Nantucket and Vineyard Sounds Fishing Report – July 13, 2017

I saw Capt. Bucky Burroughs in Woods Hole, a pretty good sign that Middle Ground has lost its zip; he acknowledged as such and the odds are that there are a few schoolies feeding on the shoals of sand eels, as well as some small bluefish.

Hedge Fence has gone back to producing some small bluefish on the troll, as well as a number of black sea bass and far more small fluke than ones that can home for dinner. The same is true with L’Hommedieu and Succonesset, where sea robins are far too often the most common catch for anglers who are bottom fishing.

Jim Young from Eastman’s Sport & Tackle in Falmouth took Chuck Eastman’s report to heart about some good fluke fishing around Nobska and he went there last Sunday. While the edges of the main rip produced mostly undersized summer flounder, Jim did locate a deeper hole with interesting bottom structure and he was able to pull out his limit, with those he took home between 19 and 22-inches. Unfortunately, on Monday and Tuesday I saw a dragger working these same waters before first light, so who knows what is left there.

Fluke fishing around Lucas Shoal has been really tough, even in the deeper water where most of the larger fish have been caught in years past. Chartreuse or pink Spro jigs, whether fished alone with only a squid strip, sand eel, or pogy fillet as a sweetener or as part of a rig that features some bling like spinner blades and beads, have proven themselves to be a top choice for fluke.
Other than schoolies up inside the protected waters between Falmouth and Chatham, the number of bass being caught by shore anglers has slowed significantly with the warming water temperatures. Then again, as Ben Clabault at Forestdale Bait & Tackle on Route 130 said, an occasional 28 to 30-inch bass has surprised an angler tossing topwater plugs or swimmers such as Daiwa SP Minnows or Bombers way up inside the many bays, harbors, rivers, and ponds that empty into Nantucket Sound.

The lack of bluefish continues to be a source of consternation for anglers who have come to depend on them for action when most of the bass that roam the shoals and appear along the beaches at dawn and dusk in May and June have moved east in search of food and cooler water. Horseshoe Shoal has started to produce a few bluefish here and there for casters, with trolling swimmers definitely the best way to catch any appreciable number or locate them if you prefer to raise them with surface plugs. Bob Lewis spoke to two fellow anglers who visited the Shoe last weekend and managed just one bluefish each.

Overall, shore anglers are having to entertain themselves with small fluke and scup, although Jeff Clabault reported that a local angler who targets sharks from the beaches and by boat between Popponesset and Hyannis has been having good luck with brown sharks, including a seven-foot brown shark caught off his boat around Poppy. Fresh dead eels are good bait when targeting sharks, with a fillet of an oily fish such as pogy or bluefish another way to go. Be advised that this type of angling is no place for undergunned equipment, with a few shore anglers unable to slow a shark before it spools them clean.