Now that it is derby time, I have been thinking (and eating) fish. I like fish, but I don’t like to fish. As a child, I would drop a line off the Edgartown wharf or the Menemsha dock with my brother John and we would catch scup.
When he was a young boy, Peter Herrmann loved to fish off the Steamship wharf in Oak Bluffs. Before the first boat, and after the ferry stopped running for the winter, Mr. Herrmann and his friends would climb over the fence, fishing rods in hand.
When Alan Lovewell was a young child growing up on the Vineyard, his mother had worked out a summertime arrangement with a local fisherman. Teresa Yuan would exchange her well-respected egg rolls for some of Tom Turner’s weekly catch, creating what was probably young Alan’s first exposure to the concept of a cooperative fishery.
If you love eating fresh-caught fluke you should rush to the fish market and buy it today. Today is the last day commercial fishermen are permitted to land and sell fluke. After today the only options are to catch it yourself or befriend a recreational angler.
Fluke, also called summer flounder, is a Vineyard success story.
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 are many seasons that go with being a Vineyard angler. For one group, offshore fishing with a rod and reel is the pinnacle of summer. There is perhaps no greater sense of wonder than being 80 miles south of the Vineyard in a boat reeling in a giant tuna.
Commercial striped bass season opened on Sunday with mixed reviews from fishermen. Fishmongers, however, are happy to have the desirable fish in stock again for the Island’s many interested customers.
Striped bass is a highly regulated fishery, especially on the commercial side. Last year the season come to a quick end on August 9 when fishermen reached their allowable catch about a month after the season opened.
Gary Hoffer, 59, of Pawtucket woke up very early on Sunday morning to fish Lobsterville Beach.
“You need to go when it is convenient for the fish,” Mr. Hoffer said. “If you want to go fishing at 10:30 in the morning, you won’t catch a damn thing.”
Mr. Hoffer said he has been coming to the Vineyard for 38 years and fishing in the early morning for 30 of those years. While his wife Pamela, brother Jack and sister-in-law Deb slept, he soaked up the sunrise and the quietest hour of the day.