Most Massachusetts saltwater recreational fishermen will be required to purchase a $10 license if they plan on putting a hook in the water next year.
There are exceptions. Fishermen who are younger than 16 or disabled are exempt, for instance, as are fishermen on a state permitted charter fishing boat.
The new license is going to have the biggest impact on charter fishing captains. While their patrons aren’t going to be required to have the license to go out on a boat and fish, some captains will be required to pay a hefty fee above last year.
Black sea bass should be another New England fisheries success story. Years ago they were scarce but now they seem to be everywhere in Nantucket and Vineyard Sounds. Nevertheless, regulators farther down the coast still consider the fish in trouble, so local commercial fishermen are feeling shut out of what is an apparently healthy, growing fishery.
It should be bonito season. The water is warm, well into the 70s. There are plenty of sand eels swimming near the shoreline and there are plenty of terns overhead feeding. The bonito should be here. But they mostly aren’t.
Edgartown charter captains are catching some around Muskeget Channel. Rob Morrison, who works at Coop’s Bait and Tackle Shop, said they are also catching bonito at Hedge Fence.
The commercial striped bass season ended last Monday and Alec Gale of West Tisbury said it was the worst season he has seen in the six years he has been hauling fish to the mainland for the local anglers. “It was a slow season, and it wasn’t because of overfishing,” Mr. Gale said. “I think it was a lack of bait and the warm water temperature.”
Vineyard fishermen have joined a federal lawsuit against the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission over the lack of management of river herring and shad in federal waters. The lawsuit targets offshore industrial large-scale fishing boats working the Gulf of Maine and waters south of the Vineyard as culprits in the sharp decline of the fish.
are accepting nominations for their Sportsmanship Award. This annual award honors those who display the true meaning of good sportsmanship during the course of the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby.
Striped bass and fluke are a prime item this weekend in fish markets and in restaurants. And that will be it for the season. Due to the fact that state quotas have been met, the commercial striped bass season will close on Monday, August 23, and the commercial fluke season will close on Wednesday, August 25. The state estimates the 1.12 million-pound quota for striped bass and 846,667-pound quota for fluke have been met. Fish markets will likely have fish for a few days after the fishery closes.