Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Recently you printed a letter from Scott Terry regarding the controversy over the use of yo-yoing for striped bass. Mr. Terry has a reputation for being a very good artist as well as a very good fisherman and he has certainly had his share of press over the years, not all of it positive.

In Defense of Yo-Yoing

Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

In view of the fact that I am already considered by many in the “sport” fishing community as one of those dirty commercial bass fishermen, it will do little to hurt my reputation to shed some light on the history and practice of yo-yoing that has been conveniently overlooked in the knee-jerk and poorly considered reaction to lead weights being found in several derby fish this year.


Yo-yoing, a fishing technique commonly used by commercial striped bass fishermen in Massachusetts and elsewhere, should be outlawed, according to Brad Burns, president of Stripers Forever, a national nonprofit organization that advocates treating striped bass as a game fish in state waters.


Two leading Island recreational fishing organizations have called on the state Division of Marine Fisheries to end the controversial practice known as yo-yoing, which laces bait fish with lead that ends up in the bellies of striped bass.

fish, ruler, weight

One of the top striped bass caught in the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby this past week had a rough journey off and back onto the derby leader board.

On Sunday evening, Lev Wlodyka, 28, of Chilmark weighed in a 57.56 pound striped bass.

But the fish, it turns out, had ingested 1.68 pounds of lead prior to being caught.

This was a big surprise to Mr. Wlodyka, not to mention to derby officials. They quickly disqualified the fish. The decision upset Mr. Wlodyka, for he had caught the fish using a hooked eel.