If you find anyone fishing the backside beaches, they will be catching mainly schoolies, as has been the case this…
Small bass from the beaches and tuna three to five miles outside from Nauset up to the Golf Balls, with an occasional push of them closer in. There are mainly giants around, with castable fish taping out at 60 to 70-inches, which is still a big fish.
Other than small bass, shore anglers have had little to fish for, other than some small bluefish and occasional schools of mackerel. There are also still good numbers of small bass up inside Pleasant Bay, as well as around the North Beach cut and Morris Island.
The fishing from the outer Cape beaches has been pretty much the same as it has all season: mostly small bass on plugs and plastics, with an occasional just over legal fish mainly on bait, especially sand eels. There are tuna being caught up off the Golf Balls as well as off Nauset; these are large fish, not the footballs that many people are used to targeting with casting gear, so making sure your equipment is up to the task is critical right now.
Small bass continue to dominate the backside fishing, but any word of where things are happening and if anything larger has been caught is hard to come by due to the lack of fishermen, lamented Paul Newmier at Blackbeard’s in Eastham. Boat anglers have been catching bluefish off Provincetown either vertical jigging or on topwater plugs, but the fish have occasionally pushed in tight enough from Herring Cove to Race Point to give shore anglers a shot at reaching them.
Most of the boats that are managing to catching larger bass have been skirting the EEZ line, sometimes vertical jigging and at other times livelining mackerel. There has also been an on-and-off bite between Nauset and Chatham Inlets, with livelined mackerel once again the method that apparently is producing the most fish.
Winds out of the east/northeast typically mean one thing on the beaches from Nauset to Provincetown: mung. This weed attaches itself to anything and can effectively shut down any beach. As far as boat activity goes, things were pretty tough out east this week; bass remain the target for the local charterboats, but they are also keeping their eyes open for signs of tuna. A few boats are picking at larger bass using live mackerel around the various inlets from Chatham to North Beach Island, but no major vertical jig bite has shaped up that has recreational or recremercial anglers really excited.
Some boaters are jigging up the mackerel that are holding in the cooler waters around Chatham and Nauset, then livelining them with some success fairly close to shore. Ron added that there seems to be some schooling of fish in deeper water off of Chatham and Nauset, leading to some vertical jigging.
Folks willing to fish at night have been catching a much larger fish on occasion. He saw a picture of a 38-inch, 20-pound class bass that was caught at Nauset Light Beach by an angler fishing a paddletail soft plastic.