Commercial Striped Bass Season Opens
Mark Alan Lovewell

Commercial striped bass season opened on Sunday with mixed reviews from fishermen. Fishmongers, however, are happy to have the desirable fish in stock again for the Island’s many interested customers.

Striped bass is a highly regulated fishery, especially on the commercial side. Last year the season come to a quick end on August 9 when fishermen reached their allowable catch about a month after the season opened.

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Sunrise Means Tight Lines; Early Bird Anglers, Bring the Worms
Mark Alan Lovewell

Gary Hoffer, 59, of Pawtucket woke up very early on Sunday morning to fish Lobsterville Beach.

“You need to go when it is convenient for the fish,” Mr. Hoffer said. “If you want to go fishing at 10:30 in the morning, you won’t catch a damn thing.”

Mr. Hoffer said he has been coming to the Vineyard for 38 years and fishing in the early morning for 30 of those years. While his wife Pamela, brother Jack and sister-in-law Deb slept, he soaked up the sunrise and the quietest hour of the day.

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Dinner at the Pier: Fishing Dock Planned for Oak Bluffs
Mark Alan Lovewell

The northern most part of Oak Bluffs sticks into Nantucket Sound like a big thumb. There is a swift current moving in the waters off East Chop Beach Club and the Oak Bluffs Steamship Authority wharf. Swimming in this current are many kinds of fish, large and small. It is a fish highway, with schools of bait crisscrossing the water.

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Glory But No Guts at Catch and Release Event
Mark Alan Lovewell

The Vineyard’s top saltwater fly fishermen will pair up with anglers from all over the country to compete in tomorrow night’s 22nd annual Martha’s Vineyard Rod and Gun Club striped bass catch-and-release tournament. It is primarily a night fishing event that begins at 7 p.m., and no fish are taken home.

Cooper A. Gilkes 3rd, who co-organizes the event, said many of the contestants are already here and are out scoping their favorite fishing places. This is a good fishing spring, Mr. Gilkes said. Shorefishermen are doing well all around the Island.

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Herring, Mackerel Return for Season
Mark Alan Lovewell

There is a lot more to cheer about on the waterfront this spring when it comes to recreational fishing than a year ago. The fish are here and the list of species is long.

Atlantic mackerel showed up in April. This is a fish we call precious today, although decades ago it was a common spring fish.

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State Attorney General Goes to Court to Block New Fishing Rules
Sara Brown

As efforts to revive the New England groundfishery grow increasingly contentious, the state attorney general Thursday filed a lawsuit challenging new fishing regulations in the Northeast, saying they rely on “highly suspect science” and do not account for the devastating economic impact on the state’s fishing industry.

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For Retired Fly Fisherman, Work Has Just Begun
Mark Alan Lovewell

It is the end of the day and the sun hangs low and red over Sengekontacket Pond. The waters of Nantucket Sound are relatively flat due to a southerly shift in the wind earlier in the afternoon, but a few small waves break on the shoreline. Schools of bluefish surface about a quarter mile offshore. Terns follow the schools as they erratically move along.

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Painful Cuts for Groundfishermen Take Effect
Mark Alan Lovewell
As the struggle to save the foundering Northeast groundfishery continues, drastic cuts on landing limits for cod, yellowtail flounder and haddock went into effect this week. Adopted by the New England Fishery Management Council in late January and effective May 1, the cuts brought little cheerful news to the fishing communities up and down the New England coast.
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Shark Release Ballot Question Passes
Sara Brown
Oak Bluffs voted in favor of catch-and-release shark tournaments, West Tisbury approved a new police station and Edgartown approved two spending projects during annual town elections last week. Voter turnout was sparse, between nine and 13 per cent, and few races were contested. Oak Bluffs voters approved a nonbinding referendum that would make shark tournaments in town catch and release only by a margin of 225 to 186.

The annual Oak Bluffs Monster Shark Tournament, which offers prizes for the largest shark caught, is held at the Oak Bluffs harbor every summer.

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Catch Reduced For Menhaden
Mark Alan Lovewell
In what fisheries experts are calling an historic measure to curb overfishing, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted late last week to reduce the fishing of menhaden by 20 per cent in the coming year.

The 20 per cent reduction takes effect July 1, 2013.

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