The Fishermen
Mark Alan Lovewell

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.

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Derby to Welcome Disabled Veterans For Fishing Blitz
Mark Alan Lovewell

More fishermen are coming: the Vineyard community, sportsmen and local businesses are pooling their resources to greet the Monday arrival of five men and two women who were recently seriously injured during military service. The veterans are coming to fish the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, now entering its second week.

What better opportunity to bring out the best of the Vineyard than to share a local passion with those who have served their country?

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Twitter of Excitement for Derby Start
Mark Alan Lovewell

More than $300,000 in prizes are stashed and ready for the 64th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, which begins at 12:01 Sunday morning and runs until 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17.

And this year if you catch a big one, watch for the tweets. Derby chairman Greg Skomal confirmed yesterday that updates will be sent out on Twitter this year. Yesterday’s tweet? “Windy, windy windy . . . but reports of albies in THICK. Boats hooking dozens/day. Final weigh station setup Sat. Derby starts @ 12:01 AM Sun!!”

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Spielberg Hooks Rights to Derby Book
Mark Alan Lovewell

The Vineyard may yet be the scene of another big fish film under the eye of Steven Spielberg: the Jaws director’s studio, DreamWorks, has just bought the film rights for a soon to be released book about the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby.

The book, The Big One: An Island, an Obsession and the Furious Pursuit of a Great Fish, by David Kinney, published by Atlantic Monthly, will be released on April 8.

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Fishing Hard Makes for Winners, Easy Derby Fellowship Abounds
Mark Alan Lovewell

They came for prizes and they came to support each other. The 65th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby awards ceremony at Nectar’s on Sunday was a festival of storytelling, stories told by those who won and those who didn’t. And two anglers who were friends and relatives to many there walked away as the proudest owners, one of a truck, the other of a powerboat.

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Anglers Young and Old Weigh in as Longtime Derby Lady Leads
Mark Alan Lovewell

After days of bad weather, most of it wind, the fall derby busted open last weekend with great fishing from off Wasque to Devil’s Bridge in Aquinnah. This is the closing week of the 65th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby. With more than 2,700 fishermen registered in the contest, a lot of fishermen were out on the water to make up for lost time. The contest ends at 10 p.m. tomorrow night.

Columbus Day weekend was the last chance most anglers would have to devote high energy to the sport.

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Derby Board Wide Open Heading to Finish
Mark Alan Lovewell

The harsh autumn weather has had a big impact on participants in the 65th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, leading president Ed Jerome to cast a most tempting lure for fishermen in the final week of the contest. “All of the fish on the board are beatable,” he said.

Sandy E. Fisher’s 15.88-pound bluefish may be a hard fish to beat, but Michael A. Paone’s 37.6-pound striped bass could be moved down a prize.

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Wind Makes it Tough to Catch a Winner
Mark Alan Lovewell

With two weeks left in the 65th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, fishermen are fretting about the weather, which has been unkind to anglers. Wind — lots of it and from every direction — has been the story of September.

There are 2,400 fishermen registered in the derby. Ask any one of them how they are doing and they will likely talk about the wind — the bad wind from the east, the tough wind last week from the north, and tomorrow the forecast for high, gusty winds from the south.

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Sport Casting

Sport Casting

The Martha’s Vineyard Surfcasters

are accepting nominations for their Sportsmanship Award. This annual award honors those who display the true meaning of good sportsmanship during the course of the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby.

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About 7,500 Pounds of Fish Tip Scales in Derby Already
Mark Alan Lovewell

More than three tons of fish have been weighed in so far in the month-long 65th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby. At least 460 bluefish have been weighed in, three times more than the number of striped bass.

False albacore is again the scarce fish in the derby; only 35 have been weighed in so far. A total number of 96 bonito have touched the scales. That translates to 4,172.37 pounds of bluefish; 2,398.12 pounds of striped bass; 586.27 pounds of bonito; and 332.41 pounds of false albacore, as of yesterday.

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