The long poles and the antennae of deep-sea fishing boats lined the harbor in Oak Bluffs on Thursday as fishermen from on and off-Island prepared for the first annual Oak Bluffs Blue Water Classic fishing tournament.

The days of shark weighing in Oak Bluffs will come to an end following a vote by the town selectmen this week to grant a harbor permit for a tournament that targets other big game fish.

The new tournament, led by Cape Cod residents Damon Sacco and Christian Giardini, will be held in the town marina July 24 to 26.

Two proposals will be aired from organizers who want to host big game fishing tournaments out of the town marina. One way or another, chairman Walter Vail said he will push for a vote

In the weeks since the death of organizer Steven James in a duck hunting accident, Islanders have speculated about the future of the tournament, which brought crowds and controversy to the town for 27 years. Now two have applied to take over the contest.


The third weekend in July was again a busy time for the Oak Bluffs police department, which reported a busier-than-normal weekend in light of the shark tournament and festival. But while last year police said they felt overwhelmed, this year the department reported that an increased police presence may have deterred more serious incidents.

The department reported that between Thursday, July 18 and Sunday, July 21, police responded to 175 incidents, making 25 arrests and placing four people into protective custody.

While each of the spectators made it home in one piece after the annual Monster Shark Tournament had officially ended, the same isn’t true for the 12 sharks weighed in over the two days. Each fish was cut up and pieces transported to different places. Muscle was brought home to serve — shark steak for dinner. Teeth found homes in the keepsake boxes of little boys. Photographs were uploaded to Facebook and Instagram.