The Fishermen
Mark Alan Lovewell

By MARK ALAN LOVEWELL

Tomorrow morning at 12:01 begins the 10th annual Fluke Fishing Tournament, hosted by the Veterans of Foreign War Post 9261. The two-day fishing contest is expected to attract more than 100 anglers.

There were 170 fishermen in last year’s contest, and with fluke in abundance, there is plenty of reason for anglers to put down the $20 entrance fee and join this year. Teenagers and seniors are charged $10. Youngsters 12 and younger are admitted for free but they must register.

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Fluke Season
Mark Alan Lovewell

Island recreational anglers can now land fluke without breaking the law. The recreational season for fluke opened on Wednesday and the word along the shore is encouraging. Commercial fishermen have been dragging for fluke for weeks with positive results.

This is the first summer recreational fishermen were restricted from catching fluke at the start of the fishing season. They are pretty salty about it, but commercial fishermen have been dealing with openings and closings for decades.

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Fishermen Cry Foul At Loss of Herring
Sam Bungey

Ravaging of the river herring population by midwater trawlers and an absence of round-the-clock environmental police protection were the hot topics at a meeting between Cape and Islands Rep. Tim Madden and members of the newly formed Martha’s Vineyard Dukes County Fishermen’s Association Friday.

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Vineyard Fishermen Win Sector in Fisheries Management Overhaul
Mark Alan Lovewell

Vineyard commercial fishermen scored a key win in the struggle keep them from being squeezed out of the groundfish industry yesterday when the New England Fishery Management Council voted to adopt the sector system, granting the Vineyard its own sector.

The vote came after three days of meeting in Portland, Me. The meeting was attended by a small group of Vineyard fishing activists.

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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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