Another windy week, but fishermen were still able to get out, where albies, tog, tuna, and stripers were biting pretty well.
For the full moon, a typically tough time to fish for bluefin tuna, Captain John of Fish Chatham Charters said the action has been pretty good. On Thursday, he had a 65- and a 75-inch tuna. There have been more of the 55- to 65-inch fish around recently, John said, and they’ve been taking live bait pretty well. There have also been some smaller tuna, in the 30-inch range, and these have been some of the most difficult to catch. That’s because they’ve been eating super-small baitfish. Even the bigger tuna are eating these tiny sand eels, John said. Getting live mackerel has been a bit challenging, John said, but it’s doable. Last week, he was forced to use live bluefish, because the mackerel were nearly impossible to find.
Tog fishing is red hot, reported Captain Mel True of Fishnet Charters, though he’s had little competition up until now. He’s been fishing 25- to 30-foot depths, and has caught several fish surpassing 10 pounds. Green crabs are a great bait at this point in the season, just bring along plenty, because the scup and sea bass will do their best to chew through your supply.
“Just as we feared, the pattern that was pretty solid changed after Teddy passed through. Not completely changed, but things were different. The Elizabeth Islands had been our go to spot for quite a while with best bite locations varying by day and tide. We started working more open water structure out in the Sounds with some good success at times but it required a long run and taking a bit of a beating when the wind was up. These fish were on tiny bait – no idea what it was as they didn’t empty their stomach contents for us and we never saw it break the surface – but very aggressive. Bright colored (Electric Chicken, Pink, Chartreuse, Glow) epoxy jigs would get attacked when put in front of fish and we even had eats when it was behind them and going “the wrong way”. The numbers of fish have thinned significantly but it isn’t over yet. Most productive outing of the entire season was Monday in perfect albie weather. Our conservative estimate was at least 30 fish landed by two anglers using the above jigs. Tuesday morning we felt our way through the fog and found big number of sipping fish in the slick water that also ate very well. Another top day for 2020. My notes from past years show some banner early October days and some outings that amounted to a long, long boat ride. Albies seem to be on the move so we will do same.”
Albie fishing seems to have slowed down east of Falmouth, but from Nobska west, along the Elizabeth Islands, there are still fish to be caught. And in pretty good numbers, according to Jim at Eastman’s Sport and Tackle.
Albie fishing also improved on Martha’s Vineyard, though not for surfcasters, according to Joel at Larry’s Tackle. Joels said the albies running close to shore are super finicky, but that boat fishermen have been finding more willing fish further off the shore.
While the albie surfcasting is slow on Martha’s Vineyard, the striper fishing is not. Joel reported good numbers of good-size bass being taken.
That good fishing extended to the South Side of Cape Cod, where Jim at Eastman’s had heard of bass to 42 inches taken on eels after dark.
During the day, schoolie stripers are feeding heavily in the harbors and salt ponds, and are easy targets for fishermen with fly or light tackle gear. Topwater plugs are working well, as are soft plastics.
The Canal produced mostly schoolies this week (with some mid-size blues in the mix), reported Amariah from Red Top. The good news is that there are still fish staging in Cape Cod Bay that have yet to move through, according to Sheila at Canal Bait and Tackle. She said that the boats were doing well with bass out there before the winds kept them at the docks.
Fishing Forecast for Cape Cod
The first of two full moons this month was Thursday, and by the second one, we’ll be hoping for a few last schoolies. Thankfully, right now, the fishing is still excellent. If you can get to the tuna grounds, that’s a good bet, but you can expect some company east of Chatham this weekend. A fair forecast, a big tournament, and an open commercial season will conspire to bring out a big fleet. If it’s albies you’re after, head west. For stripers, just about anywhere on the Cape is a good bet for schoolies and slot size fish, including the outer beaches, which produced some 40-inch fish this week.
And to bring something home to eat, grab some crabs and hit some structure. Tog fishing is hot right now.