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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s been a big opening week for the youngest generation of Island fishermen, with juniors and mini juniors holding their own against the grown-ups in the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby.
Three bluefish, a nice bass, an albie and a bonito all crossed the scale Sunday morning, and the 69th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby was under way. At 8 a.m., the small fishing shack on Edgartown harbor opened its doors.
Derby fever can strike just about anyone during the five weeks of fishing that kick off this weekend. The 69th annual derby begins at 12:01 a.m. Sunday and the first weigh-in bell rings at 8 a.m. The tournament runs through Oct. 18.
Fisherman and chef Abe Pieciak turned to art last year by creating a series of watercolors he calls Lure Fish. This year he is donating a print for every single day of the Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby.