One of the most famous of all striped bass plugs, the Reverse Atom was born on the beach at North Truro on Cape Cod on a hot August afternoon in 1949.

Kib Bramhall

“I bought it last year – it wasn’t [called] Chocolate Chip. It was some ungodly name that you can’t even pronounce that meant nothing to me at all. I have a forty-four-footer, and the name of that boat is Hot Chocolate.”

Ivy Ashe

Ever wonder why fly fishermen wear dishpans around their waists? These contraptions are called stripping baskets, and the Vineyard was a testing and proving ground for them. A stripping basket is a container into which fly line is retrieved or “stripped.” It gives the angler the ability to control the loose line so that it doesn’t tangle with rocks or seaweed or other detritus or get rolled up in breaking waves.

Kib Bramhall

Once upon a time it was standard wisdom that the hurricane of 1938 was the first and worst to hit the Island. But hidden in the bottom of coastal marshes, and in old logbooks and newspapers, is the true story of New England hurricanes.

Tom Dunlop

Owner: Chris Morris, 20, Oak Bluffs

Boat: Lucky Blue, nineteen-foot fiberglass Boston Whaler Montauk

Home Port: The Morris backyard. It gets towed to landing sites when Chris goes out.

Ivy Ashe

Charlie Blair was five years old, living in a summer house on Katama Bay in Edgartown, when Hurricane Carol slashed the Vineyard on August 31, 1954, sixty years ago this summer.

Tom Dunlop

In 1953 I found a wooden Atom in the mouth of a dead shark on South Beach. It was the first plug that I owned, and a couple of weeks later I caught a striper on it. That began my decades-long love affair with striped bass plugs, which continues to this day. The plug still hangs in my tackle room, and I painted this portrait of it to commemorate its importance in my fishing life.

Kib Bramhall

Captain: Fred Murphy

Home Port: Vineyard Haven harbor

The Name: Ishmael

The Boat: Forty-eight-foot knockabout (i.e., no bowsprit) schooner

Fred Murphy was a twenty-three-year-old in the U.S. Merchant Marine in 1973 when he bought a wooden boat named Night Wind. She was one of six schooners built at the Captain O’Connell, Inc. boatyard in Quincy, Massachusetts, in 1929, just before the Depression began. “I’ve had her forty years,” he said. “It’s truly terrific.”

Ivy Ashe

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