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Bass and bluefish blitz at Wasque Rip on Martha's Vineyard.

A bass and bluefish blitz at Wasque Rip.  Photo Robert Schellhammer

“Father Neptune is no respecter of persons, and spatters his royal favors so lavishly and so impartially on the just and the unjust that, unless you are a believer in the ‘long- shore theory that ‘salt water never hurts nobody,’ and can take a thorough soaking philosophically and as a matter of course, you had better give up all thought of being a bass fisherman.”

— from an essay published iN 1882 by fisherman and writer Francis Endicott

  • Fishing by Canoe — Aloha Menemsha

  • It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's a What?

  • Hooking Up Despite Life’s Snags

  • It Takes a Big Gaff to Land a Bucket

  • Fisherman’s Theory of Distant Relativity

  • Reel Presidents Don’t Look for Birdies

  • A Bass — Not Far From the Maddening Crowd

  • Jamie Had a Shadow

  • Rock ‘n’ Roll ’n’ Troll: All Systems A-Okay

  • Another Typical Bonito Season No Matter How Saturn Moves

  • The Fishing Mentality Takes a Road Trip

  • Rene and Ton’s Excellent Fishing Adventure

  • Hospital ER Got This Angler Off the Hook

  • A Fisherman’s Friend Seals His Fate

  • A Fisherman’s Inner Voice Cries Out in Vain

  • Vineyard Provides a Memorable Family Fishing Trip

  • Cagey Vermonters Teach Islanders a Thing or Two

  • Fisherman Welcomes the Return of Mission Control

  • Casting into a Sea of Memories for a Daughter Now Grown Up

  • A Good Deed Is Returned During a Harrowing Offshore Trip

  • President Obama Needs to Take Time and Go Fishing

  • Manhood Is On the Line When the Squid are Running

  • Fishermen’s Bonds Were Forged in Combat

  • Has Martha’s Vineyard Gone to the Dogs?

  • Chummers and Anglers at the Old Bass Stand

Derby Madness

Nelson Sigelman holds a 31.29 pound striped bass caught on a fly rod in the 1996 Bass and Bluefish Derby.

Nelson Sigelman holds a 31.29 pound striped bass he caught to win the fly rod shore division in the 1996 derby. Photo by Leslie Look.

I started to worry when I had the dream.

I’m not sure where I was, but all of a sudden big bluefish — derby size winners — were swimming by me in a narrow sluiceway. I couldn’t believe it! Finally, after weeks of no success, I had a chance to catch a big blue from the shore on my fly rod. I cast and dropped a fly right in front of one of the fish. Details are hazy after that, but when I got the fish to shore, it was already gutted. I couldn’t weigh it in! I had hooked a zombie bluefish! Night of the Living Dead bluefish!

I was worried about what the dream said about my mental state until I walked into Coop’s tackle shop in Edgartown. I started telling Cooper Gilkes about my dream when another fisherman in the shop said that he’d been having fishing dreams too, except in his most recent dream he was catching white poodles!

Now, that’s weird, I thought, feeling better about myself. Hell, at least in my dream I was catching fish.

  • Why She Hates the Bass and Bluefish Derby

  • Desperate Columnist Asks the Gypsy for an Edge

  • 59th Derby Off to a Quick and Predictably Nutty Start

  • The Derby Fates Favor Island Eighth Grader

  • Neptune Shines His Favors on Those Who Respect His Realm

Deer Hunting

Deer hunters gather at the state forest check station on Martha's Vineyard.

Island deer hunters gathered at the state forest check station on the opening day of the 2003 shotgun season. Photo by Todd Cleland.

Walter Ashley once spent a day and a half looking for a deer, because he knew he had hit it and knew it was dead. Asked why he spent so much time looking for that one deer, Walter said, “Because that is what you are supposed to do. You shot the animal, so you are responsible.”

  • Contemplating Black Mambas and the Finer Points of Deer Urine

  • Deer Hunter Remains Undaunted by the Challenge of a Flintlock

  • Island Archers Follow in the Footsteps of Past Hunters

  • A Deer Hunter Tallies Up the Years

  • The Primitive Pursuit of Success on Martha’s Vineyard

Ducks, Geese, Pheasants and Turkeys

Tisbury Pond Club members, 1911.  Courtesy The Trustees of Reservations library and archives.

“Oh Lord, from error’s ways defend us, Lest we mistake thy will for luck.

Give us at dawn, a flight stupendous, Don’t send us coot, but geese and ducks.”


The Tisbury Pond Club “Duck Grace” was to be said by the assembled members of the club and their guests “prior to the evening repast on each day of the week, except that on Saturdays, being the day next preceding the Lord’s Day, the grace shall be omitted.”

  • Labs Doing What They’re Bred to Do

  • When Bad Shots Happen to Good Dogs

  • On the Pheasant Trail, a Good Working Dog Is a Fine Companion

  • Hunting’s Rich Tradition Is Chronicled in Tisbury Pond Club’s Journal

  • Goose Sausage Proves to be Good Stuff

  • Don’t Brake for Turkeys

Off Island

Casting a net fo bait fish in Barbados.

A Bajan fisherman makes a flawless release of a cast net over a pod of baitfish. Photo by Nelson Sigelman.

  • Island Hunters Find Fun, Friends in Alabama

  • A Walk on the Beach and New Friends Met Along the Way


A striper fisherman fishes among the rocks on the north shore of Martha's Vineyard.

“…I once found a list of diseases as yet unclassified by medical science, and among these there occurred the word Islomania, which was described as a rare but by no means unknown affliction of spirit. There are people…who find islands somehow irresistible. The mere knowledge that they are on an island, a little world surrounded by the sea, fills them with an indescribable intoxication. These born “Islomanes”…are direct descendents of the Atlanteans”


― Lawrence Durrell, Reflections on a Marine Venus

  • Roberto Germani Catches a Bonito by the Skin of His Teeth

  • Jimmy “Yank ‘n Crank” Goes Toe-to-Fin

  • Irene Henley Still Casts Straight

  • Albert “Angie” Angelone, Presidential Protector

  • Herbert Hancock: Island Gunners Blended Purpose and Craft

  • Olga Was a Derby Fisherman in Heart and Soul

  • The Works of Stan Murphy: A Singular Island Retrospective

  • A Search for Brook Trout Brings Hidden Rewards

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