Autumn is in the air and there is no better evidence than the sight of pickup trucks loaded with fishing rods and gear. The 65th Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby opened on Sunday; so far there are 1,400 fishermen registered.

The biggest striped bass weighed in at the Edgartown headquarters is a 32-pounder brought in Wednesday morning by Evan D. Metropoulous, a boat angler with a reputation for loving to be on the water and a persistence in catching big fish.

Large bluefish weighing in the teens are already coming in. Sandy E. Fisher of Edgartown brought in a 13.74-pound bluefish he caught from a boat in the first hours of the derby. The two other boat leaders were brought in the same morning.

Sunday morning is the Kids’ Derby, when at least 200 young fishermen aged four to 14 will show up at the newly renovated Oak Bluffs Steamship Authority wharf for an early morning of fishing. Last year 300 young anglers fished the popular tournament, with almost as many parents and relatives. Fishing begins at first light and ends by about 9 a.m. The contest is free.

Cooper A. Gilkes 3rd of Edgartown is chairman of the event. And many derby members will be on hand to help. “Dress warmly,” Mr. Gilkes advised yesterday. Some bait will be available; youngsters must bring their own tackle.

For 364 days a year the spot is closed to anglers, but on this day the youngest Island fishermen reign, at least for a few hours before the first ferry arrives.

In years past the kids have caught everything that the derby fishing contest honors: striped bass, bluefish, false albacore and bonito. But youngsters have also caught other kinds of fish including scup, fluke, sea robins, an occasional crab and even a lobster. On occasion they’ve even caught tropical fish and puffer fish. Fish are measured by length, not weight. So it is possible to win a prize by catching a long, slithering eel.

Back to the big fishing derby, as many as 3,000 fishermen are expected to register in the month-long contest which began Sunday. The weigh-in station at the foot of Main street in Edgartown opened at 8 a.m.; the first angler to weigh in a fish was Dan Benedetto of West Tisbury, a food salesman. Mr. Benedetto has been fishing the derby since 1984. In 2004, he was a winner for a 15.40-pound bluefish caught from the shore. On Sunday morning, he weighed in two striped bass that were good looking but not big enough to make the daily board.

Following right behind Mr. Benedetto was Chip Bergeron, 70, of West Tisbury. Mr. Bergeron weighed in an 18.22-pound striped bass he caught from the shore with a flyrod. Mr. Bergeron’s fish still leads the contest in the flyrod division, not only as the largest, but the only flyrod striped bass big enough to make it on the board. Mr. Bergeron is regarded as one of the Island’s top flyrod anglers. He holds the derby flyrod grand slam shore record, an award for the angler who catches all four species of fish in one derby with a top total weight over other grand slam anglers.

For the second year, Bob and Sarah Nixon, the owners of the Beach Plum Inn in Menemsha will host a group of wounded veterans to fish in the derby for four days. The group of 12 veterans will arrive on the Island on Monday to fish the American Heroes Saltwater Challenge. The wounded vets will fish on Monday and Tuesday; they have been given free registration and a special awards ceremony for them will be held on Thursday.

“They have gone through so much. They were wounded in a conflict. This is one way for us to say thank you to them for their service to the country,” said Maria Black, Beach Plum Inn co-organizer of the event. “This gives them something really pleasant to do, and for a while they get to put their troubles aside,” she said.

“Last year we had a veteran tell us he felt like he had hit the lottery when he came here fishing,” Ms. Black said. The participating veterans come from across New England and Washington, D.C.

The derby ends Saturday, Oct. 16.

The weigh-in station is open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.. Registration is $45 for adults, and $20 for children and senior citizens.

High surf is expected through the weekend from Hurricane Igor. The storm is expected to pass hundreds of miles east of Cape Cod and the Islands. Surf fishermen are advised to use caution along south-facing beaches.