Cape Cod and Buzzards Bay Fishing Report 7-19-2012

Bluefin Blitz Continues, Fluke Fishing Fantastic

On some parts of the Cape, the water was red hot this week. So hot, a wayward red drum mixed in with the striped bass off Chatham where it chomped a diamond jig and landed squarely on the scales at Riverview Bait and Tackle in Yarmouth. The fish weighed 35 pounds–a big red whether you’re in Florida or Massachusetts.

Yep – that’s a red drum (redfish), caught on Cape Cod this week! The 35-pound fish hit a diamond jig.

Depending on your target species, the fishing was either very poor or very good this week. Summer water temperatures have scattered bass schools, making them difficult to pin down on a consistent basis, Mike from M and D’s reported. When anglers are finding them, however, they fishing is very good. One group, Mike heard, caught a large number of striped bass all larger than 38 inches in Cape Cod Bay. Chris from Bad Fish Outfitters in Falmouth also cited the Bay as a likely spot, mentioning that tube-and-worm fishing was the way to go.

Some of those bass have been trickling into the Canal, and Mike reported decent morning action for anglers fishing loaded Cotton Cordell Pencil Poppers. Alan from Red Top said the West End is holding fish in the mornings, feeding on mackerel and squid. Alan also mentioned that anglers are catching the squid after dark in the Sandwich Marine Basin.
Chatham continues to produce bass, but the area has been running hot and cold. One day, the fishing is fast and furious, then next, fish are hard to come by. Such streaky fishing shouldn’t be a surprise, suggested John from Nelson’s in Provincetown. There’s only so many fish there to sustain that much fishing pressure. A good day of fishing may be followed by a few slow ones as more bass move into the area to replace the ones harvested and sent to market.

John said the fishing around the Lower Cape is a little slow. Some fish are being caught by boaters and kayakers, but the surf fishing has been very quiet.

There wasn’t much talk of stripers off the Cape’s south side, but big bluefish, fluke and bonito are keeping fishermen plenty busy. Cam from Billfisher’s on Nantucket said the bonito fishing has been consistent, and casting with lures or flies is the best bet. While anglers are trolling for the bonito around places like the Hooter off Martha’s Vineyard, around Nantucket, casting is the way to go. Cam said catches of up to a dozen bonito are not uncommon.

Fluke fishing is good. East of Nantucket is consistently producing keeper fish, as is Lucas Shoal. Chris from Bad Fish was fishing Lucas this week and loaded up on monster scup, black sea bass and fluke using Lucanus Jigs from Shimano.

Big bluefish continue to feed around Nantucket, but they’ve become scarce off Provincetown due to a recent drop in water temperature. Blues are also mixed in with the striper schools off Chatham, and are eagerly attacking diamond jigs.

The striper fishing continues to be good, just ask Stan Indyck seen here holding up a nice one.

Bluefin tuna fishing continues to be hot east of Chatham. Captain Eric Stewart of the Hook Up in Orleans landed 5 bluefin of 8 hooked on Thursday. Other boats had similar results landing multiple fish. Trolling, jigging and casting are all working. Dan from the Hook Up reported that tuna are being caught from Nauset down to the BB Buoy. A smaller class of fish has showed off Chatham, with fish from 42 to 55 inches being taken.
Off Stellwagen some of these smaller fish have appeared as well. John from Nelsons said there have been a few in that size range caught in recent days. Also taken from the bank was a 700-pound-plus giant.

White marlin are still popping up in the waters just south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Cam from Billfisher reported that anglers spending a couple hours searching are generally seeing a few billfish. Getting bites is another question all together. There have been “acres” of halfbeaks according to Cam, but the marlin seem to be the only predators taking advantage. Tuna seemed to have moved on.

Best Bets for the Weekend

I’d love to recommend a hot red drum spot, but I’ll be surprised if we see another one caught this season. I highly doubt that fish travelled all this way on his own, however.  Who knows? Stripers seem to be in Cape Cod Bay and off Chatham. Trolling is the best bet, but vertical jigging off Chatham has been successful as well. Fish are moving around quite a bit, so stay mobile.

Bonito fishing around Nantucket and the Vineyard is good and getting better. Trolling and casting are both working.  Cam at Billfisher expects this fishery to last another month, until the albies arrive and muscle out the bones.

Fluke fishing is also very good. Lucas Shoal and the waters around Nantucket are producing. Mike from M and D’s has even been pulling a few out of the Canal. Look for deep water for the best shot at a doormat and for a mixed bag of sea bass, fluke and scup.

  1. harv simon

    If there is a shortage of striped bass why do they allow commercial fishing in such large #s of the species. Doesnt make sense

    Reply
  2. Matt

    Hey guys, love the fishing report, I look forward to checking it out every Thursday. With that being said, I’m headed down to Eastham tomorrow for a week. I usually surf cast but the reports don’t look all that encouraging. Any suggestions? I’m limited to fishing from shore or may rent a kayak to try to get to some deeper water. I’m really hoping to catch some fish, don’t care if it’s bass or blues. Thanks for any help!

    -Matt from VT

    Reply
    • Jimmy Fee

      Hey Matt,

      Most of the reason the beach reports out there don’t look encouraging is because not many guys are giving it at go, and the ones that are fishing, aren’t talking. If you go at night, you should definitely be able to turn up some stripers.

      Renting a kayak would definitely be a good plan. Herring Cove has become an excellent kayak fishing destination. Even though the beach fishing has been tough out there this season, the kayakers are still catching plenty of fish.

      From the beach, be sure to fish a teaser with your lure. Any bass there will likely be keyed in on sand eels.

      Good luck and let us know how you make out,

      Jim

      Reply
    • A.J.

      Hey Matt,
      If the the beach doesn’t pay off there is always the canal at night. It could be worth the drive….

      A,J,

      Reply
  3. Ron Z

    Great report Jim and their is some great fishing action offshore. Ray Charles moved off the tuna grounds and back to the Chatem bass bite. If your going tuna fishing don’t get mislead by all the reports of boated tuna, still alot of boats that goback to port empty. The Capts that are hookin up are putting the fish in the boats are working for them. Things are still hot out there but patience and perseverance is still the best tackle. Early AM topwater then slowing and verticial the rest of the day, But ya never know when Ray Charles will show!

    Reply
  4. Ron Z

    As for the shoremen, i know of a quite a few that are doing verywell at night and early AM for bass. Can’t give locations, but you’d be surprised where their catchin them!

    Reply
  5. John B

    Is it just me , or are the bass off chatham getting harder to catch . . . it could be pressure from the commercial fishing, but the fish that are there don’t seem to be biting very readily these days. Previous years vertical jigging or a sluggo with a weight worked pretty well, but this year it seems much tougher to hook up, even when marking good schools of fish on the bottom . . . what is the answer for this, live eels, diamond jigs, wire line, parachute jigs, live bait? Perhaps these fish have gotten smarter, or maybe it’s just that all the dumb ones have been caught already?

    Reply
    • Eddie Banks

      Its You !!! I was trolling with tube and nighcrawlers in Chatham….30′s with a few 40′s mixed in.

      Reply
      • Enio

        does substituting night crawlers for sand worms really work or are uou joking?

        Reply
  6. BIGRY

    ya its you, im not saying its the easiest fishing but with the bait were using
    were still hooking up just fine.

    Reply
  7. Bill O

    Got into hour long bluefish blitz at scussett pier yesterday eve. Tore my sp minnow apart so switched to larger striler swiper and kept landing them

    Reply
  8. Matt

    We also found ourselves in the middle of a bluefish blitz Monday night in cape cod bay. High tide coincided with dusk and they were hammering top water lures until dark.

    Reply
  9. Joe

    Im going to mashpee with my wife and my son this weekend for a vacation and im hoping to get some solid fishing in. I dont have a boat so ill have to fish from the beach but i have no idea where to go. Can anyone help out a navy sailor with some solid locations and baits i should use?

    Reply
  10. H.T

    went down to canal today and the fish where finincky but there! and down deep. my father caught three, they where all keepers. and i was using the same thing as him and i didnt even get a single bite. amn was it frustrating! i wanted to know if anyone had any tactics for me to try because i dont knwo what i was doing wrong. he was catching and i was using the exact same thing and not catching. why is this! need some would love to catch tommorrow moring when we go!
    Thanks a ton for any adice
    Tight Lines!

    H.T

    Reply
  11. Jeff Miller

    I am coming to Chatham Aug. 20- Sept. 1. I have a 21′ Mako Centerconsole. I have been to Monomoy ” the rips” fishing for Stripers. I was reading about the Tuna fishing and was wondering how far a run it was from the Launch ramp. Can this be a short run? Would love to to hook up casting to Bluefin Tuna.

    Jeff

    Reply

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