Martha’s Vineyard scallopers welcome in autumn pastime

A dip net full of delectable scallops caught on a pretty autumn day puts a smile on Ms. White's face. — Photo by Michael Johnson

For many who enjoy shellfishing on Martha’s Vineyard, October brings the welcome anticipation of netting scallops instead of raking autumn leaves.

Recreational and commercial fishermen can look forward to harvesting and eating sweet, delectable fresh bay scallops caught in local waters this month.

Scallopers usually fall into two categories, dip-netters and those who drag nets from a boat. Those who dip net wade in the water and use a “peep sight,” a box with a transparent bottom made of glass or plexiglass, in order to look in the water to spot the scallops and scoop them up with a net.

Check with town halls in Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, and Tisbury for regulations. Harvest limits, permit cost, seasonal dates, and areas closed to shellfishing often vary from town to town. Some areas are restricted to use of dip nets, and specific minimum size limits apply.