From the Gazette, October 1988.

On that Thursday although I knew that the bonito were off Cape Pogue, the north wind in the early morning made it too rough for my boat, a 14-foot aluminum skiff. So I decided to hit the surf, and was skunked at dawn.

Later in the morning I drove down to South Beach with the idea of going on to Wasque and to try the falling tide, but I met Jack Coutinho returning from that spot with the news that it was dead.

At that point I figured that my fishing was over for the day, but on my way home to West Tisbury I stopped at Coop’s to get the latest derby news. He wasn’t there, and his daughter Tina told me he and her brother Danny had gone out in their Whaler bonito fishing off Cape Pogue early that morning. They said they would be back by 9 unless they were into fish. It was now 11.

Tina said: “If I were you . . .”

I said it was too windy.

She said she thought the wind would drop. She was right.

I continued on to West Tisbury. I hitched my boat trailer to the car and returned to Edgartown and launched. On my way out to Cape Pogue I met Coop and Danny coming in and they showed me a very large bonito they had caught earlier.

Apparently the fishing had peaked a couple of hours earlier and had basically ended.

I was committed, however, and kept going.

The wind was dropping and there were still bonito showing about a half mile off Cape Pogue. A couple of hours later I got one of about eight pounds on my fly rod, but by mid afternoon I hadn’t had another hit and I decided to go home.

However, on the way in I happened to see birds working over fish half a mile or so to the north and I went to investigate.

There was a school of bonito breaking consistently in one spot and I anchored there and began casting. From then until dusk I had steady action, catching a total of eight bonito and losing numerous others.

One of the fish I landed weighed 10 pounds on my hand-held scale and I figured it had a good chance of winning the fly rod division of the derby.

When I weighed it in at derby headquarters that evening, the scale said 9.96 pounds. I was first place and delighted at the way the day turned out.

The next day my son Everett asked me if the fish might have been a world record. It hadn’t occurred to me before then, but when I checked the IGFA (International Game Fish Association) record book I found my fish was three ounces heavier than the current fly rod record on 12-pound tippet. My bonito had been donated to the derby fillet program, so it was impossible to get a photograph of it or its dimensions, but I will never the less submit the catch for a new record.

As an addendum, the next day Coop caught a bonito that had broken my leader and escaped with one of my flies still in his mouth. I haven’t been able to get it back yet and rumor has it that copies are being made.