The best treat available in the local fish market, and in the restaurants, is something you haven’t eaten in a while — black sea bass, another Vineyard waterfront success story.
We haven’t had the option of buying black sea bass in local fish markets during the summer for at least a half dozen years, if not more. If you have an aversion to oily tasting fish like bluefish, this is your kind of fish. Black sea bass is a white delicate flaky fish that is perfect any way it is cooked.
August is the month of opportunity when it comes to fishing. You can fish early or late under the stars. You can go by boat many miles out to sea or do it the easy way offshore. The water around the Island is warm enough for one to stand knee deep in the water and cast for hours without getting cold. There is no need for waders.
We’ve seen bluefish chasing bait close to shore, so when heading to the beach bring a rod and a small bag of tackle. It is all about seizing the opportunity.
There is good news on the Vineyard waterfront for those who love to eat fresh-caught fish. This summer, for the first time in many years, black sea bass will be available in restaurants and fish markets. Sea bass are abundant in surrounding waters, a commercial quota system in place has meant that the quota would be landed early in the fishing season.
A fisheries petition that began on the Vineyard last summer to throttle back the commercial season for black sea bass and scup is gaining favor among state fisheries managers.
The petition from Island recreational and commercial fishermen asks the state to end the spring commercial season for black sea bass and scup and postpone the opening until later in the summer and early fall. The action would not affect recreational fishing for both species.
Black sea bass should be another New England fisheries success story. Years ago they were scarce but now they seem to be everywhere in Nantucket and Vineyard Sounds. Nevertheless, regulators farther down the coast still consider the fish in trouble, so local commercial fishermen are feeling shut out of what is an apparently healthy, growing fishery.
Striped bass, alewives (also known as herring), black sea bass and squid have arrived for an early start to the fishing season. Striped bass have been seen and caught in hot pursuit of herring swimming into local coastal ponds.
Pound for pound, there is not a more ferocious, hard-pulling fish than the bluefish — which makes it a perfect target for young anglers learning how to catch a fish. To the inexperienced youth holding a rod and reel, hooking a small, four-pound snapper bluefish can feel like hooking a whale. They tug and tug and tug (keep your fingers away from its sharp teeth).