Final Bell for the Derby

The last weigh-in Saturday night saw Helena Kirschenbaum win the grand slam with her striped bass while Seb Keefe brought in a shore bonito to take over top spot on the leader board. And then it was over. The derby awards ceremony is today at Farm Neck.

Rods Up, Reels Down; Derby Daze Heads to the Finish Line

You can stock up on lines, lures and bait, but ultimately getting a top fish at the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby takes some luck and a lot of persistence. Anglers are working overtime.

Derby Scenes

Wounded in Battle, Healed by the Sea

Ten veterans and their families are participating in the sixth annual American Heroes Saltwater Challenge, hosted by Bob and Sarah Nixon. The veterans spend their mornings at sea, afternoons golfing and surfcasting. The challenge is full of gestures both large and small from the Vineyard community.

Heroes Arrive, Ready to Begin Saltwater Challenge

A heroes' welcome greeted wounded soldiers arriving Sunday for the sixth annual American Heroes Saltwater Challenge. Each year, wounded veterans visit the Island to fish the Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby and to enjoy fellowship and Vineyard-style relaxation.

The veterans are hosted by Bob and Sarah Nixon, owners of the Menemsha Inn, Beach Plum Inn and the Home Port Restaurant.

Small Fries Are Catching Big Fish

The kids are all right, at least as far as the derby is concerned. Seven-year-old Mason Warburton has held the top spot since the second day for his boat-caught false albacore.

Albie Dance

Rising sun, rising tide
Rising fish, rising spirit

The birds in the sky
Start to chirp, can you hear it?
Cut and dip, dash and dive,
How can the baitfish
Ever survive?
Shade your eyes, scout the horizon
The fish are breaking, our spirits rising
Hogy hooked up,
At last the chance,
To do the lightning Albie dance,
Bow to stern, left to right
One thing I’ve learned,
Best keep it tight,

Juniors Share Derby Grand Leader Board

At its halfway point, the 69th Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby is going strong, with 2,793 contestants and 1,481 entries as of Thursday, including 468 in the week ending Saturday.

Keepers Are Infrequent, But Camaraderie Is Always Catching

The waiting is the hardest part.

Twice a day anglers bring their fish to derby headquarters to get weighed in. But there are always plenty more fishermen out there who haven’t caught a fish, or caught one big enough to bring in. Especially this year.

For Fishing Principal, Always Swimming With the School

He is an educator, fisherman, shellfisherman, sports fan, son, husband and father. The trappings of John Custer’s third-floor office in the Tisbury School, where he has been principal for four years, say as much.

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