You can stock up on lines, lures and bait but, ultimately, getting a top fish at the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby takes some luck and a lot of persistence. And with just two days remaining in the event, anglers are working overtime. A record number of fishermen are competing this year — 3,240 as of Thursday.

“Nothing’s set in stone until Saturday, so I’m just going to keep fishing,” said Preston Butler, whose 15-pound bluefish is currently leading the boat division. Michael Mulcahy moved into the top shore-caught bluefish spot on Wednesday. His fish weighed 15.2 pounds.

Derby chairman John Custer said that shore fishing has been particularly productive this year, with false albacore and bonito here in good numbers.

“It’s not always an annual thing,” he said.

Leading shore-caught albie. — Timothy Johnson

Mary Ann Angelone reeled in a 14.65-pound false albacore over the weekend to take the top spot in the shore albie category.

“No doubt about it, I’m very lucky,” she said. Mrs. Angelone fishes two to three times a week, and first started going out with her husband about 10 years ago. She knew the fish was a big one, but didn’t think it would take the top spot. The other shore fishermen on the beach, including Phil Horton, the previous albie leader, congratulated her after she brought the fish in.

“The guys on the beach, they came to weigh in,” Mrs. Angelone said. “Everybody seems to be very excited for me.” She’s hoping to stay on top, she said, but “as long as it stays in the top three, I’ll be happy. This is really cool.”

Mrs. Angelone competes in the senior division of the derby. The top boat albie was landed by a mini-junior, 7-year-old Mason Warburton, who caught his 13.17 pound fish in the first week of the derby.

“Things happened this year that just don’t happen every year,” Mr. Custer said. “It’s just been a really great event.”

On Wednesday, fly rod fisherman Brice Contessa entered an elite derby club when he completed his shore grand slam. There have been three other shore slams so far in the derby, but Mr. Contessa’s slam came in the fly rod division. The last time any fly fisherman caught a shore slam was in 1995, when Chip Bergeron landed all four fish.

Mr. Contessa has been a fly fisherman for more than 20 years. Two years ago, he caught the only fly rod grand slam in the derby, but it was from a boat. This year, Richard Schifter has the lone boat fly rod slam. Mr. Contessa’s shore slam got off to a promising start when he caught a bonito the first week of the derby.

Perseverance is the name of the game when fishing the derby. — Mark Lovewell

“That’s usually the hardest one,” he said. “Just so few of them get caught from the shore, period, let alone on the fly.” He caught an albie shortly after and decided to go after the grand slam. On his first try for striped bass, he went out and instead caught a bluefish. The slam seemed like it could actually happen.

“I’ve had three of the four from the shore before, but never with that much time left,” Mr. Contessa said. There were two and a half weeks left in the derby, and he threw his effort into bass fishing. Mr. Contessa caught plenty, but none that were large enough to weigh in. One was 31.5 inches, just a half-inch shy of the limit. Time started running out, but Mr. Contessa kept fishing. He went to a favorite spot on Wednesday.

“I ended up catching this beautiful 17.5 pound bass,” he said. Mr. Contessa is typically a catch-and-release fisherman, and hasn’t killed a striped bass in more than two years “just as a general matter of practice.” Luckily, he’d been out fishing close enough to headquarters so that after rushing to weigh in, he was able to release the fish still alive the in the harbor.

“Just icing on the cake,” Mr. Contessa said.

A total of 2,230 fish have been weighed in so far — bluefish are the most common catch at 907, followed by bonito at 533, false albacore at 511 and striped bass at 279.

Norman Bouchard leads the derby for boat-caught bonito (10.47 pounds), and Michael Berninger is tops for shore-caught bonito (7.49 pounds).

Although striped bass are way behind other species, bass fishing has overall been “decent, let’s put it that way,” said Creanga Cosmin, who is currently leading the shore-caught bass division with a 38.63 pound fish. “Not a whole lot of fish, but a whole lot of big ones, right at the right time.” Vinny Iacono’s 39.77 pound bass leads the boat-caught division.

Timing was key for Mr. Cosmin when he landed his leader. Mr. Cosmin only fishes from the shore as he gets motion sickness. He and a friend went out fishing, and on the very first cast he landed a 30-pound striper. On the second, he caught the 38-pounder. He handed his rod and reel to his friend, whose rig had been knocked down.

“I came back 20 minutes later and said did you get a fish?” Mr. Cosmin recalled. His friend had no luck. “Just those 10 minutes, that was it,” said Mr. Cosmin.

The heavy fish was also a boon to the Woodpeckers, the two-man team comprised of Mr. Cosmin and Donald Scarpone. The two have entered the team division of the derby for the past few years, and this year are in the top shore spot with an entry of 55.86 pounds.

“That was our goal from day one, to win the teams,” Mr. Cosmin said. Last year, he and Mr. Scarpone finished in third place, shy of second “by a small albie.”

“This year, we said we’re not going to make that mistake again,” Mr. Cosmin said.

The derby ends with the last weigh in on Saturday night. Then on Sunday, Mr. Cosmin, Mr. Scarpone and hundreds of other contestants will make their way to Farm Neck Golf Club for the awards ceremony, which begins at 1 p.m.

Mr. Custer has been busy preparing the prize bags for winners, which are organized “in a maze” in his basement. Items from sponsors begin to show up in May. Mr. Custer spent all of last Saturday finishing up the bags.

“I’m glad it was a rainy day,” he said.

The basement will be empty come Sunday, with the bags off to new homes. And two winners will walk away with the grand prizes: the Chevy Silverado truck and the Eastern boat.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Mr. Custer said.

The 69th Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby ends at 10 p.m. on Saturday night. The awards ceremony begins at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Farm Neck Golf Club. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. All are invited to attend.