Martha’s Vineyard Fishing Spots

Lake Tashmoo Inlet and Jetties
lake tashmoo

The inlet to Lake Tashmoo can be a great place for beginning fly rodders to try their stuff. This is a small inlet that often has plenty of small stripers (and some big ones, too!) working the bait along the rocks.

Wading anglers can also fish the flats on the left as you look up into the pond – take care to avoid the holes and dropoffs, but fish the edges of them with a Deep Sparkling Sand Eel or Chartreuse/White Clouser for best effect.

Concentrate on any areas where the tide sweeps over a flat into deeper water. Bonito and False Albacore come to this inlet in the fall…Bonito arrive at the very end of July, and can be taken with a live mackerel, bucktail jig, or small metal lures by spin fishermen.

Flyrodders should use small white deceivers or sand eel imitations. False Albacore arrive mid-September. This is one of the minor spots for false albacore, but as a result this spot doesn’t get too crowded, either.

Albie addicts use a small bucktail jig or metal lures, flyrod albie junkies choose a small white deceiver to imitate the silversides which get thick here in the fall. If the fish are on sand eels try a Chartreuse/White Epoxy Minnow or Green Sand Eel. Have a couple of white bunny flies in the box; bonito and albies will go nuts for these at times.

Page’s Slim Jim is another good bet for anglers chasing these speedsters. The last three hours of incoming water coming just around daybreak is the best situation to fish for the Bonito and ‘Albacore, so study your tide chart carefully to determine when the best times will be.

Lake Tashmoo

The upper end of Lake Tashmoo is the home of the fabled worm hatch. This special event usually happens sometime mid-May, and can last as long as two weeks, or as short as two or three days.

Seven days of consistent action is about average. Worms begin to swarm in late afternoon, often around 5 PM, and the fish begin to feed on them and continue until around dusk when the action usually tapers off. Bring some worm flies!

Larry’s has the best worm flies on the island, so be sure to pick up a few. You’ll want to fish this spot with a canoe or small boat – trying to fish the “hatch” effectively from shore is usually a heartbreak, although folks have taken some good fish from shore from time to time.

If you want to fish from shore, walk along the beach to the right of the boat ramp for 100 feet or so into a small bay. This area has worms and feeding fish at times. Anglers can also walk to the left of the ramp for as much as a 1/4 mile or so. Please respect property owners rights – you can fish as long as you stay at the waterline, but getting up onto private docks or wandering across lawns will ruin it for all of us, so please be considerate.

Look for the rises and cast to them, or cover the water when fish are not in evidence. The worm hatch is a neat event, but timing is critical. Please call us mid-May at 508.627.5088 for the most up-to-date information.

State Beach

state beach

This entire stretch of barrier beach on the outside of Sengekontacket Pond is a public beach, and one of the nicest, cleanest swimming beaches that you’ll find anywhere on the East Coast.

Fly rodders and light tackle anglers alike concentrate on the areas of the beach adjacent to Big Bridge at the Oak Bluffs/Edgartown town line, and also on the beach right in front of and also to the east of Bend-in-the-Road Beach.

Sand eel flies, deceivers, clousers, and snake flies all take their share of fish here, mostly around daybreak, dusk and well after dark. Spin fishermen should choose small swimming plugs like the Rebel broken-back or Bomber. The Yo-Zuri swimmers in simple color patterns will work well here, too. Folks often think of this as a beach to catch schoolies at, but one of our customers caught a striper of 48″ on a fly here in 1998, and another one took a very nice fish of more than 40″, so be prepared for anything.

False albacore run this beach in late September, mornings until about 11 AM are best for shore anglers, the best setups are when high tide comes at daybreak.

Big Bridge

big bridge marthas vineyardKnown locally as Anthier’s Bridge, this is the spot that was featured in the film “Jaws” where the shark goes “in the pond”; in this case, Sengekontacket Pond on the Edgartown/Oak Bluffs town line. In the summer, teenagers jump from the bridge into the water to cool off and impress each other. Swim under the bridge with a diving mask and you’ll see why people fish here.

Stripers of all sizes hang out around the bridge supports, and plenty of big fish are taken here each year. Drifting a live or dead herring is a sure-fire technique in the spring, and drifting an eel at night is a pretty good bet, too. Plug casters can choose broken-back swimming plugs for day or night fishing, and a simple white bucktail jig is a must-have for strictly daytime fishing. Don’t forget the Yo-Zuri Metallic Sardine!

Flyrodders can make a killing here if there aren’t too many anglers. Sand Eel flies and medium sized deceivers will take the lion’s share of fish here. Outgoing water is best in the spring as the warm water from the pond flows out into the sound. Later in the season, both tides are good.

If you are here on a bright afternoon, you may be able to see fish swimming around under the bridge, especially if you stoop low, wear polarized glasses, and shade your eyes. Be courteous to other anglers, lots of fishermen of different skill levels come to fish the Big Bridge.

Little Bridge

big bridge marthas vineyard

A popular spot with some local anglers who just want to grab a few minutes of casting before work, this spot where outgoing water flows into the sound from Sengekontacket Pond holds plenty of small stripers, especially in early June.

This is another good spot for a beginning light-tackle angler or fly fisherman. This spot is rarely crowded, and presents the beginning angler a good opportunity to learn to read the water.

Bonito and ‘Albacore will sometimes make brief appearances here in the fall as well. Fish small lures or flies, and keep casting.

Fishing bait on the left side of the inlet (looking out) on an outgoing tide can produce fish at times, too. Flyrodders sometimes find fish just inside the pond on an incoming tide, so don’t be afraid to take a look around.

Vineyard Haven Jetty / Eastville Beach

vineyard haven jetty

This jetty is a favorite spot for Bonito and False Albacore in the fall, and it can get crowded at times. Small metal lures and white bucktail jigs can be deadly here, as can the usual bonito and false albacore fly patterns.

Fish can be here at anytime, but the top of the tide might be a good time to try, especially with a Northwest wind which traps bait along the west side of the jetty where the moving water is.

Fish will often show here at first light.

Eastville Beach is a small beach adjacent to the jetty that flyrodders especially can enjoy on warm spring evenings. Really big fish rarely come from this spot, but fly fishermen and light spin fishermen can have a ball with the stripers here while avoiding the crowds of spots like Lobsterville Beach, etc.

If you’re staying in Oak Bluffs or Vineyard Haven and only have a short time to fish after dinner, Eastville Beach is the place to go. Once again, be respectful of property owners. Don’t climb up on private docks or cross any backyards in your efforts to cover the water.

Menemsha

menemsha jettyMenemsha is the last working fishing village on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, and this is a great place to watch the boats come and go. The inlet to Menemsha Pond, the pond itself, the jetties, and the beaches outside the jetties all provide excellent opportunities for a variety of gamefish and angling techniques.

Spring action can be great with plenty of small stripers, and sometimes good schools of bluefish right around the jetties. Folks fish here in the summer for scup and fluke as well. Menemsha is one of the best places to find bonito and false albacore in the late summer and fall.

For bonito try a live mackerel, small white bucktail jig (1 oz or less), Swedish Pimple, Yo-Zuri Metallic Sardine, or other small metal lures. For false albacore try the same lures.

The fly rod can be especially effective here when the fish are close. Be sure all your equipment is in good working order – rods and reels must be in tip top shape to land these speedsters from shore.

Incoming water brings bonito and ‘albacore right between the jetties, especially at first light. Outgoing water puts fish on the outside, but feeding well on the bait that gets swept out of the inlet.

The boat ramp on the Lobsterville side is a good place to launch a boat out of Menemsha to go fishing at any time. Night fishermen should take a look around the docks in the harbor late in the evenings.

Squid, mackerel, sand eels, silversides, feeding stripers, cunners, crabs, and a whole host of other critters make this harbor a virtual saltwater stew. Just watching the action is great fun, and clever flyrodders can pick up stripers by dead-drifting small clousers to feeding fish. Don’t miss the show under the lights here if you’re in the area on some late spring night.

Lobsterville Beach / Dogfish Bar

lobsterville beach

Lobsterville is perhaps the most famous beach on the island for the fly and light tackle angler.

Plentiful baitfish, favorable water temps, a gentle tide, and accessibility make this beach a favorite for many anglers, especially in the spring.

Stripers and Bluefish work these waters beginning in late May, and continuing on through the summer.

June is the best month for consistent action, and any fisherman trying saltwater fly fishing for the first time should give this spot a try. Dawn, dusk, and night fishing produce the best catches here, but fish can be here at any time.

Baitfish can often be found in profusion in the spring, especially sand eels and herring, so be sure to have some of these fly patterns at the ready. When bait concentrations are thick, fish feed selectively, and anglers may need to try a variety of fly patterns to be successful.

You may be treated to the sight of a small whale or two feeding in the sound here, and sharks sometimes cruise the beaches at dusk and dawn. False albacore run the beach starting in mid-to-late September, and this is a gorgeous spot to chase them.

Concentrate your efforts for albies around the Lobsterville Jetty at the east end of the beach, and in the middle of the bowl formed by the curve of Lobsterville Beach. Southwest to West winds are the most favorable winds for the average right-handed caster here, Northwest to Northeast can make this spot sloppy and difficult to fish as the wind blows in your face and piles weed up in the water along the shoreline.

Dogfish Bar is a special spot for light tackle anglers, too. Park at the west end of Lobsterville Beach, then get ready for a hike. Walk west along the beach for approximately 25 minutes. Dogfish Bar is a series of sand flats that extend out into Vineyard Sound, and these flats are home to millions of sand eels.

Low light conditions produce the best action, so look for foggy and rainy days as well as dusk, dawn, and night fishing to provide you with the right conditions for Dogfish Bar.

Coming to low tide in the early morning hours during June can give you access to fish feeding in very shallow water. Casting to tailing stripers in twelve inches of water in the middle of the night is a real blast. When you hook up, be ready for the run! Dogfish Bar is a real nice place for the light tackle angler to look for some good fishing after dark when conditions are favorable.

Edgartown Light / Edgartown Harbor (Memorial Wharf)

Edgartown Harbor has a public fishing pier that is a great place to take the kids. People of all ages come here to catch squid after dark in the spring, scup and snapper bluefish, and mackerel and butterfish in the late summer and fall.

When the bonito and false albacore arrive, this pier will get busy with many island fisherman trying to catch a fish to enter in the annual fall fishing derby. This is a good place for a beginner to watch and learn about bait fishing techniques for bonito!

Keep your eyes open and see how the derby winners catch these speedsters by capturing mackerel or butterfish before first light, then live-lining these tasty morsels to the bonito and albacore that make their appearance in the early to mid-morning hours.

This can be a frustrating place to land fish because of the many anglers, boat traffic, docks and piers, and other obstructions.

Tempers can flare here at derby time, so be considerate of other anglers, but if you can endure the crowd, you’ll have as good a time watching the fishermen as you will catching fish.

Cape Poge

cape pogue MVCape Poge is legendary among striper fishermen on Martha’s Vineyard. Fish of 50 pounds or more have been taken here in years past, and this is a great place to catch fish of any size.

Extensive mid-depth flats over sand, grass, and rock bottom create ideal habitat for a variety of fish. A strong current sweeps past Cape Poge making for ideal feeding conditions as well.

Access to Cape Poge is by boat or four-wheel drive vehicle. Please secure the required Trustees of Reservations oversand vehicle permit if you wish to drive on the beach here, and be sure to bring all required safety equipment as the sand can be soft on the approach to Cape Poge.

Both spring and fall will bring large numbers of stripers to the waters around Cape Poge, and late summer into fall will find plenty of false albacore prowling these waters – a great bet for anglers with a boat rigged for light tackle.

 

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