Jim Young at Eastman’s Sport & Tackle on Main Street in Falmouth made it clear that Woods Hole has been the best spot for catching albies from boat and shore this week; for the former, the reality is that conditions along the islands have made for tough conditions all week long.
Phil Stanton offered up a scenario from Monday that just might indicate a start to the fall migration as he was in Woods Hole and found large schools of bass and bluefish working peanut bunker right up against the Great Harbor shoreline of Penzance. While none of the bluefish weighed much more than four pounds or so, the two anglers he had aboard managed to pick up bass of 29 and 31-inches from among all of the schoolies that ran between 20 and 26-inches. Phil said it was the best light tackle action he has experienced in the Hole in years as they caught about 30 bass and 20 blues, all on small metals.
The next two days, however, Phil has not seen a bird or fish working pretty much anywhere; finding a school of fish one day in the fall, especially around the islands, and then nothing the next day often is a sign of migrating fish working down either side of the Elizabeths on their way to waters to our south and west.
Phil also told me he went down the islands from Woods Hole today and while it was possible to hide in the lee on the Vineyard Sound side, once you ventured out 100 yards the sea conditions were horrible. He and his crew managed one bass between the low and mid-20-pound class early on using live eels, giving him hope that it was going to be a good day, but that was the only fish they caught. They were also chopped off by a bluefish and saw a couple of anglers tossing live pogies, but during about an hour of fishing, the bunker dunkers didn’t have a sniff.
Around Tarpaulin Cove, Phil saw a couple of flyrodders hook up on albies, but he said they were small ones.
There were a number of boats and kayaks hoping for albies, along with the usual contingent of shore folks on the rock jetty, but whenever Phil saw someone hook up, it proved to be a two-pound bluefish.