They came for prizes and they came to support each other. The 65th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby awards ceremony at Nectar’s on Sunday was a festival of storytelling, stories told by those who won and those who didn’t. And two anglers who were friends and relatives to many there walked away as the proudest owners, one of a truck, the other of a powerboat.

Roger A. Schaefer, a recent returning resident to the Vineyard, won a 24-foot Eastern center console outboard boat in a drawing that was held in the final minutes of the three-hour awards ceremony. Mr. Schaefer had caught the largest shore bluefish only a few days earlier. His fish weighed 13.27 pounds.

Michael A. Paone, of Newton, a fishing friend to the Vineyard since he was a teenager, won a brand new 2010 Chevy Silverado truck in a drawing of the four top boat anglers, who had caught the biggest striped bass, bluefish, false albacore and bonito. Mr. Paone’s striped bass was caught early in the derby, on the eighth day, in the first week of the seven-week contest. To the last days of the derby, he said he never thought his fish was big enough to win. Last year’s boat winner was seven pounds heavier.

Mr. Paone’s 37.6-pound striped bass was caught aboard Aquinnah charter fishing captain Buddy Vanderhoop’s boat Tomahawk and was at least three pounds bigger than the second place winner.

Earlier in the awards program, Mr. Paone had the pleasure of watching his favorite fishing buddy, his 13-year-old son, Giovanni, take a first place in the junior division for a 27.22-pound fish. The father and son anglers had fished together every weekend of the derby.

In all three cases, these top anglers, like so many others, spent the time fishing. Of the more than 100 fishermen who won either a first, second, third prize or special award, nearly all of them fished hard to get their prize.

It wasn’t an easy contest; that thought was repeated both on stage and often on the floor. No one spoke of large schools of fish swimming around the Island this year. This was a derby without the usual bluefish blitz that gets anglers excited. The fish were here, but they were sporadic; here one minute, gone the next.

Roy Langley, a derby weighmaster, said this year’s contest was primarily a bluefish event. Fishermen weighed in 11,715 pounds of bluefish at the derby headquarters at the foot of Main street in Edgartown. That came from 1,265 bluefish. In comparison there were only 384 striped bass weighed in, 184 bonito and only 131 false albacore.

If those fish had been divided evenly among all 2,797 contestants, each fisherman would have gotten about half a fish. More than any recent year, a lot of anglers never touched a fish.

Both Ed Jerome, president of the derby, and Mike Cassidy, a committee member, praised the efforts of all fishermen in the tough contest that began on Sunday, Sept. 12 and finished at 10 p.m. the night before Sunday’s ceremony. Despite the frequent winds, the turbulent seas and bad weather, the most dedicated anglers were out there and they got most of the fish.

Mr. Jerome said this year’s contest truly epitomized what makes the annual contest so special to those who participate and to those who help others participate. It was a derby about fishermen, more than a contest about fish.

Before an audience of more than 300 people, Mr. Jerome took a moment to reflect on highlights in the derby. He praised the efforts of those who held the American Heroes Saltwater Challenge, a three-day fishing odyssey for injured veterans who had served their country. The veterans came to fish the derby from as far north as Maine and as far south as Maryland.

Mr. Jerome paid tribute to Estey Teller, of Edgartown, who led the derby with the largest bluefish caught from a boat. Mr. Jerome described her as a 78-year-old lady who proved she could beat those younger “whippersnappers.” The audience cheered.

The organizers of the derby also took a moment to give applause and a big thank you to outgoing derby chairman Greg Skomal, who had served the derby for many years, a good deal of it tabulating derby landing statistics to note fishing trends. Mr. Skomal’s career in fisheries has moved him to the mainland.

There was a brief moment of tribute to one active fisherman, Charlie Barr of Oak Bluffs, who couldn’t fish this year because he spent most of the time in a hospital bed. Mr. Jerome said Mr. Barr had served tirelessly on the committee since 1996. Tina Barr, Mr. Barr’s wife, came on stage and accepted a trophy of thanks from the organization.

For 15 years, Mr. Jerome said, “Charlie [has been] one of those behind-the-scenes people who helps keep the wheels moving, while also keeping them on the track, which can be just as hard.”

They also praised the efforts of another Charlie.

Charlie Smith, who has served the derby for 17 years as weighmaster, was this year’s recipient of the prestigious sportsman award. The presentation was given after Mr. Smith’s daughter Heather read a letter.

A highlight in the afternoon awards ceremony was devoted to the children and their prizes. Master of ceremonies John Custer, former chairman of the derby, spoke of their persistence. Organizers took their time awarding prizes to each of the youngsters, giving ample time for family members to take pictures.

Many of the faces of the contestants were partially obscured under big, adult derby hats and the bags of fishing gear they carried as they walked off stage.

Mr. Custer drew particular attention to one young angler, Tony P. Canha. In a drawing of the top junior fishermen, Mr. Canha won a bicycle. Mr. Custer told the audience the prize couldn’t have been more fitting.

Mr. Custer recalled being at the Lake Tashmoo opening and seeing the youngster fishing. Mr. Custer said he learned that the Tisbury youth had walked all the way down the long winding Herring Creek Road to get to his favorite fishing spot.

“He could use a bike,” Mr. Custer said.