My annual summer vacation with a large group of friends and our families on Martha’s Vineyard allows time for a number of outdoor activities such as hiking, bicycling, beachcombing, kayaking and two time-honored favorites—fishing and crabbing. Our large group has made it a tradition to take the kids crabbing and fishing for staples such as scup and fluke (summer flounder) at least once during our week away.
This year we had some success fishing in the early evening for scup and fluke at State Beach in Oak Bluffs. Pictured is a five year-old girl catching her first ever fluke. Her father cast out the line but she was able to hook and land the fish without any help; a real thrill for her, her parents, and the entire group of us who were watching.
The fishing for scup and fluke was even better on another day at a jetty in Menemsha. Fishing with bait where there is moving water at an inlet to a salt pond, harbor, or river, or from a jetty or pier, usually provides consistent action for scup and sometimes other species such as fluke, sea bass, striped bass, and bluefish. This type of fishing is great to keep children interested.
When crabbing, you can use leftover squid from a fishing trip, other fish, or chicken parts for bait. Tackle shops in coastal areas usually sell simple traps for crabbing or you can rig a hand line with a safety pin on the end to hold your bait. You do not hook the crab; usually you can see or feel the crab pulling at the bait and then you pull it in slowly and use a dip net to catch the crab when pulling it out of the water.
Fishing and crabbing are a lot of fun and also help kids learn wildlife identification skills. My experience fishing and bird watching with kids leads me to believe that a child that views wildlife close up is much more likely to remember the name of the species and take an interest in learning more about it.
2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: September posted on Sep 12
September’s photo contest winner was Gary Kamen, who photographed Mount Warner Vineyard in Hadley. Mount Warner Vineyards is a farm-winery located in Hadley, a small town in the beautiful Pioneer Valley. Operated by Gary and Bobbie Kamen, their philosophy is to recognize the unique characteristics of …Continue Reading 2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: September
Calling All Shuckers! posted on Sep 3
Do you know where the oysters you ate at the raw bar last night were grown? Do you know how oysters are grown? Oysters naturally inhabited the eastern coast dating back to the 1700s, but due to over-harvesting, disease, and habitat loss, wild oysters have …Continue Reading Calling All Shuckers!
The Turtles are Coming posted on Aug 29
With a migration pattern that stretches thousands of miles, it is no surprise that Massachusetts is home to four types of turtles during the summer, all of them protected by local and international law. And while you probably know that sea turtles often frequent the Massachusetts beaches, can you identify them?