There is a lot more to cheer about on the waterfront this spring when it comes to recreational fishing than a year ago. The fish are here and the list of species is long.

Atlantic mackerel showed up in April. This is a fish we call precious today, although decades ago it was a common spring fish.


Zak Potter fishing rod ferry edgartown

Last spring, when a local angler wanted to catch Atlantic mackerel in Vineyard waters he had to get in a boat and motor more than a mile off Gay Head. This week there is no need for the boat. For the first time in many years anglers are jigging for mackerel off Memorial Wharf in Edgartown and they are getting quite a few; some have caught enough for a holiday dinner. Plus, they are catching plenty of Atlantic herring.

Atlantic mackerel

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.