May 12: Big Blues Off South Cape, and maybe big bass…

May 12 2016

A regular and very reliable customer took his boat east toward South Cape Beach this morning and ran into acres of blues in the 8 to 10-lb range.  The sun was high, the sound was flat and the blues could easily been seen cruising off the beach.  Our angler described it not unlike bone fishing. For the record, he and his buddy boated about a dozen.

And another customer today showed us a picture ostensibly taken last night with three 30-lb bass caught last night by a group fishing the inlet to Great Pond in Falmouth.  Could the bass have been in the pond looking for a worm hatch?

Overall, the fishing is picking up and should continue to improve as each day passes.  So now is the time to get out.

Stripers and More!!!

May 06 2016

The striped bass are here, as well as a smattering of small bluefish. Early season anglers have been catching school-sized bass up to small keepers for almost two weeks now.  Most of the bass are being taken inside and at the mouths of the bays and salt ponds.  And there have already by documented reports of worm hatches, which will draw in any large bass for miles around.  With the squid run underway in Nantucket Sound the first bluefish have shown up.  Initially they’re been 2 to 3-lb blues but the bigger fish will probably arrive within days.

Bottom fishing anglers will have to wait until May 21 and May 22 for sea bass and fluke seasons to open.  In the meantime there are scup with reports of some very large specimens being taken.

In freshwater, trout fishing this spring has been superb and will probably continue that way for several more weeks.

Albie Invasion

Sep 03 2015

Bonito were here for more than month, but as August neared its end, the false albacore had been strangely absent.  Until Saturday, August 29 when the albies arrived in force.  From Nobska Point to Cotuit, along the Islands and along the Buzzards Bay shoreline, pods of albacore chased the plentiful schools of bait.  And they continued through the following Tuesday, with the action slowing (just a bit) Wednesday morning but picking up that evening.

With black sea bass closed and striped bass fishing slow, targeting the funny fish is probably the best option from the upcoming Labor Day weekend.

Lure of choice this year is the Hogy Standard Issue Epoxy Jig in the 20 and 30 gram sizes. But Deadly Dicks, Swedish Pimples and Roberts Hammers and PJ Specials will also work. For the trolling crowd the Yo-Zuri Deep Diver is the plug of choice.

For striped bass the best option remains the Canal or Cape Cod Bay off the Sandwich and Barnstable beaches.  Shore anglers can find fish at night from those beaches.

First Funny Fish Reported

Jul 16 2015

The weather’s been downright tropical so it’s only appropriate that the first funny fish — a bonito — was reported caught on an umbrella rig at the Hooter. And there are multiple reports, albeit unconfirmed, of bonito being caught or spotted at the Bonito Bar off Nantucke and the Hedge Fence shoal in the sound.  Both traditionally will attract the funny fish. Reports from Rhode Island and points say bonito are being caught regularly at Block Island.  No word yet on false albacore.

Striped bass fishing remains steady, with fish being caught in the Hole, along the Islands and down toward Tom’s and Wasque.  Jigging is the best day time tactic; eels will produce best at night or during the low light hours.

Fluke fishing is the best it’s been in a number of years.  The ratio of shorts to keepers (16 inches) is very good and many anglers are getting their limits on a single tide.  One very productive spot has been the deep holes off Nobska Point.

Bluefish up to 10 pounds are roaming the mid-Sound shoals, with the best action at Horseshoe.  For light tackle fans, a 10-pound slammer provides a lot of sport on a spin or fly outfit.  With bass hiding during the high sun hours, bluefish are often the best option.

Erratic Start Giving Way To Steady Action

Jun 18 2015

Until mid-June, the 2015 saltwater season at first was delayed and then became erratic, as very hot fishing days were often followed by days of disappeared fish.  But with summer officially set to start, the fishing is steadily improving day by day.

Striped bass up to 30 lbs or m0re are being caught on jigs and even topwater plugs from Halfway Shoal (the west end of L’Hommedieu Shoal) to the rips off Nobska Lighthouse and the Middle Ground.  Woods Hole is giving up bass on live-lined scup and jigs.  Robinson’s and Quick’s Holes also are producing bass on a regular basis.  Beach fishing for bass now is best as first and last light.

Big bluefish — up to 10 lbs — are roaming all over Nantucket and Vineyard Sounds and Buzzards Bay.  Blues will chase most any topwater plug or metal spoon or jig.

Black sea bass fishing remains superb, particularly in Buzzards Bay along the Hog Island Channel and Cleveland Ledge.  The spawning schools have dispersed but most any structure is holding sea bass.

Fluke fishing is steady on and along most of the shoals.  For the biggest fluke, however, the best strategy is to fish deep holes of 80 to 100 feet of water. You can find deep water holes just off Nobska Light, past Lucas Shoal and along the Islands.

Like everything, scup were slow to come into the harbors but are now being caught regularly from most every jetty and breakwater.  The biggest scup are going to boat anglers working down toward Hyannis.

Fish Are Here! Go Fishing!

May 15 2015

They’re several weeks late but the fish are back.  Schoolie bass started showing up about two weeks ago and 28 to 30-inch fish were being caught this past week.  Despite the long winter and cooler than normal water temperatures, worms are hatching regularly inside the salt ponds and estuaries. The first bluefish have also hit the flats off South Cape and Popponesset. Except for scup, bottom fishing seasons for sea bass and fluke will not open until late this month. 

2014 In Review

Nov 19 2014

With the exception of black sea bass and false albacore fisheries, the 2014 season here on the Cape was mediocre, at best.

Striped bass, under enough pressure to prompt significant changes next year in both commercial and recreational fisheries, were late in arriving and hard to come by for most of the year. For 2015, regulators are reducing the recreational limit to one fish at 28 inches, and are cutting the commercial quota by 25 percent.

Like bass, bluefish also arrived late and were difficult to find at times, although good pushes did interfere with the funny fish bite and a slug of 15-lb plus slammers showed up late.

As in recent years, black sea bass fishing was superb and proved again to be a reliable, season-long target.  There were plenty of fluke but most were under the 16-inch size limit.

False albacore also were late but when they got here in numbers not seen in many years.  For a 2 to 3-week period in September, albies were being caught literally everywhere, including from the beaches in Falmouth.

Another bright spot, for big game fisherman, was a very hot yellowfin tuna bite south of the Vineyard. Canyon fishing was generally good while the bluefin tuna bite east of Chatham ran hot and cold.

This report wraps the 2014 season.  Stay tuned for ice fishing reports if the cold weather persists and look for our preview of the 2015 season next spring.

As season winds down, still plenty of fishing

Sep 26 2014

The epic albie bite of early September is over but the funny fish are still around.  Bonito and albies are thick around the Vineyard but can also be found off Popponesset, the Waquoit jetties, down along the Islands and in Buzzards Bay.  They’ll probably be gone within a week a two so now’s the time to target them.

Black sea bass is closed but 2014 was yet another banner year for one of the best table fish from the local waters. Fluke fishing will close September 30, with the 2014 season going down as less than stellar.  Keepers were always available but hard to find.  And doormats were very hard to bring up.

Striped bass fishing has rebounded somewhat from a very disappointing season.  There still are plenty of bass just west of Monomoy (for those willing to make the boat or car trip). Big bass are being taken along the Elizabeth Islands by angler fishing fresh pogies during the day or eels at night.

There are slammer blues mixed in with the bass, including choppers between 12 and 15 pounds.

The fall migration of bass and blues is barely underway so there should be at least a month of good fishing ahead.  Tight lines.

Mid-August — And Everything’s Still Late

Aug 15 2014

The 2014 season continues to be one of mystery.

Big striped bass have finally arrived but only in select locations: the Cape Cod Canal, Cape Cod Bay and, for a brief time, off Naushon Island near Robinson’s Hole.  Elsewhere, stripers continue to be difficult to find. One exception are schoolies between 18 and 22 inches which are plentiful, courtesy of the 2011 spawning class.

Bluefish remain plentiful (for some anglers a nuisance) with big slammers being caught regularly at Horseshoe Shoal.  Snappers have moved into most every salt pond and bay.

Bonito and false albacore have yet to arrive in any numbers.  It’s looking like September will be the month for the funny fish, if in fact they do show up.  (There have been reports of Spanish mackerel being caught in Buzzards Bay.)

Black sea bass continues to be very good.  Scup fishing is reliable, with some truly large scup being taken on a regular basis.  Fluke fishing is a familiar story: shorts outnumber keepers by a large margin.

Summer of ‘14 Has Its Ups and Downs

Jul 09 2014

The best way to describe the 2014 season is one of ups and downs.  Striped bass are here one day and, frustratingly, gone the next.  They’ll pop up again the next day, but usually in a different spot.  This pattern is true of not only the local waters but in the Canal and down through Rhode Island and Connecticutt.  The best bass fishing has been in Cape Cod Bay where sand eels from Stellwagen Bank have attracted the biggest schools of bass.

On the other hand, bluefish are everywhere and have been everywhere since the early spring.  In a couple of weeks, the first bonito and false albecore should show ups.

 Fluke fishing not great but its steady with most anglers getting their limit of 16 to 20-inch fish.  Doormats are much more difficult to find.