Edgartown Fishing

False albacore tear things up outside Edgartown Harbor in the fall. Photo/New England Boating, Tom Richardson.
False albacore tear things up outside Edgartown Harbor in the fall. Photo/New England Boating, Tom Richardson.

Edgartown-based anglers are uniquely poised to take advantage of the Vineyard’s often world-class fishing for stripers, bluefish, fluke, sea bass, bonito, false albacore and a variety of offshore species.

Stripers can sometimes be taken by sight-fishermen on the flats off Eel Pond and the shallows skirting Cape Poqe, particularly in the late spring and early summer. Further, the local rips and shoals, including famed Wasque Shoal to the east, have the potential to hold stripers and blues all season. The striper fishing can be very good in the rips here if squid are ganged up over the shoals, with June being prime time.

Trolling the edges of the deeper shoals is another good way to score, but normally demands the use of wire line and parachute jigs.

Offshore fishing for sharks, tuna and the occasional white marlin takes place south of the Vineyard in midsummer and fall.

Sea bass and scup action can be phenomenal too, with these species holding over any type of hard bottom or wreck in 15’ of water or more. All you need to catch sea bass is a bucktail jig baited with a strip of squid and hopped over the bottom. Scup can be caught on a high-low rig with squid strips or seaworms for bait.

In mid- to late August, bonito often show up at the “Hooter” Buoy (RW “MC” Whistle) at the southern end of Muskeget Channel. Troll a small Rapala X-Rap or Bomber lure along the edges of the shoal to score with bones and bluefish. As fall approaches, look for schools of bonito and false albacore to gather along the north shore of the Vineyard. The waters right outside Edgartown Harbor are famous for producing excellent albie fishing. Look for schools all along the Cape Poge shoreline and The Gut, as well as off State Beach, the Oak Bluffs ferry terminal and around Vineyard Haven and the Chops. The best bet for catching these fish is to throw a small, unweighted Zoom Fluke or Slug-Go in pearl color. Small metal spoons and epoxy jigs, as well as flies, also work. Try to match the forage in the area.

Fluke (summer flounder) are another local favorite, and can be taken over the nearby shoals such as Squash Meadow, Hedge Fence and the deeper parts of Wasque Shoal. Lucas Shoal in Vineyard Sound is another good spot for fluke. Use squid strips and shiners fished on jigs or 3-way rigs.

Offshore fishing for sharks, tuna and the occasional white marlin takes place south of the Vineyard in midsummer and fall. It all depends on water temperature and bait availability, but perennial hot spots include the Dump, the Star, the Claw, the Fingers and Gordons Gully.

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State License Requirements and Catch & Size Limits: