Catch and release tournament – even no fish caught brings rewards

The Massachusetts National Guard members receive applause from the fishermen.

Early Sunday morning, about 150 fishermen gathered at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School to find out who caught the most fish during the fly rod striped bass catch and release tournament the night before.

The Martha’s Vineyard Rod and Gun Club hosted the 20th annual event, which drew fly fishermen from around the country and even Canada and Holland.

This year, organizers invited six Massachusetts National Guard members to participate in the tournament. They arrived on Friday, and during the tournament, each soldier teamed up with a local fisherman.

The award ceremony recognized the National Guard members and their service. There was also a bit of fun when tournament host Nelson Sigelman staged a sing off between a team of six Navy retirees and the Army members.

Tournament organizers awarded plaques to the winning teams and handed out numerous prizes to participants in a drawing that rewarded many fishless fishermen.

This year’s winners:

Roberto Germani Prize

Team Frank Anderson and Thor Farish: 7 fish.

Team Beulah, Wuss Industries (Seth Nickerson, Jeff Iandonis, Tim Sheran, Tony Jackson): 13 fish.

Team John Kollett, Sandra Demel: 6 fish.

Team Chilmark Kitties (Mike O’Connor, Perry Harris, Matt Bienfang): 6 fish.

Team David Nash, Mark Welch: 4 fish.

Arnold Spofford Prize

Team Last Cast (Ed Tatro, Mike Mathias, Jeff Stevens, Scott Maccagerri): 2 fish.

Team Capawock Lite (Jim Hebert, Jay Cronin, Gary Hoffman, Brian Corrigan, John Palmariello): 1 fish.

Team Hooters (David Hoskyns, Randy Shea, Ralph Carrieri): 0.

Sonny and Joey Beaulieu Prize for the largest striped bass caught and released

Tony Jackson (32 inch length, 16 inch girth)