There are definitely albies around the island, but from all reports, they have been very, very picky. A perfect example came courtesy of Phil Stanton who was fishing with the Ben David’s this week and they reported that there were plenty of fish around the windmill and Cape Pogue last weekend, but they managed only one fish on Saturday and nothing on Sunday – and didn’t see anybody hook up either.
I fished with Lydia and Tom Bishop on Tuesday and before going bottom fishing, we ran over to the Vineyard to take a few casts at albies. They were there, first off of East Chop and Oak Bluffs and then around the ferry route due east of West Chop leading into Vineyard Haven. We had one chase a silver Epoxy Jig and had a blow up on a pink one, but alas, they showed us no love.
Menemsha and Gay Head have had a few schools of albies reported, but the action down island has been much better – if action equals number of fish cast to rather than caught.
Steve Morris told me the word he has been getting from anglers is consistent with the above: very, very tough fish. I surmise it must be because they are feeding on small schools of fast moving bait such as silversides and sand eels. In conditions such as this, casters have better odds than fly anglers as the offering has to be dropped into the fray immediately and accurately, with total control and a tight line. The problem is that flyrodders often have the best selection of imitations of slender baits, which makes a rig featuring a Epoxy Jig with the tail hook removed and a fluorocarbon leader tied to the tail loop and leading to fly a good combination.
While the ponds such as Sengekontacket and Lagoon, as well as Menemsha Harbor, are filled with smaller bass and bait, Steve said the fishing for larger bass has been pretty much non-existent. He believes that the sizeable fish that were caught in July and earlier in August were not resident fish, but bass that had moved in to feed and then moved elsewhere. Right now, the hope is that the schoolies will be left alone to become resident fish in the future.
The charter boats are finding some bluefish out around the Hooter and over towards Squibnocket, while the same area has been feast-or-famine on bonito. If the bones aren’t there, then making the run to Squibbie and Gay Head might pay off, as they have been caught in good numbers in the previous couple of weeks, both trolling and casting.