Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby

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.

News Update: Monday, October 3 - Weekend Derby Results: Leaderboard Changes in Three Categories

Churning seas over the weekend produced three new derby-leading fish including a 46.15-pound striped bass.

The striper was reeled in from a boat by Richard A. Penney, of Carver, who weighed in Sunday at the Edgartown headquarters of the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby. Though the fishing competition continues for two more weeks, Penney’s fish would have won the category in either of the past two years.


Go Fish, Then See Fish Go to Elderly: Derby Donations Benefit Seniors

During the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, everyone lining up in the mornings at the Island’s councils on aging has got to love a fisherman. Every weekday during the derby, the Island’s seniors receive free fresh striped bass and bluefish and only occasionally get fresh Atlantic bonito. The program is a derby win-win.

A battalion of volunteers extending across the Island administers the program.

Chelsea Bouchard bluefish

No License, No Derby: Officials Toe Line on Saltwater Permits

Two fishermen participating in the 66th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby had their leading fish pulled from the contest on Monday, for not registering for a state saltwater fishing license. While the derby officials are not disqualifying the fishermen or sharing their names, the organization hopes that anglers participating in the contest get the message. To fish in the derby, anglers must comply with state and federal fishing requirements.

Saltwater Heroes

Saltwater Heroes

The idea came from an eight-year-old Chilmark boy. Three years ago young Jack Nixon was reading journalist David Kinney’s book The Big One, the hot new fishing read of the summer that year about the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby. As Jack was reading, he gazed at a newspaper nearby and had a sudden thought: He wished that some of the men who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan could fish the derby.

Permit Problem Sees Fish Disqualified from Derby

In its first enforcement of a new state fishing regulation, the Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby Committee voted Monday to disqualify two division-leading fish from the tournament because the anglers that caught them did not have a state permit prior to weighing in their catch.

Fishing at Sunset

Fishing Derby Welcomes Veterans, Kids

Well over 1,200 fishermen are registered in the first week of the 66th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby. In the first five days of the contest, as much as 2,500 pounds of fish has been weighed in and, as in the past, the contest landings are leaning heavily towards the bluefish.