Fall bite is on


The weather finally feels like fall. Cold nights, brisk mornings, and steady winds. You don’t have to look far to find the avid anglers on the Island willing to brave the winds and rain. Many of the harbor’s boats are emptying out, but fishermen are finding a way on the beaches, jetties, and piers.

I received a call from a good friend of mine, Gary Stuber, the other day. “The albies are invading Menemsha,” he said. I dropped what I was doing and headed to meet him on the jetty, and he wasn’t kidding. The whole area was packed with fisherman, and everyone was hooking up. It looked like an average day mid-Derby, with anglers on the jetty, on docks, and on the beach. With the competition over, there was a certain calm that was evident. Everyone was out there to have fun, with smiles from ear to ear. Though I am actually counting the days until next year’s Derby, it is nice to just get out and fish with no pressure. The fish are feeding to prepare for their migration, so it is becoming a little easier to hook up on a nice albie.

With my personal fishing obsession taking over our home, I set about building what my wife calls a “giant fishing cabinet” to house all my gear. We do not have a home large enough for a traditional man cave, so I had to get creative. Staying organized has proven difficult, as my collection of gear seems to grow almost every day. I keep my eye out for fishing sales, garage sales, or people who just don’t use their gear anymore. This is a great way to collect interesting lures, and hard-to-find tools, but it is easy to come home with a bucket of plugs and no place to put them. With the help of my landlord, I put together an 11-foot-tall cabinet large enough to house my gear, and protect my precious collection from the elements. “I hope Gavin realizes how great a wife I am for allowing him to further infiltrate our life and homestead with his fishing obsession,” my wife said. I do, and at the end of the day, I know she is glad that our living room is no longer home to my fishing gear.

The bait is still here in large quantities, with bass being caught in many of the harbors. Schoolie bass are all over the north shore as well, with some larger bass being reported. The biggest bass I have heard about this week was pulled out of the inner harbor of Vineyard Haven. Albies, with the occasional bonito, are still being caught at Middle Ground, around the Elizabeth Islands, and at Hedge Fence. Bluefish have still been swarming Vineyard Haven Harbor on an almost daily basis. I have been going slightly out of my way every morning to make sure I drive over the bridge, in case the bite is on. If you are out on a boat, there have been bluefish off Wasque, with some albies mixed in the rips out to the hooter. I am fortunate enough to have friends who are still willing to put their boats in the water, and am looking forward to at least one more trip out on the water before everyone puts their boat up for the winter.


Gavin Smith began fishing when he moved to Martha’s Vineyard in 2014. He is a self-admitted novice, but a truly avid one, eager to learn and share as much as he can. Gavin is a private chef and passionate foodie who appreciates the bounty that Vineyard waters provide, and likes nothing more than sharing his passion with his clients. He is a regular contributor to the Fishing Report.