Last Call at Derby Headquarters
Fish tales long and tall, speculation about who will win the truck, reflections on a tough contest for fishing this year. And then a bell rang and the 68th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby came to an end Saturday night. The awards ceremony is today at 1 p.m. at Farm Neck Golf Club.
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Grand Slam Competition Heats Up

As the 68th Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby enters its final days, the bonitos and false albacores have arrived in full force.

All three of the top boat bonitos were caught in the past week, with Bob Clay’s 11.49-pound fish leading the division. Several large albies have also made their way to headquarters. Sam Bell currently stands in first place in the boat-caught albie division with a 13.24-pound catch.

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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.
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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.
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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