Stocks of Striped Bass Healthy, But Still the Fishermen Worry

The striped bass is fun to catch and good to eat. It’s also enigmatic, historically prone to wild fluctuations in numbers and to inexplicable disappearances from area waters. And with the annual Island fishing derby opening Sunday, the old question is being asked again: where are all the fish?

Cooper Gilkes 3rd, an Island fisherman for more than 50 years and the owner of Coop’s Bait and Tackle in Edgartown, is concerned, for catch numbers seem to be in sharp decline.

The Fishermen


As the farmer brings in the last vegetables, in autumn the lobsterman’s season is starting to slow down.

Capt. Paul MacDonald of the lobsterboat Shearwater was putting some of his yellow-wire pots away at the dock at Menemsha Tuesday afternoon. “It was a good season, though I had to work hard to make the same amount of money as last year,” the captain said.

There is good and bad news in the stories he and others shared about his past summer.

The Fishermen


The best of the fin fishing season is far from over, but already attention shifts to the start of the bay scallop season. Oct. 1 was traditionally the start for the recreational season. Not so anymore, except in Edgartown.

The Fishermen


Recreational fishing doesn’t end with the derby. Although tomorrow night brings closure to the 63rd annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, don’t put the fishing rod away. The word is out, there is still plenty of fishing left in this season. The water is still warm and fall migration of big schools of stripers have yet to appear.

Striped Bass Index Drops, Anxiety Rises

Striped bass, the Vineyard’s most valued fish, is struggling.

A new report shows the number of striped bass spawned in the Chesapeake Bay this year was the lowest seen in well over a decade — and fishermen along the Eastern seaboard, alarmed that striped bass may be overfished, are raising concerns about the future of the fishery.

Fisher Poet

Students at the Tisbury School this week had the opportunity to hear the poetry of a fisherman.

Dave Densmore, of Kodiak, Alas., and Astoria, Ore., was a featured speaker for fifth and sixth graders. He came as a guest in the middle of a whirlwind tour on the East Coast.

On Wednesday evening Mr. Densmore was a featured speaker at a forum on fishing at the Chilmark Public Library.

Ferrying Fish

Alec Gale had a great summer. With the economic engine in the country not powering, his entrepreneurship is helping to propel the Island’s oldest industry; Mr. Gale helped a number of Menemsha-based commercial fishermen make a living this summer.

Commercial Season Closes for Bluefish, Striped Bass

Two of the most popular recreational fish will soon be off limits to commercial fishermen. The commercial bluefish season ends tomorrow. The commercial striped bass season ends on Tuesday.

This is the first time Massachusetts fisheries managers are closing the commercial season on bluefish. Using landing data, the state estimates the 516,619-pound quota for bluefish in the state will be taken by tomorrow. Fish markets may carry the fish beyond the date, but it won’t be for long.

Striped Bass and Bluefish Are Here

The Island fishing season arrives in June. There are enthusiasts who will go out in April or May and catch some nice fish, but they are only preparing for what happens in June.

Early Anglers Will Get the Fish at Annual Trout Tournament

The best time to catch fish during tomorrow morning’s trout tournament is early, at its beginning.

The 34th annual Martha’s Vineyard Rod and Gun Club’s trout tournament is free for youngsters 14 years of age and younger. As many as 200 youngsters are expected to show up to the shores of Duarte’s Pond, off Lambert’s Cove in West Tisbury.

The tournament starts early, before sunrise, and concludes at 10 a.m.