There were relatively few striper reports this week, but the most interesting we saw on Instagram, a video we shared that showed a school of stripers moving south along the back side of Cape Cod. According to Brendan Buckley, who captured the video, it was one of a number of southbound striper schools he saw this week.
It supports the long held notion by some fisherman that the fall run actually begins in August.
Other Autumn-like fishing this week including an increasing number of false albacore being seen, and sometimes caught, around the Cape.
Bonito remain the most abundant hardtail at the moment, and their numbers increased this week. Jordan at Red Top said the bonito were being caught in the Canal. Peanut bunker had schoolie stripers, blues, and bonito in feeding frenzies at the Canal this week. But according to Jordan, bigger bass were in short supply.
Lots of bonito and small bass, said Bruce of Canal Bait and Tackle about the Canal.
Matt at Maco’s Bait and Tackle echoed the reports of bonito in the Canal, and said some albies were also ripping through the Canal currents. Matt said albies were starting to pop up in Buzzards Bay as well. Pink, green, and bone are the hot colors.
Jim at Eastman’s Sport and Tackle heard a report from the Hooter this week that said bonito outnumbered the blues, a change from last week. Squibnocket has been producing bonito as well. Some bonito have also moved into the Sound, and Jim expects to see them at places like Nobska and Waquoit soon.
Captain Mel True of Fishnet Charters has been catching bonito in Cape Cod Bay from the East End of the Canal to Sandy Neck. He said he wasn’t sure what the blitzing fish were at first, but after the refused all his striper lures, he tied on a small metal, and ended up landing a dozen bonito.
Most of the bass being reported this week were schoolies feasting on the big numbers of peanut bunker around. The bluefish are running small also, but they are around in great numbers.
Scott at Sports Port said there’s been great blitzes of 2- to 4-pound bluefish along the South Side beaches. In the evenings and after dark, some stripers are being caught down there as well.
Scup are a reliable target from the South Side beaches. Fluke fishing is slow for keepers, and keeper sea bass have moved out of the sounds, but are plentiful at the Hooter, where fishermen have been taking a break from bonito trolling to catch some sea bass for the table.
Tuna fishing continues to be excellent for bluefin on Stellwagen and East of Chatham. Many of the fish are running large, but tuna as small as 31 inches were reported at Crab Ledge this week. So there are some recreational-sized (less than 73-inch) tuna in the mix.
Fishing Forecast for Cape Cod
Sounds like bonito are almost everywhere, from Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, to the sounds, the Buzzards Bay and the Canal, and even Cape Cod Bay. Heading out in any of these areas armed with some small casting jigs or plastics would be a good move. If nothing else, you’ll enjoy some light tackle bluefish and striper fishing.
Striper fishing should pick up soon with September approaching. Cape Cod Bay and the Elizabeth Islands would be good places to search for bass.
For bottom fish, the Hooter is the hotspot for sea bass, but according to Matt at Maco’s the tog are stirring in Buzzards Bay. Fishermen can keep three tog 16 inches or better right now, so bringing a quart of green crabs along on your bonito mission could help you salvage the trip if the hardtail do what they do best, and disappear without a trace.