Island tackle shops

Cooper Gilkes, owner of Coop's Bait and Tackle in Edgartown, in the most popular corner of his shop. — File photo by Katryn Yerdon

Summer time on the Vineyard is a splendorous thing. With so many places to go and things to do, it is tough to get them all in. One thing you don’t want to miss is fishing in one of the best, most serene spots in the country. Whether you are a seasoned professional or a newbie, a stop-in at the local bait and tackle shop is a must.

One of the most popular and informative options is Coop’s Bait and Tackle on West Tisbury Road in Edgartown. I was lucky enough to catch a few minutes with owner/operator Cooper Gilkes, on Monday, to get the most updated fishing news.

Katryn: What is the current fishing status?

Coop: Bluefish and bass currently, though the bass is a little slow. Boats are doing fair while the shore is slow. Good places to go for the best chance are Menemsha Channel, Lobsterville Beach, and even the Big Bridge is doing okay. Also offshore, the yellow and bluefin tuna is doing very well and there is also some nice Marlin.

K: What can we expect next?

C: We are waiting for the bonita and albacore to arrive any day now.

K: What do people need to get started?

C: A rod and reel with plugs or bait. It is very easy to do. The best way to get started is to stop in the shop to pick up the latest info, as it changes day to day.

K: What is the most popular equipment?

C: The eight-foot light action-spinning rod. They start as low as $65 for a combo.

Along with great information, charter bookings for land and sea, Coops offers absolutely everything you need to be the most successful fisherperson possible.

Other options for bait and tackle in Edgartown is Captain Porky’s Bait and Tackle on Dock Street and Larry’s Tackle Shop on Upper Main Street. Larry’s, offers a vast selection of light tackle, offshore, and fly-fishing equipment, along with a wide variety of fishing services such as boat charters, rod and reel repair, rentals, and lessons. Their website,, keeps you up to date with shop news, available bait, and what species of fish have arrived in Island waters.

In Oak Bluffs you may fulfill your fishing needs at Dick’s Bait and Tackle on New York Avenue or at Shark’s Landing Bait Tackle and Charter Co. on East Chop Drive.

Are you up-Island and not planning a trip down? Do not fret as Menemsha Texaco Service has fishing tackle, rods, nets, and other assorted fishing items.

So wherever you go and however you choose to try to catch the big one, remember to take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy.