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
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
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
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
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