The Herring Are Coming! Spring Bait Fishery Rebounds

Herring are back and the numbers are stronger compared with a year ago. Also known as alewives, herring are one of the true coastal signs of spring and considered essential bait fish in the food chain.

While the reports of numbers this spring are improved over last year, they are at best cautiously optimistic. A state moratorium prohibiting the catching of herring has been in place since 2005. The ban was a response to a dramatic drop in the numbers of fish returning in the spring of 2004 and before. Recovery has been slow, if at all, until this spring.

Breaking News: Friday, May 6 - Island Fishermen Have Close Encounter With Shark

Three Vineyard fishermen had a real-life Jaws moment on Friday morning when they encountered a great white shark circling a dead minke whale that had become tangled in lobster line in the area known as Devil’s Bridge off Aquinnah.

Fish Whisperer Shares Secrets of Trade

You want advice about catching trout tomorrow morning?

Cooper A. Gilkes 3rd has a winning starter tip for first-time freshwater anglers: Go early.

Plenty of good fishing techniques will be demonstrated tomorrow morning between anglers, before sunrise at the 37th annual Martha’s Vineyard Rod and Gun Club trout tournament which begins at first light, or about an hour before sunrise. After years of fishing, Mr. Gilkes said he has the technique that works.

Last Free Weekend, Then Pay for Fishing

Freshwater and saltwater fishing is free this weekend for those who have not yet registered for a Massachusetts fishing license. It is a chance for all adult anglers to get their lines wet without having to buy a fishing license. But on Monday, most adults are required to have a state license.

New Fishing Tournament Aims to Benefit Children

Bass and Blues for Boys and Girls is a new fishing contest to benefit Island children. Fishing starts early tomorrow morning and continues until 3 p.m. when there will be an awards ceremony and cookout. The striped bass and bluefish contest benefits the Martha’s Vineyard Boys’ and Girls’ Club.

Havlicek Celebrity Fishing Tournament Set to Turn 30

The John Havlicek Celebrity Fishing Tournament, a people-spotting fishing and golf tournament that raises money for the Genesis Fund, celebrates its 30th anniversary this week.

The contest has raised $2 million for the nonprofit organization committed to helping children with birth defects, genetic disorders and intellectual disabilities and their families.

The event was started by Boston Celtic legend John Havlicek and his wife, Beth.

On the Fly: Workshop Lures Anglers of All Levels

Brad Pitt made fly-fising look so easy in A River Runs Through It. Dappled sunlight on blond hair, the big smile and a slight flick of the wrist to set a fly lure right on the lip of a hungry trout. Oh, if that’s all it took.

Thankfully, for the rest of us mere mortals looking to get out from under a tangled mess, help is on the way. On Saturday, May 14 from 8:30 a.m. to noon John Kollett and Sandra Demel at the Martha’s Vineyard Rod and Gun Club will host a workshop for all levels.

Early Bluefish

Early Bluefish

The first bluefish of the season was caught by an Oak Bluffs angler at Wasque on Tuesday.

George Moran, 66, was fishing for striped bass with another Oak Bluffs angler, Vincent Frye, in the afternoon, overcast with a hollering wind.

Mr. Moran said they were hoping to get striped bass — and he did get one.

But shortly after 2 p.m., Mr. Moran said: “I made a cast, and suddenly I got a hit. It didn’t feel like a bass.”

Ill-Gotten Striped Bass Found But Ten-Ton Poachers Slip Net

In an incident that has reverberated among fishermen up the East Coast, more than 10 tons of illegally caught striped bass were confiscated by environmental police in Maryland over the last two weeks.

Here Come the Bonito

Atlantic bonito are here. After rumblings over the last two weeks, reports are coming in that the summer’s fastest swimmers have entered Island waters. We’ve heard that Atlantic bonito, which usually reside in warmer waters, have been taken at The Hooter, a buoy that marks Muskeget Channel.

Capt. Porky Francis of Edgartown said he also is hearing reports that bonito are being taken at Hedge Fence, a shoal that is off Oak Bluffs.