The Island fishing season kicks off in earnest next week when the Martha’s Vineyard Rod & Gun Club hosts the 27th Fly-Rod Striped Bass Catch & Release Tournament the weekend of June 2 and 3.
“It’s shaping up to be a fun weekend of fishing,” Cooper “Coop” Gilkes of Edgartown, longtime tournament chairman, said. “We’ve got teams of fishermen coming from all over the place.”
Longtime participants agree that the one-night shore contest fosters the best qualities of the sport of fly fishing. You don’t have to catch fish to have a chance to win one of many prizes awarded based on a random drawing. Winning fishermen receive plaques in one of three categories: The total number of fish of any size length caught and released by a team (Roberto Germani Trophy); the largest fish (length and girth) released by a fisherman (Sonny and Joey Beaulieu Trophy); and the most fish caught and released by a team in which members are not allowed to change flies (Arnold Spofford Trophy).
Fishing begins at 7 pm Saturday and ends at 2 am Sunday. The awards ceremony begins at 9:30 am, Sunday, June 3. The tournament headquarters and breakfast will be located at the Edgartown School off Edgartown–West Tisbury Road.
The entry fee is $35. For more information, call Cooper Gilkes at 508-627-3909, or go to mvrodandgun.org.