Ralph Peckham fisherman
Mark Alan Lovewell
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.
Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby
Steve Morris wins boat
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.
Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby
First Place winner Richard Penny
Mark Alan Lovewell
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.
Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby
Doug Asselin and Steve Morris fishermen of the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby
Mark Alan Lovewell
‘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.
American Heroes Saltwater Challenge
Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby
Fishing on Menemsha jetty
Mark Alan Lovewell
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.
Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby
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
Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby
Michael Stimola catche sa fish at the derby
Ivy Ashe
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.
Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby
Mark Alan Lovewell
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.
Kids Derby
Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby
bass
Chris Fischer
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.
Derby winners
Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby
Chris Fischer
Mark Alan Lovewell
As the derby enters its third week, many fishermen no doubt have begun to dream about the two grand prizes — a new 22-foot Eastern center console boat with outboard and trailer, and a new 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 truck. Eastern Boats has provided the winning boat for four years. The Clay Family Dealership has provided the truck for 13 years. One of the four top shore fishermen with the largest fish will walk away with the boat. One of the top four boat fishermen will walk away with the truck.
Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby
fishing
Ivy Ashe
Despite a flurry of action around headquarters as the Saltwater Challenge Wounded Warriors weighed in their daily catches, one important feature of the small building at the foot of Main street in Edgartown remains stagnant.
Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby
fishing
Remy Tumin
Sunday afternoon was the first time Colton Wiley of Keofauqua, Iowa had ever seen the ocean. Three months ago he was shot in the legs in Afghanistan, leaving the 19 year old wheelchair bound. Now, on a beautiful September evening on Menemsha Beach, he was watching his first sunset over the Atlantic Ocean. “It’s beautiful and completely eye opening,” he said later that night during dinner at the Beach Plum Inn. Mr. Wiley was one of 10 wounded and recovering soldiers who visited the Island this week for the fourth annual American Heroes Saltwater Challenge.
American Heroes Saltwater Challenge
Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby

Pages