Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby

Derby Catch Rises Over Last Year’s Tally

Total catch and catch by species during the 2007 annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby recorded large increases over last year’s derby.

The catch was the best since 2004 and among the best in the past eight years for all of the four species.

The total catch of 3,099 fish was 35 per cent higher than in 2006. Compared with 2006, striped bass were up eight per cent, false albacore were up almost 376 per cent, bonito were 204 per cent higher and bluefish nearly four per cent higher.

Fall Classic Ends

Fall Classic Ends

A junior angler won the 19-foot Boston Whaler. A fisherman whose name has been well known on the leader board through the years won the 2008 Chevy Silverado truck. A husband and wife team who are weighmasters retired. A controversy flared up and just as quickly died down, offering an eye-opening educational moment on a striped bass baiting technique known as yo-yoing. A record number of fish were weighed in.

Martha Charlie Smith

Derby Love Story, Smiths Leave Headquarters to Fish Together

When Martha Smith and her then-boyfriend Charlie began dating 15 years ago, they spent a lot of time at the annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby headquarters at the foot of Main street in Edgartown.

She ran the derby headquarters, two hours in the morning and two hours at night, and coordinated the volunteers. He would watch, stepping in occasionally to help. “I hung out at the derby headquarters to be with her,” Mr. Smith said. “I think I was there just about every night.”

Chris Morris Ed Jerome

Derby Ends With Records All Around

An eye-popping derby to be sure but no eyes popped wider than junior angler Chris Morris’s when his key sprung open the padlock that awarded him the 19-foot Boston Whaler complete with a 115-horsepower Mercury motor and a trailer last Sunday at the 2007 62nd annual striped bass and bluefish derby awards ceremony at Outerland.

Chris, with the top shore bluefish, was one of eight division winners lined up on stage with a key and a chance to win either a 2008 Chevy Silverado four by four truck or the fishing boat.

fish, ruler, weight

Controversy Over Heavy Bass Roils Derby

One of the top striped bass caught in the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby this past week had a rough journey off and back onto the derby leader board.

On Sunday evening, Lev Wlodyka, 28, of Chilmark weighed in a 57.56 pound striped bass.

But the fish, it turns out, had ingested 1.68 pounds of lead prior to being caught.

This was a big surprise to Mr. Wlodyka, not to mention to derby officials. They quickly disqualified the fish. The decision upset Mr. Wlodyka, for he had caught the fish using a hooked eel.

Documentary on the Derby Premieres Today on MVTV

New Hampshire advertising agency executive David Flood has produced a documentary on Vineyard life and the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby.

The hour-long color film, Feeding the Water, will premiere today at 7 p.m. on MVTV and will run on the station through the remainder of the derby. Mr. Flood filmed for five weeks during the 2006 derby.


Business of Derby Goes Beyond Fishing

The Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby is a folksy event that has also become a mature, sophisticated enterprise generating more than $2 million, perhaps as much as $3 million annually in shoulder season revenue for Island businesses.

“That’s why the derby was started. There was no shoulder season when the derby began as a chamber of commerce event,” derby president Ed Jerome said this week at the Wednesday morning weigh-in.

beach fishing

Monster 56-Pound Bass Stays in Lead

With well over 2,000 fishermen competing in the 62nd annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, the contest is now on the home stretch.

More than 13,000 pounds of striped bass, bluefish, bonito and false albacore have been weighed in at the derby headquarters so far.

Last weekend the evidence of interest could be seen along Vineyard shores, all populated by anglers with gear. The flat waters from Chappaquiddick to Aquinnah were crisscrossed with boiling waves from fast boats, driven by intent anglers.

Derby hat and pin

Wind from the West, Catch Derby Culture Lessons From the Best

For the casual fisherman, fishing the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby is like going from sandlot baseball to the major leagues.

He realizes that a welter of customs, laws of natures, tips and superstitions have developed over centuries of Island fishing and more than six decades of derby competition to create a mind-boggling fishing culture.

This casual fisherman felt that it would take an act of God to prepare him to compete with the best.

Intensity of Derby Grows

Oh boy, what a derby this is.

The second week produced at least two records as eager anglers produced leader changes on a daily basis in most categories.

Discussion of the sheer number of grand slams, including flyrod grand slams and a grand slam on opening day, almost tore the attention of Chris Scott away from a school of false albacore breaking 150 yards away from the weigh-in shed on Monday morning.