Oak Bluffs recreational shellfishermen were out Saturday morning at Sengekontacket Pond, a happy day, because it was opening weekend for family scalloping. And while there were not a lot of scallops to find, for most it was reason enough to get out on the water in the bright autumn sunshine.

Herbert A. (Bert) Combra Jr. was one of many out dip-netting for scallops, his peep sight bobbing in the pond, an El Producto cigar stuck in his mouth. “It is slim pickings,” he confirmed after a few minutes of looking through his sight. After a brief break, he went back out again. In two hours he netted three quarters of a bushel, recalling better days. “I’ve been going scalloping since I was 16 years old; I remember you could dip-net a bushel in less than a half-hour,” he said.

Nevertheless, he said: “This is a ritual. We look forward to the first day. It is always a scramble to get out there. This is a big holiday.”

Mark Alan Lovewell

He said he ate the first dozen sweet scallops raw, and fried up the rest for dinner.

Herb Combra
Mark Alan Lovewell

Quahauggers were out on the pond too; Sengekontacket reopened to shellfishing on Oct. 1 after being closed all summer.

“There were a lot of people out there,” said Oak Bluffs shellfish constable David Grunden.

— Mark Alan Lovewell