Doug Asselin said that although the overall number of stripers has been down this summer for shore anglers, he has seen more big fish so far this season for the sand-and-rock people. This week, the shore scene has seen a slowdown, even around Squibnocket, Gay Head, and the north shore, but Doug suspects it is a brief lull. Some of the best fish have been caught on eels, but plugs such as darters, needlefish, Super Strike Little Neck poppers, and both metal lip swimmers and Daiwa SP Minnows have caught impressive bass when employed by a skilled angler.
Doug went on to say that it has been a strange season around Chappy; at the moment, dusk has seen some bluefish action, but it really hasn’t been consistent or gangbusters, for the most part. The odd part is that unlike past years when folks would hang around after dark to target bass with bucktails, metal lures, and plugs, the vast majority are leaving once the chopper bite is over, a sign of how slow it has been for bass in that area.
The charterboats from that side of the island have been concentrating on Tom Shoal and East Beach, typically employing wire line and red-and-white parachute jigs for bass.
Many of them, however, are visiting the Hooter where the bonito bite has been exceptionally good, and the number of bluefish that typically harass the boneheads and make off with their lures is way down. A few folks continue to elect to blind cast into the rips, but the ratio of time spent to fish caught is much larger than the trolling crew.
Boats sailing out of Menemsha continue to pick at bass trolling between Gay Head and Noman’s, especially on parachute jigs and metal spoons, but many of them are also making the trek to the Hooter to get into the bonito bite. The fishing for the funnies has been so good that a friend of mine, Barney Keezell, told me they are selling it in fish markets around Menemsha where he is vacationing.
And Doug confidently said that if a bonito has been caught from shore or boat in any of the typical island hotspots, then a picture of the fish would exist – and none has appeared.
The fluke fishing is still a matter of culling through plenty of sublegals, but as Doug said, people who put in their time have managed to catch their limit in spots such as Middle Ground, the north shore of the island, and around Menemsha. The sea bass fishing is also very good between Gay Head and Noman’s.