Anyone getting tired of catching albies? Me neither. The run is still strong from Chatham to the Canal, and some big albies are still in the mix. I had one nearly take off with all my line before spitting the hook on Sunday. I was wondering what I might have hooked a fisherman just down the beach landed an albie in the 12-plus-pound neighborhood. Schoolies are everywhere, getting fat on the schools of peanut bunker that are still hanging around the harbors and beaches.
Cape Cod Canal and Cape Cod Bay
There have been schools of albies blitzing at the green can just outside the East End of the Cape Cod Canal reported Jeff at Canal Bait and Tackle. We’re going on a few weeks straight of albies in the Canal, but with colder temperatures coming, the end of that run may be coming soon. Jeff also mentioned that bass fishing was picking up. He’d heard of fish to 25 pounds, along with the return of more keeper-sized fish. The key to the better fish, Jeff said, was fishing right on the bottom. Jigs, especially green and white, bounced off the bottom was the key to the larger bass while mostly schoolies were taking plugs.
The report from Hayden at Red Top Sporting Goods was that most of the fish in the Canal were small, but the next week holds promise, with the New Moon. Some bluefish have also been reported from the Herring Run area. Hayden also said that some boat fishermen have been finding schools of keeper bass in Cape Cod Bay.
Jeff at Macos Bait and Tackle reported stripers and blues in the Canal.
The beaches of Cape Cod Bay still have plenty of peanut bunker, and therefore plenty of schoolies. There’s still time for some larger fish to run these beaches. Nighttime with swimming plugs is the best bet, but fishing the daytime when an onshore wind kicks up the surf can be a good as well.
Tog are quickly becoming the target of choice for fishermen in Buzzards Bay. The waters are still warm, so you’ll need plenty of crabs to weed through the bait-stealing scup, small sea bass, and short tog. There are keepers around, and some quality tog in the mix.
Small bluefish and schoolies are blitzing on peanut bunker around all of the harbors making for fun light tackle fishing, and albies are still popping up around the bay.
South Side and Islands
The first 50-pound striper in ten years was weighed in for the Martha’s Vineyard Derby boat division reported Coop at Coops Bait and Tackle. While details are always scarce about big catches in the Derby, Peter at Larry’s suspects the fish was taken along the Elizabeths Islands on either eels or bunker.
The albies are still going strong on the Vineyard. Coop said that some fishermen are catching as many as 20 in a day off the beaches. Wasque, East Beach, and Menemsha are all producing. Lobsterville and Edgartown Harbor are also holding albies, Peter said, with some bonito in the mix.
Surf-caught stripers, at least stripers of size, have been elusive on the Vineyard recently, Peter said. The 29-pounder leading the shore division caught on the first day of the Derby could hold up if things don’t improve quickly.
Some monster bluefish are being caught by boat fishermen around Noman’s, with blues to 18 pounds being caught.
The South Side of the Cape is seeing some keeper-sized bass, and even some 20-pounders, on topwaters cast at last light. Waquoit and East seems to be the better bet.
Albies, stripers, and blues are being caught all the way to Chatham, with the rips holding good numbers at the moment.
Little word from the Outer Beaches, but without question, schoolie bass are feeding tight to the sand out there. Fishermen who put in some hours may even come across some large stripers making there way south along the ocean side. A recent tagging study found that though 75% of the tagged bass moved through the Canal in the spring, only 25% took the “shortcut” on their way south.
Bluefin tuna are still being caught when the weather allows a trip. Many fish are in the 60-inch range, a fun size to catch on spinning gear.
Fishing Forecast for Cape Cod
Albies will surely be departing soon, so if you want one last drag-screaming run, get after them this weekend. Martha’s Vineyard, Chatham, and Buzzards Bay would be my picks for that last albie fix of 2017.
The big blues at Noman’s sound fun. Some have also been reported inshore. Bluefish that big are downright mean, and will test your tackle. Some big blues have also been spotted around the backside of the Cape and in Cape Cod Bay.
The Canal seems to be improving, but be sure to heed the advice from Jeff of Canal Bait and Tackle, and fish deep.