With a week more to go it looks as if history will be made in this year’s fishing derby, History which may see a woman take the grand prize for non-residents, for one thing, and a general increase in the sizes of prize-winning fish for another.
This week’s sensation, up to Wednesday night, was the landing of the 45 pound 9 ounce striper by Louise deSomov of Hampton Bays, Long Island, which not only gained for her the lead among women striper fishers, but put her out in the lead among all of the non-resident class.
A general realignment of all lead­ers, clear through the grand prize list, also took place, with nearly all of the headliners changing positions. The leads were gained or lost by nar­row margin, the difference of a pound or so.
According to the best informed the bass are running either large or small; there is not the medium grade that is sometimes seen. As a matter of fact there are certain fishing spots which are recognized as having all, or nearly all, small fish, these places providing plenty of sport but little chance for scoring for either class of prizes.


Going Differs With Blues

With the bluefishermen the going differs, and this is apparent from the score sheet. Although the majority of bluefish taken will run larger than the majority landed a year ago, the gamble for a truly big fish offers better odds than with the bass. The general average of blues landed has shown a pronounced and general in­crease in weight rather than catches which hung between small and medi­um, or medium and large.
The total score is probably as good right now, or even better than it has been in most previous derbies. True, the bluefish have made a great deal of difference, but a total of 207 bass have been weighed in, which indi­cates a possible total of twice as many others too small to weigh. The bluefish score stood at 871 on Wed­nesday afternoon.
As was the case last week there have been fish reported everywhere during the past seven days. A run of tiny mackerel, not previously seen in these waters for many years, has stepped up the movement of schools of larger fish. Whether this will make for better fishing or not is a question, but it might well have its effect on the proper lure of plug to use.
Bass, bluefish, bonito and bo-hos, feed on such small fish, and one effect of their appearance is to draw these larger fish closer to the beaches, mackerel of this size frequently massing within a few feet of dry sand.