but was not expecting it to be a grand leader. After reeling it to shore he turned to his friend and asked “what do you think, is this big?” He almost threw it back but they decided to get the scale out and saw it was more than 17 pounds.

Having his father there with him made the experience all the more special.

“He was excited for me, it was just great to have him there with me when I caught it. He was just as excited as I was,” Peter Hess said.

With over 1,700 fish weighed in so far and more than 3,100 registered anglers Mr. Custer said this year’s Derby has been very successful and the committee is pleased they’ve been able to resume their traditions.

“People have been happy and supportive,” Mr. Custer said. “We’re looking forward to a good finish with everybody being safe and having a great awards ceremony on Sunday. We always look forward to that. It’s such a celebratory day.”

Mr. Custer said he would like to thank all the participants and volunteers for remembering safety and sportsmanship as the Derby comes to an end.

At day's end. — Ray Ewing

“It’s obviously about catching fish but we appreciate everyone doing their part to make it enjoyable for everybody, and safety and sportsmanship play a big role in that,” Mr. Custer said.

On Sunday the awards ceremony at Farm Neck begins with the junior awards at 11 a.m. followed by the locks and keys at 1 p.m. There will be an in-house raffle during the ceremony and the online auction runs until 8 p.m. with the proceeds from both going to the Derby scholarship fund.