Fluke fishing is improving in the sounds, with fish up to 11-pounds weighed this week and most folks are returning to the dock pretty happy with the size and number of fish they caught. There are plenty of fish that fall just below the 16-inch minimum, but the ratio of take homes vs. throwbacks is definitely better this year.
The shoals are definitely producing more bluefish right now, with many captains electing to head for Horseshoe Shoal to get their clients hooked up some big, mean choppers rather than troll around all day for some small bass with the hope of picking up a few over 30-inches. Succonesset Shoal is also holding plenty of bluefish.
Shore anglers are finding bluefish activity from the beaches inconsistent; some are even electing to use bait that can perhaps produce a bass or two. This is especially true at South Cape Beach, Dowse’s, and West Dennis Beach.
Even though the technique isn’t available to the vast majority of anglers, Jeff Clabault reported that a Mashpee native who has tribal rights to use herring picked up three fish over 40-inches this week fishing the Popponesset channel. But just to prove that fishing is fishing, he went the next day and came up empty.
Jeff added that folks have been hearing slapping fish at night in spots such as Waquoit, Poppy, and Cotuit, but they haven’t been able to catch them. Sounds like it may have been a worm hatch, but the fish also might have been feeding on other small baits, thus making them finicky. On the other hand, topwater action on schoolies has been less frustrating in the morning and targeting structure such as marsh banks, rock piles, and weed patches with poppers and other topwater baits is great fun before and just after first light.
Bishop and Clerk’s and other popular trolling spots off Hyannis have definitely slowed, but Collier’s is still holding better-than-average sea bass. Up inside Bass River, the Harwich rivers, and Stage Harbor, there are mainly schoolies at present, but the latter continues to hold some schools of pogies and the bigger bass that shadow them. Early mornings have definitely been most productive.