On the Edgartown shoreline, on the sandy point of Lighthouse Beach which guards the harbor entrance, derby fishermen lined up in even intervals on a recent afternoon, casting into the deep channel where tides bring Atlantic waters in and out of Edgartown harbor each day.

Along with the changing tides come baitfish, said fisherman Jesse Heuit, just moments after arriving with his rod.

“You can see the bait,” he said, pointing out to a disturbance in the water, where little metallic shimmers jumped up and flickered in the sunlight above the chop.

“Those are silversides,” Mr. Heuit said.

Kerri Moffatt hooked a bluefish. — Ray Ewing

Where little fish are present, the big fish must follow; so goes the fisherman’s credo.

“I’ve been catching some bluefish,” said Kerri Moffatt, who was using a pink Hogy lure. “They’ve been small, but I’ve been catching them. That’s what matters.”

By late afternoon, though, the action had mostly died down, and bites were few and far between. Louie Jacob-Walsh, who had managed to pull in a small false albacore, tried to drum up some action with a specialized popper lure.

“Right now, there’s not really anything showing so I’m trying to bring attention,” he said while displaying the lure, a cylinder painted like a fish with a funnel mouth on the end called a popper. Unlike other lures, which cruise smoothly underwater, the popper’s mouth creates resistance as it is reeled in, making a splash each time the fisherman jerks the rod.

Mr. Jacob-Walsh fished with an iPhone strapped to his chest to film that afternoon, to “see if I could catch the Derby winner on tape.”

Louie Jacob-Walsh brought in a small albie. — Ray Ewing

That achievement would have to wait for another day.

On the harbor side of the beach, where waters were calm and dunes blocked the wind, a pair of fly fishermen plied their craft, flicking their lines back and forth.

“Our one mission is to catch albacore,” said Colin Cournoyer, one of the fly fishermen.

Mr. Cournoyer, who won the triple crown shore fly fishing derby category last year, said he grew up in Oak Bluffs and returns to the Island each year for the derby. After fishing for eight hours at Lobsterville Beach with nothing to show for it the day before, he and Oliver Preston came down to the lighthouse on a lark.

“We were eating meatballs at the house up the street, and I was like ‘hey, you want to go down to the harbor for half an hour?’” he said, as Mr. Preston cast his line out beside him.

A fly tie made by Colin Cournoyer. — Ray Ewing

Mr. Cournoyer soon pulled in an albie with a lure of his own design, a slim twirl of green ribbon and buck hair encased in epoxy, with a little fish eye on each side.

No more fish were caught that afternoon but for Mr. Cournoyer, at least, the outing isn’t all about the fish.

“I already got my fish for the day,” he said, scanning the view of harbor, the boats, the fishermen, the beach’s titular Lighthouse. “This is about embracing the beauty of the Island.”

As the afternoon ebbed, the casting of lines and quiet talk of fishermen gave way to the chirping of beach bugs and the whoosh of wind against the dune grass and goldenrod. Down where Lighthouse Beach turns to Fuller Street Beach, little brown balls of seaweed continued to wash up along the eroded shore and horseshoe crab carcasses lay scattered amongst them, delivered to shore by a churning sea.