Large schools of peanut bunker are all over Cape Cod, more than most fishermen can ever imagine, and the fish are taking notice.
One of the coolest parts of the fall run is seeing multiple species of gamefish mix together and blitz on the big schools of baitfish. That’s what happened in the Cape Cod Canal this week. Stripers, blues, and albies chased schools of peanut bunker from the Herring Run to the Maritime Academy this week. Most of the stripers were schoolie-sized, but provided plenty of fun as they hit small swimming plugs, poppers, bucktail jigs and soft plastics. The bluefish were caught on the same lures, but the albies proved a little more difficult to fool. A few were caught reported AJ at Red Top Sporting goods, who saw one angler catch an albie on a popper. Small, slim metal lures are usually the best bet for albies, and lures that cast well, like the Daddy Mac albie jig, are preferred by shore fishermen.
AJ also reported some tog being caught in the Canal. As water temperatures cool, tog activity should pick up in the Canal and in Buzzards Bay. AJ said Red Top will begin stocking green crabs again next week.
Cape Cod Bay was quiet this week. Some schoolies were taken by shore fishermen on small swimming plugs, but despite plenty of bait, the action was few and far between.
Striper activity continues to pick up on the South Side. Keeper sized fish came from Cotuit and Popponesset this week reported Jeff at Forestdale Bait and Tackle. The bays are loaded with bait, Bill from Sports Port said, and as water temperatures continue to cool, more stripers will be moving through the sounds.
Some bigger blues are showing up on the South Side beaches. The blues have been chopping up soft plastics cast for stripers. Schools of adult menhaden in some of the harbors should also attract large bluefish in the coming weeks, predicted Jeff at Forestdale.
Albies are still popping up off the South Side, but there weren’t as many reports this week. The Hooter, however, is loaded with funny fish reported Bill at Sports Port. Elise from the Sports Port was out there this week and landed 9 bonito and twice as many albies while trolling.
Fishing on the Outer Cape and around Race Point has been slow reported Rich at Nelson’s Bait and Tackle. Some bluefish were showing up at high tide, but the recent northeast winds have blown in some cold water and put an end to that. There are some mackerel around, Rich said, as well as giant tuna. The giants, Rich said, are being caught off the backside.
The tuna bite east of Chatham picked up as the northeast winds whipped up the water. Captain John of Fish Chatham charters went 5 for 5 trolling up bluefin on Wednesday. The last fish fell victim to a mako shark.
Another shark was taken on the tuna grounds this week. Captain Bobby Rice topped off a great day of tuna fishing with a thresher shark.
Fishing on the Vineyard is hot. Bass fishing improved this week, with a new shore leader in the Derby, an impressive 38-pounder. Big bluefish, some as large as 16 pounds, are also trickling in Coop said. Albie fishing is steady. Edgartown is producing albies from shore on a daily basis, and Menemsha has been good as well.
Best Bets for the Weekend
Don’t miss StriperFest this weekend at Marina Park in Falmouth. The festivities kick off at noon with live music, hot food, cold beer, fishing gear and games. Before the event, boat fishing around the Vineyard or shore fishing in the Canal might be your best bet. Be sure to pack plenty of peanut bunker imitations.