The reality is that far more anglers have given up on bass fishing and switched over to casting or jigging for bluefish on the shoals or fishing deeper water for fluke. There are mixed reports from Horseshoe Shoal on blues, with one group reporting great action and another saying it’s dead. Trolling Perfect Squids or swimming plugs such as Rebel Fastracs or Yo-zuri Deep Divers is typically a good way to locate fish, at which point you can turn to topwater stuff. If you are fishing Horseshoe, consider working the deeper water on it southern edges since at times there have been more fish between this shoal and Nantucket.
The bonito bite in the sounds has been pretty much non-existent; Hedge Fence has been eerily quiet and Wreck Shoal and Succonesset have been no better. I have heard from a number of anglers who made the run to all of the typical haunts in the sounds and even over to the Vineyard with no funny fish found. They did find some small blues, but even they were tough to get on the hook.
Despite one angler’s report to Capt. Warren Marshall that he caught two albies off Nobska last Saturday, I would be irresponsible to say that they are there since nobody else has seen or caught any.
Shore anglers have pretty much had to satisfy themselves with scup, although the snapper bluefish bite is on, according to Ben Clabault at Forestdale Bait & Tackle, making for happy kids and grown-ups who find these small choppers really good eating. Small shiny metals such as Kastmasters or Crippled Herrings work well; snapper popper rigs, that typically feature a Styrofoam float/popper attached by a leader to a following tube lure are a lot of fun since they combine the visual aspect of fish reacting to the splash and the relative certainty of a hook-up.
An occasional legal-sized bass could be had from any beach between Falmouth and Chatham, but you will up your odds if you target structure such as jetties or rocky shoreline at night. Entrance channels are another area to concentrate your efforts and bait would be the way to go.
That said, the best action on anything sizeable from the beaches has been on brown or tiger sharks, according to Lee at Riverview Bait and Tackle. More and more northern kingfish are being caught from the beaches as well, a species that has been increasing in numbers along the southside beaches recently.
Although the Three Bays area, covering Cotuit to Osterville, has been affected by some nasty algae blooms recently, other backwaters such as Waquoit Bay, Popponesset, and Bass River, as well as the rivers in Harwich and Stage Harbor and Oyster River in Chatham, have been unaffected. The blooms have apparently resulted in some fish kills, mainly scup, and some folks are reporting that the schoolie action that they had been accustomed too up inside in the early morning has pretty much disappeared.
Lee did say that the blue crabbing has been very good, an activity that is not only fun but can result in some very good eating.