Welcome to the Island of Martha’s Vineyard and the 67th Annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby.
For nearly seven decades, the Derby has been the driving force that alters yearly vacations, makes it difficult to find a repair man and is the source of sleepless night in September and October. All for the sake of a fish! A fish that is, that could put a pin on your hat, put an extra rod in your collection, put a truck in your garage or a boat on your trailer.
But, we all know, it is not the prize we chase, it’s the very chase itself. Especially, when you are enjoying it with family and friends on an incredible piece of land seven miles to sea where a bygone quality of life still exists. Often it is the simplest things in life that give us much joy and for that reason we continue to strive for the least complicated approach to this tournament.
Over the years, our prize structure has changed. We have added and deleted divisions for non- residents, we have added and deleted fish that exist in the tournament and we have removed what doesn’t work. At one time, the Derby created a par system to determine how the Bass or the Bluefish would be the overall winner. It was based on a point ratio for a 50 lb. bass vs. a 20 lb. bluefish. It didn’t take long for that to be removed.
Although the structures and activities of the Derby continue to evolve, the one constant over the years has been you, the participant. You come for the same reasons folks have done so since the inception of the Derby.
We all fish the Derby to get away from the daily stresses of life, to enjoy being on the water with family and friends, to stop to admire a beautiful rising sun and to know that we are all part of something very special. The excitement that runs through our veins each time we wet a line, thinking, maybe, just maybe, this could be the day I land the fish of my lifetime. It may happen through our fishing skills or it may be by “Divine Intervention”. The scale doesn’t care, we don’t care and the record book doesn’t lie.
The Derby Committee and I are very proud to be a part of this wonderful event and to provide all of you with an opportunity to enjoy yourself, knowing that you are helping others through our goals of conservation, Island community support and assistance to young people in their quest to further their education.
Thank you for continuing to participate, for supporting our efforts and for being part of the “Derby Family.”
Hope the big one comes your way!
President, Derby Committee