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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 11/19/2019 9:45 AM
Check out how our club members did in the MV Derby. The final results are now posted on this website. Simply go to THE CLUB tab and then click on MVSA Derby Accomplishments. From there you can either click on "2019 MEMBER DERBY ACCOMPLISHMENTS" to see the 2019 results or you can click on PAST AND PRESENT MVSA DERBY ACCOMPLISHMENTS to see the overall list of members and their summary of accomplishments.

It is always great to see our member's accomplishments! It was a tough derby as far as the fish go this year but once again our members toughed it out and made a go of it!

By dbalon on 11/4/2019 5:59 PM

New Castle, NH – The Commission’s Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board approved Addendum VI to Amendment 6 of the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass. The Addendum reduces all state commercial quotas by 18%, and implements a 1 fish bag limit and a 28"-35" recreational slot limit for ocean fisheries and a 1 fish bag limit and an 18" minimum size limit for Chesapeake Bay recreational fisheries. States may submit alternative regulations through conservation equivalency to achieve an 18% reduction in total removals relative to 2017 levels.

Addendum VI was initiated in response to the 2018 Benchmark Stock Assessment, which indicates the resource is overfished and experiencing overfishing. The Addendum’s measures are designed to reduce harvest, end overfishing, and bring fishing mortality to the target level in 2020.

Since catch and release practices contribute significantly to overall fishing mortality, the Addendum requires the mandatory use of circle hooks when fishing with bait to reduce release mortality in recreational striped bass fisheries. Outreach and education will be a necessary element to garner support and compliance with this important conservation measure.

States are required to submit implementation plans by November 30, 2019 for review by the Technical Committee and approval by the Board in February 2020. States must implement mandatory circle hook requirements by January 1, 2021. All other provisions of Addendum VI must be implemented by April 1, 2020. In May 2020, the Board will consider a postponed motion to initiate an Amendment to rebuild spawning stock biomass to the target level and address other issues with the management program.

Addendum VI will be available on the Commission’s website ( on the Atlantic Striped Bass webpage in early November. For more information, please contact Max Appelman, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at or 703.842.0740.

By dbalon on 9/11/2019 1:05 PM

Thanks to the recent dedicated work of Sam Hart and Chris Kennedy of TTOR and Don Scarpone and Ron Domurat of the Martha's Vineyard Surfcaster's Association, good news from the Prez and the Trustees can be provided as in the notes below. Please follow all rules and guidelines, and report those who don't. 

"September 9, 2019


Dear Martha’s Vineyard Surfcaster’s Association Member and Derby Entrant, 


Below please find the notice from The Trustees of Reservations (TTOR) regarding permitted OSV travel along the bayside trail to and from Chappaquiddick during the upcoming Derby.


As many of you are aware, the trail along the ocean side on Norton Point is badly eroded beginning at a point approximately two miles beyond the guard shack. Travel along the front beach is not possible. This agreement was the result of a recent meeting between MVSA members and the Trustees’ Island office and reflects our continuing efforts to balance safe access with beach integrity and regulatory compliance under the MA Endangered Species Act which we must follow.


All OSV operators should be aware that the trail along Katama Bay is subject to flooding during periods of high tide. Travel along the trail should not be attempted in the four hour period starting two hours before until two hours after high tide in Edgartown. OSV operators who attempt to travel during that window run the risk of driving through water and should a problem arise help will not be available from the Trustees.     


As Derby anglers please respect the Trustees wishes regarding fencing and roped off areas as any abuse of that trust could result in the loss of whatever limited travel privileges are available to us. Ropes are not to be cut and stakes are not to be moved.  


Thank you, 

Don Scarpone, President"



"September 9, 2019


Access for Over Sand Vehicles (OSV) to Chappaquiddick to and from Norton Point will be allowed on Friday, September 13th - Sunday, October 19thfor the duration of the MV Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby. Access will be limited to the Katama Bay side of Norton Point at or near low tide only. Please note that use of the bayside trail on Norton Point will be limited during high tides due to portions of the trail being flooded so do pay close attention to the tides. 


The Trustees greatly value their relationship and partnership with our local fishing and hunting communities and we look to you for help in ensuring that derby participants adhere to all beach regulations and, in particular, confine OSV travel to the fenced-off travel corridors provided. Failure to stay within the approved corridors may impact the health and resilience of the beach system itself and is likely to cause destruction of state-listed endangered species and plants, which would constitute a prosecutable offense under the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act. The MV Surfcasters Association and The Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby Committee have agreed to encourage responsible beach use among their membership. The Trustees reserve the right to close any or all sections of the beach if regulations are not observed.


Our Mission is to “preserve, for public use and enjoyment, properties of exceptional scenic, historic, and ecological value in Massachusetts." The coastal properties we own or manage on Martha’s Vineyard are stunning examples of places where public enjoyment, natural beauty, and ecological values coincide.


We wish tight lines to Derby participants – but please, fish responsibly. Observe all rules, posted and un-posted, for beach use. Confine your travel to designated corridors and encourage others to do likewise.The Vineyard’s beaches are a resource for everyone – and that means all are responsible for keeping them healthy."


Please direct any comments or suggestions to Don Scarpone:

By dbalon on 8/28/2019 9:39 AM

We recently received this e-mail from the owner of the Windmill house on Chappy. (08/27/19)

“Yesterday, I was delivering supplies to the house, Dave one of my guys was an hour ahead. He ran into one of the Sport Casters (Surfcaster) members who saw a white jeep cut the fence down in a few spots, he told Dave he confronted them...they were not too friendly..and said "we don't care"

I want to thank who ever it was, I appreciate your guys making an effort to keep things friendly between the fishing community and my efforts to keep the area accessible to fishing. There is always one bad apple.

 I think it may be time to adjust the fence line, everyday the access changes due to tides. I will work on it this week. I also will be adding small pieces of reflective tape on the fence posts, I think it will help the fisherman navigate at night.

This kind of behavior by a member of the fishing community on Martha’s Vineyard is unacceptable.

As Matt said, “there is always one bad apple”.  Although one bad apple doesn’t spoil the whole bunch it  does give all of us a bad name and is a black eye for the angling community in general.

Matt is an angler himself and a good guy. He takes a lot of pride in his property and is dedicated to preserving it’s natural beauty. He has worked with us to keep high tide access to the Gut available and he has also agreed to open an area just south of his house for parking during the Derby. He does not have to do this. Please be appreciative by showing respect for him and his property and please, if you see something, say something before we lose total access to the entire area.                 

By dbalon on 8/9/2019 8:38 PM

Arlington, VA - The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board (Board) approved Draft Addendum VI for public comment. The Addendum was initiated in response to the 2018 Benchmark Stock Assessment which indicates the resource is overfished and experiencing overfishing. The Draft Addendum explores a range of management alternatives designed to end overfishing and reduce fishing mortality to the target level in 2020.  

"The Draft Addendum is a critical first step to stem overfishing as quickly as possible and begin efforts to rebuild the biomass," said Board Chair Dr. Michael Armstrong with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries. "Following approval of the Addendum, the Board will likely initiate a new amendment to consider a longer term strategy to fully rebuild the resource." 

The Draft Addendum proposes management options for both commercial and recreational sectors in the ocean and in Chesapeake Bay in order to reduce total fishery removals by 18% relative to 2017 levels. The proposed measures include reduced quotas for commercial fisheries, and changes in bag limits, minimum sizes, and slot size limits for the recreational sector. Since catch and release practices represent a significant component of overall fishing mortality, the Draft Addendum also explores the mandatory use of circle hooks when fishing with bait to reduce release mortality in recreational striped bass fisheries. 

It is anticipated the majority of Atlantic coastal states will conduct public hearings on the Draft Addendum; a subsequent press release will announce the details of those hearings once they become finalized. Fishermen and other interested groups are encouraged to provide input on the Draft Addendum either by attending state public hearings or providing written comment. The Draft Addendum will be available on the Commission website (www.asmfcorg) under Public Input by August 19th. Public comment will be accepted until 5:00 PM (EST) on September 27, 2019 and should be forwarded to Max Appelman, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, 1050 N. Highland St, Suite A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; 703.842.0741 (FAX) or at  (Subject line: Draft Addendum VI). Organizations planning to release an action alert in response to Draft Addendum VI should contact Max Appelman at or 703.842.0740.
By dbalon on 8/5/2019 9:02 AM

If you care about rebuilding our striped bass stocks to provide the great fishing we enjoyed in the early 2000s, please copy this letter, add your own info in place of mine if you wish, and send it to your state ASMFC representatives from the list down below. Please do this immediately. The ASMFC is meeting on these issues on Thursday August 8. Even if you only send to one of the reps, it will be helpful but we need EVERYONE to participate in order to ensure we are successful. NUMBERS COUNT!! Let’s not let them squander our fishery any further. 


Science has indicated that Striped Bass are overfished and overfishing is occurring.  

Amendment 6 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass requires the ASMFC to reduce fishing mortality to a level at or below the target within one year, and to rebuild those stocks within 10 years. We hope that you will act accordingly and in good faith by fulfilling your  responsibilities. I am angry that the ASMFC has failed to act before we found ourselves in our current position and I am frustrated by the ASMFC’s lack of accountability and failure to act in accordance with their mission and legal responsibilities. 

I ask that you move to initiate or support an addendum to the Atlantic Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan to address these issues. We need to end overfishing and rebuild the stocks within ten years and we need to protect the strong Young of Year classes as they grown to sexual maturity and beyond. 

I am strongly against lowering the target and numbers through a proposed addendum process to allow a smaller population of striped bass in our waters. We had sufficient numbers and wonderful fishing after striped bass stocks were declared rebuilt in the early 90’s and there is no biological reason why we can’t enjoy the high numbers of the early 2000’s again. A restored recreational fishery would greatly benefit the economy through increased tackle sales, guided fishing and head boat trips, as well as the hospitality and tourism industry and a myriad of other businesses including the hundreds of small lure and tackle manufacturers. Lowering the bar on our striper stocks would obviously have an inverse affect on the economy.

Finally, I find it impossible to accept a plan as proposed that has only a 50% chance of success. That is another way of saying it has a 50% chance of failure. Not sure about you but I would not cross a bridge if I knew in advance I only had a 50 % chance of making it to the other side.   

The ASMFC’s lack of effective action over the last several years has led us to our current sad state of affairs and I personally am appalled by proposals to lower the target and threshold numbers that were set to trigger action and rebuild our fishery. I ask you to think deeply about this and act in accordance with the law, the mission of the ASMFC and your duty to the recreational and commercial fishermen in the state of Massachusetts and the entire Striper coast. 



Physical address

Email address" 





PHONE: (617)727-3336 x109

FAX: (617)727-3337




PHONE: (617)722-2210

FAX: (617)722-2239




BOSTON MA 02114-2119


PHONE: (617)626-1536

FAX: (617)626-1509




PHONE: (508)367-1693



By dbalon on 7/26/2019 2:50 PM



AUGUST 1, 2019 5:00 PM – AUGUST 4, 2019 11:00 PM





The largest fish for the entire tournament will claim the prize. Sharks may also be entered, using circle hooks only and careful catch and release technique. Greg Skomal has shown an interest in being present to tag any sharks caught; please be as helpful as possible to Greg and his team.


Size will be assessed by length, not weight.


Shore fishing only from Wasque. Please respect all bird fencing and beach regulations. 


Contact Prez Don at Wasque during the tournament to enter, for explanation of the measuring technique and rules, and to pay your entry fee.


Please contact Prez Don in the meantime for any questions:

By dbalon on 7/6/2019 4:10 PM

Janet Messineo, the former president of the Martha’s Vineyard Surfcasters Association, will be at An Unlikely Story Bookstore & Cafe in Plainville, MA on Wednesday, July 10th at 7pm to discuss her new memoir, CASTING INTO THE LIGHT. We would love it if you could share this news with your community. The event is FREE to attend and people can sign up at


The book gives a full portrait of Janet's fishing journey and details everything from Janet’s obsession with striped bass, her dream of becoming a marine taxidermist, her favorite fish recipes, and even an account of the women anglers who came before her. At the event, Janet will discuss her captivating memoir, answer audience questions, and sign books. Beer & wine will be available for purchase at this event.

By dbalon on 6/16/2019 5:34 PM

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Windmill House Update:

Over the past several months, some MV Surfcasters have been talking to the new owner of the Windmill House about fishing access, passage, etc to that area of Cape Poge.

On Saturday afternoon, working in agreement with the new owner,  a group of MV Surfcasters moved the approximate 1 mile stretch of fence line an additional 10' to 15' inward.   There is now extra room for car travel to/from The Gut, with the usual caveat that at high tide water floods the access as it has always done.

The WMH owner likes to fish and understands there is often good fishing in this area.  In short, he is friendly to us fisherman.  For our part, we need to respect his property, the dunes and wildlife, the same as we do for the rest of Cape Poge.

Most importantly: 

Please respect the fence lines (yes, even at high tide when your car will get wet).  Do not drive "behind the lines", there is plenty room between the shore and the rope fence for passage. Note that the first breach (east, before reaching the house) has created a basin and will be flooded at high tide, hopefully with time this fills in with more sand.

Please don't make it a beach day along his stretch of property (it's not a typical "beach" spot anyway).  Depending on the tide there is room for 2-3 car widths room for passage, same as it has been historically.  If there are breaking fish, stop and catch them, then move on. Be respectful of access/passage to and thru this area for all.

I've been very encouraged by the discussions to date - he's done an amazing job cleaning up the area (there was tons of junk in and around the house that he has removed). 

Thanks to Ron, Jack L, Brad, Jonathan, Joe, Jack, Ralph, Jason and everyone else that helped move the fencing, it went smoothly and quickly.

Click this link to see photos.

By dbalon on 4/16/2019 12:49 PM

On Earth Day, Saturday April 20, 2019, there will be an island-wide beach clean-up.


The event is sponsored by the Vineyard Conservation Society (VCS), but our club has traditionally been responsible for clean-up of Norton Point and South Beach. In recent years, only a few dedicated members of our club have been showing up. 


Men & women of the club: can we do better this year? It’s one of our ways of giving back to the community, and of supporting our ecologic mission.


Just show up (no need to register in advance) at the left fork restroom/changing area on 


Saturday April 20, 2019 at 10 am.  


Gloves and bags are provided; many members bring their own gloves. Clean-up lasts until 12:00pm, or earlier if the work is completed. A lot of volunteers will make for a good time and short work. 


And free food afterwards from the VCS at the MV Sailing  Camp Park in OB from 12:00 – 2 pm! The clean-up after party will include a raffle. (see below)




"VCS Earth Day Beach Clean-Up After Party

Join the Vineyard Conservation Society (VCS) at the Oak Bluffs Sailing Camp for great food, a free raffle, and to compare your treasure hunting stories. There will be plenty of soups, salad and pizza for all. And of course there will be treats. No hardworking beach-cleaner should go without some refreshments.

This year’s event will feature two raffles, one for adults and another for the kids. We will be giving out prizes all party long. Another fun prize comes courtesy of the MV Shellfish Group, who are holding their fundraiser extravaganza later that night: show your selfie from the Beach Clean-Up at the door and get $5 off of admission. Finally, many thanks to Coral Shockey from Featherstone Center for the Arts for bringing some art education to the event, sharing the joy of creative garbage-craft with kids of all ages. 

 Saturday, April 20 at 12:00pm to 2:00pm

 Sailing Camp Park 

177 Barnes Road, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557"

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