Both Gain and Loss Registered in the General Contest Picture

The curtain fell on the eleventh annual fishing derby on Monday, an event that has brought the Vineyard much publicity and gained for the Island many new friends. This particular derby did not measure up to average in some particulars, although it surpassed all other derbies the Island has held in others.
As to comparisons, the number of entries was below the average, although the number of states represented was equal if not in excess of normal. The total number of entries was 1,621, with twenty-three states, Bermuda and Puerto Rico, represented. At least three colleges, Harvard, Brown and Dartmouth, were represented among the contestants, and all the professions in the book. A total of 1, 070 fish were weighed in, something like three-quarters of these being bluefish.
The summary of first prize winners:
Nonresident, striper shore fishing - first grand prize, $500 U.S. savings bond and plaque, Peter Weldon, New Augusta, Ind., a Harvard student, 46 pounds, 4 1/2 ounces; second grand prize, $100 U.S. savings bond and plaque, Thomas Pechulis, Fitchburg, 39 pounds, 12 ounces; third grand prize, $50 U.S. savings bond and plaque, $50 U.S. savings bond and plaque, Bernard McCarthy, Brookline, 39 pounds, 7 1/2 ounces.

For a 52-Pounder

Resident, striper shore fishing - first grand prize, $500 U.S. savings bond and plaque, Richard D. Hathaway, Edgartown, 52 pounds, 9 ounces; second grand prize, $100 U.S. savings bond and plaque, Ralph E. Grant, Ocean Hights, 47 pounds, 3 ounces; third grand prize, $50 U.S. savings bond and plaque, David Tilton, St. Paul Minn., 45 pounds, 2 ounces.
Dick Hathaway, 1979
Laura Weigle
Bluefish - first grand prize, $500 U.S. savings bond and plaque, Walter Lyko, Dorchester, 12 pounds 11 1/2 ounces; second grand prize, $100 U.S. savings bond and plaque, Remo Massimiano, North Beach Haven, N.J., 12 pounds, 11 ounces; third grand prize, $50 U.S. savings bond and plaque, Dr. Clement Amaral, Farm Neck, Oak Bluffs, 12 pounds 9 ounces.
Striper boat fishing - $25 U.S. savings bond, Michael P. Erdman, Princeton, N. J., 28 pounds, 15 1/2 ounces.
Senior striper shore fishing - $25 U.S. savings bond, Maurice S. Blaisdell, Edgartown, 81 years, 13 pounds, 14 ounces.
Schaefer Club trophy - Canal Sportsmen’s Club, Buzzards Bay.
Schaefer plaque (individual striper poundage) - Ralph E. Grant, Edgartown, 190 pounds.
The number of fish was off; probably more fish were actually hooked and landed than usual, but the run of bluefish were so much larger than usual that numbers of the fish were not brought in to be weighed.
Indicative of a growing trend was the number of people, married couples in particular, who came to the Island during the derby yet whose interest in the fishing was secondary, vacationing, after the rush of summer had subsided, being their principal interest. To such people as these, the run of luck by beach or boat was not important, and it was for this that the derby committee now says it has striven throughout the eleven years.
The derby was favored by all the gods who control the weather, a finer autumn for the event never having been seen here. No reports of difficulties or complaints have been heard as yet. It was noted that for the first time, Seven Gates Farm closed its vast area to derbyists.
As usual the latter days saw an increase in tension, and it was noteworthy that the winners of grand prizes and other substantial awards appeared during these latter days, hanging up their records which stood without change, during what might be termed the finals. It was peculiarly significant, too, that the Massachusetts Striper Association, always represented among the foremost winners heretofore, fell before the Canal Sportsmen’s Club, which came, saw and conquered, quietly and with business-like efficiency, as the end neared.
The end was quiet indeed, and without fuss and feathers, for a variety of reasons. The prizes were largely given out at the weighing-in station at Oak Bluffs, or, if the winners were not present, they were mailed out. Thus the tumult and the shouting dies, leaving the active sponsors with mixed feelings.

Is It Warranted?

The activities of the fish this fall have caused committee members to doubt whether a continuance of the annual derby is warranted. Some feel that the derby has already served its purpose in prolonging the Island vacation season, and that whether or not there is a derby next year, people who have become acquainted with the Island, will come. If there is fishing, they will fish and enjoy it, if not, then it cannot be laid to Island promoters that they held a fishing derby in the face of a scarcity of fish.
Should another derby be held next fall some changes are apt to be made in its provisions. It is apparent that for some reason government bonds are not popular as prizes. Some prize winners and contestants for the same have indicated a preference for either an article or cash. In either case, something of less value would be satisfactory, if the bonds were not given.
These are matters for discussion and settlement during the winter and spring months, and perhaps even latter in the year when the fish can be observed and conclusions drawn.