This last week has brought a lot of change to the fishery. We have had some of the hottest/stillest weather that anyone can remember for July fourth week and with it has come a dramatic change in the fishery. Water temperatures along the North shore have warmed up 6 degrees and are now showing 70 in the sound. The South Shore is still cooler at 62 degrees roughly, but the stillness of the week seemed to really slow everything down. The hope is that today’s weather will appropriately shake up the fishery.
This is not to say we are in a bad spot, its more just pointing out that the fishery has changed a lot in just a short period of time. As for the good, the south shore has a lot more bait on it than a week ago and the sand eels filling into our fishery are incredible. Those who have fished birds have noticed a lot of tiny bluefish. While we are still awaiting on the larger ones to show in mass on the north side, specifically Great Point, we do have blues on the south side and off of Tuckernuck and musket. That are staying put as there is plenty of bait for them to chew on.
As for Striped Bass, the catch rates on the North side of the island slipped off, but those on the South Shore are still seeing fish in the waves and those fishing hard at night time are catching at a consistent pace. During the day with the swells for the next few days, catch rates should go up. The problem with targeting stripers during the day is if you can see them, likely they can see you, so the stillness lessens opportunities. In these moments, always fish the wash or deep holes where Stripers should be. So in short, there are still on a lot of striped bass around on the South and East side of the island, while those on the North Side have started pushing on looking for cooler waters.
Those fishing from the boats, if they know where they are looking, are still bending rods. There are Stripers in the rips off of the western edges, off of Monomoy shoals and in the eastern rips. While we always encourage trying new things, do be extremely careful in the fog as if you are the slightest bit uncomfortable with your electronics, the results can be disastrous. In shore from the boat, some of the best fishing has actually been the bottom fishing. I have heard of more 22-24 inch fluke caught this year than in years past. Over the last few years, people have really realized how good our bottom fishing is. As we have talked about previously, our black Sea Bass fishing has improved dramatically as well. We are also now seeing sea robing all over as well. If you go to the east side of the island and put your time in jigging the bottom, you should come away with dinner!
Beach fishermen should be encouraged. We still have a lot of bass around and when waters warm while these fish mellow during the day, they do become more active in the evening/night time. Great point is still producing Bass on the outside and the South Shore has Bass if you work the deep holes in the evening hours/night hours.
The also fun/crazy news is a bonito was hooked this past week. While it is small/random occurance, it is a reminder as the bass start to fade away we start to get the “exotics” in our waters. We have the hope of small tuna south, bonito inshore and who knows what else coming our way. I know a lot of boats will head south in the next week eager to see what our southern fishery will shape into….
Go out and wet a line… you never know what you are going to catch.