Bluefish and first keys were the lucky combination Sunday at the awards ceremony for the 71st Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby.

Evan Hammond learns he's the winner of a 22-foot Eastern Sports fishing boat. — Mark Lovewell

Evan Hammond’s 15.11-pound bluefish was the best catch from shore in the bluefish division. In an order chosen at random, he was the first of the shore leaders to try his key in the padlock, and it snapped open. The dramatic click won him a 22-foot Eastern Boats fishing boat.

“I fished every day,” Mr. Hammond said. “When I caught that fish I was fishing by myself, in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night on a Tuesday. It just goes to show if you make a good plan and you work hard and you stick to it, you can do it.”

With the shore drama over, 81-year-old Ed Amaral stepped up with his key, the first to try in the boat division. He weighed the largest bluefish of the tournament caught from a boat, at 17.83 pounds.

First place finishers, mini juniors. — Mark Lovewell

Again, first time was the charm. The key clicked open and Mr. Amaral went home with a new Chevrolet truck, donated by the Clay family.

Mr. Amaral fished the very first derby in 1946, when he was 10 years old. He is a firm believer that luck plays a big part in hooking a fish, but then skill takes over.

“It was going all over the place, I was just hoping I didn’t’ lose it,” he said. “It went under the boat, it was headed for the props. I got lucky, then the expertise, that takes over.”

There was high drama as the derby wound down Saturday and the weather turned fair after weeks of high wind and rain. On the 35th and final day of fishing, new leaders went up in five separate categories, including two grand leaders.

Cheers for weigh station manager Amy Coffey, retiring after 20 years. — Mark Lovewell

Mr. Hammond and Mr. Amaral were joined on stage by grand leaders Michael Capen (boat bass), Kevin O’Farrell (shore bass), Tommy Reynolds (boat bonito), Michael D. Ludwig (shore bonito), Dylan Kadison (boat albacore), and Donald O’Shaughnessey Jr. (shore albacore).

A large and enthusiastic crowd cheered every winner at the awards ceremony under a tent at the Farm Neck Golf Club. There were also cheers for Amy Coffey, who is retiring after 20 years as weigh station manager.

While the number of fish weighed was lower in all categories except striped bass this year, a record number of people participated in the 2016 derby.

More photos from the derby awards ceremony.