Elizabeth Islands Fishing Report – September 29, 2016

The large concentrations of bait in Woods Hole have helped produce some good striper fishing; it’s possible to find fish during any stage of the currents by blindcasting to concentrations of rocks, but the fall is well-known for blitzing fish pushing small bait such as peanut bunker, baby herring, silversides, and bay anchovies. On days that promise high sunshine, early morning and dusk are typically most productive, but the gray scud that is predicted to stick with us through the weekend increases the odds of daytime activity.

With so many bass around, including larger specimens looking to put the feed bag on, live eels at night will work, for sure, but concentrating on the deeper channels between and just off the ledges with Pro Tails and SE Barbarian Jigs will allow you to get down to fish that are acting grumpy during this stormy weather.

A few mid-20-pound bass have been weighed in during the Derby recently, but the boat leading 31-pounder hasn’t really been challenged. That is typically a sign that the islands haven’t produced many cows recently since they are popular destinations for tournament anglers looking to turn pogies, either live or dead, into a winning fish. Then again, it might be a result of boat anglers from Martha’s Vineyard not being able to get across Vineyard Sound to our local archipelago with this snotty weather.

That said, with some really big bass starting to move out of the Canal and through the west entrance, being able to locate where there is plenty of bait around the islands just might pull some fish in and cause them to hang around. Obviously, that means more hours on the water will increase your odds of being where the big girls are.

Jim Young spoke to a shore angler who reported that there were three good schools of albies feeding off Nobska earlier this week and they were in range of his perch on the rocks. Since larger, heavier lures are often needed to produce longer casts to reach the albies, Jim recommended using a metal lure or Epoxy Jig with the hook removed, a fluorocarbon leader a couple of feet long attached to the tail loop, and a fly that better approximates the size, color, and profile of what the false albacore are feeding on. A school of good-sized bass also made an impressive appearance as they herded and fed on small bait.

A couple of boats appeared to be doing well just off shore and the funny fish have appeared in the Hole and along Nonamesset to Lackey’s Bay; the waning current was working best for many people, but as long as there is current moving, stormy conditions often find the albies happy and far less picky when it comes to what lures or flies will get their attention.