Memorial Day came and went and the fish are still here but the Figawi crowd left. We have always touted June as the month to come to Nantucket if you are focused on Bass. Well, the start of the month has not disappointed. We continue to hear great stories of big fish and a lot of fish being caught. Just yesterday, I saw my mailman, Adam, and he stopped me to tell me about all of the Stripers he had been catching from the South Shore. Not 10 Minutes later, I bumped into Norm, my neighbor who started boasting about catching 19 Bluefish off the Northshore with his son the evening before. (I know, it is starting to sound like a Cheers Episode…) I then went to see Dave at the shop and another great customer boasted about Bass, Blues and Bottom fish at Sankaty. Yes, in an hour I heard all of these reports and it confirmed my thoughts, summer is here and in full swing.
Bass on the South Shore fish are still active during the day, but have been much more active at night. The are hitting on Swimmers, big Soft Baits and Bait. Just look for the birds and you should be in luck. Deeper holes on a moving tide is where the action is. Typically this time of year, we would focus on Madaquecham and Cisco, but find your favorite spot and give us a report. Blue fish have also showed up in good numbers on the South Shore, so be sure to use a leader during the day. Smith’s Point also continues to produce fish on the calm side and ocean side depending on the tide. Fish your favorite smaller baits and you should have a tightline- the same goes for the North Shore. Smaller baits in the evenings or at night will produce fish. As for bending a rod, blues are out there and becoming abundant, most notably off Dionis on the Northern Side of the island. These fish are easily reachable from the Beach. Also Bass have been seen and caught in Madaket Harbor and at least two great nights have already been reported on Tuckernuck. South Shore Fishermen are having to be more patient than a few weeks ago, but the patient ones are benig rewarded. The difference between now and a few weeks back is the need to try a few different lures and walk the beach a bit more.
The Harbor did slow down this weekend. There were still fish caught, but the numbers that were seen in there the end of last week mellowed out significantly. There were reports last Thurdsay-Friday of schools of 20-30 fish in the bends. The good news is these same big schools and even bigger ones have been spotted on the outside of Coatue and in the Cord of the Bay. This is typical as fish often last in the harbor for 2 weeks or so before moving East to the Rips. Especially with the squid run starting up right now (the Eastern Rips are FILLED with squid) it is likely the Bass are moving towards the protein rich diet of fresh calamari in the Eastern Rips. This, however, does not mean that the harbor Bass fishing is over as there are often multiple waves of fish entering the island during the Northern Migration and the typical first stop for the fish is the Harbor because of the rest and protection provided. Also, it should be noted that there tends to be a resident population in the harbor during the summer. The fish caught in the harbor this past week were caught on subsurface erratic swimmers like the sebille (small) magic swimmer and a Ron Z.
Bottom fishing is also in full swing. There are a lot of Sea Bass being caught. People tend to keep all of the fish being caught, please remember, keep just what you’ll eat. A 3lb fish will feed 2-3 people easily… These fish are active on Squid or Jigs. Speaking of Squid- The squid are down at the docks this time of year. Squidding can be a great activity with the kids or with friends and make for a delicious appetizer!
Interestingly, I was fishing off Sankaty with some old friends this morning and was a little reluctant about fishing considering the East Wind. I did have it in the back of my mind that we are about to get a big storm come through and perhaps these fish are eating… My suspicions were correct, these Bass we hungry and we had a very successful morning. Even more interesting, when we cut up a fish that we kept, I found Squid and Rocks. Remember, Bass sometimes eat rocks to slow their digestions and increase their ballast before a big storm. People never believe me when I say this, and I wish I had taken a pic, but the myth was confirmed once again this morning.
In Summary, the fish are slowly starting to move to the rips, but more fish (huge schools of Bass) have been reported off of the Vineyard and Rhode Island and are expected to enter our waters in the upcoming weeks resupplying the near shore fishery. It is important to also remember while these reports are filled with good news it is because it is JUNE 1ST! and we usually are struggling for anything right now. Fishing is not yet epic and the best is still ahead, but what we have right now is still worth fishing. Go out and let us know if you agree!
We are expecting a lot of wind this week, don’t let that deter you from fishing. The fish will still be active and likely hungry. Put on some warm clothes, possibly a raincoat and go wet a line!