The harsh autumn weather has had a big impact on participants in the 65th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, leading president Ed Jerome to cast a most tempting lure for fishermen in the final week of the contest. “All of the fish on the board are beatable,” he said.
Sandy E. Fisher’s 15.88-pound bluefish may be a hard fish to beat, but Michael A. Paone’s 37.6-pound striped bass could be moved down a prize.
Junior anglers have a chance of winning a daily prize just for bringing in a fish; over the past few days, junior anglers haven’t even shown up.
“It seems anybody who gets a fish has a chance to get on the board,” Mr. Jerome said. “People are finding fish,” Mr. Jerome said. The benefit of bad weather is, any angler fishing gets a better chance. Unlike humans, fish come to Martha’s Vineyard to eat, not for the good weather.
There have been but two half-days of sun since the month began a week ago. Wind has been present as much.
Mr. Jerome said yesterday that anglers should have a memory: “We have had long stretches of poor weather before.”
The weather will be better this weekend, though the wind will keep some boats close to the dock. Mr. Jerome said fishing in the harbors has worked in the past.
There are 2,531 anglers registered in the derby, far short of last year’s 2,844. There are only eight days left in the derby, and one would hope that great weather ahead will make up for the days and nights of rain that Vineyarders have seen astern.
Mr. Jerome is living the derby, not only as an official and as an angler. He is a charter fisherman and operates a boat called Wayfarer.
The derby ends Saturday, October 16, at 10 p.m.
The weigh-in station is open from 8 to 10 a.m. each morning and 8 to 10 p.m. each night. Registration is $45 and available at most tackle shops. Juniors and senior anglers are charged $20.