Finally, the bluefish have hit the Cape in force. Big numbers of choppers hit the South Side beaches and the Cape Cod Canal this week. Striper fishing was hot for boaters this week, but a little slower for the surf crowd—but with the new moon fast approaching, that’s fixing to change.
The Cape Cod Canal slowed down reported the crew at Red Top. There have been some fish on top in the mornings, but the tides and winds have not been favorable for a good morning bite. Bluefish have been around in decent numbers, however, taking topwaters and snipping soft plastics. The Buzzards Bay bottom fishing bite is excellent right now, with the trifecta of scup, sea bass, and fluke falling to squid and Gulp-baited rigs and jigs.
There are still plenty of bass in Vineyard Sound reported Christian at Falmouth Bait and Tackle. Bait, such as live scup, eels or bunker is accounting for larger fish while jigging with wire line is racking up numbers. Christian reported the Canal has been decent and that Barnstable Harbor has been good. Big schools of mackerel continue to swarm all over Cape Cod Bay. Bluefishing is on fire on the South Side Christian said. The bite is best in the evenings at Popponesset and Oregon Beaches.
Jeff at Forestdale was excited over the recent hot bluefish bite as well. South Cape, Cotuit and Poppy were the scene of the blitz, according to Jeff. The blues have been a good size, with fish ranging from 4 to 10 pounds. Fluke fishing in the sound has been slow, Jeff reported, and South Side black sea bass fishing is mellowing out. The average fish is getting smaller, and the action is slowing down. Scup fishing is good in the Sound, Jeff said, but it’s still only a boat game. Jeff hopes that soon, the scup will move within range of shore fishermen. There are still tons of mackerel off Barnstable Habor, Jeff said, and there are big numbers of bass with them. Most of the bass, however, have been smaller fish of 25 to 35 inches. With so many large fish moving through the Canal last week, Jeff expects some of these fish to show up with these mackerel.
At the other end of the Cape, Rich as Nelsons has heard of big numbers of stripers feeding off Race Point. Bobby Rice of Reel Deal Fishing Charters had nearly non-stop action on stripers to 42 inches on Thursday morning. The action came on topwater lures around Race Point. The beaches are producing fish as well, Rich said. Most of the surf-caught fish have been shorts, but anglers have reported seeing 36-inch and larger stripers cruising the surf line. The larger bass have been reluctant to bite in the daylight, but returning to these beaches after dark is a good bet for finding these stripers in a feeding mood. Kayakers are also killing it off the Race. Vertical jigging has been the most productive, but casting plugs is working at times. Rich had received some epic reports about the fishing at Billingsgate Shoal. One fishermen reported fishing in 40 feet of water and marking 30 feet of stripers. Live mackerel, wire line trolling and topwaters have all been working. For bottom fishermen, flounder fishing has been decent in Provincetown Habor.
The rivers of the South Coast are producing great action with schoolie stripers reported the crew at CMS. The sea bass fishing out of New Bedford has been excellent, but the tog bite has all but died. Bluefish are still roaming around that part of Buzzards Bay, with fishermen hooking up around West Island.
Ben at Black Eel Outfitters reported that Jimmy is on fire in Chatham. The Brewster flats and Billingsgate shoal are loaded with sand eels, and large aggressive stripers.
On the Vineyard, Peter from Larry’s Bait and Tackle reported, with the winds turning to the south, the fishing has definitely picked up. A new round of bluefish hit Wasque, especially at the beginning of the falling tide. Lots of smaller bass are around the island feeding on sand eels with some bigger fish up island. One of the crew from Larry’s has been fishing North Shore, and has gone plenty of action, but stripers seem a little finicky and looking for flies/lures that match sand eels.
Peter also said that scup and sea bass action in Edgartown harbor has turned on with reports of nice scup in the 14- to 16-inch range.
Boat action has also picked up with many of the charter captains saying that they had “bunch of happy and exhausted” clients from bluefish from the Vineyard Sound. With the bluefish, stripers from 24 to 28 inches have been part of the daily catch.
Best Bets for the Weekend
With blues south and stripers north, it’s shaping up to be a killer weekend on the Cape. If a bluefish blitz on the beach is what you’re after, hit the South Side in the evening with some topwaters and metals. For stripers, get the boat out on Cape Cod Bay, and bring an assortment of gear. It sounds like everything from topwaters to trolling is producing fish, but for the best shot at a big one, bring some Christmas-tree rigs and live-line some mackerel.
The sea bass fishing is still good in Buzzards Bay, and it sounds like more fluke are mixing in as the water warms.