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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Current Affairs
Mark Alan Lovewell

The current in the Edgartown harbor has changed again.

It has been three years since the Norton Point opening connected Katama Bay to the sea, and the water movement through the harbor has gained another measure of unpredictability: currents running through Edgartown harbor are far greater than tidal.

Plus, the three years of increased current has changed the way boaters use the harbor and the way bathers use the beaches.

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Sengekontacket Pond Opens for Shellfishing After Three Summers
Mark Alan Lovewell

Summer shellfishermen will have access to Sengekontacket Pond for the first time in several years, so long as there isn’t a big rainstorm.

The State Division of Marine Fisheries has lifted the pond from a routine seasonal closure.

Sengekontacket Pond is overseen by the Edgartown and Oak Bluffs shellfish departments under the watchful eye of the state.

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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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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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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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Fishermen Feud Over Horseshoe Crab Protection
Mike Seccombe

Among all the species taken by fishermen in this part of the world, horseshoe crabs have, until now, enjoyed a dubious distinction: they were the only ones targeted while in the act of reproducing.

The easiest way for many to catch them was to walk the beaches at the times of the full and new moons in May and June and simply pick them up as they came into the shallows to spawn.

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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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Little Anglers Land Big Catches
Megan Dooley

The Island’s youngest fish ermen were treated to a quiet, still morning last Saturday. The anglers came early to Duarte’s Pond in West Tisbury to compete in the annual spring Martha’s Vineyard Rod and Gun Club trout tournament. The club hosted the event with a large crew of volunteers. Youngsters were treated to hot dogs on the grill.

The club had stocked the pond with plenty of large trout, but it was the native pickerel that gave fishermen the best catch. Native catfish were also plentiful.

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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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