Ed Jerome died Tuesday, September 18. The retired Edgartown School principal and longtime — forever, it seemed — president of the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, was a great guy.
I knew him as a fisherman first, then as a member of the Derby committee, and later when I worked as a news reporter, as a respected Island educator. His death was sad news for the entire Island and extended fishing community. No matter the organization, Ed’s was always the firm g
Thousands of years ago a prehistoric hunter figured out that hurling a length of wood tipped with a sharp piece of stone at an animal that tasted good was a good way to put food on the fire pit. At some point in man’s development of bigger and better weapons, an overachieving Cro-Magnon built a bow and arrow. Word got around even without instant messaging. According to one report, examples of ancient bows and arrows have been discovered in every part of the world except Austr
I generally do my best to avoid situations where I might encounter creatures that are mean and have the potential to inflict bodily harm — hunting Cape Buffalo or shopping in a mall the day before Christmas — the exception is fishing for bluefish. Pomatomus Saltatrix — Latin for Cuisinart with fins — is as ornery as anything that swims in island waters. Combine the attitude of a Mad Max biker and the blue’s notorious appetite — it didn’t acquire the nickname ‘chopper’ by acci
Tom Robinson of Vineyard Haven and I were after white perch in Tisbury Great Pond. We caught only one fish, but it turned out that was all we needed. My fishing rod was braced against a branch with a suitable fork in it that I had picked up along the path and stuck into a sandy bank. But, either there were no perch about, or they were uninterested in the earthworm on my hook — which seemed unlikely for a fish whose small size belies its aggressiveness. Tom had forded a shallo
For many homeowners, the arrival of spring weather is a signal to anticipate the start of home improvement projects and resume lawn care in earnest. I am not one of those homeowners. I think about where I can catch white perch in Island great ponds — a delicious treat — and I look forward to the April arrival of the first striped bass along the Island’s south-facing beaches. Honing a laissez-faire style of homeownership required years of studied neglect and strategic indiffer
Jay Sonia, owner of Brickstone Construction, pulled the plug on Tisbury Great Pond in March and I was there to witness it. Sitting at the controls of a Deere excavator on a freezing Sunday, the cab wrapped in plastic a la Salvador Dali (I’ll get to that), he took one bite after another out of the sandy barrier beach and over the course of several hours dug a channel from the Atlantic Ocean to the pond. With one final bucket scoop, Jay released a torrent of pent up pond water,
As the fourth northeaster in as many weeks bore down on us, the weather people and newspaper headline writers (with the local exception of the Vineyard Gazette) once again inundated us with “nor’easter.” It was nor’easter this and nor’easter that. I might be able to accept this bastardization on an occasional basis but the wholesale replacement of northeast is just plain wrong. More than that, it is an example of the sloppy silliness that infects a great deal of reporting. An
I spent more than two decades as a reporter asking the questions. Today, I was on the other side of the table. Thankfully, I did not have to discuss any of the pressing controversies of the day. I only had to talk about my new book, Martha's Vineyard Outdoors, Fishing, Hunting and Avoiding Divorce on a Small Island, with WCAI's Mindy Todd, the genial host of The Point, the award winning public affairs program broadcast four mornings a week on the local Cape and Islands NPR st
I am a fly fishing minimalist. I pretty much rely on sand eel and squid imitations when pursuing striped bass. The black sand eel in the foreground has some floatation in the body to help it ride high when the fish are sipping bait off the top. Inside the rustic Martha’s Vineyard Rod and Gun Club overlooking Sengekontacket Pond in Edgartown on a recent Monday night, discussion focused on the techniques needed to wrap synthetic hair and tinsel around a hook to make it appealin
It is often the first comment I hear when I hand someone a copy of Martha’s Vineyard Outdoors: “What a beautiful cover.” The cover illustration is the work of Michigan artist Glenn Wolff. The images include fishermen at Wasque Rip, a deer under a holly tree, a big striped bass I caught in the Squibnocket surf, my beloved dog Tashmoo and his duck hunting companion Emmet, longtime Chilmark selectman and decoy carver Herbert Hancock, and a fisherman in the surf at Gay Head Light
Regret mixed with relief as I retraced a brush-strewn path I had followed so many mornings and afternoons during the hunting season just ended on Martha’s Vineyard. There was no longer any need to walk carefully and quietly to avoid alerting any nearby deer as I took advantage of a welcome warmup to remove tree stands from the woods. I enjoy hunting immensely, so I rely on state regulations and not self discipline to cause me to call it quits and attend to responsibilities I
Striped bass have left Island waters, save for a few holdovers trapped in Edgartown or Tisbury great pond. The ten-week deer hunting season comes to a halt on December 30. These are trying months for those who suffer from fishing-hunting seasonal affective disorder, a malady that affects Vineyard sportsmen once the fish disappear and the shooting stops. Its symptoms include the inability to rise from the couch; fruitless and irritating pressing of the TV remote; weight gain a
A Martha’s Vineyard property owner with a deer problem does not need to purchase enough high fencing with which to outfit a small youth reformatory. There is a less expensive, more fruitful option. Give hunting permission to a reliable Islander and reap the benefits of a symbiotic relationship rooted in Vineyard culture.
Years ago, when the persona of the whitetail deer had yet to change from lovable Bambi to tick-carrying, landscape-munching pest, and the season was much sh
For the first time in my life, in September 2017 I was unemployed during the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby. Unencumbered by a sense of responsibility, I could stand for hours on the Island shore fly fishing for false albacore and bonito. Bonito and false albacore — bones and albies in derby parlance — feed actively during the day, mostly unseen but for those moments when they periodically break the surface of the water in a splashing commotion of fins, gap
In September 1996, when I was younger and cared more about the pursuit of fishing glory, I was on the beach with my fly rod for the start of the 51st Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby.
Jared Hull of West Tisbury and I had arrived at East Beach on Chappy just before midnight with ambitious plans. We would fish for striped bass, catch a few hours of sleep in the luxury of my truck, then look for a morning run of false albacore and bonito at Cape Poge gut. My s
Years ago, striped bass swirling on bait along Martha’s Vineyard’s premier fly fishing beach were a predictable sight in June and early July. I am reluctant to write about the “good old days” because I worry that it will only confirm my descent into codger status. So I will assign responsibility for invoking past Island fishing glory to my good friend Cooper Gilkes of Edgartown, who was fishing next to me as striped bass jumped and swirled along the length of Lobsterville Bea