Anyone who has flown to Nantucket over the last 7-8 years will tell you about the dozens of trawlers that are going back and forth south of the island. Most of the island has now realized that these trawlers are Squid Fishermen and they can tell you about the nantucket squid debate. The way they fish is to lay a 5 inch net on top of a 1.5 inch net and drag this net along the bottom floor. There is no question that calamari is a “hot” dish in restaurants these days and thus the market for fresh calamari is as strong as ever. It was also discovered 7-8 years ago that Nantucket has some of the best Striped Bass fishing because of all the ocean run squid we have. South of the island, Squid for years and years have laid their eggs (Squid Mops) on the ocean floor and Nantucket and Cape fishermen have benefitted from this reproduction ground with incredible striped bass fishing. The Sound and Nantucket do not boast natural striped bass habitat, but our abundance of the stripers number one food source does keep them coming back every year… until that food source is taken.
Squid and nantucket Squid in particular! are the perfect food source for these fish and they crave it. The issue with Striped Bass and squid is that unless the squid are caught in a current (Think Rip) the striped Bass are not agile enough to catch them. South of the cape, west of nantucket and east of nantucket is loaded with Sandbars and rips that give striped bass the opportunity to feed. This supplys the fish with food and recreational fisherman with a mainstay activity that has been a center piece of cape and islands life for years.
The issue now though is these Squid Trawlers are not only catching up the bait, leaving the bass without food, but they are destroying the habitat upon which the squid reproduce. Many of Nantucket’s fishermen have worked incredibly hard trying to push off these trawlers and we have had some success. The state is keeping the boats out of nantucket waters during the summer season, but an archaic law is allowing these trawlers within three miles of the island at the beginning and end of the season.
So the long and short summary is the squid are important and the fight to push off the trawlers is just as important.
I love June Fishing on Nantucket…. I don’t know quite how else to say it. If you ask 100 people on Nantucket what their favorite month is my guess is most say September, some say July or August and some say October… I love June!
Why do you love June fishing on Nantucket you ask? June to me is the beginning, and I love beginnings. I love new, I love starting over, I love what could be’s and the potential and having everything to look forward to. You know why else I love June… Is because the Striped Bass fishing is awesome! Early in the month the fish are SMALL and active. They wack small baits and while you are often catching 22 inchers, they feel like monsters as you are on super lite tackle in super shallow water. Than, one day, out of nowhere you start seeing squid shoot around the boat and you call up your friends and say…fish must be in the rips. And this is when the fun begins as when Striped Bass enter the rips chasing Squid…. hold on! Fun is about to happen. And what is cool is it is like the fish have an underwater microphone, because once one spot turns on, 2-3 days later another does, and 2-3 days later another and …you get the drift. I just love June.
I love that the weather is unpredictable, I love that the days are long, I love that the light is gorgeous, I love that I wear a wool cap in the morning and that the water is clear and cold.
If you love fishing, if you love cool experiences, come spend June with us on the water… You won’t be let down.
Jon Lord is a great friend and a great interviewer. He asked if he could pick my brain about the life of a fishing boat captain, Captain Corey. Of course I said yes. What a fun experience. Jon opened the interviewer picking my brain about hockey. While I am no “expert,” I love the sport. I have played and coached it and have been a fan for years. After picking my head about hockey we got into my view of the nantucket fishing world. It was a fun interview and Jon asked me some incredibly fun questions that made me think. I so appreciated the opportunity to get myself excited for the summer. I hope you take the opportunity to listen and get a taste of our world that we live in during the summer.
My good friend and charter fishing boat captain Corey Gammill joins the podcast to discuss the NHL Playoffs (1:00), coaching and teaching professional athletes like Jonathan Quick, Nick Bonino and Cam Atkinson (4:00), becoming a fishing boat captain on Nantucket (7:00), making work about more than money (12:00), the not so glamorous life in a resort community (16:00), dealing with entitled customers (20:00), competition with other fishing captains (26:00), irrational fears on the water (29:00), climate change and the perilous future of the fishing industry (34:00) and the value of catch and release (42:00).