By MARK ALAN LOVEWELL
The largest false albacore caught from the shore was landed last Saturday. Keith A. McArt of Somerville, a well-respected derby fisherman, caught a 16.55-pound false albacore while fishing off Lobsterville Beach. Quite a few fishermen saw him land the fish.
The 64th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby is now entering its third week with still two weeks to go.
Over 2,000 fishermen are entered in the month-long contest that ends Saturday, Oct. 17. The fishermen are trying to catch the largest striped bass, bluefish, false albacore and bonito to qualify for any one of the hundreds of prizes that, when totalled, are worth over $300,000. The two grand prizes are a Chevy pickup truck and a 24-foot Eastern powerboat.
Already 359 fish have been weighed in at the derby headquarters at the foot of Main street in Edgartown. The breakdown is: 175 bluefish, 53 bonito, 67 false albacore and 64 striped bass.
The leaders are impressive. Stephen J. Pietruska still leads with a 44.68-pound boat striped bass. Colin T. Britt, recently came in with a 29.22-pound striped bass caught from the shore. Other anglers include Joseph P. Canha with the largest boat bluefish, 13.27 pounds. John F. Schillinger leads with the largest shore bluefish, 11.36 pounds.
Brian Gracie leads with the largest shore bonito, 6.98 pounds. Joe H. Turney has the largest boat bonito, 9.12 pounds. William A. Pate, who has been on the derby leader board many times, leads with the largest boat false albacore, a 12.66-pound fish.