Yesterday's Island Today's Nantucket
Volume 40 Issue 13 • July 29-Aug. 4, 2010
now in our 40th season

Featured Entrepreneur
Herbert T

Herbert TIf people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles.   —Doug Larson

Fred Tonkin is well known on Nantucket docks.  May through October, he can be found on Straight Wharf at Slip 14 on or near the Herbert T.  If he’s not on the wharf, then he’s out on the ocean sharing his love of the sea and fishing with young and old.

Fred is an island charter boat captain and seasoned fisherman.  For nearly 40 years he has plied the waters around Nantucket, and he’s introduced hundreds to the excitement and pleasures of sportfishing.  He particularly enjoys family charters, patiently teaching novices (children and adults) how to catch and land blues and bass.  “We make it simple,” Fred explains, “you can learn how to fish in a few’ll bend the rod!” 

The Quartararo family couldn’t agree more.  On a recent charter, the Quartararos, their two sons, and their two friends caught more than three dozen bluefish.  The boys were very proud of their haul: AJ caught 9, Brooks 8, JR landed 10, and Harrison brought in 8 (see cover photo).
When you go out on the Herbert T, quality custom tackle is supplied—all you have to bring is your camera and sunscreen.  Passengers keep what fish they want, the rest are released, and the crew of the Herbert T will clean the catch.

Captain Fred Tonkin discovered his love of the ocean at an early age:  he was just 7 or 8 when his grandfather, Herbert Tonkin, first took him fishing. By the time he was 13, he was working on 45-foot boats that held up to 80 people, but he much prefers the smaller boats.  “Taking just 6 people or so you can get to know your passengers.”

Herbert T

Over the years, Tonkin has come to know well the best fishing spots around Nantucket and the methods that work the best.  But it’s not just novices who fish on the Herbert T — seasoned anglers also charter with Fred and fill the boat with fish for the freezer.

Fred once caught a 56-pound codfish, and one of his passengers landed a 45-pound striper.  But for a true "man against nature" experience, bluefish give the strongest fight. “Blues are the most intense sportfishing,” he commented. Depending on the conditions and the passengers, Captain Tonkin will sometimes go bottom fishing and trolling.

Herbert T

The Herbert T is Parker XL 2550 and is large enough to provide a comfortable and safe ride and small enough to enable the maneuverability needed for a variety of fishing methods. She’s fully equipped with the latest electronics, including radar, GPS, color sounder, chart plotter, VHF radio, and cell phones.

Tonkin loves being out on the water: "A good day fishing includes catching a lot of fish," he said and smiled. Captain Fred Tonkin is having a lot of good days this season!

Herbert T 2.5-hour trips are designed for anglers specifically looking to target bluefish. Trip times are 7am, 10am, 1pm, and 4pm.  The 5-hour trips are designed for anglers specifically looking to target striped bass. There is also the opportunity to bottom fish for fluke and sea bass for a portion of the charter. The Herbert-T has a per-person rate, and is available for private charters. To arrange a charter call 508-228-6655 during the day or 508-257-4176 in the evening.


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