It only makes sense to start with shore anglers since these last couple of weeks have been tough on them;…
Shore fishermen all along the southside continue to have success with mainly small bass, especially now that large amounts of small bait are gathered up inside the numerous backwaters as well as the channels feeding into Nantucket Sound.
Schools of small bluefish are fairly easy to find for boaters in the sound from Mashpee to Chatham, with terns and gulls marking where they are feeding on small bait. Topwater plugs, both poppers and spooks, are fun when it comes to casting for blues.
What else could I start with than bonito since bass fishing is pretty slow in the sounds and too many folks don’t want to deal with the hordes of small bluefish that are everywhere in Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds.
One to three-pound bluefish have appeared up and down Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds, especially from Falmouth to Hyannis. They will take pretty much anything shiny and as with any other species of fish you intend to release, switching over to lures with single hooks is the way to go. As a reminder, there is no size limit on bluefish, but there is a ten fish per day bag limit per person.
Middle Ground is the only spot where I have heard of stripers being caught on any kind of a consistent basis; we’re talking schoolies up to maybe 24-inches feeding on sand eels and other small bait. Prior to all this nastiness, there were schools of smaller bass throughout the sounds from the Elizabeths to Nobska and down to Popponesset; small, tight groups of terns were the giveaway to their presence.
Small bluefish and the occasional small bass continue to be caught along the southside beaches, and the bluefish action has picked up significantly over the last week on the shoals of the Sounds. For keeper bass, eeling at night has been the best strategy.
Bass fishing in Nantucket and Vineyard Sounds has definitely slowed, with most boats leaving from southside ports heading for Monomoy or the islands.
With warmer water on many of the shoals, folks have turned their attention to either fishing for fluke or they have elected to make longer runs to Wasque or Monomoy where the bass fishing is still very good.
When it comes to boaters seeking bluefish, Horseshoe Shoal is once again the main area where folks trolling swimmers such as Rapala Slivers, Yo-zuri DD Swimmers, and Rebel Fastracs have been able to find some. Trolling Hootchies on wire line is another common method used to target blues, with Yo-zuri Hydro Squirts a more contemporary lure that works well in areas where bluefish are feeding, particularly when the bait is squid.