Elizabeth Islands Fishing Report – October 20, 2016

The Salty Cape crew continues to report good action in Woods Hole; it might not be an every night happening, but there are definitely larger bass moving through and putting in a consistent nightly effort means that you are definitely increasing the odds of being in the right place when some cows visit to do some grazing. They have found Hogy Pro Tails and Paddles to be excellent choices when working the numerous ledges in the area.

While nighttime is always a good time for fishing the islands, I hosted Davis Yetman and Pat Swaim on Tuesday and despite leaving Falmouth Harbor later than expected at 9:30 AM, they did quite well on some solid stripers around the islands. We stopped first in Woods Hole where there were some really active schools of small fish on the incoming tide, although once the current really got honking, things quieted down.

I typically target rock piles and stretches of shoreline in the Hole at this time of year where there is still moving water, but it’s not raging, but I wanted to get farther down the islands since there was a prediction of winds picking up in the early afternoon and we had eels on board that hopefully would lead to some bigger fish.

Pat Swaim proved to be an adept learner when it came to Elizabeth Island stripers
Pat Swaim proved to be an adept learner when it came to Elizabeth Island stripers

That proved to be the case, with just a single stretch of shoreline producing a number of stripers that put on a good show when they felt the hook. I have found that Trokar hooks have made a huge difference in terms of the quality of our hook ups this year; they are so sharp and strong that they most often come right through the jaw of the bass. They also allow for a quicker hookset, meaning far less chance of a gut hooked fish; in fact, I can’t recall a single one this season. We also had one big fish explode on a Rebel Jumpin’ Minnow, resulting in a pretzeled VMC treble that I use to re-rig these plugs since the hooks they come with are useless.

We did release all fish in good shape and despite Capt. Mike’s thoughts on using live bait when catch-and-release fishing, I have few qualms at going to what he might call “the dark side” as opposed to using large Hogy’s. I suspect that will be a discussion that will continue for as long as I am guiding since folks like fishing eels.

There are clearly good numbers of smaller bass around, with some really impressive shows around Robinson’s and Quick’s as they pushed bait close to shore. We didn’t see any albies, but Jim Young told me that some big bluefish are still being caught. You can’t beat a fresh chunk of pogy when you are targeting blues, but many times these larger, gnarly Elizabeth’s choppers are caught on live eels intended for bass and fished on three-way rigs or fishfinders.