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Martha's Vineyard Surfcasters
Martha's Vineyard
Surfcasters Association
P.O. Box 3053
Edgartown, MA 02539
Author: Created: 7/6/2011 7:37 PM RssIcon
Another MVSA Blog by Dave
By dbalon on 5/26/2017 3:28 PM
Chappy and Norton Point Beach Report
TTOR, Chris Kennedy
May 25, 2017

Beach Update

Most beaches on Chappy and Norton Point are open this holiday weekend for oversand vehicles but current permits are required to drive on the beach.  If you haven’t grabbed your permit yet, make sure to stop by Coop’s Bait and Tackle in Edgartown or the gatehouses at Chappy or Norton Point. Also, while its still in your mind, we highly recommend that you put your tow rope, shovel, tire gauge and a jack support board back in your beach buggy—trust us you will wish you had done this when you find yourself stuck on the beach some late evening this season.

Norton Point looks good right now but we are still awaiting Mother Nature to drop some sand on the outside beach adjacent to the gatehouse.  The first ¼ mile at Norton Point is impassable on the outside beach due to erosion.  OSV’s may travel on the inside trail just past the gatehouse and you can move onto the outside beach a short way down the barrier beach.  Norton Point gets a little skinny as you near Wasque which allows only one vehicle at a time to traverse a short 200 foot section of beach before you reach Chappy.  Norton Beach will have a number of plover and tern nests established shortly which will probably require the closing of the beach near sections where chicks are located. Still too soon to be able to predict where or when that will happen, but experience has taught all of us that it is likely to happen. 

Wasque Point is really broad in most spots, but severe erosion at the junction of Leland Beach and Wasque Point has forced the Trustees to temporarily block through traffic to Chappy as of Thursday mid-day(5/25/2017). 

A Coastal Flood Warning has been issued for Martha’s Vineyard by the National Weather Service for tonight.  We will re-evaluate the situation in the morning and will reopen access around Wasque to Leland as soon as we can.

At Wasque Point, please avoid the beach grass which is slowly beginning to move outwards from the cliff.  The grass helps stabilize the beach which is in all of our interests.  No shorebirds are currently nesting at Wasque Point but that could change as the habitat looks ideal for nesting plovers. 

Leland Beach will once again be a hotspot for plovers.  Several pairs of birds have been spotted looking for nesting areas on the outside and inside beach at Leland and we expect nests to be laid down close to the middle of Leland Beach in the coming weeks.  Given its importance to nesting plovers we are asking fishermen and vehicle drivers to once again keep their dogs on a leash.  Dogs which are found off of leashes may be asked, along with their owners, to leave the beach.  Repeat warnings will result in permit revocation.  Areas where plovers and terns are nesting will be posted as “NO Dogs” areas.  Please help us pass the word. 

Dogs will not be allowed on designated Swimming beaches this summer.

Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge is open for vehicle access except for the very end of the Gut where a family of plovers has taken up residence.  Again, this is not a surprise as these birds tend to be early nesters and hatchers.  Ecology staff have found other nests at the Elbow which may result in additional closures in that area.   But we have learned that Mother Nature laughs at us when we think we have the habits and behaviors of wildlife figured out. We also expect to see plovers setting up nests in the coming weeks in all the usual places on East Beach.  OSV access across the East Beach Swimming beach will be allowed until mid-June when we will close vehicle access to prevent vehicles from driving among swimmers, sunbathers and kids.

All gatehouses will be open and beaches will be fully patrolled seven days per week beginning Friday, May 26.  As always the Trustees appreciate the support of the Martha’s Vineyard Surfcaster’s Association!

By dbalon on 5/22/2017 9:21 AM
The Dick’s Bait & Tackle annual Memorial Day derby has been renamed in honor of Hawkeye.

The Bob Hawkeye Jacobs Memorial Day weekend derby takes place this Friday 5/26 12:01 am until Monday 5/29 at 4:00 pm sharp. Boat and shore division bass and bluefish.  The derby is run out of Dick’s Bait and Tackle – sign-ups, weigh-ins, and awards.  Please consider participating and honoring our good friend Hawkeye.

This is a great event to please try to sign up and participate if possible.

Fish on!
By dbalon on 5/11/2017 8:32 AM
Stripers Forever
May 10, 2017
Brad Burns, President

Yesterday the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission debated on whether or not an increase in striped bass harvest of about 10% should be allowed for next year. The motion to take the increase out to public hearings failed 10 votes to 5. Hooray! NJ, DE, MD, VA, and the Potomac River Fisheries Commission – a shill organization that simply provides the Chesapeake Bay states an extra vote – all voted in favor, and all other states voted against. What changed from the first vote was that CT, NY, NC all changed their votes from yes to no, and that did it for us.
Why the change of heart from last winter when this idea was dreamed up? I think in the final analysis there were three reasons. The first was that the actual catch is hard to predict. The catch was thought to have decreased considerably on the coast but had actually increased in the Chesapeake Bay area, and these were the same people who wanted still more. It didn’t sell well. The scientists predicted that there was a very good chance that the catch in 2018 would actually increase by more than 10% even with no change in regulations. This was because of an increased number of fish in certain year classes that both the Bay and the coast are expected to fish on, and lastly because a stock assessment with a lot of new science is being proposed for 2018. Many thought it was likely that even if a change was made this year it would probably be changed again – perhaps reversed – next year.
In any case we dodged a bullet, and I hope our advocacy was helpful. This reprieve will give us a chance to see another year class born in the Chesapeake Bay before the issue is tackled again. Some of the recent YOY have been poor, but the trend isn’t really conclusive because there are also occasionally really good ones. The science is also evolving. During yesterday's meeting there was a discussion about the new science methods, and they are talking about some of the complicated aspects of the old models that we have long had issues with. I’m sure that all of the problems won’t be fixed, but perhaps the population estimates will get better and more reflective of what we actually see on the water. Along with the new science was a discussion about perhaps designing various stock reference points and management triggers to reflect a different set of values for the fishery, and how this will be an opportunity to take a new look at just how and for what values the striped bass fishery should be managed. Hopefully we will be able to influence this process to achieve more recognition of the socio-economic value of high quality angling.

Science and advocacy matters. Thanks to everyone who wrote and lobbied for no increase in the regulated harvest. Alone a single voice is nearly silent but together we have raised an awareness of the need to protect and conserve. I believe we have pricked and awakened the latent conscience of many regulators that are beginning to realize that no longer will the recreational fishermen and women silently allow commercially vested interests to destroy what is our fishery too.

Brad Burns, President
Stripers Forever​​​​​​​

By dbalon on 5/4/2017 2:30 PM
The Striped Bass are right around the corner! Get ready for some great Spring action as the waters warm up in May. Water temp is right around the magical 50 degree mark so the fishing will be heating up anytime soon.

Get off to a great start with the May MVSA Newsletter.  Included is remembering Ed Lepore (Bonito Ed), a Summary of the April MVSA Mtg, MVSA In-House Updates/Process, TTOR Beach Report, Striped Bass Report, Story of the Courtesy Patrol,  Calendar Events, etc...

Check out the full report enclosed here. Just click on the link below.

2017 May MVSA May Newsletter.pdf

By dbalon on 4/11/2017 8:36 PM

4/11/17 Latest Update to Summary Below:

The first two miles of Norton Point was reopened this afternoon.  Again, the section of Norton Point opposite the WacksHouse on Chappy is still too narrow and eroded for safe travel but the NP crew tell me it is quickly regaining its lost beach.  Expect that travel from Norton Point to Chappy will be re-established soon.

Summary: All of Cape Poge and Leland is open for vehicle access. Wasque Point is overwashing regularly so use extreme caution if you venture around the Point.  Also, severe erosion at the Norton Point/Wasque boundary line has forced us to close vehicle access beyond that point. The only way to get around that area is to drive up onto the dunes and beach grass which is not a smart thing to do so we've temporarily closed that section of the beach.  Also, we were about to reopen Norton Point when last night's high winds (4/5/2017)  re-flooded the bay side trail system from the Norton Point Gatehouse to a spot 1/2 mile down the beach.  The outside beach from the Norton Point gatehouse is closed for about 3/4 mile since we have no outside beach in that area.  All in all, Norton Point Beach has really been hit hard so far this winter and early spring.  It will come back but it may take awhile and some gentle moderating SW winds. Once the flooding recedes a bit we will reopen Norton Point but there will only be about 1.5 miles of Norton accessible to vehicles until the beach rebuilds on the Chappy end.  

We have also heard some positive news from the County.  The County Commissioners have approved our request to restrict the sale of Norton Point Day Passes so that they will go on sale after 10:30 AM daily.  Many year rounder permit holders found themselves locked out of the beach at Norton Point last summer when we had only 4/10 mile of beach open for vehicles due tothe proximity of plover chicks.  Now, if you get to the Norton Point beach early you will have a better chance of finding a spot on a crowded beach.

Folks have until April 30 to renew their beach permits online and save $20.  After May 1 the prices will go back to where they were last year:


Purchased before April 30 (online only):

  • $180 for Cape Poge/Wasque 
  • $90 Norton Point Beach – Island Vehicle** 
  • $140 Norton Point Beach – Off-Island Vehicle 
  • $250 Combination Permit – Island Vehicle** (Cape Poge/Wasque & Norton Point Beach permits and one complimentary Trustees Family-level membership)
  • $300 Combination Permit – Off-Island Vehicle (Cape Poge/Wasque & Norton Point Beach permits and one complimentary Trustees Family-level membership)

Purchased after April 30 (on island only):

  • $200 for Cape Poge/Wasque 
  • $90 Norton Point Beach – Island Vehicle** 
  • $140 Norton Point Beach – Off-Island Vehicle 
  • $270 Combination Permit – Island Vehicle** (Cape Poge/Wasque & Norton Point Beach permits and one complimentary Trustees Family-level membership)
  • $320 Combination Permit – Off-Island Vehicle (Cape Poge/Wasque & Norton Point Beach permits and one complimentary Trustees Family-level membership)

** To take advantage of the Island Vehicle rate your vehicle must be registered in Dukes County. You may be contacted to supply a copy of your vehicle registration before we can issue your permits.

The Mass Division of Marine Fisheries has announced that portions of Cape Poge Bay will be closed to the setting of Conch pots and Fish pots where the Army is searching for underwater munitions.  This ban DOES NOT affect travel to Cape Poge, shellfishing for quahogs, surf fishing from the beach, nor fishing from boats. Many folks read the state's recent press release believing it would have an impact on their ability to fish from the beach--it does not have any impact on recreational fishing or shellfishing.  We ask that visitors to Cape Poge avoid Little Neck as the Army will continue with their search for munitions and daily detonation of live bombs which generally occurs from 3-4 PM each afternoon at Little Neck.

By dbalon on 4/1/2017 12:31 PM

Bring on Spring with another  great MVSA Newsletter!!!  First off, thanks to Ron Domurat for updating the MVSA Member Derby Accomplishments included in this newsletter…Great Job!!!!

Other topics included in the April Newsletter are the March Meeting summary, Dues Reminder,Upcoming April Meeting, Earth Day Beach Clean-up, Used Tackle Sale, Cuttyhunk Trip, Fly Rod Catch and Release Tournament Calendar Events, etc...

Although Mother Nature seems to want to extend our winter weather the fish are unaware and already on the move Northward! There are all kinds of upcoming events for 2017 so be sure to check out all the details.

Check out the full report enclosed here. Just click on the link below.

2017 March MVSA Newsletter .pdf

By dbalon on 3/14/2017 9:49 AM

Fly Rod Striped Bass Catch & Release Tournament set for June 3

Despite recent snow Cooper “Coop” Gilkes of Edgartown said fly fishermen are already looking forward to the 26th annual Martha’s Vineyard Rod& Gun Club Fly Rod Catch & Release Tournament. “I started getting calls in December from guys who wanted to know the date of the tournament so they could make ferry reservations,” Coop, longtime tournament chairman, said.“We’ve got fishermen who wouldn’t miss it. It’s a great time.”

Fishermen who participate year after year agree that the one-night Island team fly fishing contest fosters the best qualities of the sport of fly-fishing. One unique aspect is that irrespective of fishing success tournament registrants present at the fun-filled Sunday morning awards ceremony have a chance to win one of many great prizes awarded based on a random drawing of entry blanks. Winning fishermen receive plaques in one of three categories:The total number of fish of any size length caught and released by a team(Roberto Germani Trophy); the largest fish (length and girth) released by a fisherman (Sonny and Joey Beaulieu Trophy); and the most fish caught and released by a team in which members are not allowed to change flies (Arnold Spofford Trophy).

Fishing begins at 7 pm, Saturday, June 3 and ends at 2 am, Sunday.The awards ceremony begins at 9:30 am, Sunday, June 4. This year, in a change of venue the tournament headquarters and breakfast will be located at the Edgartown School off Edgartown-West Tisbury Road.

The entry fee is $35. The money the tournament raises helps to provide trout for the club’s spring Kid's Trout Derby, send two youngsters to Conservation Camp and supports a day of fishing for Camp Jabberwocky campers.

For more information call Cooper Gilkes at 508-627-3909 or go to

For more background read: "Catch and Release  tournament was humbling all the way around”"Catch and Release  Tournament celebrates 20 years”).

By dbalon on 3/8/2017 10:43 AM
Another great MVSA Newsletter!!!  Topics included in the February Newsletter are the Awards Banquet Summary, Awards Day,  Used Tackle Sale, June Cuttyhunk Fishing Trip, Island Cup Challenge, Trustees Report, upcoming April Beach Cleanup/Earth Day, Calendar Events, and so much more. The weather has been back and forth with warm and cold temps but the fish will soon be on the move!

There are all kinds of upcoming events for 2017 so be sure to check out all the details.

Check out the full report enclosed here. Just click on the link below.

2017 Feb MVSA Newsletter.pdf
By dbalon on 1/20/2017 9:36 AM
Happy New Year to everyone!!!

This is the first newsletter for 2017 and once again it is packed with great information! Topics included in the January Newsletter are the upcoming January Awards Banquet (1/28), Used Tackle Sale, June Cuttyhunk Fishing Trip, Trustees Report, upcoming April Beach Cleanup, Calendar Events, and much more.

There are all kinds of upcoming events for 2017 so be sure to check out all the details.

Check out the full report enclosed here. Just click on the link below.

2017 Jan MVSA Newsletter.pdf
By dbalon on 1/16/2017 10:04 AM

The annual MVSA banquet and awards ceremony will be held on Saturday Jan 28th, 2017 at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown.  Doors open at noon.  Food will be served at 1:00 PM, to be followed by a brief annual meeting, awards presentations, and of course the annual awesome raffle and silent auction. Kathi Pagoda and a team of volunteers have been working hard to put together a great selection of raffle and silent auction items.  If you have something you would like to donate please contact her before the event.  As in past years Paula Sullivan is planning an outstanding raw bar and buffet.  Feel free to bring along a dessert or side dish to share with your fellow club members.  Set-up and shucking help is always appreciated so come early to lend a hand.

2017club dues ($30/household) will be collected.  As part of the meeting we’ll be voting on the slate of club officers.  Nominations for club officers are welcome.  Please reach out to President Don Scarpone before the event if you’d like to place your name in nomination.  The current proposed list of officers follows:

President:              Don Scarpone

Vice President:       Jason Patterson

Secretary:              Dave Kolb

Treasurer:              Phil Horton

Hope to see you all there.

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