Jim Young from Eastman’s Sport & Tackle on Main Street in Falmouth told me that Woods Hole was still holding some scattered schools of albies, with shore anglers fishing from the Stone Pier getting some shots, while boaters have been poking around the Great Harbor mooring field, around Grassy Island, and along Nonamesset and off Juniper Point. Mornings have definitely been best, with most folks arriving early in hopes of catching a first light bite.
On most of my recent trips down the islands, I have seen three or four boats pitching live pogies, as well as chunks; I suspect these are Vineyard Derby contestants, since these are waters that are known to produce winning fish, while the Vineyard herself has had little in the way of big bass to speak of.
Eels continue to produce more fish than pogies, most likely because they appeal to bass of all sizes while a full grown adult pogy is a tough thing to swallow for many bass below 30-inches. The fishing with snakes has been very tide specific, with spots often producing bass for a brief window and then shutting down completely.
There are bluefish along the islands, including some of the big, gnarly fall fish, while the schoolie fishing has been very good. Too many boaters focus on birds to see if there are fish around, but as Colin and Braden Tierney discovered while fishing with me on Tuesday, what looks like a patch of cobble with no life at all can actually be teeming with life. We headed straight for one of my favorite spots that fit this description perfectly and as soon as their Jumpin’ Minnows hit the water, they had non-stop action from bass that were determined to blow up their plugs.
Albie fishing remains very hit-or-miss at the moment, with no real massive concentrations and far too many blips and blurps that will make you stop and try a cast, which can be OK if you are spin fishing, but is a pain in the butt if you have to take the time to get your fly line stripped out and ready to cast, at which point there is no sign of life at all. There is no lack of small bait around the islands and sometimes the best course of action is to briefly sit on a school of peanut bunker or silversides where you have found fish recently, especially on the same tide.
In addition, while it is tempting to only fish on breaking funnies, the reality is that blindcasting an area where they have just been pushing bait and water is a good idea.
The tautog bite is picking up, especially inside Woods Hole and around the Weepeckets, but some of the best fishing is often found by folks willing to make the run down to Penikese and Cuttyhunk.