Bell rings on another Derby

Steve Amaral rings the bell with Derby president John Custer at his side. -Abigail Rosen

The 77th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby is underway as of 12:01 am Sunday, with the headquarters’ opening bell rung kicking off the first weigh-in.

Following a brief moment of silence for those who were killed in the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, Steve Amaral, M.V. Derby Hall of Fame inductee, and who has participated in 75 out of the 77 annual events, rang the bell.

Ending the first day, scoreboard leaders were as follows: 

  • Bluefish: David Kadison, 18.06 lbs. (boat); John Piekos, 11.33 lbs. (shore)
  • Bonito: Lenny Beford, 10.08 lbs. (boat); Mark Lewis, 5.80 lbs. (shore)
  • False albacore: Mark Leonard, 16.52 lbs. (boat); Noah Maynard, 11.43 lbs. (shore)

Prospective participants can register for the Derby at tackle shops Island-wide.

Edgartown: Derby headquarters, Larry’s Tackle Shop, Coop’s Bait & Tackle, Kismet Outfitters;

Chilmark: Menemsha Texaco; Oak Bluffs: Dick’s Bait & Tackle. 

Derby participants can register only once for each division. All-tackle entry fees: Adult $70; senior $45; juniors $25 (ages 9-14); mini junior $25 (ages 4-8).

Fly rod entry fees: Adult $75; seniors $45; juniors $25. Mini junior participants are not eligible. 

Minimum size requirements for weigh-in (measured from lower tip of jaw to tail): bluefish, 22 in.; albacore, 25 in.; bonito, 21 in.

Participants must weigh in their catch within 14 hours, and can do so at the Derby headquarters, next to Edgartown Yacht Club, each day and night from 8 to 10 am, and 7 to 9 pm. 

Participants may opt to donate their catch after weighing in through the filet program, which will provide the Island’s elderly with free, fresh fish. 

The Derby will end on Saturday, Oct. 15, at 9 pm.