Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby


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.

Michael Stimola catche sa fish at the derby

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.

Gone Fishing

As if on cue for the sixty-seventh Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, the fish are running again.

There was a bluefish feeding frenzy at the Cape Pogue gut late one afternoon last week, one of those churning blitzes where you could throw out an old shoe and catch a fish. And out on Nantucket Sound, boats have been lined up like summer traffic at Five Corners as fishermen chase the silvery schools of bonito now flashing through the cooling saltwater. There are reports of stripers being caught on the north shore.

Fishing on Menemsha jetty

Lure of the Derby Calls Them All

They came together at the end of the day Wednesday to catch fish. Backed by the glitter of fast-moving water, more than 20 anglers, most of them participants in the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, stood at the far end of the Menemsha jetty casting their lures in close quarters. The sun was brilliant above the horizon. The Menemsha buoy, a ringing bell, filled the air with sound.
Ian Thurber, 31, a landscaper from West Tisbury, arrived at 5 p.m. after a full day of work. “This is one of many of my favorite places,” he said. “When there are no fish, it is relaxing.

Doug Asselin and Steve Morris fishermen of the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby

Fishing Fever Is Contagious At Derby Time

‘Tis derby season. In just two days the Vineyard community will undergo a large transformation as the 67th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, the Island’s annual Olympics for fisherman, begins.

First Place winner Richard Penny

Veteran Derby Leaders Land Big Prizes

A self-described “eel slinger” who had won the derby twice before and an avid angler from Carver were the grand winners in this year’s 66th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby which came to a close last weekend.

More than 100 fishermen received awards at a joyfully raucous ceremony Sunday night at Nectar’s. But it was Stephen C. Morris and Richard A. Penney who took home the two top prizes.

Steve Morris wins boat

Derby Winners: Steve Morris, Richard Penney

Steve Morris of Oak Bluffs became a three-time derby winner on Sunday when he went home with a brand new 22-foot Eastern with an outboard an trailer for catching the largest bluefish from the shore, a 14.86-pounder.

Richard Penney, who caught a 46.15-pound striped bass from a boat, got the keys to a 2011 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck.

The two grand prize winners were among more than 100 fishermen who won prizes in the 66th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish derby this year.

Ralph Peckham fisherman

Fish Miss the Boat: Derby Statistics Reveal Small Showing at the Poles

Call it a race to the top for the old pros. With the end of the 66th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby one day away, the leaderboard is loaded with big fish caught by well-known fishermen.

A total of nearly 2,700 fishermen registered for the derby this year. Representing all age groups, they’ve lined the shores and been out in boats seeking striped bass, bluefish, false albacore and the elusive Atlantic bonito.

Don Sicard striped bass fisherman

Offshore Hurricane Stirs Sound, Disappointing Derby Fishermen

Even though a category two hurricane called Ophelia missed us and passed several hundred miles to the east of Martha’s Vineyard last weekend, local rod and reel fisherman have few kind words to say about it. Though far away, turbulent waves from the storm muddied the waters and have nearly shut down the best fishing in this fall’s 66th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby. Fish are scarce but there is hope it will change this weekend.