Fishing may not be for everyone, but the Skipper certainly is. A charter boat operating out of Oak Bluffs, the Skipper is a cheerful vessel that takes out two fishing charters every day of the week except Sunday, which just has one. Helmed for the past 24 years by Capt. John Potter, a ride on the Skipper is an experience.

The Skipper attracts both newcomers and loyal fishing enthusiasts who come back every summer. One such enthusiast is Debbie Tarr of Pleasant Valley, N.Y., who has been fishing on the Skipper longer than she can remember. “It’s part of my vacation,” Ms. Tarr said, noting that she typically makes her reservation five days in advance. Ms. Tarr brought along her sister Cindy, from Wappingers Falls, N.Y., who was somewhat less enthusiastic about fishing than her sister. She used a paper towel to hold the fish when she took it off the hook, but said she enjoyed the experience. “These guys are really great,” she said of Mr. Potter and his first mate, Jeff LaPierre. “It adds a little something to the trip.”

As the 17 passengers got their lines into the water on a Tuesday morning charter, there were bites almost immediately. “Go on the Skipper, you will catch fish,” Mr. Potter intoned as his happy customers reeled in black sea bass. “I make sure every kid catches a fish,” he said. He recounted the story of an 88-year-old woman who had taken one of his charters the week before, hoping to cross catching a fish off her bucket list. She caught five.

Mr. Potter steered the boat around to various spots, asking his passengers if they were getting any bites. As he settled into the second fishing locale of the morning, some excited cries came from the stern. Robbie Long, age eight, of Dunstable, was reeling in something big. After some directions from Mr. Potter and skillful netting by Mr. LaPierre, Robbie landed a 14-pound bluefish. But fortunes change as quickly as the tides. After Robbie’s catch, someone had another bluefish on, but with a flip of its tail, the chomper made its escape after looking its would-be captor in the eye. “Sometimes the fish win,” a philosophical Captain Potter observed. “It’s all about the fight, man.”

As the boat rocked from side to side in the waters off East Chop, and this reporter bravely fought off waves of seasickness, reels were cast left and right. Henry Eisner of Glen Cove, Ill., was celebrating his 12th birthday with his grandfather and two friends. Henry had caught only a small black sea bass while those around him were locked in epic battles with larger fish. His turn soon came. Mark Keane of Oradell, N.J., saw the telltale bend in his rod and handed it to Henry, knowing something big was coming up. Henry struggled and again Mr. Potter shouted encouragement and instruction. Mr. LaPierre stood at the ready with the net. A long, white shape thrashing close to the surface soon showed itself to be a sand shark. Mr. LaPierre brought it on board and he and Henry posed for pictures. “You never know what’s down there,” Mr. LaPierre said.

Mr. Potter draws on a lifetime of experience when he goes out on the water. Raised in Hong Kong, his family ties on the Vineyard date back for over a century. “I’ve always been a saltwater guy,” he said observing that his first job on the water was as a 14-year-old bait boy on the Ranger in 1976. Mr. Potter and Todd Alexander bought the Skipper 24 years ago, and now Mr. Potter owns it himself. The Skipper’s history on the water is extensive. Built in 1941, it was made for a boatbuilder’s family and has been berthed in the ports of Delmar, Sheepshead Bay and Staten Island over the past 70 years, in addition to Oak Bluffs. During World War II it was commissioned as a minesweeper in New York’s East River and then as a patrol boat looking for German U-boats. After the war ended she became a liberty launch. Over the last quarter century, she has patrolled Vineyard waters for fish and found some good times. She is also available for private hire and has hosted floating bachelor parties and sunset cruises, among other things.

But back to the fishing. It was a successful day. Ms. Tarr’s bucket had half a dozen fish flopping, awaiting their dinner table fate. Was Mr. Potter stocking the Sound? “It’s all about tide and wind and current,” the captain said. He marks successful grounds on his GPS for later revisiting and has a fish finder, but seems to rely mostly on his wits.

For Captain Potter the order of the day is fun and fish. With Jimmy Buffett playing on the stereo, the captain and his mate seem to be everywhere at once — baiting and fixing hooks, and doling out advice.

“Every day I help a kid catch his first fish,” Mr. Potter said.

And out on the Skipper, reeling in fish after fish, everyone seems to turn childlike, even if only for a few hours.