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The island is known for its surf anglers. Janet Messineo is one of the island’s toughest. Even though she struggles with spinal stenosis, balance problems and other health issues, retired taxidermist Janet Messineo isn’t ready to give up waders.

An acclaimed surf angler and author, Messineo is woven into the rich fabric of life on Martha’s Vineyard — an island about seven miles off Massachusetts best known as a vacation spot for presidents and celebrities. Thousands appreciate the Vineyard for its renowned saltwater fishing and the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby (which runs more than a month, Sept. 10-Oct. 31 this year). This will be the event’s 78th year.

Janet Messineo’s realistic skin-mount taxidermy is well-known. She learned the trade at the Pennsylvania Institute of Taxidermy, where she took classes in 1987.

Messineo drives around the island in a casual way, and it feels like she is on a tour of victory. There are many hugs exchanged with people that she meets as well as catch-ups. She stops at Coop’s Bait and Tackle in Edgartown, where she chats with island legend Cooper Gilkes.

Messineo promises a salty lunch in Menemsha.

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