Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby
The air was calm this morning under dark gray skies.
“The water is like a mill pond,” said Ron McKee of Buxton, Maine. “So there will be hundreds of boats out there today.”
Mr. McKee was standing with a half dozen anglers. They were all sipping coffee and talking fishing at the weigh station at the foot of Main street in Edgartown. This is the fourth Monday morning in the 63rd annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby. There is only one Monday left in the contest.
Harvard law professor Charles J. Ogletree is a celebrated black writer, teacher and speaker and director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice. But on Sunday, he accomplished something truly special: he was in the leader’s spot in the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby on Sunday, weighing in a 26.68-pound striped bass he had caught earlier in the day, fishing with Buddy Vanderhoop and a couple of friends.
The fish arrived slowly at the weigh station on the opening day of the 63rd annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby. And when they did begin to show up, they were carried by top derby anglers.
William Pate, 34, of West Tisbury walked into the weigh station at 8:02 a.m. carrying a 7.54-pound bluefish that he had caught at 2 a.m. in the morning. Asked where he caught the fish, his answer was quick. “State forest,” he said.
Larger striped bass moved closer to shore in the past weekend, as the 63rd annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby entered its second week. The month-long fishing contest continues through Saturday, Oct. 18.
Following last weekend’s foul weather, Island anglers have jumped back into fishing with a new urgency. This is the start of the third week of the 63rd annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby and with two weeks to go, a lot can happen — and is happening.
A shifting on the leader board took place on Tuesday, before the past weekend’s storm clouds and the big waves had settled.
Foul weather predicted for this weekend may hinder but it won’t slow down the enthusiasts participating in the 63rd annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby. Fishing is at a fever pitch.
Sloppy seas and a prevailing east-northeast breeze made the fishing tough this week. Nevertheless, at the Wednesday night derby weigh-in, the derby got a new leader in the striped bass boat category.
The fishermen will begin lining up with their fish well before the 8 a.m. Sunday opening of the weigh station at the foot of Main street in Edgartown. Many of the anglers will be sleep deprived, having not slept but a few hours overnight.
There is a new boat leader in the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby: Lev C. Wlodyka came in with a 46.82-pound striped bass he had caught earlier in the day.
There was drama at the weigh station, according to the officials. It wasn’t just Mr. Wlodyka’s fish that drew the crowds — it was the drama of two other fishermen showing up with theirs at the same time.
By MARK ALAN LOVEWELL
The largest false albacore caught from the shore was landed last Saturday. Keith A. McArt of Somerville, a well-respected derby fisherman, caught a 16.55-pound false albacore while fishing off Lobsterville Beach. Quite a few fishermen saw him land the fish.
The 64th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby is now entering its third week with still two weeks to go.
He won again. William A. Pate of West Tisbury, who spends his summers working at Cutler Bike Shop in Edgartown and his winters working as a carpenter, won the grand prize in the 64th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck. Three years ago, Mr. Pate won the boat in the derby.
The story gets better. Mr. Pate caught his winning fish this year, a 12.66-pound false albacore, from the boat he won in the 2006 derby.