Bluefish are in

Annual Fluke for Luke tourney on the horizon.

Dark skies and tight lines. — Gavin Smith

Saturday was a good day for bluefish. I have been hearing from several people that they haven’t seen bluefish in large numbers, or of any substantial size, except for in a few isolated spots. I have had varying luck myself fishing for bluefish this season. 

After my last excursion fishing from shore for bluefish and coming home empty-handed, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I went out on my friend’s boat this past weekend. The forecast showed storms in the late afternoon, so we headed out early to beat the weather. Bluefish were running thick on the south side, both from boats and shore. We managed to catch about 12 bluefish, one of which was roughly 30 inches. I heard similar reports from friends who were fishing the beach on Saturday. 

The third annual Fluke for Luke fishing competition is coming up this weekend. The tournament commemorates Island fisherman Luke Gurney, who tragically passed away in June 2016. According to the Fluke for Luke Facebook page, there will be a cookout, silent auction, and an awards ceremony at the Portugese-American Club in Oak Bluffs on Sunday after the final weigh-in at 4 pm, which is open to the public. Prizes will be given for the largest fluke and largest sea bass, with adult, junior, and team divisions for the tournament. Registration is available at Coop’s Bait & Tackle, Dick’s Bait & Tackle, and Larry’s Tackle Shop.

It’s Fourth of July week, and the weather looks like it’s going to be a great one. If you are looking for opportunities to get out and do some fishing, I suggest checking in with one of the Island’s local fishing shops. All of our local shops have a great selection of tackle that can get you catching fish in no time, and if you ask nicely, they will tell you where to go to catch fish. 

According to Doug Asselin at Dick’s Bait & Tackle, bonito are still being caught off boats off Squibnocket, and several have come into Menemsha. Bluefish are showing up in a bit stronger numbers, with lots of 4- to 5-pound blues, and the occasional 8- to 10-pound fish. “Look for the rips,” Doug said. Striped bass are still all over the Island in strong numbers, but most of them are still relatively small. The southwest shore of the Island has been producing larger shore striped bass, with a few sizable stripers being caught on the north shore. 


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.