Rare Weirs

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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Shark Hooks

A Sag Harbor landscape artist has turned her attention to making shark tournaments on Long Island and on the Vineyard more environmentally friendly.

April Gornik is raising money to pay for and provide free circle hooks to fishing captains who participate in this month’s 24th annual 2010 Monster Shark Tournament in Oak Bluffs. The tournament is July 22 through July 24.

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Family Fishing

Island fishermen gathered for a dinner meeting at the Home Port Restaurant last week. The guest speaker was Niaz Dorry, a director with the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance, based in Windham, Me.

She compared the plight of the small-town commercial fisherman to that of the family farm, and as with small farming, she painted a picture of hope amid innovation.

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Kids’ Fishing Jamboree

Kids’ Fishing Jamboree

Bring the kids to the Martha’s Vineyard Surfcasters’ Kids’ Jamboree on Saturday, May 15 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Meet at the Edgartown School parking lot for free mini-seminars on casting, beach fishing, knot-tying, ice-fishing, fly-fishing, where to catch fish on the Vineyard and more. Please plan to stay with your kids. Hot dogs, chips and refreshments. The rain date is Sunday, May 16.

For details, call 508-693-3360.

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Rod and Gun Club Offers Introduction to Fly-Fishing

Fly-fishing and casting instruction for all levels is being offered in a workshop on Saturday, May 15, from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the Martha’s Vineyard Rod and Gun Club in Edgartown.

Learn the basics every fly-fisher needs, from knot-tying and fish-handling, to casting, techniques and tips, presented by John Kollett and Sandra Demel. You will be able to handle equipment and start saltwater fly-fishing right away.

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Island Fishermen Attend Sector Meeting

Fishermen from Martha’s Vineyard, Bar Harbor, Jonesport and Swan’s Island gathered last month for the inaugural meeting of members of the Northeast Coastal Communities Sector.

Over a 6 a.m. breakfast in Stonington, Me., the group elected a governing board and made plans for the opening of this year’s groundfishing season. This historic event heralds the possibility of landing sizeable amounts of groundfish in eastern Maine for the first time in almost 20 years.

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Island Anglers Land Fair Share of Fishing Awards

Vineyard fishermen did well in the state’s annual saltwater fishing contest, with six Island anglers taking prizes at an event held on Valentine’s Day at the Eastern Fishing and Outdoor Exposition in Worcester.

The state keeps tallies for the largest fish taken in a wide array of categories from Jan. 1 to Nov. 30.

Helena Kirschenbaum of Oak Bluffs won in the women’s category for a 42-pound, six-ounce striped bass.

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Mackerel Are Jumping, Herring Too

Last spring, when a local angler wanted to catch Atlantic mackerel in Vineyard waters he had to get in a boat and motor more than a mile off Gay Head. This week there is no need for the boat. For the first time in many years anglers are jigging for mackerel off Memorial Wharf in Edgartown and they are getting quite a few; some have caught enough for a holiday dinner. Plus, they are catching plenty of Atlantic herring.

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Lobster Decline Leads Fisheries Discussion; Commission Votes to Curb Menhaden Harvest


In four days of marathon meetings in Boston this week, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) covered the status of many fish in these waters, including menhaden, horseshoe crabs, fluke and black sea bass. Lobster and the striped bass were at the top of the list, though.

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Fewer Fishermen, More Fluke, Season Fails to Hit State Quota

There apparently is a lot more Vineyard sole left to be fished.

For the first time, Massachusetts commercial fishermen failed this year to reach their quota for harvesting fluke. As a result, the commercial fluke fishery, which normally closes by the end of the summer, is still open.

Dan McKiernan, deputy director of the state Division of Marine Fisheries, called it a “success story.” But local fishermen said the facts are more complicated.

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