There is definitely some more life in Nantucket Sound in terms of bait and fish, particularly bluefish, as we have had some cooler weather that could be considered a lead in to the fall migration.
They might not be for everybody, but it sure has been nice seeing the large schools of bluefish around.
No early August report would be complete without news of “slashing fish” off of Waquoit, which gets the juices flowing from the funny fish crowd. Odds are that these are small bluefish and until someone brings in certified, sanctified bonito, I’m sticking with choppers as the fish that are creating a ruckus at times.
Anglers trolling Horseshoe Shoal catching mainly five to six-pound fish with enough 10+-pounders to make it interesting. Brown sharks continue to provide some heart pounding activity, with shore anglers too often undergunned when it comes to the tackle they use while boaters have the advantage of being able to follow the fish and typically are using stouter equipment since casting isn’t as important.
It’s official: the summer doldrums have hit Nantucket and Vineyard Sounds. Other than black sea bass, which are still hitting pretty much anything that anglers are either casting or trolling, as well as the usual bottom fishing, things have gone pretty quiet from Falmouth to Chatham.
Hedge Fence has gone back to producing some small bluefish on the troll, as well as a number of black sea bass and far more small fluke than ones that can home for dinner. The same is true with L’Hommedieu and Succonesset, where sea robins are far too often the most common catch for anglers who are bottom fishing.
If you’re going to fish shoals like Middle Ground, Halfway/L’Hommedieu, Hedge Fence, and Succonesset, to name some that get the most attention, you had better be there well before first light as the bite has been short-lived before the fish get lockjaw. Along with some surface feeding schools of sea bass, boaters are reporting catching them while trolling the edges of a number of shoals in the sounds, such as Eldridge, Wreck, and Hedge Fence.
The shoals are filled with nice, strong, and fat stripers from 24 to 28-inches, with enough 30+-inch fish to make it interesting. As long as the squid hangs around, and the water temperatures are still in an optimal range, there is no reason to believe the action is going to just shut off like a switch.
You would be hard pressed to pinpoint any of the shoals as the best to fish since they are all holding bass, mainly those chunky 26 to low-30-inch fish that were born in 2011. From South Cape Beach to Cotuit, there has been some bluefish activity for beach folks; the issue is trying to figure out where they are going to be from day-to-day, as there has been no consistency.