12-yr-old lands 49-pound striper - Soundings Online

12-yr-old lands 49-pound striper

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When a 5-foot-6-inch girl reels in a 5-foot-1-inch fish, a whopper big enough to win the 60th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, most anglers take note and repeat the story.

When a 5-foot-6-inch girl reels in a 5-foot-1-inch fish, a whopper big enough to win the 60th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, most anglers take note and repeat the story.

That’s precisely what happened to 12-year-old Molly Fischer, a seventh-grader from West Tisbury, Mass., who thought she’d landed an alligator in the choppy waters off Squibnocket in mid-October.

Fischer was aboard a family friend’s boat, Slapshot II, with her father, Al Fischer, and a few other friendly competitors, waiting on their luck in the pouring rain, when the 49.2-pound monster tugged on her line. She fought it alone at the stern for 20 minutes, bringing it over the gunwale with a thud.

“I thought it was an alligator,” she said. “I was really scared of it when we brought it in the boat.”

At the weigh-in station in Edgartown on Oct. 9, an excited crowd gathered to witness what would become a tournament winner, an eye-popping striped bass that remained the leader throughout the week.

Molly’s fish took honors in four categories: biggest in the junior division, biggest reeled in from a boat, biggest fish landed by a female, and biggest fish overall.

“This is the true essence of the derby, the true essence of life on the island,” said Molly’s mom, Linda. “It’s as honest and pure as you can get.”

The girl is enjoying the notoriety. To celebrate the catch, dad took her for ice cream, where customers immediately pointed her out as the little girl who caught the big fish.

The derby attracted more than 3,000 participants, culminating in an awards ceremony that gave away $350,000 in prizes, including a Boston Whaler Outrage, a Chevrolet pickup and fishing equipment.