A lifetime of father-daughter fishing trips paid off on Sunday afternoon, when Elizabeth O'Brien won the grand prize Eastern boat to close out the 77th annual MV Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby.


The 67th Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby came to an end Sunday afternoon when Adam Cummings and Robert Boyhan walked away with the monthlong event’s two largest prizes. Mr. Cummings, the grand leader in the boat-caught bluefish category (16.06 pounds), won the 2012 Chevy donated by Clay Motors. Mr. Boyhan, the grand leader for shore-caught bluefish (15.39 pounds), won the center-console boat donated by Eastern Boats.

In 2005 my sister Molly, then 12 years old, caught an enormous striped bass. It was so big when she finally hauled it onto the boat she backed away from it in fear and almost fell head over heels off the side of the boat into the churning ocean. I remember her telling me she thought she had caught an alligator. It is a story that has been told over and over again since then: a 12-year-old girl catching a giant bass and winning the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby.



They came for prizes and they came to support each other. The 65th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby awards ceremony at Nectar’s on Sunday was a festival of storytelling, stories told by those who won and those who didn’t. And two anglers who were friends and relatives to many there walked away as the proudest owners, one of a truck, the other of a powerboat.



He won again. William A. Pate of West Tisbury, who spends his summers working at Cutler Bike Shop in Edgartown and his winters working as a carpenter, won the grand prize in the 64th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck. Three years ago, Mr. Pate won the boat in the derby.

The story gets better. Mr. Pate caught his winning fish this year, a 12.66-pound false albacore, from the boat he won in the 2006 derby.



An architect from Connecticut and a mailman from Westport were the top winners in this year’s 63rd annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby.

On Sunday, Paul C. Harris of Oak Bluffs and Weston, Conn., won a new black Chevrolet 4x4 pickup truck for a 10.75-pound bonito he caught while fishing with friends earlier this month.

Scott D. Tompkins of Westport won a 20-foot center console Eastern powerboat for a 40.12-pound striped bass he caught fishing alone on an Up-Island shore in the early evening of Oct. 1.