Before the storm, fishing was looking good all around Cape Cod. Albie action was hot, the bluefin bite was on fire, and bass fishing was heating up. While the wet and windy weather may temporarily cool the fishing, most anglers agree, the best of the fall is yet to come.
On Martha’s Vineyard, the albie fishing was good through Wednesday according to Coop at Coop’s Bait and Tackle. On Thursday morning, in the heavy north winds, Coop and his group of fishermen hooked and dropped a couple, but the action was markedly slower. False albacore don’t like silted up and weedy water brought on by stormy conditions, and may ride out the weather farther offshore. Striper fishing is picking up on the Vineyard, Coop said. There are many small fish around, which is usually a good sign that the fall run is gaining momentum. Though the water on the Vineyard is a mess at the moment, Coop said the abundant schools of peanut bunker mullet , and spearing will bring the fish right back in when conditions calm down after the weekend.
Wasque breached reported Steve at Larry’s Tackle. As bait poured out of the breach, bluefish were feeding on one side while albies blitzed on the other. Steve expects this breach to be a bass hotspot in the near future with all the baitfish in the area. Though the water has dirtied some, Steve reported that albies are still being caught in Edgartown Harbor and Menemsha. For bigger bluefish, Steve recommends chunking with bunker or butterfish right now. There have been some barndoor skates around providing momentary thrills when they take a chunk bait intended for blues or stripers. Once the angler realizes the tremendous weight on his line is not a Derby-winning fish, the excitement fades and the work of landing the big skate begins.
More stripers were reported on the South Side this week. Bill at Sports Port said eels and plugs are casting Nantucket Sound stripers right now. Jeff at Forestdale has been finding keeper stripers after dark around Popponesset. Cotuit is also holding some bass. Schools of adult bunker in the area have also attracted some large bluefish, Jeff reported. Fishermen live-lining the big baitfish have been hooking 10-pound-plus blues.
Albies and bonito were still popping up off the South Side as of Wednesday reported the Sports Port crew. Jeff at Forestdale said shore fishermen were hooking albies at Cotuit, Popponesset and Osterville. One angler was even having success at Craigville beach, blind-casting. While many fishermen wait to see feeding albies to make a cast, keeping your lure in the water gives you a shot at the albies that are cruising by and not breaking the surface.
Canal fishing has been good reported Stan at Red Top. Albies have been moving into the West End most mornings, and stripers of all sizes, from small schoolies to 20-plus-pounders are taking plugs and jigs. Casting pencil poppers and the Savage Sand Eel during the early morning has been the ticket for stripers. Jigging the bottom at night has also been productive reported Stan.
Bluefin fishing was on fire this week. Captain Bobby Rice of Reel Deal Charters have several multiple fish days, including an incredible 7 for 7 outing, using spinning gear. East of Chatham, Captain John of Fish Chatham Charters reported that the full moon, along with the weeds brought offshore by the large moon tides made for challenging tuna trolling over the weekend. John still managed a few tuna in the 45- to 50-inch class and a thresher shark. The current weather has put a stop to the tuna fishing for now, but when the seas calm, the tuna will still be there.
The fall trout stocking maybe be taking place in the next two weeks reported Jeff at Forestdale. Only a selected few waters receive a shipment of trout in the fall, and all can be found HERE. Peter’s Pond is on the fall stocking route, and with trout fishing there already excellent according to Jeff, it should be phenomenal when the fresh trout go in.
Best Bets for the Weekend
You won’t be getting out on the boat this weekend. Even some shore spots will be too rough and dangerous to fish. Safety must be your first priority when dealing with the storm swell and wind-driven whitecaps this weekend. You’ll be better off finding a protected lee and fishing there. Parts of the Canal may offer such a refuge, and in stormy conditions, good fishing could happen at any time of the day or night. The South Side may be another option, but as of Wednesday, extremely high tides in some areas made fishing difficult. If you’d rather ride out the storm(s) in the comfort of your own home, I suggest preparing your tackle for the next phase of the fall run, when some of the biggest stripers of the year will be moving through Cape Cod waters.