High Winds, High Stakes Mark Final Days of Derby

The strong persistent northeast wind this past week has made fishing especially tough the last few days. Seas are high and waters rough from East Beach on Chappaquiddick to Dogfish Bar in Aquinnah. The forecast for the weekend isn’t much better. To catch fish, an angler has to be more strategic about where he or she goes.

Leaders Earn Their Stripes

The competition in the 68th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby has been intense over the last several days, with the top of the striped bass boat leader board  changing almost daily. Stephen J. Pietruska, who won the grand prize last year for catching a 44.4 pound striped bass, is on the top of this year’s boat striped bass division. Last Friday evening he weighed in a 38.71 pound striped bass he had caught earlier in the day. His fish pushed Alexandra Lynch’s 35.42 pound fish into second. She caught that first place fish two days earlier.

Saltwater Heroes Challenge Helps Veterans Find Peace on the Water

The sun had just climbed above Squibnocket ridge when Lieut. Nathan Rimpf and Senior Airman Emanuel Thompson spotted their first catch of the day.

“Birds,” Mr. Rimpf and Mr. Thompson said simultaneously with the quiet confidence of pros. With a slight nod of the head, the two surmised that a large school of fish weren’t too far away.

At Derby All Is Fair in Love and Fishing

The top striped bass keep getting bigger and with two weeks to go in the 68th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby so does the field. More than 2,600 fishermen are registered in the contest and more and more keep showing up.

“I’d be really pleased if we got over 3,000,” said derby chairman John Custer.

The contest ends on Saturday, Oct. 19.

Overall nearly 12,000 pounds of fish have been weighed in as of Thursday morning. Striped bass total 5,300.26 pounds and bluefish total 4,288.88 pounds.

No Fish Was Safe from the Jeep Wagoneer

At Coop’s Bait and Tackle, about a week before the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby began, owner Cooper Gilkes was telling stories. It seems that a fish story can be inspired by anything, even a car.

Wounded Soldiers Get Heroes' Welcome for Start of Saltwater Challenge

The soldiers and their families will compete in the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby this week.

Getting Pinned by Derby Is Long Lasting Love Affair

Years ago during the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, Ron Domurat went out shorefishing with his old friend Donald Mohr. The two hit upon a school of false albacore and each hooked a fish at the same time. The fish were twins, Mr. Domurat recalled earlier this week, “down to the hundredth of a pound.” He brought the albies to weigh-in at derby headquarters and as a good friend would, gave the weighmaster Mr. Mohr’s fish first.

Bluefish Big, Stripers Steady, Enthusiasm Huge at 68th Derby

It seems every day the fish get bigger at the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, now entering its third week. There have been numerous lead changes in all categories. Daniel Hiemer, 40, of Waldeck, Germany, is currently at the top of the bluefish caught from a boat with a 19.69 pounder, the largest anyone has seen in years. The fish is over four pounds larger than last year’s biggest bluefish.

On the Hunt for Inedible, Oily Menhaden

The fishermen — and fish — were out in Edgardown’s inner harbor Sunday. But there were no striped bass or bonito on the hooks. Instead, they were casting for menhaden.

The small, oily, inedible fish are prized bait, especially for striped bass. This time of year, when derby fishermen are vying for the largest striped bass, a premium is placed on menhaden.

Man's Best Friend at Filet Station

At the derby weigh station, curious onlookers are often just as large a group as the fishermen themselves. Friends and family stop by as catches are brought in, and tourists wander down to the docks to watch the happenings. Sometimes, four-legged friends make appearances.

On Wednesday morning, filet volunteer and committee member David Hearn brought along his four-year-old black Labrador, a handsome (and hungry) pup with the perfect derby name: Scup.

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