The amount of bait around the island, specifically peanut bunker and silversides, is incredible, making for good albie action along State Beach and inside Vineyard Haven; things are a bit quieter around the north shore, but there are schools of surface feeding schoolies and small bluefish pretty much everywhere from Cape Poge to West Chop on down to Menemsha.
Martha’s Vineyard (Surf)
The north side of the island from West Chop to Menemsha has schools of surface feeding fish everywhere. You can be casting to albies, bonito, bass, or bluefish as you move along as there is so much bait that all four species are feeding heavily.
The Derby starts at 12:01 AM this Sunday, September 9, so the madness has already started to grip the island. Only a few albie catches have been confirmed as a few schools have showed up, but there are plenty of bonito around the island. The challenge, however, is getting through all of the two to four-pound bluefish that are typically mixed in with bones.
There are no real big reports on albies, although Taylor Trudel of Dick’s Bait & Tackle did see a photo of one that was caught somewhere on the island by someone he considers a reliable source.
When it comes to bonito around the island, there really is a dichotomy, with boaters having far greater success than shore folks. The inshore bite has already been better than last year, the one fish you can count on right now is bluefish, especially the smaller size. They are pretty much everywhere around the island, mainly because of the vast amounts of small bait, including sand eels, silversides, peanut bunker, and chubs.
A few larger blues are being caught off of Chappy, but there definitely has not been a consistent afternoon/evening run that you can count on. A few larger bass are being caught on live eels at night or by boaters tossing them into the rocks along the north shore and around Gay Head. Bonito fishing continues to improve and a few king mackerel have been caught, but there have been albies reported yet.
Bonito have pretty much surrounded the island, along with lots of small bluefish. The largest concentration of bones is probably out around the Hooter and Paradise; trolling is very common in these waters due to the number of rips and large amount of water where the fish can be.
Steve Morris at Dick’s Bait & Tackle in Edgartown said the fish has been pretty tough around the island, especially for bass from shore. There has been a pick of fish at night along the north shore and around Gay Head, but the water is pretty warm and the only action is happening in the dark.
Shore anglers have been getting into some good-sized fish around Chappy, including East Beach and Wasque. A number of charterboats out of Oak Bluffs have been returning with smaller blues, mainly in the four to five-pound range. Some folks are picking at fluke and sea bass in the deeper waters off the west end of Middle Ground; check out Rick Fehon’s report on bass fishing around MG last weekend in the Sounds section for more information on these waters.
This time of year, you can expect to find striped bass, bluefish, sea bass, porgy and even fluke on the sandy shoals of Nantucket & Vineyard Sound. Learn how Capt. Mike approaches mixed-bag summertime fishing trips in this video shot before work in mid July on the 243 Everglades CC.