Nothing cools a bite faster than an east wind. Earlier this week, with the summer southwesterlies blowing every day, it seemed like the striper and tuna fishing was going strong, but the north, and eventually northeast winds churned up the water and moved the fish around.
Captain John Clothier of Fish Chatham Charters had a good early week on the tuna grounds east of Chatham, but after the wind shift, the tuna shifted as well, and it took John didn’t track them down until toward the end of the day on his Thursday trip.
Captain Mel True of Fishnet Charters found a few giant tuna feeding on a pod of pogies in Cape Cod Bay. Before he knew they were there, he launched a Doc into the school, hoping there were big stripers working the bait. He was surprised when giant tuna crashed the plug, narrowly missing the hooks.
Mel has been doing most of his fishing along the South Coast lately, catching sea bass, and stripers from shorts to “over-slots.”
There seems to be a decent number of the 28- to 35-inch fish around, especially in Cape Cod Bay, where Captain Ross of Cape Cod Charter Guys was catching them before the wind shift. According to the report from Maco’s Bait and Tackle, much of the action in Cape Cod Bay has been on the tube-and-worm rig, or live mackerel, especially off Barnstable and on Billingsgate.
Mackerel made an appearance in the Canal this week, pushing all the way through to the West End reported Captain Neal Larsson of Sea Tow Cape and Islands. The macks didn’t appear to bring many bass with them, though, as according to the crew at Maco’s the Canal is still somewhat slow. There haven’t been many big fish, or blitzes. The most exciting Canal news from Maco’s this week was the presence of keeper-sized black sea bass in the West End.
Red Top had a similar report, saying not much had changed since last week, in regards to the hit or miss fishing in the Ditch.
Off the South Side, the striper fishing is slowing, according to Pat from Eastman’s Sport and Tackle. Warming waters seem to be moving stripers out and moving bluefish in. Monomoy is still loaded, said Pat, and, while most fish are smaller, there are enough 35- to 40-inche
rs out there to see fishermen on their toes.
Black sea bass are biting well in 80- to 100-foot depths, and there have been some fluke in the mix, but overall, the fluke fishing in the Sound is slow. Buzzards Bay seems to have more keeper fluke at the moment. Captain Ross of Cape Cod Charter Guys has been finding good sea bass, and some stripers, down along the Elizabeths. Captain Neal of Sea Tow Cape and Islands had also heard great reports coming from the Elizabeths, of good numbers of slot-sized stripers.
Want to get in on the bite? Find an OTW-approved Charter Fishing Captain for Cape Cod.
Big blues are being caught at the Hooter, reported Pat from Eastmans. There have been a few bonito caught out there as well, but the bones have yet to arrive in big numbers.
Also on the hardtail side, there was a king mackerel caught in Buzzards Bay this week, reported Neal. The kings weren’t as abundant last year as they had been in 2018 and 2017, but perhaps this early arrival is a good sign of things to come.
Bishops and Clerks and Horseshoe Shoal are also producing good bluefish right now according to Scott at Sports Port Bait and Tackle.
The bass have slowed, but blue fishing is steady on Martha’s Vineyard reported Sam at Larry’s Tackle. The blues, while not quite as big as they were last week, are still averaging a solid 6- to 7-pounds.
Fishing Forecast for Cape Cod
With our southwest summer breeze returning this weekend, looks like a great couple days for fishing.
From shore, the new moon and breaking tides are coming up for the Canal. While it’s been quiet, the bigger tides usually have a way of drawing some fish back into the Ditch. The Outer Cape continues to be a good place to wet a line for schoolie stripers in solitude, and the South Side beaches are a good bet for producing bluefish.
From the boat, heading to the Hooter, having fun with big blues and possibly plucking a bonito out of the mix is a good bet. Some high-speed trolling with minnow plugs might turn up a king in Buzzards Bay, but if you’re going to do that, have some fluke gear on board as a back up plan.
The tuna are still mostly too big for recreational fishermen to keep. Captain John of Fish Chatham said his fish ranged from 70 to 100 inches this week. The later we get into the summer, the more likely we are to see some of those smaller tuna. Canyons have fish, and with a big tournament on the Vineyard this weekend, a lot of boats will be headed that way, so we should have a good picture of what’s happening out there by next week.