The first over 30-pound bass was entered in the Derby; it was a boat fish and a number of boaters entered in this Vineyard tradition have been fishing pogies or eels along the Elizabeths and that is most likely where any Derby boat winner will come from.
Any attempts to fish the southside have been futile as there is a 12-foot swell there and the weed in the water will overwhelm any attempts to hold bottom or keep bait clear of any gunk. Only four fish were weighed in the Derby on Wednesday and eight on Tuesday, all of them shore fish.
With the Derby in full swing, the pattern of a potentially tournament winning fish coming on the first day of competition, in this case an 18.49-pound bluefish caught by Vineyard resident William Kadison, who is no stranger to the Derby leaderboard.
Reports from boaters have been sparse due to the water conditions, although there was a good push of albies off East Chop this morning. The stretch from Oak Bluffs to Edgartown was fishing well before the winds, particularly along State Beach; there were good schools of bluefish with some bonito mixed in.
Boats from the other end of the island around Menemsha had been doing OK on bluefish and bonito from Gay Head to Squibnocket. When it comes to larger bass, and we’re talking fish in the 36-inch class, it’s the hardcore folks who climb the rocks and walk the beaches at night tossing needlefish, darters, metal lips, and eels who do best.
Inshore bass fishing around the island is generally falling into two camps: the hardcores who don’t mind fishing all night around the rocks have been picking at some larger bass around Squibnocket, Gay Head, and the north shore, while there are enough schoolies inside the salt ponds to keep more casual anglers, whether from shore or boat, happy.
There is a ton of bait around the island, including sand eels, silversides, peanut bunker, adult pogies, and baby herring. There have been some bluefish caught from shore around Chappy, but when it comes to bass, it’s the hardcores who are putting their time in at night who are catching larger fish.
Fishing around the island has been fair. Anglers who are willing to rock hop at Squibnocket, Gay Head, and spots along the north shore are catching bass.
Fishing around the island right now is pretty simple: there are fish to be caught, but there is no consistency as to where you are going to find them. He knows of some bluefish being caught around Chappy around dusk, as well as a few bass on plugs and metals.
As an alternative to the slow bass fishing from the beach, some surfcasters are targeting sharks, especially brown sharks, all along the south facing beaches, as well as Norton Point, Chappy, and Wasque. There have been some bass caught at the Hooter while Wasque has been holding mainly bluefish. Since the reports of a couple of bonito being caught at Squibnocket and Wasque a couple of weeks ago, there has been nothing new to report about funny fish.