The Fourth of July brought some fireworks to the Cape Cod Canal. Big blitzes rolled through the ditch on Friday and Saturday, and the action continued into the early part of this week before mostly fizzling out on Wednesday reported Maco’s Bait and tackle. Stripers were feeding on mackerel in the Canal, and pencil poppers and swimming plugs were working best. Fish to 49 pounds were weighed in at Red Top over the weekend. Canal tides are not ideal for the coming weekend, but fishing at first light will still offer the chance at hooking up.
Mackerel are still being caught around Barnstable Harbor reported Jeff at Forestdale Bait and Tackle. Fishermen live-lining the macks are using them to catch stripers at big as 40 inches. Inside Barnstable Harbor, fishermen are catching schoolie stripers using flies, small topwater lures and small soft-plastic lures that imitate sand eels, like the 6-inch Slug-Go or Hogy. Schoolie stripers are being caught from the beach at Sandy Neck by fishermen using sea worms or small soft plastics.
Race Point and along the backside beaches is still the hot spot for stripers. The crowds have been bad, especially on the commercial days (Monday and Thursday), but the crew at Maco’s reported that you can get away from the fleet and still find fish. Bobby Rice of Reel Deal Sportfishing put his clients n some fantastic topwater striper fishing off the Outer Cape this week.
Though the largest schools of stripers are still off the backside and Race Point, some fish are being taken in the rips off Monomoy. Stripers from schoolies to thirty pounds were taken aboard Fish Chatham Charters this week. Most fish were caught by trolling wire, but light-tackle casting was working as well.
The South Side is still producing stripers reported Jeff at Forestdale Bait and Tackle. Fish to 40 inches were taken this week around Popponesset. Bluefish action has been okay from the beaches, but good from the boats. Fluke fishing picked up off the South Side this week, with fishermen catching doormats to 9 pounds. Sea bass and scup fishing is going strong as well. Jeff said, fishermen are having great days by targeting bottom fish for dinner and bluefish for fun.
Chris Megan and the crew from On The Water TV jumped aboard the Helen H in Hyannis on Wednesday for the annual Vets Fishing with Vets trip. Besides some much deserved r and r, everyone on board caught plenty of scup, a few sea bass and a couple keeper fluke.
The word from Sports Port in Hyannis is that striper action is a little spotty in the sound, but sea bass fishing is going well.
Buzzards Bay is producing some pretty good fluke action according to the crew at Maco’s. There are still mostly shorts around, but fishermen are finding enough keepers to make it worth the trip. Keeper sea bass are still being caught in Buzzards Bay, but the key lately has been focusing on deep water. Some stripers are still being caught in the bay as well, with boat fishermen catching bass to 40 pounds in recent days according to AJ at Red Top. The crew at Macos also reported that snapper bluefish have arrived, and that tiny blues are being caught behind the shop.
On Martha’s Vineyard, the bite is a little slow. Some small stripers are being caught at Lobsterville reported the crew at Larry’s Tackle. Beyond that, bluefish are being caught sporadically around the island. Wasque is open to driving, and fishermen are catching some blues out there.
According to Pete from Castaway Charters, boat off Nantucket have yielded lots of bluefish trolling hoochies or jigging lead heads around Sankaty Head. Handkerchief Shoals Jigging has consistently produced Striped Bass. Fluke are plentiful in Nantucket Sound, but plan on weeding through plenty of shorts to find the keepers.
There are tuna around east of Chatham, but you have to put the time in to get one. Fish Chatham Charters pulled in a 69-incher on Tuesday.
Best Bet for the Weekend
The best striper reports continue to come from Race Point and the backside. Don’t let the crowds discourage you, as it sounds like fishermen who are doing a little extra driving down along the backside are having no problem finding schools of stripers all to themselves. Vertical jigging is the best tactic, but the fish are feeding on the surface at times.
For some fun family fishing, take the boat off the South Side for a bottom fishing and blues combo trip. Look for the blues early in the morning, when they may be feeding on the surface under birds, then shift gears to fluke and sea bass. The deeper water is holding the most and biggest fluke, but shallow, hard-bottom areas are producing big numbers of scup and sea bass.