Wounded Soldiers Get Heroes' Welcome for Start of Saltwater Challenge
Remy Tumin

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

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Getting Pinned by Derby Is Long Lasting Love Affair
Ivy Ashe

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.

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Bluefish Big, Stripers Steady, Enthusiasm Huge at 68th Derby
Mark Alan Lovewell

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.

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On the Hunt for Inedible, Oily Menhaden
Mark Alan Lovewell

The fishermen — and fish — were out in Edgardown’s inner harbor Sunday. But there were no striped bass or bonito on the hooks. Instead, they were casting for menhaden.

The small, oily, inedible fish are prized bait, especially for striped bass. This time of year, when derby fishermen are vying for the largest striped bass, a premium is placed on menhaden.

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Man's Best Friend at Filet Station
Ivy Ashe

At the derby weigh station, curious onlookers are often just as large a group as the fishermen themselves. Friends and family stop by as catches are brought in, and tourists wander down to the docks to watch the happenings. Sometimes, four-legged friends make appearances.

On Wednesday morning, filet volunteer and committee member David Hearn brought along his four-year-old black Labrador, a handsome (and hungry) pup with the perfect derby name: Scup.

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As First Week of Derby Closes Kids and Seniors Shine Brightly
Ivy Ashe
The Wednesday night weigh-in at headquarters for the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby appeared to follow a familiar pattern. The first fish of the night was a bluefish, followed by a striped bass, then a bonito. Then came a cooler full of blues, with a striper thrown in for good measure.
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Tight Lines, Large Crowds at Start of Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby
Mark Alan Lovewell
Seconds after the bell was rung at 8 a.m. Sunday announcing the start of the Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, two fish were carried through the door, lifted onto the scale and recorded on the leader board in the Edgartown harbor weigh-in shack.
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Ladies, Gentlemen and Kids, Unspool Your Reels, It’s Derby Time
Ivy Ashe

The shack at the end of Main street in Edgartown lies dormant most of the year. During summer months it is used by the Edgartown Junior Yacht Club. During the winter, it sits empty, a little outpost on the harbor. And for five weeks in the fall, the shack comes alive.

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Weighing Time at Derby Shack Lures the Faithful and Curious
Linda Wilson
The gray-shingled shack that sits in front of the Edgartown Yacht Club in the harbor goes unnoticed by most visitors to the Vineyard, but during the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby it comes to life for four short weeks when fishermen bring their fish in for the morning and evening weigh-ins. Twice each day they come to the derby headquarters and get their fish recorded in the official database.
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Legend and Lore Bait Hook at Derby Hot Spots
Mark Alan Lovewell
Fishermen participating in the 68th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby are already out plotting a strategy for success. Nearly all of them will visit one or all of four popular fishing spots: Menemsha Jetty, Joseph Sylvia State Beach, Memorial Wharf and Metcalf’s Hole.
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