Game fish of Martha's Vineyard

From Early April through Late November, the inshore waters of Martha's Vineyard play host to a number of fish species pursued by recreational angling enthusiasts. The sounds, bays, estuaries and open waters surrounding Martha's Vineyard have become a world class fishing destination.



striped bass


Atlantic Bonito

False Albacore

Fluke and Friends

Marone saxatillis

Pomatomu saltatrix

Sarda sarda

Euthynnus alletteratus

Paralichthys dentatus







Striped Bass

Scientific: Marone saxatillis
Local: Striper, Linesider

          The Striped Bass is the species of Gamefish that inhabit the Vineyard waters the longest. It�s the first to come and the last to leave. You can find Stripers in all inshore waters around Martha�s Vineyard. The first of the Striped Bass start to show up between April 15th and May 1st . Depending if the water temperature is at, or about, 50 degrees. These fish are small and they are referred to as Schoolies, or School Bass (9in. to 24in.). Larger "Keeper" Striped Bass (28in. to 34in.) arrive a few weeks to a month later. By May 15th the spring migration continues and the Keeper Striped Bass show in larger numbers daily. This time of year is best if you like to catch fish on topwater plugs in the Rips and from the Beach. The Cinder Worm hatch occurs around this time in the estuaries. This northerly migration persists for another month or so until the fish take up residence and a regular feeding behavior. Big Striped Bass (25lbs. To 40lbs.) are caught on live bait regularly in mid June. As the summer days get longer and water temperatures rise, Striped Bass fishing tends to taper off. In August the fish that move out to deeper, cooler water and close to structure and are caught in good numbers. In early September, Striped Bass fishing starts to pick up again, and by the end of the month it�s fantastic. The Big Striped Bass are back on their southerly fall migration. The beginning of October is your best bet to catch the Biggest Striped Bass of your life. Keeper Stripers are caught throughout the month of October and slows as November arrives. Depending on fall storms, and water temperature, fish are still being caught till the middle of the month, then slows to an end, by the first week in December.       

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Scientific: Pomatomu saltatrix
Local: Blue

          There is nothing like catching Bluefish at Wasque Point. Bluefish are very strong, and one of the toughest fighting fish around. Bluefish have sharp teeth and will bite through monofilament line. A wire leader and a pair of needle-nose pliers are a must. The Bluefish start to show up when water temperatures reach 55 degrees. Then around the first week of May these fish appear along the South Shore and Wasque Point on Chappaquidick Island. An 11ft. surf rod with 20lb test line, a bunch of Roberts Rangers and hand full Kastmaster lures with a couple of wire leaders is all you need. These fish can vary in size from 3lbs to 10lbs, some people call these small Bluefish (3lbs to 5lbs) Rats or Rat Blues. There are also large Bluefish either mixed in or in schools of their own. These are wildly aggressive fish and will eat just about anything you can throw at them. Anglers sometimes refer to these fish (9lbs to 12lbs+) as Choppers. I have seen this class of fish destroy reels, part line, and crush lures to bits. At times you will go through a complete tackle box full of lures and your arms will feel like rubber bands. The early Spring Blues appear to be much leaner than the fish in the fall. This is probably due to their long migration, these long lean Bluefish are sometimes referred to as Cruisers because of their long journey. Spring Bluefish will begin to gather in the shallow sandy beaches, finning in the sunny calm water. As the long Summer days raise the water temperature to the mid to upper 60's the bigger Bluefish will start to move into deeper, cooler water. Large Bluefish can be caught from shore in the late afternoon and into the evening past sunset on bait, fished on the bottom. Resident Bluefish are everywhere throughout the Summer, from the harbors to offshore. As the the Summer turns to Fall the Bluefish fatten up for their migration south. Bigger Bluefish will be caught between the middle of September and the middle of October on their way south. This is your best chance to catch a 20lb. Bluefish. As November arrives the Bluefishing fades and in a few weeks is over.

Our friends will be able to organize the most advanced fishing for you, they will be engaged in fishing charters in pompano beach florida. With them you will be able to please yourself.

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Atlantic Bonito

Scientific: Sarda sarda
Local: Bone, Bonito

          The Atlantic Bonito is the wildest and most beautiful of all the Gamefish that inhabit the waters of Martha�s Vineyard. With keen eyesight, needle like teeth, and built for speed, these little footballs can be a blast on light tackle. They can be caught from shore, but a small boat is best to pursue these racy fish. The Bonito start to arrive in the beginning of July and stay till the end of October. Fish range in size from 4lbs. to 8lbs. in the Summer, and over 10lbs in the Fall. Atlantic Bonito have big eyes and can be very line shy and selective at times. What�s hot one day may not be so successful the next day. Anglers love them for their screaming runs and quick maneuverability as they fight. Atlantic Bonito are also good to eat, their pink flesh is sushi grade and is great on the grill. Bonito start to show in small numbers after the first week in July, when the water temperature is around 68 degrees or better. More plentiful and aggressive Bonito are usually caught in August. To catch an Atlantic Bonito on the fly can be one of the most exhilarating fishing battles you may ever have. A White Bunny Fly with an Intermediate fly line and 12lb to 20lb fluorocarbon leader is standard equipment. The best lures to use would be small white jigs, small chrome lures( Deadly Dicks, Swedish Pimples), and small mackerel swimmers. As September begins and the False Albacore show, the shy Atlantic Bonito become less available. Once the False Albacore start to leave in October, the Bonito come back bigger and more aggressive. This is the time when the 10lb to 12lb  footballs show up. The Bonito will hang around and fatten up for a few weeks until the fall storms blow them offshore.         

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False Albacore

Scientific: Euthynnus alletteratus
Local: Little Tunny, Albie

          The False Albacore is a species of Gamefish with many different names, also known as Little Tunny, and called Bonito in the South, they are commonly referred to on Martha�s Vineyard as simply Albies. This warm water fish arrives late in the Summer and leaves early in the Fall. Although they arrive in large schools and dominate the local waters, the False Albacore is the species that inhabits our area for the shortest time. Normally the Albie arrives around the Vineyard when the water temperature reaches approximately 70 degrees. The False Albacore is a close cousin to the Atlantic Bonito yet unmistakably different. Both have keen eyesight, a Tuna shaped body, and feed in the same area, but the similarities end there. The typical Albie weighs 6lbs to 9lbs with fish in the 10lbs to 15lbs class available at times. The State record is 19.5 lbs., caught in Vineyard waters. The False Albacore is also different physically. They have tinny little teeth and a fragile mouth, with a tall yet short dorsal fin. For markings, they have a unique squiggly line pattern on their back and black spots on the belly area. Little Tunny fight different as well, they tend to have long screaming runs, which attracts anglers to this speedster. They can be caught from shore or boat and seem to fall for chrome, white, or blue lures and flies. False Albacore can be eaten but are not considered a desirably fish for the table. The first scouts show up from offshore, usually within a Gulf Stream eddy in the later part of August. As September arrives, numbers and size of Albies increase. By the end of the month the False Albacore can be found everywhere around the Island, including inside the harbors. Large fish are continued to be caught in October, but as the month progresses and the air and water temperature begins to drop, the larger more sensitive fish thin out and head back out to sea. Other pods of Albies will stick around and seek warmer water areas and the outflows surrounding Martha�s Vineyard. Depending on the Fall storms the False Albacore will can be caught up to the last week in October.

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Fluke and Friends

Scientific: Paralichthys dentatus
Local: Fluke, Doormat

          The beginning of Summer marks a change in the fishing on Martha�s Vineyard. Things evolve quickly in the environment, as the days get longer and the temperature goes up. Other species of fish start to arrive, Scup (Porgy), Summer Flounder (Fluke), and Black Sea Bass. Although totally different from each other, they prefer variably the same temperature. When the water temperature is in the 60 degree range these fish begin to filter into Vineyard waters. This tends to occur in the first few weeks in June, with larger fish showing up in July. As the Summer progresses the fishing remains steady and, is a welcome change from fishing for Striped Bass or Bonito. When looking for larger fish on the hot days of August, always look towards the deeper, colder water. Fish can be caught in the harbors and off the Bridges and Jetties in late Summer. As mid Fall and October arrive large fish are still being caught. But when the water temperature drops at the end of the month the fish start to leave.

          Summer Flounder are commonly referred to as Fluke around the Island. They are usually found in moving water with a sandy or soft bottom. Fish range from 1lb to 10lbs and are regulated by the State for size and bag limit. These regulations change yearly, so check with a tackle shop. Best time to catch a Doormat Fluke is in the first few weeks of July. Big fish can also be caught later into the early Fall.

          Scup or Porgy are a small fish that live around the rocky structure along Martha�s Vineyard coastline. They range in size from 5in To 3lbs and are also State regulated. They are great fish for the kids to catch in the middle of the Summer.

           The Black Sea Bass can be found in the same water as the Scup. It ranges in size from 1lb to 6lbs and are usually caught from boats. These fish can also be caught around docks and jetties in the Summer. Regulated by Law, Black Sea Bass are often kept for the grill or the table. The larger Sea Bass, like most fish, are caught in the deeper rocky water. Black Sea Bass will be the last of the these fish to leave the Vineyard waters in late October.


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