Final Derby Weigh-in Done, Leaders Vie for Grand Prizes

The 67th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby ended tonight at 10 p.m. with the ringing of bells. Bailen Darack, 4, and her older brother Mateo, 8, of Vineyard Haven stood up on the derby headquarters weigh table and rang the bell, bringing the five-week-old contest to an end. They were escorted by Charlie Smith, weigh master.

More than 3,000 fishermen participated in the contest. Tomorrow the grand winners in eight categories will be entered into a drawing at the final awards ceremony for a brand new Eastern powerboat and a Chevrolet truck.

After the Weigh-In, Derby Fillet Program Helps Feed the Hungry

There is always tough competition at the The Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby which these days attracts close to 3,000 fishermen. But amidst the awards and bragging rights there is also a tradition of generosity.

Nearly Ten Tons of Fish Later, Fishing Derby Comes to a Close

Although relatively few weigh-ins took place Wednesday night at derby headquarters, the docks were crowded with curious out-of-towners, fresh from eating dinner at the Atlantic and on their way back to their hotels. Outside, bundled-up derby newcomers watched the fillet volunteers prepare fish. A woman snapped photos of a large bluefish on weighmaster Charlie Smith’s table. Another approached the derby ladies behind the counter and asked the difference between an albacore and a false albacore. Derby chairman Chuck Hodgkinson was called to the task.

Plenty of Fish in Sea as Derby Nears End

This holiday weekend is the last full weekend for those competing in the 67th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby. Anglers will see the sunsets and note the sunrises, and quite a few will fish through the full three-day weekend, hoping to catch the largest striped bass, bluefish, bonito and false albacore.

Nearly 2,800 fishermen are registered in the contest. Of those, 300 are junior anglers.

Vineyarders Embrace, Fish Bite, In Honor of Wounded Warriors

Sunday afternoon was the first time Colton Wiley of Keofauqua, Iowa had ever seen the ocean. Three months ago he was shot in the legs in Afghanistan, leaving the 19 year old wheelchair bound. Now, on a beautiful September evening on Menemsha Beach, he was watching his first sunset over the Atlantic Ocean. “It’s beautiful and completely eye opening,” he said later that night during dinner at the Beach Plum Inn. Mr. Wiley was one of 10 wounded and recovering soldiers who visited the Island this week for the fourth annual American Heroes Saltwater Challenge.

In Week Three, Derby Leaders Unchanged

Despite a flurry of action around headquarters as the Saltwater Challenge Wounded Warriors weighed in their daily catches, one important feature of the small building at the foot of Main street in Edgartown remains stagnant.

Who Will Win the Boat, Truck? Derby Sponsors Relish the Role

As the derby enters its third week, many fishermen no doubt have begun to dream about the two grand prizes — a new 22-foot Eastern center console boat with outboard and trailer, and a new 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 truck.

Eastern Boats has provided the winning boat for four years. The Clay Family Dealership has provided the truck for 13 years. One of the four top shore fishermen with the largest fish will walk away with the boat. One of the top four boat fishermen will walk away with the truck.

Diapers to Derby Winner is True Keeper

In 2005 my sister Molly, then 12 years old, caught an enormous striped bass. It was so big when she finally hauled it onto the boat she backed away from it in fear and almost fell head over heels off the side of the boat into the churning ocean. I remember her telling me she thought she had caught an alligator. It is a story that has been told over and over again since then: a 12-year-old girl catching a giant bass and winning the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby.

Little Anglers Reel in Big Wins During Second Week of Derby

On Thursday the largest striped bass caught so far in this year’s 67th Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby was weighed in. Peter (Pete) J. Spengler, 75, of Cuttyhunk and Westport, Conn., caught his fish at 9:05 a.m. aboard Capt. Duane Lynch’s boat.

Dandy Derby Start as Bluefish Lead the Way, Stripers Follow

Over 2,600 pounds of fish have crossed the scales in the first five days of the 67th Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, and they’re coming from all sectors of Vineyard waters.

“It’s been stellar, absolutely stellar,” Amy Coffey, who has volunteered at the weigh-in station for over 20 years, said on Thursday afternoon. “We had all four species weighed in from both boat and shore [in the all-tackle divisions], which is unusual for the first week.” Ms. Coffey estimated that it has been five years since the phenomenon last occurred.

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