Shark Hunting

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.

Vineyard Anglers to Fight State Plan To Ban Commercial Striped Bass Fishing

Hearings begin next week on legislation that would make striped bass an exclusively recreational fish in state waters.

The Massachusetts Striped Bass Conservation Bill, 796, filed a year ago by Falmouth state representative Matthew Patrick, has been debated among recreational and commercial fishermen for months.

Bill Is Called Not Fair Game

Don’t make striped bass a game fish. That was the message delivered last week by a group of Vineyard commercial bass fishermen who traveled to the state house in Boston to object to legislation that would do just that. The fishermen, most of them members of the Dukes County/Martha’s Vineyard Fishermen’s Association, spoke out with one voice against House Bill 796.

More than 100 fishermen attended the hearing hosted by the Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture on Jan. 14.

Striped Bass Bill Dead in the Water

A state legislator’s effort to make striped bass a recreational fish only is dead for now. The state’s Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture has sent the proposal back for further study.

House Bill 796, filed by Falmouth representative Matthew C. Patrick, would have closed striped bass fishing to all but recreational fishermen. The bill was filed a year ago.

Sengekontacket Pond Opens for Shellfishing After Three Summers

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.

Few Fishermen Join Saltwater Registry

Beginning this year, under a new federal law, recreational saltwater fishermen are required either to have a saltwater license or to have registered with their state. In Massachusetts, where a law requiring a license will take effect next year, fishermen are supposed to register.

But very few have.

Fisherman Brings Changes to Menemsha


There is another fishing boat in Menemsha. The blue, 55-foot offshore lobsterboat Retriever belongs to Capt. Alec Gale and will be used by him to transport fish from Menemsha to the mainland. Retriever replaces his previous workboat, the Jane Lee, a Bruno Stillman 55.

Five-Year Moratorium on Lobstering Is Shelved; Fishermen Are Relieved

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.

Quiet One’s Actions Speak Loudly

Brian (Chip) Vanderhoop, 49, saved the livelihoods of a lot of fishermen as the U.S. Coast Guard boathouse burned. The Aquinnah harbor master and shellfish constable would prefer little notice; it is just out of character for him to talk much about himself or to pose for a photograph. Of his five Vanderhoop siblings, he is the quiet one.

Bass Fisherman Is One of Many Who Pitched In to Help Others


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.