Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wood Burning, Weigh-in Shacks and All Things Autumn

Don't you just love the smell of burning wood in the fall?
Swirling through the air, leaving that sharp sweet woodiness of fireplace, wood pit and stove returns.

Around here, once the stoves and fireplaces fire up, it can only mean one thing: we are rounding third and coming into home for the MV Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby.

by Julie Immelt
During Derby time (late Sept. - early Oct.), amazing things start to happen: people converse freely along grocery lines and over checkout counters.
The Weigh-in Shack is filled with onlookers and fisherman alike, waiting to see if "the big one" will be brought in on their watch. And all around, an atmosphere of jovial kinship emerges.

Does it matter that you don't fish?

Does it matter that you can't even identify the four species of fish caught during the Derby?
Nawww. (Btw, it's Striped Bass, Bluefish, Bonito and False Albacore)

Does it matter that you don't know what a Grand Slam, Hat Trick or Division Leader is?
Heavens, no.

Only one things matters: it's THE DERBY, and YOU know it.

As far as fishing contests are concerned, there's some serious fishing going on around here.

For five nail-biting weeks, enthusiasts travel from all over the world and back to abandon themselves to a completely and insidiously compelling race to catch "the big one" or at least get "on the boards"  and win that miniature fish pin to flash proudly along with your Derby cap.

Each day in a weathered shack down on the Edgartown Harbor docks, participants haul their heaviest fish of the day in to see if they can make the boards - those dog-eared chalked-in charts divided into 8 categories that proclaim position 1, 2 and 3 leaders of the day.

Sometimes you make it... sometimes you don't.
Whatever the outcome, fishing the MV Derby is one of the highlights of vacationing and living here on the off season.

This year, our family is especially proud to be participating in the derby and on the boards.

In fact, let me just show you:

Early a.m. fishing - niece Julie

Staking a claim for surfcasting.

                                                  Catches and Keepers

Long walk to a good fishing spot

Making the "Boards"

Will it make it?

Yes it Will!

                             Division and Grand Leader - Boat/Bonito - Andy Wheeler in the lead!


Honestly? they should hang a large sign down at the ferry terminal :

                                 - ONLY 11 MORE DAYS TO FISH THE DERBY-

Just sayin'.

Have a Good One. :)

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