Cape Cod Bluefin Tuna Reports: Cape Cod Bay & East
REPORTS CLOSED FOR 2014. SEE YOU SPRING 2015!
10/09/2014 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
The craziness out around the BC Buoy has been well documented, with fish in numerous size classes around, although there does seem to be an uptick in tuna from large mediums to trophies. Along with the Cape crew, there are boaters from other New England states trailering up and making the run east, creating even larger crowds. When you add in the fact that most boats are trolling skirted ballyhoo or dark colored splasher bars, while there are a good number of runners-and-gunners tossing plugs and dropping jigs, it can get pretty hairy out there.
The action has also turned on at the southeast corner of Stellwagen; these are mainly giants and the popular method there, and around the corner at Peaked Hill Bar, is live baiting, including bluefish, mackerel, and groundfish such as whiting or pollock.
10/09/2014 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
Christian Giardini reported that a friend went east of Chatham yesterday and had a very good day, hooking up with one fish well over the 73” limit for a giant (or what is termed a “trophy” fish by NOAA) that he saw from the tower before it snapped off. He also caught five smaller bluefin out around the Regal Sword where he headed since there was such a crowd at Crab Ledge. Fish were caught on both bars, including black, and ballyhoo with Capt. Joe Shute skirts.
In going past the Ledge, he saw boats run-and-gunning after smaller fish, one of the reasons why he headed farther east. Although he did not see any hook-ups, there have been numerous fish caught on jighead/soft plastic combinations and topwater plugs.
9/26/2014 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
There are more tuna in the 50+-inch class being caught rather than those in the trophy category, but they are being encountered a bit closer in around Crab Ledge. Black or chameleon splasher bars continue to be top choices, coupled with a light colored stinger, but the tuna have been working on top, giving casters their shots. Getting a bluefin to clobber a popper is always exciting, but day in and day out, you will do better with vertical jigging; the heavier Epoxy Jigs are a perfect match for the oceanic sand eels the tuna are feeding on, but many folks stick with butterfly and other metal type jigs. Then again, heavy jigs matched to soft plastics are still number one on many boats, particularly when the fish are fussy.
9/16/14 As Reported By Capt. Mike Hogan
Nat Chalkley of GTN charters and I decided to play hookey today and plan a very last minute tuna trip to the bc buoy. We got a late start due to disorganization but finally left the dock at 530 am. By the time we got to the bc, the fleet was already in full swing. There must have been 45 boats between the two fleets. There was TONs of life and we saw a few feeds. Our spread consisted of 1 blue max , and 1 joe Shute rigged Bally hoo and a white and black spreader bar . We saw a few people hook up, including a few jig and pop guys. We trolled about 3hrs until we got a fish, about 55″ on a white spreader fished tight. Life slowed down and a couple boats caught fish at slack.
Around noon, we headed further east to the figs to try our hand on cod. We boated a 10lb fish in 5 minutes and had non stop action for a couple hours. The hot rig of the day was the HD Dropshot rig with a 16oz Diamond jig and an 8″ Paddle teaser. Nat and I are still haunted as we each lost a couple whale sized cod. None the less, we limited out on cod and were steaming back right now. Good day! Better pics to follow.
9/12/2014 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
The bite around the BC Buoy and down to the Regal Sword was very good on Thursday, reported Dan Jones. Black and rainbow splash bars accounted for a number of fish in the 50 to 60-inch class, with some boats catching multiple fish. So far, there hasn’t been much vertical jigging or casting action.
Livelining mackerel or bluefish has been productive around Peaked Hill Bar, with at least a half dozen giants caught late last week. Jigging up mackerel and whiting has been no problem, keeping the boats in fresh bait.
9/5/2014 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
The bite has definitely turned on east of Chatham, especially from the BB buoy over to the Regal Sword; there is a nice mix of fish from 40 to 70+-inches and they are taking both bars and meat. Most anglers who use ballyhoo tend to fish them naked when targeting bluefin, but this bait will also work on this species of tuna when fished with a skirt, including Capt. Joe Shute’s and Ilanders. When it comes to bars, most every captain has at least one black splash bar in his or her spread when fishing east.
There has been some topwater action out east, but most boats looking for fish on spinning gear have been doing best with vertical jigs and jighead/soft plastic combinations.
The presence of bluefish up off Provincetown appears to have drawn the bluefin onto Stellwagen Bank, with fish up to 800-pounds reported. The waters between the middle of the bank to the southwest corner have been holding fish; there are also tuna being reported around Peaked Hill Bar. Boats that have live mackerel are doing particularly well.
8/29/2014 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
The bite is finally happening out east, with a good slug of fish in the 60 to 70-inch fish caught this week; one boat had five on a recent trip. Some boats have switched over to skirted ballyhoo, but many others are sticking with bars, especially a 36-inch splash bar set up with chameleon (green/brown) six to nine-inch squids.
Christian Giardini headed to Fish Tale Canyon on Wednesday and had a very good trip with five albacore up to 60-pounds and an 80-pound yellowfin; they also had a white marlin come up in the spread, but after fooling around with the bars, it became disinterested and left. Carlson 36-inch bars in green and Fuku bars worked well, along with a Money Maker lure; when they cleaned the yellowfin, it had three large mackerel in its stomach, explaining why green was the hot color.
Christian arrived on the scene at 4 AM and got the word that the night chunk butterfish bite was “insane” with big yellowfin and bigeye, as well as some swordfish. Some boats took advantage of the squid in the lights and rigged them fresh dead with good results.
One of Christian’s friends elected to avoid the fleet on Fish Tale, which is one of the first canyons to the west, and went well east to Welker’s and got into bigeye and big yellowfin, as well as marlin, wahoo, and mahi.
8/21/2014 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
Gerry Gomes said that a customer was fishing off the Regal Sword and got into some tuna that managed to straighten out the 500-pound ball bearing swivel connecting to the stinger on his spreader/splasher bar. Now that’s a big fish.
In his case, he was dragging bars with light green bulb squids and a dark green stinger. Light, shrimp colored (tank/pink) bars have also been getting a great deal of attention, but you can be assured that most boats who fish out east regularly have a black and a rainbow bar in the spread.
A few boats are also targeting these larger fish with skirted and naked ballyhoo, while there have been no reports of fish showing close in off Nauset and up to Peaked Hill Bar.
In Cape Cod Bay, the stickboats have ironed a few fish working the waters well beyond Stellwagen, with Wildcat Knoll one area mentioned. The balloon/bluefish or other live bait fishery has been non-existent, but with all the large sand eels on the bank this year, there still remains a good chance that the tuna will come charging into the bay.
On the other hand, the presence of so much bait out east might keep the bluefin out among the whales and dolphins.
8/20/2014 As Reported By Hogy Staff
The school sized bluefin tuna that so many folks were enjoying SOUTH of Martha’s Vineyard have showed up off the Regal Sword. One boat reportedly released 15 30lb class on light weight 6″ squid bars. The upside to trolling the regal sword is the opportunity to catch some cod while you’re at it.
8/14/2014 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
Dan Jones went out on Sunday and fished from 6 AM to 4 PM at the Regal Sword and had plenty of life with dolphins and whales, but no tuna. Of course, when they put the rigs up and started for home, a school of bluefin showed up and they put the lines back out with no luck.
A couple of customers at the shop did manage fish on Tuesday at the Sword, including tuna of 67 and 63-inches on shrimp (tan/pink) Play Action Splash Bars.
8/5/2014 As Reported By Hogy Staff
A bunch of boats lit up the fishing on Gordon’s Gully today. The fish were keyed in on anything green. Boats that trolled multiple spreader bars caught the most fish, with a number of boats well into double digits. The vast majority of fish cod were filled with small sand eels, perhaps that’s why the spreader bars were so important, as they gave the bluefin tuna large targets to tempt them from the schools of bait. Boats also reported that higher trolling speeds produce more strikes.
Their various reports coming in suggest that there were two major bites today: one very early this a.m. and then a second one around 1:30 PM.
8/5/2014 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
Steve Morris went south of the Vineyard today and found large numbers of small bluefin north of Gordon’s Gully, which was their original destination, but they never made it that far. The fish were all between 34 and 40-inches and the one they kept was chock full of sand eels and Steve said the sounder screen was lit up with bait.The water temperature was 68-degrees where Steve fished and he acknowledged that it is unusual to have the bluefin so close to the island at this time of year.
An important point was made by Christian Giardini who said folks are coming back from trips in this area with large numbers of small “yellowfin” that are indeed juvenile bluefin. Although it is easy to mix up these two cousins when they are juveniles, the yellowfin’s pectoral fin will always reach to the dorsal fin no matter its age while the bluefin’s is well short of the dorsal fin. Almost all species of tuna have yellow finlets that are not reliable indicators of the species; another point is why it is necessary to kill so many small tuna, even if they were yellowfin.
07/31/2014 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
Danny Jones had nothing to report regarding bluefin action east of Chatham as nobody has been getting out as of midweek. This has been a strange season out there, with no early season to speak of and even now the fishing has been really hit-or-miss.
07/25/2014 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
Danny Jones fished out by the Regal Sword last Sunday on the Baboo, skippered by Capt. Rich, and he caught an 81-inch, 306-pound giant on a Play Action splash bar; he said it is called brown, but is definitely more shrimp colored. There have also been a couple of fish in the 55-inch class caught out by the BC Buoy.
There are still good numbers of small bluefin south of the Vineyard; the Dump has been one spot where a number of boats have found fish, with other boats concentrating on the Claw where there was a good temperature break earlier in the week. A boat fishing the southeast corner earlier this week reported having marlin in their spread.
There is really nothing to report from Cape Cod Bay and the lack of action
07/19/2014 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
The applause you might have heard is for the improving bite east of Chatham. Given that the late May/early June fishery never shaped up, the presence of any size bluefin is welcome news. There have been a number of 50-inch fish caught, along with a few up around 60-inches and one that hit the 70-inch mark. Splash bars have been working and any color green has been the choice. The Regal Sword was one spot mentioned as the tuna are finally starting to move off from the Gulf Stream south of Nantucket and the Vineyard out east, where there is a ton of bait and plenty of life.
Steve Morris made a quick trip to the Fingers and caught some bluefin in the 30-pound class today. There was a lot of bait around the Inside Fingers, but he elected to move on a little farther out. Rigged ballyhoo was the way to go; blue and white Joe Shute Lures and yellow and green Aliens produced the fish.
07/11/2014 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
The lack of activity to the east of Chatham still has most everyone baffled; there is plenty of bait and life, including great whale shows, around Crab Ledge and other popular locales, but the tuna just haven’t shown. The general consensus is that the water is still too cold for the fish to move east; at the moment, a number of boats are heading out Friday to the Claw and the Inside Fingers, with some looking to make the run to the shipping lanes. Splasher bars have been working best on bluefin, with rainbow a productive color.
06/27/2014 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
Last week’s Tuna Fest was won by Capt. Eric Stewart who hooked up 20 fish and landed 14 fishing around the shipping lanes south of the Vineyard; splasher bars were the top producer. The largest fish was a 160-pounder that was caught out east around Crab Ledge; overall, things have been quiet east of Chatham, with the water apparently still too cold for the tuna. There is plenty of bait and whale activity, good signs that the bluefin should arrive soon.
06/19/2014 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
Donny Jones made a trip out east earlier this week and while they saw bait and some whales, there were no tuna caught by rod-and-reel anglers; the only fish, including an 83-inch fish, were brought in by stickboats.
Coming off the full moon, it isn’t unusual for the fish to have lockjaw, but at least one boat was planning on trying live bait later this week.
The fourth annual Tuna Fest started yesterday and runs through Saturday and many of the boats entered were unsure of where they were going to fish.
06/13/2014 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
Donny Jones reported that he made a trip to Stellwagen last weekend and although there were plenty of sand eels and whale activity, he didn’t see or hear of any catches among the recreational anglers or even the stick boats and spotter plans.
Steve Morris went east earlier this week and saw no tuna activity; an 83-inch fish was weighed in later in the week, however, from around Crab Ledge.
10/10/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
Danny Jones said there isn’t anything to report, since the weather has kept the boats tied up. Before this stretch, however, there had still been a slow bite out around the Regal Sword, but after this blow and with a new moon next week, there is a good chance that the action will really open up.
10/3/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
I had the chance to talk with Capt. Eric Stewart midweek and he caught a 45-inch tuna on Wednesday working the waters east of Crab Ledge on a black splasher bar. There are still decent numbers of footballs and medium fish around, yet the jig bite has gone quiet. Many tuna nuts are gearing up for giants, and for that reason, Eric recommended putting some “meat” in your spread, the nickname given to ballyhoo. Most folks go with skirted baits, including blue/white, white, pink, or red, with Capt. Joe Shute lures a popular model, with those made by Islander, Iland, and Canyon Gear also good choices.
9/25/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
Danny Jones confirmed that the fish have yet to move in from the waters between Crab Ledge and the Regal Sword, sort of an anomaly since by this time folks are usually hoping to encounter tuna off of Nauset and up to Peaked Hill Bar. One day the trollers rule the day with splasher bars and Green Machine chains, with skirted ballyhoo catching on as September moves into October, while on other days anglers jigging with metals or gray/silver and white soft plastics have caught more fish. Most tuna caught recently have been in the 50 to 60-inch class, with a larger mix of footballs around, although Danny heard of an 800-pounder caught well east.
9/19/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
Danny Jones reported that Capt. Eric Stewart went two for three today out around the Regal Sword, and along with the usual assortment of splasher bars, including black, chameleon, and rainbow, Eric is also starting to fish some ballyhoo, which is common practice as we drift deeper into September. The larger fish have been running between 50 and 60-inches, with an occasional sellable tuna. There are also numerous football size tuna in the mix.
The word from Elise Costa is that a bright colored stinger on splasher and spreader bars has been key, with pink and Halloween colored bars working well. Anglers vertical jigging have been enjoying great success as well, with Shimano Butterfly and Point Jude jigs working well.
9/12/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
Dan Jones reported that Capt. Eric Stewart caught the big fish, a 70-incher, at the Nantucket Bluefin Blast held last weekend, with the Regal Sword the spot to be. Eric fished Tuesday as part of the tagging program from UMass and they caught a pair of bluefin, both in the low 60-inch class.
Although many folks continue to run spreads of splasher bars, captains who use their sonar to locate schools of fish and then vertical jig have been doing really well, with larger numbers of fish than the trolling folks on many days.
9/4/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
There was a good bite at the Regal Sword on Wednesday, according to Dan Jones, manager of the Hook Up in Orleans. Capt. Eric Stewart was two for four on fish in the 60-inch class, with white and chameleon (green/brown) splasher bars doing the job. Eric reported that plenty of boats were hooked up, with folks vertical jigging with butterfly jigs and jighead/soft plastic combinations doing really well, with as many as five fish to the boat. Overall, the casting action has been non-existent this season.
So far, the fish have not moved north this season, with little to report close in off of Chatham and Nauset. A 900-pound fish was caught off of Peaked Hill recently, but that is the first report Dan had heard from there in a very long time.
And Stellwagen Bank remains dead.
8/28/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
Corey Stewart reported that Tuesday was one of the best days of the season from the Regal Sword to the BC Buoy, with his dad Capt. Eric going six-for-11 on fish between 45 and 71-inches. The fish ate all day and they took all manner of splasher bars, from black, which has been the best color this year, to chameleon, red iguana, and white. A good sign is the mix of sizes of fish and they were still actively taking lures when they finished their trip.
With the concentrations of fish usually picking up in the fall, vertical jigging should become more effective. Corey said the sounder screen marked an enormous number of fish, a good sign for anglers who like to drop butterfly jigs and other styles, including fast diving jigheads and soft plastics, when they mark large concentrations.
Slack tide is the best if you are targeting fish on topwater plugs and big plastics, and given all of the whales feeding, it’s pretty clear that there is a lot of bait around, mainly sand eels, herring, and mackerel, and tuna are more active on the surface in these situations.
8/27/13 As Reported By Falmouth Bait and Tackle – http://www.falmouthbaitandtackle.com/
On a check in with Falmouth Bait and Tackle yesterday, shop owner Christian clued me in on the bluefin bite out East. Christian said there are plenty of smaller bluefin at the Regal Sword. He said to start there and troll south toward the BB Buoy. Fish are keying on to 9” and 12” squid bars with black bulb baits. Christian’s favorite is the Offshore Innovations bar. Bring codfish gear with you. Drop a 10oz SI Diamond with a green Chili Pepper Stinger.
Terry Nugent of Riptide Charters also chimed in that the jig bite is on. The Point Jude Deep Force Jigs are the hot lure. In my travels I noticed that they are available at Red Top Sporting Goods in Buzzards Bay and Falmouth Bait and Tackle.
8/8/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
The action has been primarily at the Regal Sword, but it hasn’t been on fire. Slack tide in the morning has seen the best action, with most of the action on the troll. There seem to be two classes of fish, those around 50-inches and giants at and above the 73-inch limit.
8/16/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
Typical of mid-August, there are some bluefin in the 80 to 100-pound class being targeted by casters anywhere from two to three miles outside Chatham Inlet and the new cut. Strategic Angler plugs, although expensive, have proven to be very effective this season, while many folks continue to stick with jighead/soft plastic combinations, especially silver or bone.
Tuna are also starting to show more consistently from Truro up to Peaked Hill Bar, and when they are not showing but you are marking fish, then vertical jigging is the way to go.
East of Chatham, there has been a push of smaller fish out around the Regal Sword, which is good news since this means there are more fish to come and the smaller fish are easier to catch. Capt. Eric Stewart went three for six on Wednesday; his spread consists of seven splasher bars, with one of them a larger bar that is made with 13-inch squids. Colors that have been working well include iguana (red), chameleon (green/brown) and black.
8/12/13 As Reported By Capt. Mike Hogan
We went south of Martha’s Vineyard yesterday, to the eastern region of the dump. There were two good slugs of warm water, with temperature breaks from 70 to 75°. There was some bait showing on the surface and we had a lot of big marks under the bait schools. There wasn’t too much activity, other then two small bluefin tuna landed, two lost boat side and several other knock downs.
All the action came on The SI 6 inch Bulk Squid Daisy Chain in the Green Mack color on a green splash bird. With the exception of one fish on the cedar daisy chain flat line The only outcome of fishing in the warm water was one chaffed leader, possibly from a white marlin but we did not see the fish
Upon returning to the dock we learned of some great reports southwest of the dump.
8/8/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
Dan at The Hook Up said the hot bars at the shop have been a black bar called the Widow Maker and the Red Iguana, both of which have produced giant bluefin for Capt. Eric Stewart. On Wednesday, there were whales, bait, and tuna on top around Crab Ledge, but they wouldn’t eat. On the other hand, the bite up around the BC Buoy was solid, with several hook-ups for folks trolling and even anglers casting pearl Ron-Z’s and Strategic Angler plugs hooked up.
8/1/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
Not much to report regarding tuna in Cape Cod Bay; there have been a few pushes, but there isn’t enough bait to keep them around.
East of Chatham, there has been a good bite around Crab Ledge, as the bait and whales have moved south from the BC Buoy where the action had been. Dan at The Hook Up reported that Capt. Eric Stewart caught a 76-inch fish on a black splasher bar called the Widowmaker on Tuesday and on Wednesday a customer of the shop caught a 92-inch fish, with another 76-incher and a 62-inch fish also caught, with black being the definite choice of color when choosing your spreader or splasher bar.
7/27/ As Reported By Capt. Mike Hogan
Capt. Chris Burden of New Seabury Marina finished 5 miles south of the BC buoy in 200 feet of water. Within 40 minutes off trolling he hooked a 55inch bluefin tuna on a pink and white BlueMAX. He also reported the best bite was within 30 minutes of sunrise. Bites were spaced out a little, seeming to hook up about every 45 minutes throughout the morning. He had several other hits, but only came tight on just the one fish.
7/25/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
The bite off of Chatham for tuna wasn’t as good as the bass action in close, but it was picking up before the last two day’s blow. Spreader and splasher bars produced action on fish over the 73-inch giant minimum and also a newer class of fish in the 60-inch range. Dark colored squids are always popular, but a local favorite is an orange/black one that they call “Halloween” and many captains like rainbow colored squids. Although trolling is still the number one method of targeting bluefin out east, some anglers are going with live bait such as bluefish, pogies, and mackerel, if they can get them.
It should be interesting to see what the colder winds do to the fishing in terms of affecting the water temperatures, but before this weather front, most of the action had been concentrated around the BC Buoy.