Fishing Improving, When Wind Wanes

Update:  Just received a first-hand report and pictures of 5-7 lb bluefish caught yesterday from the Popponesset spit in Mashpee.  So maybe the traditional June run of blues will take place this year.  We’ve got our fingers crossed.

Fishing in the waters around the upper Cape continues to improve, when weather conditions allow anglers to take to the water or beaches.  Winds have hammered the area almost daily for the past week.  As a result, boating has been difficult if not dangerous, and casting from the beach often frustrating at best.  To make matters worse, there’s been a lot of weed in both Nantucket Sound and Buzzards Bay.

That said, the fishing overall is quite good.  Striped bass continue to spread out through Nantucket and Vineyard Sounds and Buzzards Bay.  There’s no shortage of schoolies but 30-inch and up fish are being taken in the rips.  Middle Ground, Halfway and Succonesset Shoals all produced keeper bass during the past week on poppers, swimming plugs and jigs.  The Woods Hole passage and rocks along the Elizabeth Islands also are producing fish.  In Buzzards Bay, enterprising anglers are using live pogies to target the larger bass moving into the Canal.

Keeper bass are harder to come by from the beaches; the most successful anglers are using mackerel or herring chunks to attract the bigger bass.

Bluefish continue to be elusive.  There’s no consistent pattern to where they will show up.  The traditional June run of blues along the south facing beaches has yet to materialize, but it’s worthwhile to keep checking.

Fluke fishing is starting to warm up.  Keepers have been caught on Middle Ground and Lucas Shoals, as well as the deep holes off Nobska, and the Quick’s and Robinson’s Holes. One angler fishing for scup off the Falmouth Harbor jetty hooked and landed a keeper fluke.

If you have a boat and want fish for the freezer, black sea bass are the ticket.  They’re everywhere, and at times can be a nuisance for anglers targeting bass or fluke.

Weekend weather forecasts look good and the winds are supposed to diminish, so there’s a good chance fishing will really break out in mid June.

Rips Are Starting To Turn On

Striped bass are starting to set up on the Middle Ground, L’Hommedieu and Hedge Fence Shoals in Nantucket and Vineyard Sounds.  The majority of fish are school-sized but enough 30-inch-plus bass are making trips worthwhile. Top-water plugs and metal spoons have been the most productive.

The Woods Hole passage and the deep holes off Nobska Light have been giving up 30-inch fish to anglers working jigs along the bottom.

In Buzzards Bay, one angler struck out on plugs and switched to live-lining pogies.  The result was two 40-inch fish estimated at 25 to 30 pounds. The pogies are following the mackerel up the bay and into the Canal, where fish are being caught on surface plugs at first light and jigs during the day.  Anglers live-lining mackerel are reporting catches of larger bass off Sandy Neck and Barnstable Harbor.

Bluefish remain scarce, particularly along the south side beaches.  But two anglers reported hooking bluefish off Chappaquiddick Beach and the Middle Ground.

Fluke fishing seems to be off to a slow start, based on the scarcity of reports.  But black sea bass fishing remains red hot, particularly over the Port Hunter and Kershaw wrecks off the Vineyard.


Fishing Heats Up For Holiday

Just what the fishing doctor ordered for the Memorial Day weekend: SUNSHINE (finally) and a steady, building arrival of our migratory fish and the movement inshore of the bottom fish.

Striped bass numbers are growing daily, with schoolies being caught from just about every beach and inlet and keepers also coming the hook throughout the area.  Among the reports were of 30-inch and up fish being taken on plugs and jigs along the Elizabeth Island, in the deep holes off Nobska Light, and inside the salt ponds and bays during the evening worm hatches.

The first bluefish have shown up off Oregon Beach in Cotuit.  The run of blues is just beginning and they should be attacking squid and other bait off the Mashpee and Falmouth beaches.

The black sea bass season opened last Saturday and by all accounts 2019 should be another banner year for the popular table fare fish. Most anglers limited out very quickly no matter where they are fishing in the Sounds or Buzzards Bay.  Also, the sea bass are spawning and large schools of purple heads can be found over the Port Hunter and Kershaw wrecks off the Vineyard, or over almost any rocky structure.

The fluke season opens tomorrow (5/23) but it’s too early to offer a forecast for the season. However, the best approach for putting keepers, or even doormats, in the cooler is to fish deep, up to 100 feet if necessary.  Lucas and Middle Ground shoals will hold fluke but the bigger fish will be found in the deep holes off the shallow water.

Until next week, tight lines.


Fishing Getting Better By The Day

Striped bass are flooding into our local waters, with more fishing showing up every day.

Most of the migrants are school-sized but there are enough 30-inch plus fish to make most anglers happy.  Best bets right now are at the salt pond and bay entrances along either Nantucket Sound or Buzzards Bay.  In Falmouth, the entrance to Great Pond has been producing 25 to 30-inch fish on top water plugs and white soft plastics. Marine worms are hatching with the Moonakis River at the top of Waquoit Bay and the Mashpee River at the top of Popponesset Bay drawing large schools of big bass on the dropping tides.

Boat fishing reports have been sporadic with the weather keeping most anglers at the dock.  One local angler did fish Woods Hole Wednesday and hooked schoolies on top water plugs.

The few charter and party boats operating report excellent catches of scup, along with the now ubiquitous black sea bass (the recreational season opens Saturday, May 18.

There continue to be periodic (and unconfirmed) reports of bluefish being caught off South Side beaches but the main push of fish has yet to arrive.

The weather forecast is finally good, there’s a full moon Saturday, so this weekend would be a very good time to get out on the water.

Spring Migration Heats Up

Fishing is improving daily as we approach the middle of May.  School-sized striped bass can be found just about everywhere, notably at the entrances to local salt ponds and estuaries.  Schools of larger striped bass are moving up Buzzards Bay and heading toward the Cape Cod Canal. One shore-based angler fishing Falmouth’s west side hooked and landed a 32-inch bass on a Creek Chub popper.

Marine worm hatches have begun, notably in the Moonakis River at the top of Waquoit Bay.  To be successful a worm pattern fished with a fly rod or spinning outfit with a casting bubble is the best approach to the nightly hatch. We carry the flies and bubbles.

The squid are moving up Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds, heading for their spawning grounds off Harwich and Chatham.  The bigger striped bass will not be far behind.

Tautog fishing was slow to start but in the past week has really taken off.  Shore anglers fishing Woods Hole jetties have been very successful. Green crabs, which we also stock, are the ticket for tautog. Black sea bass and fluke seasons don’t open until May 18 and 23, respectively. There’s every indication that sea bass fishing will continue its spectacular run of the past five years.

2019 Season Is Underway, Slowly

It’s May 1 and despite a month of clouds and rain the striped bass are finally returning tothe local waters.  Fishing is still slow but fresh schoolies have been caught this week off the entrances to Bourne’s and Great Ponds, as well as some of the Buzzards Bay-side estuaries and harbors.  Some of the fish may be holdovers but others are definitely bright, migratory stripers.

There’s even a report of a bluefish being caught off Dowses Beach in Barnstable.  If true, it’s not surprising as the bluefish in recent years have been turning up with the striped bass.

The only bottom fishing is for tautog but except for the few boat anglers the fishing has been slow.

A few days of sun and warmer temperatures are forecast for next week so the fishing is ready to break open.

Albies Are In!

Weeks after they should have arrived, the false albacore have arrived in Nantucket and Vineyard Sounds and Buzzards Bay.
The first fish showed last weekend and by today (Friday 9/14) they were blitzing everywhere. Multiple pod were off Menahaut Beach and Washburn Island in Falmouth, at times driving bait right up to the beach.
Similar blitzes broke open throughout Woods Hole and off West Falmouth.
The only downside to the albies’ arrival is they will crowd out the bonito.