Nov 21 2013
Hardcore anglers will probably be on the water well in December, but for most of us the tackle has been stored until next spring. Looking back, 2013 followed the pattern of recent years: great spring and early summer fishing, not so great late summer and fall fishing.
The swing between early and late season success was true of striped bass, bluefish (although some big slammers were taken late in October), scup and fluke. The one notable exception was black sea bass, which for the second year in a row provided quality fishing from early May until the end of October.
Oddly, given the water tempertures, the bonito and false albacore were late — very late — in arriving. The albies did make a several week visit to the Sounds during September but the bonito stayed at and beyond the Hooter.
Notable catches during the year included a spring run of weakfish in Waquoit and Popponessett Bays. And the most notable catch of all was the sail fish taken by a relatively inexperienced angler in the Cape Cod Canal.
This concludes the 2013 reports. See you in 2014.
Sep 19 2013
After weeks of looking and waiting, multiple schools of false albacore showed up September 18 off the Cape-side beaches of Nantucket Sound. Pods of breaking fish were spotted from the entrances of Waquoit Bay to Falmouth Harbor. Even the Vineyard Derby crowd came over to chase the funny fish. Here’s hoping this is not a one-day wonder. Stay tuned.
Aug 22 2013
It’s been about a month since a bonito was caught off East Beach on the Vineyard, but they and their cousins the false albacore have yet to make a sustained appearance in the Sounds or Buzzards Bay.
Bonito continue to hang out at the Hooter and Nantucket’s Bonito Bar where large schools of sand eels and other small bait are the attraction. Inshore there is plenty of small bait so we expect the funny fish to show up any day.
For something different, there weakfish have moved into Waquoit Bay. Cape Cod is the northern limit for weakfish which this year are present in very good numbers. A word of caution: weakfish have to be 16″ and the daily limit is one.
Striped bass fish is still slow but is slowly improving. Night fishing, particularly with eels, is still be way to go.
Big bluefish anyone? Slammers have moved into Vineyard Sound, with fish of 12 pounds and up being taken off Quick’s Hole. Bass anglers were’t happy but for the few who target bluefish that’s the place to go.
Bottom fishing continues to be decent but with sub-legal fish outnumbering the keepers.
Jun 20 2013
It’s not often that we’ll lead this report with bottom fishing but that’s the case this week. Whether it’s fluke, sea bass or scup, the bottom fishing during June has been excellent. In Buzzards Bay, Cleveland Ledge and Bird Island regularly are producing 4-5 lb sea bass on almost every tide. In Nantucket Sound, anglers are taking legal fluke on shallow and deep drifts from Lucas and Middle Ground shoals in the west, and L’Hommedieu and Halfway shoals in the east.
Striped bass fishing, while still very good, is starting to shift to a summer pattern. Bass in search of colder water are moving toward Tom Shoal off Chappaquidick. They’re also holding along the Elizabeth Islands where anglers pitching eels are having success at night.
Bluefish anyone? You don’t have to look far. Blues are everywhere along the Cape’s south coast, with Oregon and South Cape beaches attracting the most fish — and crowds. Almost any top water bait will work, as well as any chunk bait.
Summer start’s tomorrow so this coming week might well be the last of spring fishing conditions.
May 22 2013
You couldn’t ask for a better fishing forecast for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.
Whether from boat or shore, striped bass fishing is superb. Keepers and schoolies are being caught from most beaches at dawn and dusk, and at time during the middle of day. Chunk bait is working well, as well as topwater and swimming plugs. For the boating anglers, bass are holding on almost all the Nantucket Sound rips. They’re there even though the squid run has been mediocre. Bass are falling to jigs and live-lined scup in the Hole and along the Islands. In Buzzards Bay schools of bass continue to follow migrating mackerel into the west end of the Canal.
For the bluefish crowd, South Cape — somewhat of a disappointment in recent seasons — has regained its dominance and is the place to be, particularly during the last hour of light. Plugs or bait will produce fish from 2 or 3 pounds up to 10 or 12 pounds.
Black sea bass fishing is very good at the Kershaw and Fort Hunter wrecks in Nantucket Sound, as well as Cleveland Ledge in Buzzards Bay. A reminder: the black sea bass limit this year is 4 fish at 14 inches.
The fluke season opens today (May 22). The limit this year is 5 fish at 16 inches (down a half inch from last year.)
A tip: The approach of June also signals the start of eel fishing for bass. In addition to a wide assortment of fresh and frozen bait, we also have live eels in stock for the holiday weekend.
Apr 26 2013
Perhaps by the time you read this the 2013 season will have broken open, but at this writing (4/26) we just very close. Herring are running, ospreys are on their nests, dandelions and forsythia are blooming, water temperatures are nearing 50 and the forecast for the next week is for lots of sunshine — all ingredients for the arrival of striped bass and other in-shore species.
But to date the action has been confined to what are probably hold-over bass that have started to move around and fallen prey to eager and enterprising anglers. The bass and blues are coming and they’ll probably arrive if not this weekend by the first week in May.
First to arrive will be the schoolies, with a few legal (28″) fish mixed in with them. Best spots will be the bays, salt ponds and rivers that empty into the salt. By mid-May the larger bass will appear, chasing both the mackerel and squid migrations through the local waters. By the end of the month fluke, sea bass and scup should have moved in from their deep water winter grounds.
So stay tuned.
Mar 14 2013
Yes it’s only 40 degree, but we’re on Day Light Savings Time and Spring arrives next week — which means Spring fishing is here, or just around the corner.
For freshwater fishing fans, the state this week began stocking the area ponds. Stocking will continue for the next month with most ponds getting visited twice by the hatchery trucks. For anglers who prefer largemouth or smallmouth bass, we have reliable reports of bass being taken from Ashumet Pond, including a 4-lb smallie.
At the store we have live shiners, nightcrawlers, trout worms, along with an assortment of freshwater spoons for trout.
For the next several weeks we’ll be re-stocking the store for the upcoming saltwater season. We already have on hand a large selection of Savage Sand-Eels and Daiwa SP Minnows, two lures that were hot last year and very hard to get.
And if your tackle still needs a tune-up or new line, don’t wait much longer. The line for repairs and spooling is getting longer by the day.
Nov 08 2012
There will be striped bass and scattered blue fish around into late November, but for all intents and purposes the 2012 saltwater season is in the history books.
For the record, the season began in mid-April with the arrival of stripers and blues and continued in high gear until well into June and early June. It was the best spring and early summer season is recent memory. If there were any ominous signs it was the continued absence of the hordes of schoolies of a decade ago, and the unusual numbers of 30 to 40-inch bass. The schoolies represent the future fishing and the taking of huge numbers of prime breeders may not be the best approach to conserving the fishery.
Another high point was the exception black sea bass fishing, with 4 to 5-lb fish being taken throughout the season. The commercial fishery went way over its quota and there’s a real possibility catch limits for sea bass will be reduced next year.
Fluke continue to be a tempting and often disappointing prey. As in recent years, there were plenty of fluke to be caught but most were just short of the legal limit.
After many years of avoiding the Cape, false albacore returned in large numbers throughout September and October. For a couple of weeks, the albies could even be caught by casting from the jetties and beaches.
We take a pause for the upcoming holidays, but check back if we get a cold snap and there’s ice fishing. Until then, see you next year.
Oct 04 2012
2012 is turning out to be the best year for false albacore in decades. For almost a month now the so-called “funny fish” have shown up throughout Nantucket and Vineyard Sounds. And in a marked departure from recent years, the “albies” have made regular, daily visits to the Cape side of the sound. Boat anglers are still doing the best but a few persistent shore anglers have picked up albies from local jetties. With Columbus Day weekend upon us, now’s a great time to try hookingl up with one of these speedsters.
Bluefish are still being found throughout the local waters. They range in size for a pound or so to up to twelve pounds and above.
Striped bass fishing is improving, especially if you able fish eels or bait at night. For plug casters, the Canal is probably the best bet with 30 and 40 pound bass are being taken regularly.
Fluke fishing is closed but black sea bass, for which this has been a banner year, can be taken until the end of the month.
Tautog fishing is good and getting better as the water finally begins to cool