About the Film

Director and island resident James Waldron answers the question, “Who fishes Plum Island and why?” The answers bring light to a wonderful, intermingled sub-culture revolving around the single-minded pursuit of the big one.

Reel People: Fishermen of Plum Island is a one-hour documentary film exploring the culture of fishing on Plum Island, Massachusetts. The barrier island just off the coast of Newburyport is one of the finest fishing locales in the Northeast and draws an exceptionally diverse group of people searching for Striped Bass, Bluefish, Cod, Flounder, Mackerel and others.

The film introduces you to people who find their excitement at the end of a piece of string. Plum Island Fishermen take all shapes and forms, from bait throwers and fly casters, women and men, children and octogenarians. The unique and entertaining characters all have their own rationale for time on the water. Shot over two years, the film follows a number of people out and around the island and listens to their motivations, their idiosyncrasies, their histories, and their love for the sport. Along with interviews and lots of people fishing, the natural beauty of Plum Island comes through. At the heart of Plum Island’s fishing community lies the nearly fifty-year-old shop Surfland Bait and Tackle. Local legend

Kay Moulton shares stories and photographs from seasons past, supported by her daughters Martha, Liz, and the dedicated staff.

The film mixes studio and on-site interviews with action footage, archival photographs, and amateur film spanning 60 years of fishing on Plum Island. The film is entertaining for both fishermen and those that simply enjoy a good story.

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