Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries
Striped bass were scarce at this year's derby, following a trend in recent years, but Vineyard fishermen may have reason for optimism after two major stock assessments have shown a record or near-record number of spawning fish in the Chesapeake Bay.
Warming waters around Martha’s Vineyard have discouraged what once were abundant fish. Top fisheries scientists with the National Marine Fisheries Service recently released a report citing the dramatic influence changing climate has had on at least one of the fish that used to spend a lot of time in these waters: Atlantic mackerel.
Atlantic mackerel have shifted away from the Vineyard and now are found more east and northeast, according to the report.
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.
A drastic decline in striped bass stocks has state and federal officials scrambling to protect the fish, but many recreational fishermen say the government isn’t moving fast enough.
The state advisory commission that manages saltwater fisheries in our waters, under the Massachusetts State Division of Marine Fisheries, will hold a meeting Thursday, May 10, 11 a.m. at the Katharine Cornell Theatre in the Tisbury Town Hall. It is rare for the commission to meet here — they meet nine times a year and almost always on the mainland. The director of the division, Paul Diodati, will also attend along with the commissioners and division staff.
Pound for pound, there is not a more ferocious, hard-pulling fish than the bluefish — which makes it a perfect target for young anglers learning how to catch a fish. To the inexperienced youth holding a rod and reel, hooking a small, four-pound snapper bluefish can feel like hooking a whale. They tug and tug and tug (keep your fingers away from its sharp teeth).