Martha’s Vineyard – July 20, 2018

The word from Taylor Trudel at Dick’s Bait & Tackle in Edgartown is that he has been hearing more reports about bluefish this week. Shore anglers have been getting into some good-sized fish around Chappy, including East Beach and Wasque. A number of charterboats out of Oak Bluffs have been returning with smaller blues, mainly in the four to five-pound range, and Taylor suspects they were fishing Squash Meadow or Hedge Fence, given that they typically don’t make long runs to where they are going to fish.

The stretch from Squibnocket to Gay Head/Aquinnah has been turning up some bass, with swimming plugs such as the Rapala Magnum a popular choice among some of the boats out of Menemsha that fish these waters. I know of one boat that has tried chumming-and- chunking menhaden around Devil’s Bridge and the deeper holes off of Menemsha, but given that this captain returned to running all the way to Monomoy should tell you something.

A few bonito have also been caught between Menemsha and Noman’s, with trolling swimming plugs such as Yo-zuri Crystal Minnows and spoons the method most often employed in these waters.

The north shore of the island is definitely where the sand (and rock) people have been targeting stripers that have some length and girth to them. Smaller, daytime bass are typically caught on sand eel imitations, both metal, epoxy, and soft plastic, while at night the more serious crowd turns to darters and needlefish, especially Super Strike and Gibbs’, as well as live eels.

Some smaller bass are being caught at night around Lobsterville and inside Menemsha Pond, especially by flyrodders using sand eel imitating flies, while Taylor managed to pick up a couple of schoolies in Sengekontacket Pond on silver Epoxy Jigs, where he said the water was 77-degrees the other day.

The best fluking remains along the north shore, with drifts in deeper water and faster current around Cedar Tree Neck and the Brickyard typically most productive when it comes to catching larger summer flatties. These areas often require some serious weight to get down to the fish, so make you are carrying a sufficient amount of lead in your box.

Some folks are picking at fluke and sea bass in the deeper waters off the west end of Middle Ground; check out Rick Fehon’s report on bass fishing around MG last weekend in the Sounds section for more information on these waters.