The word from Doug Asselin at Dick’s Bait & Tackle is that boat and people pressure on the island has increased exponentially, making spots such as Middle Ground virtually impossible to fish – unless you get there extra early or after most folks have headed home in their super center consoles.
Both boat and shore anglers have been picking at bluefish along East Beach and around Chappy, with some bass caught after dark on needlefish and metal jigs.
Wasque, Tom Shoal, and Mutton Shoal have all been good consistently – and sometimes really good. I fished with Laurie Thwaites and her friend Betsy Doherty on Sunday and they caught everything from bass of all sizes, big bluefish, monster sea bass, and huge scup on Hogy Epoxy Jigs, Original Hogy’s, and small spooks. The next day, I returned with Gerry Fine and we had six hours of non-stop action on bass and bluefish on the fly, with fish rising everywhere starting from the moment we passed Wasque Point.
The water in most of the salt ponds around the island is definitely getting warmer, in many spots topping 70-degrees, and that makes for lethargic fish, even schoolies, so fishing in the dark is definitely called for. Small topwater plugs, soft plastics, and generic baitfish patterns and deer hair sliders fished on floating lines are a Vineyard staple in this type of water.
Doug explained that Lobsterville and Dogfish Bar have been hit-or-miss, with one night filled with bass, mainly schoolies in the 16 to 24-inch range, but some mid-30-inch class fish have also been caught recently by flyrodders and spin anglers tossing seven-inch soft plastics.
Late last week, they weighed in a 34-pound bass for a boater who was fishing live bait, either a scup or a pogy, and Doug suspects it came either from the north shore of the island or somewhere along the Elizabeths.