As Weather Cools, Derby Heats Up

After nearly a month of fair weather and intense fishing, the Vineyard’s fall classic, otherwise known as the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, enters the home stretch this week. And some big fish dominate the leader board. Daniel Hiemer still holds the top spot for boat bluefish with his monster 19.69-pounder that was caught the first week of the derby and is the largest blue caught off the Vineyard in 15 years.

Reeling in the Derby Years, He Only Let One Get Away

This year is the 68th anniversary of the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby. Stephen Amaral, 78, of Oak Bluffs, has fished in 67 of those derbies. Sometimes people don’t believe him when he says he’s fished in every derby but one, he said on a recent Wednesday afternoon, seated at his dining room table and surrounded by derby photographs and newspaper clippings.

High Winds, High Stakes Mark Final Days of Derby

The strong persistent northeast wind this past week has made fishing especially tough the last few days. Seas are high and waters rough from East Beach on Chappaquiddick to Dogfish Bar in Aquinnah. The forecast for the weekend isn’t much better. To catch fish, an angler has to be more strategic about where he or she goes.

Leaders Earn Their Stripes

The competition in the 68th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby has been intense over the last several days, with the top of the striped bass boat leader board  changing almost daily. Stephen J. Pietruska, who won the grand prize last year for catching a 44.4 pound striped bass, is on the top of this year’s boat striped bass division. Last Friday evening he weighed in a 38.71 pound striped bass he had caught earlier in the day. His fish pushed Alexandra Lynch’s 35.42 pound fish into second. She caught that first place fish two days earlier.

Saltwater Heroes Challenge Helps Veterans Find Peace on the Water

The sun had just climbed above Squibnocket ridge when Lieut. Nathan Rimpf and Senior Airman Emanuel Thompson spotted their first catch of the day.

“Birds,” Mr. Rimpf and Mr. Thompson said simultaneously with the quiet confidence of pros. With a slight nod of the head, the two surmised that a large school of fish weren’t too far away.

At Derby All Is Fair in Love and Fishing

The top striped bass keep getting bigger and with two weeks to go in the 68th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby so does the field. More than 2,600 fishermen are registered in the contest and more and more keep showing up.

“I’d be really pleased if we got over 3,000,” said derby chairman John Custer.

The contest ends on Saturday, Oct. 19.

Overall nearly 12,000 pounds of fish have been weighed in as of Thursday morning. Striped bass total 5,300.26 pounds and bluefish total 4,288.88 pounds.

No Fish Was Safe from the Jeep Wagoneer

At Coop’s Bait and Tackle, about a week before the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby began, owner Cooper Gilkes was telling stories. It seems that a fish story can be inspired by anything, even a car.

Wounded Soldiers Get Heroes' Welcome for Start of Saltwater Challenge

The soldiers and their families will compete in the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby this week.

Getting Pinned by Derby Is Long Lasting Love Affair

Years ago during the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, Ron Domurat went out shorefishing with his old friend Donald Mohr. The two hit upon a school of false albacore and each hooked a fish at the same time. The fish were twins, Mr. Domurat recalled earlier this week, “down to the hundredth of a pound.” He brought the albies to weigh-in at derby headquarters and as a good friend would, gave the weighmaster Mr. Mohr’s fish first.

Bluefish Big, Stripers Steady, Enthusiasm Huge at 68th Derby

It seems every day the fish get bigger at the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, now entering its third week. There have been numerous lead changes in all categories. Daniel Hiemer, 40, of Waldeck, Germany, is currently at the top of the bluefish caught from a boat with a 19.69 pounder, the largest anyone has seen in years. The fish is over four pounds larger than last year’s biggest bluefish.