September and October are special months on the island. The craziness of the summer has died down, the weather turns from hot and humid to crisp and inviting; perfect fishing weather. Every year from mid-September to mid-October islanders compete in the annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby. This year marks the 68th year of good old fashion fishing, and stories of the one that got away. There is no hoopla like the Monster Shark Tournament in July. When the weigh station is open you’ll find children straining their necks to see the fish that were weighed in, adults gathered around the coffee table chatting and catching up with friends after a hectic season, seasoned fishermen who are hoping to make the final four so they may have a chance to win a truck or boat, and men with stunned faces when women come in with fish bigger than theirs, a smirk across her face in sweet victory of the day.
The Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby started in 1946 as a means to extend the season and attract more business to the island in the shoulder season. That first year drew in over 1000 anglers with a simple goal of catching the biggest Striped Bass and Bluefish. The first prize was $1000, the second was a lot in Aquinnah. Since then the derby has grown, categories added, prizes are grander (although you can no longer win a lot of land) including a boat and a truck, and scholarship funds that total more that $64,000 given out to island residents.
To register for the Derby please visit any of these convenient locations on island
Sandpiper Rentals, Inc
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