The Vineyard’s top saltwater fly fishermen will pair up with anglers from all over the country to compete in tomorrow night’s 22nd annual Martha’s Vineyard Rod and Gun Club striped bass catch-and-release tournament. It is primarily a night fishing event that begins at 7 p.m., and no fish are taken home.
Cooper A. Gilkes 3rd, who co-organizes the event, said many of the contestants are already here and are out scoping their favorite fishing places. This is a good fishing spring, Mr. Gilkes said. Shorefishermen are doing well all around the Island.
The cafeteria at the regional high school is the headquarters during the weekend. Anglers will meet Saturday afternoon. Lines can go into the water at 7 p.m. Saturday and the contest ends at 2 a.m. on Sunday. On Sunday morning there will be a breakfast and awards ceremony.
Last year there were 129 fishermen in the contest, according to Bob De Lisle, president of the rod and gun club. Mr. De Lisle said the contest is a big fundraiser for the nonprofit club and the monies collected help fund three programs for children. Each year the club sends a child to a conservation camp at no cost. They also hold a spring trout tournament that is free to youngsters and they give campers from Camp Jabberwocky a fun-filled fishing day at a West Tisbury pond.
The tournament is also a learning contest, too, where the top anglers share their techniques with those who are just getting started.
“This fishing contest gives the non-experienced fly fisherman an opportunity to pick up on the secrets of fishing from the more experienced,” Mr. De Lisle said.
Registration for the event is $35.