The Fishermen
Mark Alan Lovewell

By MARK ALAN LOVEWELL

Fishing boats are back out in Vineyard Sound, after what has been a long stretch of really bad weather, not just on the land, on the water.

The Menemsha fleet returned to fishing for fluke on Wednesday, after being kept shoreside since last weekend because of the wind.

“I haven’t fished for three days,” said Capt. Craig Coutinho of the Menemsha dragger Viking on Tuesday night. “The fluke fishing was going pretty good, before we got this.”

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Fishing Contests
Mark Alan Lovewell

Fishing tournaments seem to stick on the Vineyard. Invite a group of anglers together and hold a fishing derby and their fun tends to come around again, a year later. That is how the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby was started by the chamber of commerce and they are now entering their 64th year.

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Fishermen Seek Congressional Action
Mark Alan Lovewell

Bait fish that were once plentiful in the waters around the Cape and Islands have grown scarce. And recreational fishermen want Congress to step in to help do something about it.

Menhaden, also called bunker, have all but disappeared. Atlantic mackerel had a weak showing this spring. Even squid are down; the commonwealth has extended the spring fishing season into June to help commercial draggers meet the state quota, but the bigger question is what happened to the squid?

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State Fishing License
Mark Alan Lovewell

New legislation will be filed in the state house this month making way for a state recreational saltwater fishing license. State Representative Tim Madden said he plans to cosponsor the legislation and that is a good idea for all local fishermen.

“The federal government is mandating that there be a recreational saltwater license. This one, a state version is better, because it keeps the money here,” Mr. Madden said.

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Catch and Release Tournament Starts Tomorrow

Tomorrow, flyfishermen from around the Island and beyond will gather for the 18th annual Martha’s Vineyard Rod and Gun Club flyrod catch and release tournament. Registration is at the regional high school cafeteria from noon to 3 p.m. Entry fee is $35. Fishing begins at 7 p.m. and continues until 2 a.m. Sunday.

In years past as many as 200 fishermen have participated in the one-night contest and caught and released hundreds of striped bass.

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Old Salts Lend Skills to Youngsters
Mark Alan Lovewell

Tomorrow is the first ever Kids Fishing Jamboree. Youngsters from all over the Island are invited to attend a learn-how-to-fish program and it involves a lot of experienced anglers. Registration is at 8:15 a.m. at the Edgartown School and it is open to all children aged six through 14 years of age. The program is especially open to parents.

The event is sponsored by the Martha’s Vineyard Surfcasters Association, a nonprofit fishing club dedicated to promoting the sport. They do a number of fishing friendly events and this one is an experiment.

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Early Birds Catch the Trout at Duarte’s Pond
Mark Alan Lovewell

Spring rain and fog did little to dampen the spirits of young anglers and their parents participating in the 35th annual Martha’s Vineyard Rod and Gun Club trout tournament early Saturday morning — very early. More than 200 youngsters rose before sunrise to get to Duarte’s Pond in West Tisbury in time for the start at first light.

They came wearing raincoats and rubber boots, bearing cans of worms and artificial bait and laden with fishing gear.

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Fishing and Climate Change Talk

The effects of climate change and commercial fishing on the marine ecosystem will be the focus of this year’s Menemsha Fisheries Development Fund’s series of programs at the Chilmark Public Library.

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Rod and Gun Club Hosts Annual Trout Tournament

The Island’s big fishing event for youngsters, the Martha’s Vineyard Trout Tournament, is into its 35th year. Each year hundreds of our young Island fisherman vie for the many prizes and gifts that are made available to the winners of the various fishing categories. This year, it’s May 9, and as always it’s at Duarte’s Pond.

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Division of Fisheries Stocks Island Ponds With Trout
Mark Alan Lovewell

By MARK ALAN LOVEWELL

The Vineyard’s four popular freshwater ponds were stocked with more than 1,100 trout on Wednesday. Officials from the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife came over with a special truck filled with bubbling water, loaded with rainbow, brown and tiger trout.

Steven Hurley, fisheries manager for the state, said the fish were delivered to Duarte’s Pond, Old Mill Pond and Uncle Seth’s Pond in West Tisbury, and Upper Lagoon Pond which is shared by the towns of Tisbury and Oak Bluffs.

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