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(Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
Question: We're taking a trip to Martha's Vineyard at the end of August, and I was wondering if we can fish from the beach and what fish are attainable at that time. Thanks.
Dee's Reply: Hi Greg - I'm happy to tell you that Martha's Vineyard has some of the best beach fishing in the USA!
Striped Bass, Bluefish, Bonito and False Albacore are prime targets for surf fishermen on the island. On occasion, small sharks are caught while surfcasting from the Vineyard's shoreline, too. (Not to worry. We're not talking about the man-eaters!)
Striped Bass and Bluefish are around from May through October. Bonito usually begin showing up in early to mid-August, followed by False Albacore in late August or early September.
Are all these species catchable from shore? Yes, if you're in the right place at the right time with the right bait/lure. (Typical fishing, right?!)
Back in 2010, On The Water magazine published an excellent article about surf fishing on Martha's Vineyard. Here's a link to the article (in PDF format). It's a fascinating read with loads of must-know info for anyone who's planning to fish from the beach on the Vineyard.
Speaking of On The Water magazine, you might also want to check out their weekly fishing reports. They have archived reports dating back a long way. If you scan through them, you'll see what the fishing has been like during the last week of August in years passed.
Will conditions and catches be the same this year? There's no way to know for sure. But the old reports will give you a good sense of what's happened in prior years - and the current reports will let you know how the season is progressing so far this year.
Oh, and one last thing. You'll need a Massachusetts saltwater fishing permit to legally fish in MA waters. Be sure to get one and carry it with you while you're out there catching. Unlicensed fishing is a major no-no and can subject you to some nasty fines.
I hope this info helps. Tight lines!
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