It was a full house at derby headquarters Wednesday night. There were anglers bringing fish from all over the Island, there was a movie playing in Edgartown, but a seal managed to steal the early show at the water’s edge.
Sardini is the 300-pound seal’s name. At one time Sardini drew a crowd of over 20 people to the dock. The seal made quick trips to the fillet barge, then would retreat deep in the water. The animal often swam at a safe distance. But when a filleter slapped a slice of fresh bluefish on the water, the seal would respond, coming in to grab the fillet out of the filleter’s hand before heading back underwater.
The seal was definitely shy, but seemed happy just floating on its back near the surface about 20 feet from the dock. The onlookers flashed their cameras repeatedly.
As the seal was getting ooohs and aaaaws from the crowd, a huge striped bass was delivered to Charlie Smith, weigh master.
Dave Mong, from Morgan City, Louisiana, weighed in a 40.65-pound striped bass he had caught earlier in the day on a fishing charter with Buddy Vanderhoop of the boat Tomahawk, based in Aquinnah.
Mr. Mong and his giant fish eventually stole the show from the swimming seal.
Mr. Mong now leads the striped bass boat division. Blog readers will remember that only a few days ago Don Mohr of West Tisbury forecast that there would be a 40-pounder weighed in by a boat fisherman. It is now a matter of a little time before a shore fisherman brings in one too.
All talk at the derby weigh station was ahead to this weekend’s weather forecast for rain and wind.