Nantucket and Vineyard Sound Fishing Report – August 3, 2017

Ben Clabault at Forestdale Bait & Tackle on Route 130 was only too happy to talk about an increase in bluefish activity in the sounds. He explained that the cooler weather and north/northeast winds from last week apparently stirred things up and folks this week have been picking up more blues trolling off Popponesset and on Horseshoe Shoal. Ben also heard from one boater who managed to pick up some blues casting plugs into the rips at Succonesset Shoal; it wasn’t lights out activity, but he was able to bring up a fish or two in different spots.

Shore anglers working beaches such as Menauhant, the Poppy spit, Dowses, West Dennis Beach, and Harding’s Beach at dusk are catching a blue or two on occasion, with a wide range in sizes reported. It may be that these spots are all in the vicinity of harbor or river entrances where there is a stronger exchange of water and typically more bait.

No early August report would be complete without news of “slashing fish” off of Waquoit, which gets the juices flowing from the funny fish crowd. Odds are that these are small bluefish and until someone brings in certified, sanctified bonito, I’m sticking with choppers as the fish that are creating a ruckus at times.

Reports from other bonito spots have also been non-existent, including Hedge Fence and L’Hommedieu.

Whether you are a boater or a shore angler, fishing deeper, faster moving water is your best bet for catching a striper that would meet or exceed the 28-inch minimum. Of course, that means the entrance channels to the numerous protected waters that dot the Nantucket Sound shoreline. Spots with rocky shorelines or jetties are excellent because they attract baitfish and either give you better access to deep water or feature white water that contains more oxygen, is cooler, and gives bass an advantage over their weaker prey.

On the other hand, folks who opt for soaking bait chunks or tossing eels around sandy stretches have a pretty good chance of hooking with a shark of some type, particularly brown sharks, or perhaps even a large ray as one angler did this week at West Dennis Beach.

While the fluke bite . . . wait a minute, what fluke bite? There are some small fish around, but you are going to have to go through a large number of throwbacks to catch even one that approaches legal size. Black sea bass are everywhere, fortunately, to the point where folks have seen breaking fish around spots such as Horseshoe and Wreck Shoals and thought they were bluefish, only to find out they are sea bass.