We are hitting on all cylinders these days. Our June fishing has not peaked based on quality of fish, but there are days where you just cannot believe the quantity of fish we are catching. Striped Bass are still really plentiful and Bluefish seem to be everywhere. It is a blast out there.
My brother, Captain Corey Gammill took our little boat to the North Shore and anchored just outside of this drop off that we love to fish and was quickly caught off guard by what he saw. As he dropped the anchor overboard he looked down into the clear water and could not believe his eyes. He told his client to stand there and they just watched. Corey described it as standing on a bridge over looking a highway and just watching cars buzz underneath. There was a steady stream of fish that were swimming through determined to make Nantucket their home for the next couple of weeks/months. I won’t tell you where they were, but beach anglers could have had a great shot at all of these fish…
This time of year, fish are looking for 1) safety, 2) warmth, 3) food. In that order. Once they find a shoreline and shallow water they tend to feel safe, than the look for the warmest water to warm up, than they feed. this doesn’t mean they own’t eat if they see food. This is why a large portion of fish move into the harbors while some stay on the southshore, where food is pushed up along the beach from the prevailing southwest wind that pushed them North. The warmest water is to the southwest of the Island and the coolest water is to the north east of the Island. As a result, we see our newer fish push into the sound coming in through Madaket and along the North Shore as they are looking for the warmer water.
Ultimately though, once the fish settle, they care about the bait and as many of us know, certain temps lead to certain baits… These fish after warming up and foraging inshore, will than fill the rips in hopes of chasing squid. We are on the edge of this transition. This is why we are seeing our greatest concentration of fish on the North Shore, in the harbor, and in the shallows near shore. In the next few weeks, this will change as the water temps warm up and these fish will be more focused on the rips and the baits that hold there before pushing North again or settling in the deeper cooler water.
Bass fishing continues to be extremely productive. We still are not seeing tons of big fish, but the numbers are very good. The south shore has produced a steady pick for anglers putting in their time. Fish higher water and lower light and the catch rate should increase. I’ve had some good success with SP Minnows and Bombers. Look for deeper water and fish these knuckles and you should be in luck. I’ve enjoyed the fishing the Miacomet area in recent weeks and there were a group of guys enjoying themselves right next to the knuckle I wanted to fish. I decided to fish it anyway and walked down and caught a fish on my first cast. While there was a lot of luck in that, the expression “time on the water” comes to mind. When you start to learn how certain areas are fishing, you can greatly increase your odds of catching fish. These guys were really impressed, I acted like it was a normal occurrence, in actuality, they did not see my fist bump.
Bass fishing on the North Shore and in the harbor is peaking right now. These fish are active during the day, but if you have time during the low light periods of the day, you’ll catch a bunch of fish. Use soft baits on the surface with a slight twitch. Especially at night, remember the slower you move these bigger baits, the better response you’ll have.
Blue Fishing right now is awesome. In the middle of summer, we can be spoiled and get frustrated by a lot of blues. Right now though, with some of our windier over-cast days, we get tricked into thinking it may still be March. So to go out and catch Bluefish on every cast is an absolute treat. These fish are very active and very hungry. You may or may not get them on the surface. If they are not attacking top-water plugs, use metals the are just under the surface. Hopkins and Deadly Dicks are especially effective this time of year. A good client was surfcasting off Dionis beach this weekend and caught 20+ bluefish. That is awesome!
Some guys get a bit frustrated that Blues may have pushed the Bass out, but that is not the case. Sometimes you may need to get under the bluefish or just move to a shallower area where Bass tend to hunt. Remember Bass tend to be slow and methodical and love the shallows, while Blues need to be aggressive and need some more water to attack their bait.
Go enjoy these next couple of weeks, because it really doesn’t get much better than this. And while I encourage everyone to get a rod in their hand, sometimes is just as fun to take a step back and enjoy the everything else part about the fishery. In talking to Corey after seeing the highway of fish, he learned more in those 10 minutes then he could have ever hoped to if he had a fish on the line. Tight Lines!