Jun 302013

Affordable Fishing Out of Oak Bluffs

by Elyse Brightman

Fishing on the Skipper with Captain John Potter, Oak Bluffs on Marthas Vineyard

Kathy Crouch of Whitman, MA holds up a scup she caught on an outing with the Skipper. She’s been fishing with Captain John Potter since he started his business 25 years ago.

For 25 years Captain John Potter has been giving the people of Martha’s Vineyard an affordable, family friendly fishing experience with the Skipper.

From May through October, the Skipper offers two daily trips and provides every person with a rod and bait. Bring your own cooler with food and drinks and enjoy the day bobbing in the waters off Cape Cod while Captain Potter and his crew roam the boat assisting anyone who might need help and give everyone a personal experience.

“I tore out the whole microphone system,” says Potter, “I want to be able to be hands on with the customers.”

Captain John Nelson assists Captain Potter in the summers and works as a science teacher at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School in the winter. First mate Jeff will also be on board and this is his fifth year with the Skipper.

Leaving out of Oak Bluffs Marina, the Skipper makes a ten minute trip to Hedge Canyon, a deep ridge that carries a current from New York to Nantucket, for hours of fun, fish, and some Jimmy Buffett. Customers spend the four hour trip reeling in a variety of fish, like sea bass, scup, fluke, flounder and sometimes bluefish. Any fish large enough to keep will be filleted free of extra cost by request.

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Captain Potter spent every summer growing up on Martha’s Vineyard. He also spent time working on fishing and tour boats in the Virgin Islands before starting the Skipper and hasn’t looked back. For 25 of the last 26 years, it’s been voted “Best on the Vineyard”.

The cost is $60 for adults and $50 for kids and payments are accepted in the forms of “cash, credit or a Christmas card”, and families can have a fishing experience they won’t soon forget. Most of Captain Potter’s customers come back year after year, like Kathy Crouch from Whitman, MA.

“I have two kids and they practically grew up on the Skipper. It’s really a family tradition,” said Crouch who comes to Martha’s Vineyard every June and started fishing with Captain Potter since his first season 25 years ago.

Captain Potter wants his boat to be as family friendly as possible and will even let kids steer when moving from place to place. He also offers charters for birthday parties and other private events. Spots fill up fast because of the affordability and unbeatable atmosphere, so reservations are recommended.

Spend a day soaking in the rays, reeling in dinner and making a family tradition of your own onboard the Skipper.

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