The waiting is the hardest part.

Twice a day anglers bring their fish to derby headquarters to get weighed in. But there are always plenty more fishermen out there who haven’t caught a fish, or caught one big enough to bring in. Especially this year.

Connie Bizzle, of Riverside, R.I., tries his luck at Eastville Beach, Oak Bluffs. — Mark Lovewell

Bob McCarron of Clinton, Conn., takes the waiting in stride. On a late Saturday morning, he was seated in his parked car at The Gut, one of the Island’s most productive fishing spots, — especially during the day — for false albacore. The Gut marks the entryway to Cape Pogue Pond. On the opposite side of the channel, a number of anglers were standing calf-deep in the water. There were fly fishermen and regular tackle anglers.

The spot had been productive before. But not today.

Instead of cranking the reel, Mr. McCarron sat in the front seat of his car reading a book. A stack of magazines and newspapers filled the passenger’s seat next to him.

“I am waiting for a fish to jump in the car,” Mr. McCarron said.

Jake Tinus, of Dunstable, is off to a rocky start. — Mark Lovewell

On another part of the Island a couple from Riverside, R.I., tried their luck. It was early morning and Connie Bizzle was fishing off Eastville Beach. His wife Sharron headed farther down the beach, walking near the jetty, to look for pretty shells. She caught plenty of keepers, unlike her husband.

Mr. Bizzle has fished the derby for 35 years and he recalled having particularly poor luck two years ago. He and Paul Medeiros, his brother in law and fishing partner, decided to create a fish tale that year for their wives who were having a good time in Cape May. They put a lure on the sand and Mr. Medeiros held it in place with his foot. Then Mr. Bizzle reeled in the line creating enough tension to put a bend in the rod. The men took a picture with the water in the background.

“It was a great picture,” Mr. Bizzle said. “The girls thought we had a big one.”

Bob Popovics, a fly fisherman from Seaside Park, N.J., was on the Vineyard for a week, but he didn’t catch anything big enough to take to weigh-in.

Bob Popovics (foreground) and Joe Carey have fished derby together for 12 years. — Mark Lovewell

Mr. Popovics is an avid saltwater fisherman who leads classes in fly fishing and tying flies. He was spotted fishing the Aquinnah side of Menemsha Channel with his longtime fishing partner of 12 years Joe Carey. The two were at the right spot for catching false albacore and they were using the right flies. The only thing missing was a fish. But it didn’t seen to bother either fisherman.

Mr. Popovics, 66, said he has fished the derby for years, and is accustomed to good and not-so-good fishing.

“One of the happiest moments I have is getting on the ferry to come over,” he said. “The saddest part of the trip is going home. We found so much to do. We have a lot of friends.”

For the two anglers, it isn’t so much about making contact with the fish as it is about meeting up with lots of old friends.

“Keep your fly in the water,” Mr. Popovics said. “Humor eases the pain, or else the fishing bug will get the best of you.”