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 Martha's Vineyard Fish Tales:

How to catch fish, rake clams, and jig squid, with entertaining tales about the sometimes crazy pursuit of fish 


By Nelson Sigelman

978-0-8117-3800-2 • Hardback • February 2019

$24.95 • 224 pages

The focus is on Martha’s Vineyard but the information, fishing tips, and stories about Island characters—Bob “Hawkeye” Jacobs jumping off Memorial Wharf to unsnag an albie he hooked—will sound familiar to anyone who has spent time in a community of fishermen.

This informative and fun read answers the questions asked in local tackle shops, including the best spots to catch a striped bass on a fly rod—Lobsterville Beach—and rigging tackle for blues, fluke, black sea bass, false albacore, and bonito. Spin fishing, bottom fishing, and fly fishing are all covered.

This book follows the island fishing seasons: rods appear on island trucks in April, a sign that schoolies have arrived, and they do not begin to disappear until the venerable Bass and Bluefish Derby, five weeks of single-minded pursuit of fish, ends in October. 

And there are tips on looking and talking the part . . . “handy phrases include any reference to a falling or rising tide and a rock, any rock, as long as you refer to it with a sense of authority so that the other person is unwilling to ask which rock for fear of seeming like a novice.”

Martha’s Vineyard Fish Tales is a “how to” book that flows with the character and personality of a fishing-obsessed island off the coast of Massachusetts.

Vineyard Gazette Bookshelf: March 28, 2019, Martha's Vineyard Fish Tales

... As might be expected from an avid fisherman, he’s a fantastic storyteller. But even for all its brevity, this book offers much more than its promised fish tales. In sharp, concise sections, Mr. Sigelman explains the basics of the craft: what to fish for, what equipment to use, where to go for best results, even what to wear.

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