The Fishermen
Mark Alan Lovewell

The state reopened coastal ponds to shellfishing on Saturday, following a closure due to heavy rains which ended early last week. The state Division of Marine Fisheries had issued the closure to more than 30 Massachusetts towns on Sept. 29, based on the expectation that water quality in coastal ponds would diminish after three days of heavy rains.

Shellfish managers were typically concerned that road runoff would fill the ponds with excessive bacteria.

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Fisher Poet
Mark Alan Lovewell

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.

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Whine-in at the Weigh-in, Ted Collins Goes Kayak Fishing
Mark Alan Lovewell
There are two things fishermen like to complain about: the lack of fish and the weather. There has certainly been plenty of complaining going on inside and outside the derby weigh station at the foot of Main street in Edgartown. The fish are out there but they are not available to all anglers.
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The Fishermen
Mark Alan Lovewell

By MARK ALAN LOVEWELL

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.

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Bluefish Ate the Sluggo
Julia Wells
Saturday night, an hour before sundown. The ferocious northeast wind from the day before has died, the only reminder a thick blanket of seaweed covering the rocky north shore. My friend and I are fishing. He has entered the derby; I have not. We trade off using two rods, one big, one small. The small rod has a sluggo, apparently the lure of choice for catching bass this year, the large one a popper.

Another lone fisherman stands in the rocks several hundred yards away. We can hear the quiet whine of his reel as he casts far out into the setting sun.

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The Fishermen
Mark Alan Lovewell

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.

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Stocks of Striped Bass Healthy, But Still the Fishermen Worry
Mike Seccombe

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.

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Ferrying Fish
Mark Alan Lovewell

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.

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Sharing the Ocean
Mark Alan Lovewell

The most stressed-out fish of the sea, the false albacore, made an appearance a week ago. They scared the bonito away and now it seems as though both are absentee.

False albacore and bonito are among the fastest swimming fish of these waters from late August to October. They are a finicky warmer weather fish. It is hard to write a sentence about one without mentioning the other in the same paragraph.

But the prevailing northeast winds of the last few days have cut down on a lot of the boat fishing.

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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.

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