Mike Thomas explained that boaters have been using poppers, both pencils and conventional style, to target schools of bass in the low-30-inch range; as he said, the key has been finding the birds working over them. There is plenty of small bait around, including schools of peanut bunker and some adult pogies, but most of the bass are too small to deal with the latter. Onset, Stony Point Dike, the Stone Estate, and Mashnee Island are areas where some of the larger bass are being caught, although there are also good numbers of schoolies around.
What many folks are hoping will be false albacore have instead proven to be bluefish, generally in the five to six-pound range. Mike said that the water temperatures are right and there is plenty of bait, as well as reports of albies down around Westport, but there are no reliable reports of funny fish yet.
A friend of Mike’s caught about 80 tautog earlier this week, with only 17 meeting the commercial minimum of 16-inches, which is the same as recreational. Cooler water is bringing fluke up onto the shallows, and with the recreational season closing next Friday, there is precious little time to put some fillets in the freezer.