Above: Andrew Burke with a shore-caught albie from Wednesday afternoon.
October marks the beginning of the end of the saltwater season here on the Cape, but it can also bring some of the very best fishing of the season.
Albies haven’t gone anywhere – they are still thick along the South Side of the Cape, but they have been active at different parts of the day, with some days having a slow sunrise bite and wild blitzes in the mid-afternoon. Bait and water temperatures are good enough to hold the albies here for the time being, but that can change on a dime. The recent northwest winds blew in some fall temperatures, and as the air temperatures drop, the water temperatures will follow suit.
Boats and kayaks had good shots at albies this past week, and shore fishermen on the South Side had some opportunities as well. OTW’s Andrew Burke nabbed his first-ever shore albie while blind-casting off a Falmouth beach on Wednesday.
The shore fishing for albies hasn’t been as good on the Vineyard, where Peter at Larry’s Tackle said, despite all the anglers looking, hardtails have been tough to come by from shore.
A run of big bluefish made up for that this week, with Peter reporting 16- and 15-pound fish taken from the surf. Big blues are still in Cape Cod Bay, though out of shore catching range. In Buzzards Bay and along the South Side, snapper blues are feeding on spearing and anchovies in massive numbers. It’s been the best year for the snapper blues in recent memory. I’ve been getting out for them in the afternoons with my daughter, fishing a silverside under a bobber, and rarely waiting longer than a couple minutes to see it go under. Small Kastmasters are also catching. While snappers are great fun on ultralight tackle, they are also good eating. The bluefish bag limit of three fish per day extends to snappers, so be sure to stay within that limit, if you choose to take any home for the table.
Striped bass fishing is steady in the Canal, mostly on jigs or paddletails shaped like menhaden, said Jeff at Canal Bait and Tackle. AJ at Red Top said there was lights out fishing in the Canal on Monday, but things had slowed by mid-week. He’d heard of some very large fish taken this week. Jigs on the bottom has been the ticket.
Surfcasters are catching 20- to 30-pound bass on Martha’s Vineyard, but with bass no longer part of the Martha’s Vineyard Derby, relatively few fishermen are targeting them.
The Elizabeth Islands are producing some fish as well, mainly on eels.
There have been some surprise catches this week including a couple king mackerel off Falmouth and a few mahi along the Elizabeth Islands!
While freshwater is far from the minds of most Cape fishermen right now, the fall trout stocking should be starting soon. There will be 65,000 trout stocked across the state this fall, and with the holdovers heading shallow to feed as the pond temperatures drop, the autumn is an excellent time to trout fish.
Fishing Forecast for Cape Cod
With the new moon coming up, the next week should bring some great bass fishing. While the striper fishing seems to be concentrated in a few small areas right now, a new wave of fish moving south on this moon should lead to improved striper fishing for boat and surf fishermen all around the Cape. And schoolie bass blitzes should be ramping up as more peanut bunker leave the backwaters.
Tog fishing is also picking up, and shops are bringing in green crabs to meet the demand.
No matter what you go after this weekend, bring along some albie gear. You never know where these speedsters will be popping up this time of year.