Fishermen hoping for a repeat of the breaking tide blitzes that happened during the new moon were in for a disappointment during the full moon tides this week at the Canal. Despite good concentrations of bait early in the week, steady fishing failed to materialize. What was new was the presence of micro-sized peanut bunker or perhaps juvenile herring, that whipped the terns and tiny schoolies into a frenzy ahead of the tropical storm.
Despite a little wind, the Cape was thankfully not too affected by the recent storm, which slid west of us. With seas returning to a fishable state, captains are once again eyeing the waters offshore. Captain Steve of Chaser Offshore Fishing reported tons of tuna in the canyons, yellowfin and bigeye. He also said some hot water was moving north toward Nantucket, and that he’d had a marlin there this week.
East of Chatham continues to fish well with mostly giant-sized bluefin out there. The past few years, this has been the month that more of the recreational-sized bluefin have reached the Cape, and some of the reports we’ve seen on social media seem to indicate that some sub-73-inch bluefin are beginning to mix in.
Bonito continue to pop up “here and there” reported Pat at Eastman’s Sport and Tackle. Hooter is your best bet for hooking one right now, but there have been reports of them hanging inshore around the Vineyard, particularly off Tashmoo and Menemsha.
Peter at Larry’s Tackle said fishermen heading to the Hooter can also count on sea bass and bluefish. The best striper fishing on the Vineyard has been the north side of the island, and the south side is churned up, Peter said.
The rips in Vineyard Sound seem to have switched from bass to blues, and now the blues are even thinning out. Deep-water is still producing big black sea bass, Pat reported, and for fluke, he said Quicks Hole seems to be the best bet for a keeper, though you’ll still need to weed through plenty of shorts.
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Small blues are running throughout Buzzards Bay according to the report from Red Top Sporting Goods, and fishermen are hoping the small baitfish that’s drawn in the small blues will soon bring in the bonito.
In Cape Cod Bay, there’s been solid striper fishing for fishermen using either live bunker or live macks according to Red Top.
Captain Ross of Cape Cod Charter Guys has had a great week in Cape Cod Bay, catching 32- to 34-inch stripers as well as jumbo bluefish. He said the fishing in the bay improved after the storm. Finding the schools of bunker still seems to be a big part of finding the bass in Cape Cod Bay.
According to the crew from Sports Port, Monomoy is still holding bass and blues, and there have been no bonito yet.
Fishing Forecast for the Weekend
With another big offshore tournament this weekend, there will be lots of canyon-bound boats, so we’ll have the full picture of whether the storm impacted what’s been an amazing canyon season so far. Captain Steve from Chaser Offshore thinks the fishing is only going to get better, and hopes some warm water will bring the tuna within striking distance of some smaller boats.
Some mahi have moved up, however. OTW reader, Tim Adams, found some mahi south of the Hooter during an exploratory trip on Thursday. With water warming up around the Dump, it’s approaching pot-hopping time, when fishermen can drive between high-flyers to target mahi with spinning tackle.
As for stripers, Cape Cod Bay sounds like the spot this week. As its been all season, you’ll want to find the bunker to find the bigger bass. The arrival of some big blues could move the bait around some, and maybe even into range of shore-bound fishermen. There was word of some good bluefish action in the surf in Provincetown this week.
Bottom fishing, you’ll have to run a little farther to find the sea bass, but limits of big ones can be caught south of Martha’s Vineyard around the Hooter.
And, bonito numbers are improving. It’s just a matter of time before the dam breaks and the big numbers move it. The best bet remains the Hooter or off Nantucket. The bonito are running bigger than last year, and if they arrive in similar numbers, we could have a very fun season ahead.
The frigate macks continue to pop up along Martha’s Vineyard and the Elizabeth Islands. Given their size, and preference for small baits, if you’re fishing these areas, it’d be wise to pack along a trout rod and some trout-size metals or jigs.