Popular Island fly rod tournament is scheduled

Tom Robinson, of Vineyard Haven, releases a striped bass in this 2018 photo. This year's Martha's Vineyard Rod and Gun Club Fly Rod Striped Bass Catch and Release Tournament has been canceled.

The 28th Martha’s Vineyard Rod & Gun Club Fly Rod Catch and Release Tournament is set for the weekend of June 8 and 9. Fishermen are encouraged to make their travel plans soon for the popular event.

“We’ve got fishermen who wouldn’t miss it. It’s a great time,” Cooper “Coop” Gilkes of Edgartown, tournament chairman, said.

Longtime participants agree that the one-night team shore contest fosters the best qualities of the sport of fly fishing. One unique aspect is that irrespective of fishing success, fishermen present at the Sunday morning awards ceremony have a chance to win one of many great prizes in a random drawing of entry blanks. Plaques are handed out 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 member of a team (Sonny and Joey Beaulieu Trophy); and the most fish caught and released by a team, in which members may not change flies (Arnold Spofford Trophy).

Sign-up starts at 12 pm, and fishing begins at 7 pm, Saturday, June 8, and ends at 2 am, Sunday, June 9. The awards ceremony begins at 9:30 am, Sunday, June 9. The tournament headquarters for signing up and breakfast is located at the Edgartown School. The entry fee is $35. For more information, call Cooper Gilkes at 508-627-3909 or go to mvrodandgun.org.