Elizabeth Islands Fishing Report – July 20, 2017

What a difference a day makes for yours truly, as Tuesday and Wednesday were foggy and overcast and the fishing was very good, with good numbers of schoolies on the fly and a couple of mid-30-inch bass on eels. Today, the sun came out, the seas flattened, and it was tough even finding small bass, including around Quick’s, Robinson’s, and Woods Hole.

Even the few boats I saw that were fishing pogies, fresh mackerel and live eels were struggling during what should have been prime tides in Woods Hole. Part of the problem may be warming water, with some tides producing 72-degree temperatures, but another issue might be the presence of a large number of big brown sharks. Phil Stanton told me that he saw a six or seven-footer chop in half about a high 20-inch bass that Bob Bowman had on the line today; he was chunking fresh mackerel, and along with chumming pogies, the scent in the water may be vectoring in some unwanted guests. Jim Young showed me a photo of about a six-foot brown shark that Dave “Ski” Kosewski caught after it left him earlier with only the head of a striper.
There was a lot of weed in the water today, making trolling along the islands pretty tough, whether you were jigging, dragging umbrella rigs, or towing the tube-and-worm.

Finally, while it’s not totally unheard of to catch a big sea bass on a live eel, I heard a story about an angler who managed a big scup on Mr. Wiggly today, which is very unusual.
What is even more unusual is that I have yet to have a bluefish, especially those pesky three to four-pounders, shred an eel that one of my customers is tossing into the rocks. I can count the number of bluefish we have caught on the islands this season on one hand and they have all been those big, gnarly specimens.