A Vineyard recreational fishing boat took the title in the ninth annual Oak Bluffs Monster Shark Tournament held over two days this weekend. Tom Furino of the 34 1/4 foot fishing boat Fish Finder out of Oak Bluffs won the tournament with a catch of two large sharks. On Friday Mr. Furino and his charter crew caught a 320-pound blue shark and on Saturday they caught a 302-pounder of the same species.

Another Vineyard fisherman caught the largest single fish. Robert Maciel Sr. of West Tisbury and of Maciel Marine in Vineyard Haven caught a 415-pound mako in a boat called Fish ’n Boat, owned by Chuck Walker of Belchertown and Oak Bluffs.

Third place went to a vessel called Amethyst II, captained by Ben Tribken and chartered by Kenny Eppers of Old Colony Service in Edgartown. Mr. Epper's 377-pound blue shark is considered one of the top 10 largest fish landed in the contest.

"We had 62 boats entered in the contest," said Bob Jackson, organizer and president of the Boston Big Game Fishing Club, which sponsors the tournament. The vessels came from all over. They included some of the most respected shark fishermen of the East Coast. "Last year we hit an all time high of 69 boats," Mr. Jackson said. He said the weather for this year's contest was ideal, especially for those who have a weak stomach. It was calm offshore.

With 62 of the most impressive sportfishing boats lined up along the Oak Bluffs bulkhead it was hard to imagine that Vineyard fishermen of lesser means could compete with such a crowd. But they did and they did it well.

Mr. Furino has been running a charter fishing business for two years, after years of working as a commercial fisherman. "We called ourselves the little boat that could," he said. "This was all a team effort," Mr. Furino said, and he listed off the names of those participating in the charter: Steven Jordan, Bob Martin, Mike Carucci, David Becker, Brian Doherty and Donny Brice.

On the Friday, Captain Furino took the boat 25 miles south of Wasque. "We hit warm water and began chumming," he said. The water temperature was 72 degrees, just what sharks love. "We caught 10 fish before we got the big one at close to 2 p.m."

On Saturday, he said: "We went farther southeast. We found some more warm water. The first fish we hooked and lost was a yellowfin. The second we got was a yellowfin and the third was a mako. Then we got the blue shark which later weighed 302 pounds." For the rest of the day of fishing, the Captain said they tried to do one better than the 302 pounds.

Captain Furino's two mates were Larry Stearns and Cole Powers. And the fishing reel wasn't so fancy. "It was a Penn Senator 90 reel," he said. It was just enough to win.

Greg Skomal, the state Division of Marine Fisheries expert on sharks, assisted the tournament as weigh master. Mr. Skomal said the shark contest leads the country for hookups.  The contest has a 300 pound minimum size which encourages catch and release, considered the highest minimum size in the world. Mr. Skomal said the vessels went as far south as 50 miles to find their fish. "We had 400 sharks caught and released. There were 80 sharks tagged and released. And we had 33 sharks weighed in. "Of the sharks brought in they were primarily blue sharks, threshers and makos, in that order. We don't usually see thresher sharks because they are somewhat rare. They don't occur in large numbers. This year was an exception and I think the reason is due to large schools of bluefish south of the Island.

The fishing wasn't all just for shark. Former Bruins skating pros Chris Nilan and Jay Miller of the boat Pauline did not win this year's contest as they had done in the past. They did, however, have one fisherman aboard become a contender for a world class record. Mike Wallace of North Falmouth caught a 66-pound yellowfin tuna with a flyrod using a 20-pound tippet. It took the young man an hour and twenty-five minutes to bring the fish in. "I felt like I was Hemingway, talking to the fish. You are not going to beat me, I told the fish. I am going to beat you," said Mr. Walsh.

Mr. Walsh has applied for world record status to the International Game Fish Association.

Mr. Skomal said that a number of entrants in the contest observed whales, dolphins and white marlin.

The secondary thrill of the contest was the weighing in of these big fish. More than 100 people stood near the Our Market store to watch the weigh-ins. Mr. Jackson gave a brief talk before the audience and introduced the leading contestants.

On Saturday afternoon, as the last of the boats came in, Mr. Jackson said that the tenth annual Oak Bluffs Monster Shark Tournament, to be held next year, is already beyond the planning stages. He said next year's contest will be even bigger.