Rods Up, Reels Down; Derby Daze Heads to the Finish Line

You can stock up on lines, lures and bait, but ultimately getting a top fish at the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby takes some luck and a lot of persistence. Anglers are working overtime.

Wounded in Battle, Healed by the Sea

Ten veterans and their families are participating in the sixth annual American Heroes Saltwater Challenge, hosted by Bob and Sarah Nixon. The veterans spend their mornings at sea, afternoons golfing and surfcasting. The challenge is full of gestures both large and small from the Vineyard community.

Small Fries Are Catching Big Fish

The kids are all right, at least as far as the derby is concerned. Seven-year-old Mason Warburton has held the top spot since the second day for his boat-caught false albacore.

Albie Dance

Rising sun, rising tide
Rising fish, rising spirit

The birds in the sky
Start to chirp, can you hear it?
Cut and dip, dash and dive,
How can the baitfish
Ever survive?
Shade your eyes, scout the horizon
The fish are breaking, our spirits rising
Hogy hooked up,
At last the chance,
To do the lightning Albie dance,
Bow to stern, left to right
One thing I’ve learned,
Best keep it tight,

Juniors Share Derby Grand Leader Board

At its halfway point, the 69th Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby is going strong, with 2,793 contestants and 1,481 entries as of Thursday, including 468 in the week ending Saturday.

Keepers Are Infrequent, But Camaraderie Is Always Catching

The waiting is the hardest part.

Twice a day anglers bring their fish to derby headquarters to get weighed in. But there are always plenty more fishermen out there who haven’t caught a fish, or caught one big enough to bring in. Especially this year.

For Fishing Principal, Always Swimming With the School

He is an educator, fisherman, shellfisherman, sports fan, son, husband and father. The trappings of John Custer’s third-floor office in the Tisbury School, where he has been principal for four years, say as much.

Little Anglers, Big Smiles at Derby Kids' Day

Children from all over the Island converged on the Oak Bluffs Steamship Authority dock at first light Sunday for the annual Kids’ Derby. Nine-year-old Myles Sprague took home the top prize for a 17.25-inch bluefish he caught, the largest fish of the day.

From Shore, Boat and Kayak, 69th Derby Begins With a Splash

The Edgartown harbor is relatively quiet these days, with the exception of a small shack where a steady stream of fishermen arrive with their best catches of the day. The Martha’s Vineyard Bluefish and Striped Bass Derby is off to a strong start, with ideal fishing weather.

Artist Ray Ellis Captured Derby's Essence in Paintings to Be Shared

For 25 years it was an anticipated event — the arrival of the limited-edition prints depicting classic Vineyard fishing scenes as rendered by artist Ray Ellis.

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