Some of the best albie blitzes of the season took place last weekend, as the fish formed good-sized schools that stayed up for long periods of time – relative to the up-and-down feeds of September.
Evan at Eastman’s Sport and Tackle said he hadn’t heard much about the albies since Monday, but that the weekend was excellent. The Elizabeth Islands and Martha’s Vineyard have the best shot at albies right now. On the Vineyard, some larger albies have moved in, as Joel at Larry’s Tackle reported fish to 13 pounds being caught by shore and boat. Big bonito are also feeding around the island, and both shore and boat fishermen are getting shots at them.
While the wind kept Captain John of Fish Chatham Charters at the dock Wednesday and Thursday, from Sunday to Tuesday, he had a tuna each day, 77-, 80-, and 95-inchers. The fishing had been a bit tough, John said, with those being his only bites each day. He said he was marking a good number of fish, but they were being finicky. The ones he caught were full of adult-size bunker, and John suspected a live bunker might have been the ticket to getting more action.
Those big bunker off the Outer Cape are holding some good bass around as well. The Reel Deal Fleet has been adding some striper fishing fun to recent tuna trips by moving close to the beach to fish live baits for stripers. Bass to 20 pounds seem to be hanging off the back side right now.
There were also schools of bunker off Gay Head and the Elizabeths, reported Captain Mel True of Fishnet Charters. Those schools were being harassed by big bass and blues, said Captain Mel.
Jordan at Red Top Sporting Goods reported some good-sized bass running the Canal this week, with topwater plugs taking fish.
Schoolie bass are still feeding heavily just about everywhere on the Cape. Joel at Larry’s said there are plenty of schoolies and a few slot fish on the Vineyard. The salt ponds and harbors on the South Side and in Buzzards Bay are full of schoolies, and the Cape Cod Bay beaches from Plymouth to Barnstable are a good bet for finding hungry stripers in the mid-20-inch range.
Tog fishing is still very good, but Captain Mel of Fishnet Charters said the schools are moving around some. Buzzards Bay heated up this week. There have even been keeper tog taken in the Canal reported Jordan at Red Top.
According to Captain Peter Fallon of Gillies & Fallon Guide Service:
“Saturday may have been the last bonanza day of the season around here, with big numbers of happy albies in locations all around the Cape and Islands as Sunday felt decidedly different. We had a good early bite in Tarpaulin Cove, but then saw little, prospecting up and down the islands mid morning. We thought about running back off the south side of the Vineyard where on Saturday afternoon a buddy called us onto big groups of albies roving in 90 feet of open water that he found on his way looking for small tuna, but decided to play it safe and work deep water structure in the Sounds and were rewarded, albeit not with the mayhem of the day prior but with catchable fish. Tuesday morning it was a shocker to come out of Falmouth Harbor just after sunrise to small pods of splashing albies scattered from the harbor entrance up to Green Pond, but nothing should surprise us with this fish. That action quickly shut off at slack water and we went back to work at locations that have been holding bait consistently.
Those of us still focused on funny fish are again wondering what this big blow will mean. What we know is that there really isn’t a reliable way to predict what the albies will do. Only one way to find out.”
Fishing Forecast for Cape Cod
Saturday looks like a blowout, with strong winds from the west, but Sunday looks fishable for anglers looking to get out and chase albies or target tog. For the rest of the Columbus Day weekend, fishing from shore or freshwater might be the better bet.
In freshwater, pickerel and bass are feeding well, and recently stocked rainbow trout have made fishing a slam dunk at the Cape’s trout ponds.
Tog are the best bet for a fish to take home for dinner, but getting the keepers may involve weeding through a big number of shorts. Bring plenty of crabs. And you don’t need a boat to catch a keeper tog. Casting a crab-baited rig into the Canal around slack water could give you a good shot at taking a tog home.
When the wind picks up again on Saturday, hiding in the backwaters and fishing light tackle for schoolies might be the best option for stripers. Walking an Outer Cape beach with a popper and scanning for bunker schools could be another good strategy.
For tuna, we’ll have to see what’s left when the weather settles down. According to John from Fish Chatham, the smaller recreational-sized fish seemed to be thinning out, but most years, there are opportunities to catch these fish into November, so don’t give up hope just yet.