Crab Hunt
Mark Alan Lovewell

Blue crab is a Vineyard seafood delicacy. For many years, the idea of eating blue crab here was kept quiet among those who knew where to find them. They were the Vineyard’s secret seafood.

But increasing awareness of the health of the Island’s great ponds has moved the topic above a whisper; the only secret now is where.

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Elusive Bonito
Mark Alan Lovewell

It should be bonito season. The water is warm, well into the 70s. There are plenty of sand eels swimming near the shoreline and there are plenty of terns overhead feeding. The bonito should be here. But they mostly aren’t.

Edgartown charter captains are catching some around Muskeget Channel. Rob Morrison, who works at Coop’s Bait and Tackle Shop, said they are also catching bonito at Hedge Fence.

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Hope is the Thing With Scales
Paul Greenberg
In 1978 all the fish I cared about died. They were the biggest largemouth bass I had ever seen, and they lived in a pond ten minutes’ walk from my house on a large estate in the backwoods of Greenwich, Connecticut, perhaps the most famously wealthy town in America. We did not own the house, the estate, the pond, or the largemouth bass, but I still thought of the fish as my fish. I had found them, and the pond was my rightful hunting ground.
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Rare Weirs
Mark Alan Lovewell

The Vineyard has no fish weirs these days. The trapping technique, catching fish by way of corralling them against walls of branches, timber and spiles strewn with nets, is no longer used here.

On Wednesday afternoon, however, Jonathan James-Perry, 33, a storyteller and historian with the Aquinnah Cultural Center, gave a talk about the use of fish weirs by the Wampanoag Indians of this region. In a time when the ocean was bubbling with a lot more fish than are there now, a fish weir was an effective way to catch fish.

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Quiet One’s Actions Speak Loudly
Mark Alan Lovewell

Brian (Chip) Vanderhoop, 49, saved the livelihoods of a lot of fishermen as the U.S. Coast Guard boathouse burned. The Aquinnah harbor master and shellfish constable would prefer little notice; it is just out of character for him to talk much about himself or to pose for a photograph. Of his five Vanderhoop siblings, he is the quiet one.

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Mussel Farming
Mark Alan Lovewell

The first blue mussels on the experimental offshore mussel farm in Vineyard waters will be harvested in the coming weeks. The mussels are large enough to go to market, according to Scott Lindell, an aquaculture specialist with the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory.

There are two small farms. One is north of Chilmark; the second is west of Noman’s Land. Two Island fishermen, Alec Gale of West Tisbury and Tim Broderick of Chilmark, are tending the farms with a 55-foot workboat, the Jane Lee, out of Menemsha.

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Five-Year Moratorium on Lobstering Is Shelved; Fishermen Are Relieved
Mark Alan Lovewell

Worried Vineyard lobstermen are breathing a little easier this week following a meeting held last week with fisheries regulators in Rhode Island, where a proposed five-year moratorium on lobster fishing was placed on the shelf — at least for now.

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Shark Hunting
Mark Alan Lovewell

This is the weekend of the 24th annual Monster Shark Tournament and as many as 120 recreational fishing boats are expected in Oak Bluffs harbor. They’ll ply the waters south and east of the Vineyard in pursuit of the biggest shark, but only a few fish will be brought ashore.

This event has drawn much attention in recent years, including from animal rights activists, who complain about wasteful killing of sharks in recent years.

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Bass Fisherman Is One of Many Who Pitched In to Help Others
Peter Brannen

By PETER BRANNEN

As the charred remains of the drive-on dock at Menemsha stand as a reminder of last Monday’s fire, the unselfish actions of a few individuals during the frenzied confusion of the blaze have come into sharp relief.

One such individual is Menemsha bass fisherman Casey Elliston, who salvaged a number of boats from the inferno as flames raced down the ill-fated pier. For his part, Mr. Elliston refuses to acknowledge that he did anything special the day Menemsha burned.

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Commercial Striper
Mark Alan Lovewell

Vineyard restaurants and fish markets are now serving and selling fresh, locally caught striped bass. The commercial season officially opened on Tuesday in Massachusetts.

Commercial anglers have a season that will probably run well into August before the quota is taken. They are limited to fish that are a minimum of 34 inches, and there is a daily limit of five fish on Sundays, and 30 fish on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The Massachusetts quota for commercial fishing of striped bass is 1,128,577 pounds.

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