Fluke move into Vineyard waters and fishermen too
This is about the time fishermen begin to fish for big fluke in Vineyard Sound. I expect a few fishermen will be surprised to learn that the recreational fluke regulations have been changed between last fishing season and this one.
The Times prints the Massachusetts recreational fishing limits on this page. I know that a lot of readers pay no attention.
I do not think Sgt. Pat Grady, the Vineyard environmental police officer, will accept ignorance as an excuse. He reads The Times.
Fishermen may only keep five fluke, each a minimum of 17.5 inches long. Last season the limit was seven fish.
I do not have the space to go into the regulatory process that produced these limits. Fisheries management is indeed a slippery subject.
Big fluke like this 9-pounder caught by Rebecca Weig last summer will be the focus for fishermen who enter the 8th Annual VFW Fluke Tournament on July 7 and 8. Photo by Jim Fraser
On Sunday, I went fishing with Tom Robinson. We floated around in the fog off Spring Point. Tom has a GPS, but it was lost in his basement. He needs a GPS to find his GPS.
A GPS would have been quite helpful. We would have known where we were, and we could have returned to the spots where we stumbled on fish.
All things considered, we did not do badly. We caught eight nice fluke, several big scup, a big sea bass, a bluefish, a dogfish and a large striped bass, all on fluke rigs.
It was a pleasant day. Tom and I both wore PFDs, though many boaters out that day did not.
The story that appears on the facing page is another reminder of how easily a pleasant day of boating can turn deadly. By all accounts, the man who fell off his sailboat was a sailor with ocean experience.
He probably thought of his trip on Nantucket Sound the way many of us think of a trip to the local market. Hop in the car and forget about the seat belt. Blam. Someone runs a stop sign.
I could not reach the guy, and as far as I know he has called no one to say thanks. I hope I hear from him, because I want to tell his story.
I want to know why an experienced sailor ended up in the water without a PFD. It is a story that has a message for everyone who heads out on the water.
VFW fluke tournament
The eighth annual Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) fluke tournament is scheduled for July 7 and July 8.
The fun contest is open to all ages and features a team competition. I will provide more information next week.
Fishermen can sign up at many Island tackle shops or at the VFW on Towanticut Avenue. Peter Hermann, tournament master, can be reached at 774-563-0293 with questions.