Nantucket and Vineyard Sound Fishing Report – May 12, 2016

There has just been some phenomenal striper action in virtually each and every protected saltwater body of water where bass can go. Although many of them have been on the small side, there appears to be a push of larger fish this week.

Conditions have been perfect in the afternoons for worm hatches and they have been reported in Little Pond, Green Pond, Waquoit, and Popponesset. They’re tough and challenging, but any fish caught is well-earned; there are numerous worm patterns for flyrodders and spin anglers can try using a casting bubble or a floating lure to present a fly.

The morning dropping tides this week have produced some great topwater action with schools of bass taking all kinds of topwater plugs and soft plastics up inside Waquoit, Popponesset, the Three Bays, the Centerville River, and Bass River, all the way past the Route 6 bridge. Parker’s River and the rivers in Harwich have been worth fishing, particularly those that feature herring runs. The afternoon repeat has been just as good for both shore and boat anglers; there aren’t many boats in the water yet, so it’s possible to have what looks like an acre of slurping and slapping bass all to yourself.

While the odds of picking up a legal sized bass have improved in these protected waters, folks who prefer to fish the beaches out front have been doing well. Nobska and Falmouth Heights, and any of the jetties in between, are spots where yellow pencil poppers do well in the morning, but metal lip swimmers, both surface and subsurface, also do well around the rocks.

Jeff Clabault fished Popponesset on Tuesday, both morning and evening, but his white popper when untouched as he walked along the spit. He did manage a couple of very small bass in the creek on his later visit with a shad type soft plastic and he talked to another angler who caught fish from the spit using a silver plug. The Cotuit side of the entrance channel has been much better, with anglers who can legally use herring catching bass up to the low 30-inch range.

West Dennis Beach has been a bit weedy this week, but that makes a soft plastic a great alternative to treble hook rigged plugs since you can make the former weedless. The word is that the bass have also been active all the way down to Harding Beach in Chatham.

The squid fishing has tailed off, with a few up inside Hyannis Harbor, and at least one angler I spoke to noted that the boats that jig commercially were moving around a great deal, usually a sign that they are having a tough time finding their target. The draggers have also been less active.

Perhaps the lack of squid is part of the reason that the bluefish haven’t showed up, but that just might change by the weekend.

There has been a strong start to the scup season throughout the sounds, but any tautog bite is slowing as the fish have completed their inshore spawning and are moving into deeper water.