Wicked winds and cold weather rocked week two of the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby but for ambitious anglers the fish were biting. Especially bonito. For most of the first week Greg Clark Jr. led the boat-caught bonito division but then his father nudged him out of the way, proving that with age comes experience. Greg Clark Sr., winner of last year’s boat-caught bonito division, brought in a 12.34-pound bonito, coming within a 10th of a pound of tying the derby record held by Gary Look since 1994.

As of Thursday morning, Gavin Smith still leads the shore-caught bonito division with a 7.06-pound fish. In the false albacore category, David Kadison leads the boat-caught division with a 10.27-pound catch and Mark Mooradian leads the shore-caught division with a 9.77-pound albie.

And the bluefish are starting to gain in size.

Elizabeth Thompson proudly displays her junior division record holder for boat-caught bonito. — Courtesy Joh Thompson

Josh Kresel landed an 11.80-pound blue on Sunday that currently leads the shore-caught bluefish division. Riley Tebo leads the boat-caught bluefish division with a 12.83-pounder he caught on Monday.

But it isn’t just experienced anglers who are hauling in big bonito. Elizabeth Thompson, an 11-year-old, sixth-grader at the West Tisbury school, broke the derby’s junior record for boat-caught bonito on Saturday. Her 11.68-pound bonito broke the previous junior record by over a pound set by Nick Warburton in 1993.

Elizabeth was out fishing with her father, Joe Thompson, on Saturday morning.

“It was pretty rough, it was blowing,” Mr. Thompson said. “But we decided to go for it.”

“We got soaked on the way out there,” Elizabeth added. “There was a bunch of swells and a bunch of chop.”

Elizabeth said that when she first hooked up to her record-breaking bonito it didn’t feel out of the ordinary.

“It wasn’t really fighting that much,” she said. “It wasn’t trying to pull my line, it was more just accepting his fate.”

That all changed as the struggle wore on for nearly 15 minutes, Mr. Thompson said.

“The last few minutes were definitely pretty intense,” he said. “The fish was circling around the back of the boat. I was concerned it was going to get jammed up in the trim tabs or the motor. Fortunately, Elizabeth has enough experience to ride it around those things.”

“When we got him on the deck I started busting out in tears because I was so happy I got it,” Elizabeth said.

Before heading to the weigh station, Elizabeth and her dad stopped at Dick’s Bait and Tackle to register her catch with the state. The father-daughter duo started fishing together when Elizabeth was five years old.

Greg G. Clark currently leads in the boat-caught bonito division with a 12.34-pounder. — Courtesy Greg Clark.

Elizabeth is also on a team this year with Aubrey Warburton, the grand-prize winner of the car in last year’s derby. The name of their team is Girls Kick Bass.

At the weigh station, Joe El-Deiry, chairman of the derby committee, remarked that Elizabeth’s fish was “a humongous bonito, it’s the fish of a lifetime.”

“The bonito have been pretty phenomenal,” Mr. El-Deiry said. “It’s amazing to see this many large bonito this early on.”

“More than anything it’s one of those years where everything is still wide-open,” he added.