Dinner at the Pier: Fishing Dock Planned for Oak Bluffs

The northern most part of Oak Bluffs sticks into Nantucket Sound like a big thumb. There is a swift current moving in the waters off East Chop Beach Club and the Oak Bluffs Steamship Authority wharf. Swimming in this current are many kinds of fish, large and small. It is a fish highway, with schools of bait crisscrossing the water.

Glory But No Guts at Catch and Release Event

The Vineyard’s top saltwater fly fishermen will pair up with anglers from all over the country to compete in tomorrow night’s 22nd annual Martha’s Vineyard Rod and Gun Club striped bass catch-and-release tournament. It is primarily a night fishing event that begins at 7 p.m., and no fish are taken home.

Cooper A. Gilkes 3rd, who co-organizes the event, said many of the contestants are already here and are out scoping their favorite fishing places. This is a good fishing spring, Mr. Gilkes said. Shorefishermen are doing well all around the Island.

Herring, Mackerel Return for Season

There is a lot more to cheer about on the waterfront this spring when it comes to recreational fishing than a year ago. The fish are here and the list of species is long.

Atlantic mackerel showed up in April. This is a fish we call precious today, although decades ago it was a common spring fish.

State Attorney General Goes to Court to Block New Fishing Rules

As efforts to revive the New England groundfishery grow increasingly contentious, the state attorney general Thursday filed a lawsuit challenging new fishing regulations in the Northeast, saying they rely on “highly suspect science” and do not account for the devastating economic impact on the state’s fishing industry.

For Retired Fly Fisherman, Work Has Just Begun

It is the end of the day and the sun hangs low and red over Sengekontacket Pond. The waters of Nantucket Sound are relatively flat due to a southerly shift in the wind earlier in the afternoon, but a few small waves break on the shoreline. Schools of bluefish surface about a quarter mile offshore. Terns follow the schools as they erratically move along.

Painful Cuts for Groundfishermen Take Effect

As the struggle to save the foundering Northeast groundfishery continues, drastic cuts on landing limits for cod, yellowtail flounder and haddock went into effect this week. Adopted by the New England Fishery Management Council in late January and effective May 1, the cuts brought little cheerful news to the fishing communities up and down the New England coast.

Shark Release Ballot Question Passes

Oak Bluffs voted in favor of catch-and-release shark tournaments, West Tisbury approved a new police station and Edgartown approved two spending projects during annual town elections last week. Voter turnout was sparse, between nine and 13 per cent, and few races were contested. Oak Bluffs voters approved a nonbinding referendum that would make shark tournaments in town catch and release only by a margin of 225 to 186.

The annual Oak Bluffs Monster Shark Tournament, which offers prizes for the largest shark caught, is held at the Oak Bluffs harbor every summer.

Catch Reduced For Menhaden

In what fisheries experts are calling an historic measure to curb overfishing, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted late last week to reduce the fishing of menhaden by 20 per cent in the coming year.

The 20 per cent reduction takes effect July 1, 2013.

Fishing Permit the Main Catch in Viking Purchase

With the sale of Viking, a 40-foot fishing boat that has plied the waters off the Vineyard for three generations, the Island’s once-vibrant fleet of small wooden draggers is now at the brink of extinction.

Craig Coutinho of Vineyard Haven confirmed this week that he will sell Viking along with his fishing permits.

Annual Index Shows Striped Bass Young at All-Time Low

Juvenile striped bass spawned in the Chesapeake Bay were at a record low at the end of the summer. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources recently completed its annual young of the year survey and found far fewer juvenile fish than a year ago.

Scientists believe the factors are more tied to unusually warm weather conditions in the Chesapeake than to the number of adult fish spawning in the bay.

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