The giant bluefish fishing up around Stellwagen remains very good; although I was told that the October quota was filled, I couldn’t confirm that by checking the NMFS website. I did hear that some folks had to pay to have their fish shipped overseas, perhaps indicating a glut in the Japanese/Asian market.
The bluefin fishing up around Stellwagen “has been stupid.” Fish are being caught on live bait, trolled ballyhoo, and topwater stickbaits, like the Hogy Charter Grade Slider. Most of the fish continue to be in the 80 to 100+-inch range, with a 60-incher consider a small one at the moment.
Some solid 60 to 80-inch bluefish trolling bars and ballyhoo have been reported up around the northern part of Stellwagen. Green machine color is a good choice when it comes to artificials. Plenty of herring and mackerel are around when folks turn to bait fishing.
Giant bluefin bite remains good out east of Chatham and up in Cape Cod Bay. Spin anglers have also been getting shots at breaking fish chasing halfbeaks in the bay as well as off the backside from the Golf Balls to Nauset. Apparently, these tuna aren’t school or even smaller medium school fish, but often are just shy of the 73-inch giant minimum.
The giant bluefin bite out east remains good, with fish caught recently on live bait such as mackerel; trolled ballyhoo, both naked and skirted; and darker colored bars. There are numerous reports of halfbeaks/Atlantic sauries flying out of the water, usually a sign that they are being harassed by fish such as tuna.
Out on Stellwagen Bank, some very large bluefin tuna were caught this week, including Capt. Cullen Lundholm’s 1130 pounder. Fishing dead bait and throwing soft plastics like the Hogy Pro Tail on spinning gear have been the effective techniques for fish ranging from 200 to 1000 pounds.
Cooper Gilkes at Coop’s on the Vineyard said the tuna bite never started south of the island as the fish down south never moved up. He did say that there are good numbers of mahi around all of the high flyers, with some white marlin being caught on scup or ballyhoo. From the shipping lanes to Veatch, there are still some blue marlin taking lures or skirted ballyhoo, explained Billy O’Connor at Falmouth Bait & Tackle in the Teaticket section of Falmouth, but the really monster bigeye have moved, with a large fish running about 100-pounds.
South of the Vineyard, there is a mix of white marlin and mahi, with Gordon’s Gully, the Star, the Claw, and the Dump out to the shipping lanes all producing mahi. Coop said the mahi have been on the small side, with only an occasional larger one caught, but there have been good numbers reported around the weather buoys.
Gordon’s Gully and the Claw were two areas mentioned by Peter Sliwkowski at Larry’s Bait and Tackle on the Vineyard as holding large numbers of mahi and white marlin as well. Apparently, there are a large number of weed patches, perfect for holding mahi; fishing around the high flyers is also one way to get into some fast mahi action.
Out east, guys are still jigging up their own bait, in this case mackerel, and livelining them to the giant bluefin in the area. Some impressive fish have been caught, but folks fishing the areas around the Regal Sword, Crab Ledge, the BB Buoy, and other waters known to hold big bluefin should be aware of the notice from NOAA announcing the closure of recreational giant bluefin tuna fishing for the remainder of 2018.