Cape Cod Bay Offshore Fishing Reports


Cape Cod Bay Offshore Fishing Report

When it comes to bluefin, the waters around the Regal Sword continue to produce good numbers of fish, with the jig bite very popular. Caroline Scotti at North Chatham Outfitters also said that a number of fish continue to be caught on bars as well. Stellwagen is mainly a recreational and charter boat fishery at the moment, with the commercial sector closed at the moment. Livelining mackerel and local groundfish is typically the choice of folks looking to sell fish, but squid bars work on giants as well as the smaller classes of fish. 

Finally, not much news this week on the canyons, admitted Christian Giardini at Falmouth Bait & Tackle; he did know of few boats that were considering heading that way, but hadn’t heard from any just yet. There is also the possibility that the heavy sea conditions might have resulted in a change of plans. The one bit of news that Christian said continues to be true is that boats were still enjoying a good yellowfin bite down around the Tuna Ridge.


Cape Cod Bay Offshore Fishing Report

What is going to happen to the Regal Sword madness after the wind dies is anyone’s guess, but it remained on fire right through mid-week, according to Capt. Caroline Scotti at North Chatham Outfitters and the charterboat Li’ Jaz. She went 10 for 12 on an earlier trip this week using the 8-ounce Hogy Sand Eel JigSteve Morris from Dick’s Bait & Tackle in Oak Bluffs on the Vineyard said he heard from a couple of boats who ran into a good yellowfin bite at the Dump on their return from disappointing trips to the canyons. 

And Christian Giardini at Falmouth Bait & Tackle doesn’t believe this weekend will spell the end of the offshore scene around the canyons, but it will take some time for things to settle down. He has heard of a good tuna bite down around Coxes and says the key will be determining where the water temperature breaks have moved. 


Cape Cod Bay Offshore Fishing Report

When Tim Coggins at the Nantucket Tackle Center told me that boats signed up for this weekend’s tournaments were most likely headed east, I assume that meant the Regal Sword. As Scott Butcher from North Chatham Outfitters said, this area is still holding incredible numbers of both recreational size bluefin and giants. If you are vertical jigging, you never know if you are going to hook with a 50-inch fish or a 100+-incher and the same is true if you are trolling bars, since giants are hitting them as well. Of course, if you want to make it stupidly easy, drop a mackerel – if you can find them – down and just hold on.

terry mahi
Capt. Terry Nugent of Riptide Charters with a stud Mahi on the Hogy Protail.

What got me a little pumped is that Scott said that increasing numbers of recreational size fish are moving back in around Crab Ledge and in towards Nauset; many folks are trolling them up, but there has been some casting action if you get there early in the morning. Some bluefin in the 30 to 40-inch range have been caught and those are the size fish I am interested in with my 14-weight; anything much larger and I know better. Of course, you can make the run well east of Peaked Hill and find castable tuna; hopes are that they will soon move in closer, shortening trips to get to where they have been most commonly found in about 150-feet of water. 

Connor Swartz at Red Top in Buzzards Bay could only say that the giants have moved into Cape Cod Bay since the guys who come into the shop are commercials and they are pretty tight lipped about where they are fishing. What Connor could tell me is that they are fishing bait and that at least two fish over 110-inches have been caught. 

The one challenge of offshore fishing is that you check the temperature charts and take your best shot; as Rory Edwards at Falmouth Bait & Tackle said, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. In his case, he went out last weekend with shop owner Christian Giardini to the waters around East and West Atlantis; while they didn’t find the tuna they were looking for, trolling up only one small yellowfin, they did find a floating telephone pole that was holding big numbers of 20+-pound mahi, making for some great casting action.

Rory said the yellowfin were at the shipping lanes, from all reports, while Ken Swartz went out to the Claw and they found yellowfin and longfin albacore – and, yes, Ken sent me a photo since I have not heard of any longfin at all this season


Filmed Last Week!

In this video, Capt Mike is joined by Capt. Rob Lowell of Cape Cod Offshore Charters as they target deepwater bluefin tuna on Hogy Charter Grade Poppers.

Cape Cod Bay Offshore Fishing Report

I should keep this written somewhere and just paste it in until it stops being true: the Regal Sword continues to produce tuna. Matt Cody at North Chatham Outfitters said that the topwater popper bite has slowed, with a return to jigging on the menu. The Hogy Sand Eel Jig continues to prove its worth big time and Matt said they have been flying out of the shop. Heavily weighted soft plastic jigs, whether they are paddletail or eel style, are an excellent lure due to their versatility; for example, some folks troll the Hogy Harness Jig, while others deep jig it and it also can be used as a casting lure; the same holds true for the Hogy Pro Tail Paddle. Matt said that he only hooked two giants on his last trip to the Sword before he finally managed to connect with the recreational size fish he was looking for. When I asked Matt about castable size fish for flyrod folks, he said his buddies were casting topwater plugs for bass up off of Nauset this week and hooked a 45-inch bluefin and he added that it’s about time the tuna start moving in closer to shore, including – hopefully – an increased number of smaller fish.

bluefin tuna
Capt. Mike with a topwater bluefin tuna on the 7″ Hogy Charter Grade Popper.

Christian Giardini at Falmouth Bait & Tackle said that despite a clear edge to the east where you would expect to find tuna, the bite out around the canyons was more to the west of the temperature break. Folks who moved away from where the fish “should be” found good numbers of yellowfin on the troll with both bars and rigged/naked ballyhoo. Some folks from the Cape he knows checked out the scene around Coxes and off Montauk where there was a massive tuna bite reported, but when they saw boats casting into and even jigging around the whales in the area, since the tuna were mixed right in with the cetaceans, they opted to head elsewhere since that game wasn’t for them.

Steve Morris from Dick’s Bait & Tackle in Oak Bluffs went to the canyons earlier this week and he was on one of the boats who went east when the fish were more to the west; they did manage one yellowfin, but as he said, “the fish won that day.” Steve did add that there are still good numbers of blue and white marlin out east, along with some bigeye, wahoo, and mahi. As far as the tuna bite south of the Vineyard, it really has died off, although Steve believes that while some people found fish inside, it really never shaped up to be a banner year. 

And up around Stellwagen, squid bars in pink, green, and black continue to produce some giant bluefin, noted Ian Field at Blackbeard’s in Eastham and Harwich, while recreational fish that are targeted on casting gear have been challenging to find in close to the backside, with folks having to run well east to locate even small numbers of castable tuna. 


Latest Video

In our latest video, Capt. Mike Hogan heads offshore targeting bluefin tuna on spinning gear using a combination of the Hogy Harness Jigs and Hogy Charter Grade Sliders.

Cape Cod Bay Offshore Fishing Report

Rory Edwards at Falmouth Bait & Tackle offered up a roundup of the action during last week’s (July 12 to 16) Oak Bluffs Bluewater Classic Tournament, noting that “the canyons have been on fire; there were a lot of yellowfin caught during the tournament and some fairly big bigeye in the 200-pound range. There were some marlin releases and at least one swordfish. What was really cool were two huge wahoo, one 87-pounds that typically would be the largest of the tournament, but it was topped by a 103-pounder. It’s hard to say any lure was best as fish were caught on a mix of everything, including bars; skirted and naked ballyhoo; trolling lures; and one boat even rigged up a dredge with ballyhoo. On the way back in from Welker and Hydrographer, where most boats fished, some stopped out east of Chatham and picked up their bluefin release points.”

SOme larger class bluefin can be found in the mix. Here is Justin Armstrong with one that fell for a Hogy Slider.

In the old days, Steve Morris at Dick’s Bait & Tackle in Oak Bluffs was known as a big striper angler, but since he has been bitten by the bluewater scene, he saves up his time for boat trips downtown and last weekend he had a great day, picking up a number of yellowfin up to 60-pounds casting plugs from the bow when fish were raised on trolled lures. As he explained, “I have been doing this for a while and it works great. I use a custom, seven-foot rod that I made out of a Calstar blank with a 14000 Shimano Twin Power and 65-pound Power Pro Max Quattro braid to an 80-pound fluorocarbon leader.” While a lot of time has been spent on creating the thinnest, smoothest knot for casting with braid and a longer, wind on leader, Steve doesn’t like the feel and sound of the knot going through the guides, so he opts for a 235-pound Spro swivel to connect line and leader and has had no problems. Steve had heard of rumors of fish south of the Vineyard and there is 70-degree water around Tuna Ridge, so it could break wide open as the scene out east did a couple of weeks ago. 

Speaking of east, Matt Cody from North Chatham Outfitters said a lot of the inshore tuna have moved farther out; Crab Ledge has slowed and there is more jigging going on than popping, with butterfly and other metal style jigs working better than soft plastics in the deeper water. He added that if you want to catch-and-release giant bluefin, this is the time to do it down around the Regal Sword; all you need to do is put a mackerel down deep. Frankly, I can’t imagine how high the mortality rate is for released giants is. Evan Eastman from Eastman’s in Falmouth advised that any topwater action at Crab Ledge and closer to shore from Chatham to Provincetown has been an early morning activity recently, with jigging producing most consistently. A couple of kids on his staff have been commercially fishing bluefin and they had reports of fish in the 95 to 105-inch range from the Sword; mackerel and whiting are both effective baits, with small bluefish tough to come by. To give you an idea of how big these fish are, they had an 80-class reel spooled the other day. 

There are still good numbers of bluefin in the 50 to 60-inch class from Race Point to Peaked Hill and the Golf Balls, although I spoke to Ken Swartz who fished on a casting charter and that put over 100-miles on the boat according to the captain; they didn’t find fish until early afternoon and had one hook up on a plug, but there were good numbers of fish around the plenty of life. 


Capt. Mike Hogan and Capt. Rob Lowell of Cape Cod Offshore shows us in-depth techniques for targeting spring haddock on Stellwagen Bank. Capt. Mike shows us how to use the “Twitch Jigging” technique perfect for targeting dense schools of haddock and cod.

Rod: Capt. Mike’s Hogy Hybrid Trolling Rod
Reel: Avet LX 6
Line: 60lb Power Pro Braid
Lure: Hogy 6.5oz Sand Eel Jig
Teaser: Hogy 3/0 Jig Biki Crystal Flash Teasers