More and bigger stripers are hitting the Cape daily, and just this week, they’ve been joined by another saltwater favorite.
Mike at Red Top Sporting Goods reported more keeper stripers moving in every day. Fish larger than 28 inches are still sporadic, but they are being caught with increasingly regularity in the Canal. The fish aren’t reacting to topwater lures just yet, but sub-surface swimmers like Daiwa SP Minnows and Tsunami Swim Shads.
The Canal herring run is loaded with the silvery baitfish, as are many of the runs around the Cape.
In other baitfish news, the big squid run is still going on in Vineyard Sound, and boats are loading up on calimari by jigging during the daytime.
Though the season doesn’t open until next weekend, a few black sea bass have been taken by the fishermen targeting squid. Some scup have also shown up, both in Buzzards Bay said Mike at Red Top, and over the rocky bottoms off the South Side of the Cape.
Christian at Falmouth Bait and Tackle said between the mackerel and squid, there is plenty of bait around the Cape for when the big stripers arrive. At the moment, the largest bass Christian has heard of are a 34-incher from the Canal and a 33-incher from the South Side.
Jeff at Forestdale Bait and Tackle said the striper fishing is reliable enough, that most anglers who are targeting them, are hooking up with a couple fish each trip. Inside the bays, swim shads are working, and Jeff said topwaters are catching at Oregon Beach.
Bass River and Herring River are holding stripers, reported Dan at Goose Hummock. Sunken Meadow Beach is also worth a look he said.
Schoolies have arrived on the Vineyard reported Pete at Larry’s Tackle. Early season anglers are catching schoolies on the South side of the island, from Wasque to Lucy Vincent Beach. Mixed in with schoolies has been the occasional keeper. The spring worm spawns are in full force, so Big Bridge and inside Sengekontacket Pond are producing a number of fish. In the evening, the squid have been coming into Edgartown Harbor, with pink as the jig of choice.
With the rising water temperatures, baitfish are hitting the South Side of the Cape in droves reported Ben at Black Eel Outfitters. The bay was extremely busy with bird activity up and down the shoreline for a couple days now. Schoolies and the occasional fish in the upper 20-inch range have been caught near Sesuit Harbor. Bunker invaded the Bass River earlier this week, said Ben. After dark, SP Minnows took keeper bass in the river. All the beaches from Yarmouth to Chatham produced schoolies and multiple keepers this week, according to Ben.
Social Media reports of bluefish on the Cape circulated Thursday. Prior to that, there were few reports of blues, except for a few taken around the Cotuit area, as reported by Jeff at Forestdale. Some south wind should really kickstart the bluefishing, so keep an eye on the South Side beaches in the coming days.
Tog fishing is improving, but the action isn’t hot and heavy, reported Christian at Falmouth Bait and Tackle.
Freshwater fishing is still excellent. Tiger trout were stocked this week, big bass, both largemouth and smallmouth, are hitting well, and the pickerel are positively voracious. As Jeff from Forestdale put it, “You’re more likely to catch a 5-pound fish in freshwater, than you are in saltwater–at least for now.”
Best Bets for the Weekend
Things are getting ready to break wide open. The water temperature needs to bump up a few degrees, and the wind needs to turn Southwest, and the saltwater fishing season of 2015 can really get going. By next week expect to be reporting the first big stripers and the first big bluefish bites.
The South Side is the best bet at the moment both for stripers and blues. Minnow plugs will work for both species, but poppers should be effective as well. In the bays, small swim shads are working best for the stripers.
Also, don’t forget about the freshwater. The water is still cool enough that the trout are biting well, and it’s warm enough that the bass are shallow and actively hunting bluegills and herring.