There have plenty of boats cruising here and there looking for false albacore, but as of yet, there apparently hasn’t been any concentration of fish seen just yet. I say apparently because I know of a number of people who found fish in good numbers and managed to keep it to themselves for a few days before the word got out.
What I do know is that Charlie Richmond and Ken Cirillo went out on Wednesday and found a good-sized school off Osterville, with Charlie managing one fish on a pink Epoxy Jig. Bob Lewis reported that there were some birds and fish in the same area this morning and one lucky boater was all by himself casting to them.
Jim Young saw a school off of Waquoit last weekend, but since then there really hasn’t been much to report from there back to Nobska, which is typically one of the best early season spots for albies.
In the meantime, the bass bite has yet to pick up in the sounds, but the upcoming storm, cooler air temperatures, and reduced humidity should combine to pick things up. There are some small schoolies here and there, but in general, all the small bait that folks have been seeing in bays, harbors, salt ponds, and rivers on the southside has been pretty much unmolested.
Snappers remain fairly abundant, as do scup and northern kingfish, as well as the occasional fluke; Ben Clabault and friends fished the Popponesset creek area from shore this week and picked up a mix of the three latter species to make for a decent meal. On the other hand, Ben reported that this week produced no larger bass as of midweek, as opposed to last when a couple of fish between 28 and 30-inches were caught on bait.
It’s the same scenario from Cotuit to Hyannis, with snappers and scup the primary target of shore anglers.
There have been some schools of bluefish outside the reach of any shore angler, but if the front that is supposed to pass through this weekend into the earlier part of next week does its job and drops the water temperature inside the backwaters enough and the winds additionally push the peanut bunker, sand eels, and silversides out into open water, there should be an increase in bass and bluefish action along with the funny fish. When these baitfish stay close to shore for safety purposes, they can provide some great action for the sand-and-rock people.
Fluke fishing remains fairly steady in the sounds, with the ratio of throwbacks to legal fish about five to one. I made up some sea bass/fluke rigs according to the plans suggested by Long Island fisherman/writer/lecturer John Skinner, who has a great YouTube channel. Tom and Lydia Bishop put them to use on Tuesday and not only managed some nice sea bass for dinner, but they also managed several fluke around Hedge Fence. I had never used Berkley Gulp! Alive, but I now understand why John speaks so highly of the Swimming Mullets and Shrimp. They really do work, although the juice they come in really does stink; I could share a story with you about how bad it is, but I don’t want to blame my good friend Gene Bourque who left a couple of empty, leaky packages in my car several years back, where they baked in the hot sun in Florida. Suffice it to say that I pulled off the road to seek out the source of the offending odor, after deciding it wasn’t my bare feet.
Most charterboats fishing the sounds have been seeking bluefish on wire line, with bass pretty much an afterthought. There have been some small blues feeding on sand eels from the flats shallows outside the entrance to Stage Harbor down to Monomoy Point, but these are far better targets for casters.