Nantucket and Vineyard Sounds Fishing Report – July 28, 2016

Fluke and bluefish get top billing for boaters in the sounds at the moment, while shore anglers continue to scratch for what they can.

Horseshoe Shoal is filled with big bluefish, but this is a large area and trolling in order to locate the fish is a good idea even if you prefer to cast, at which point you can make the switch. Jigging wire and trolling classics such as the Hogy Perfect Squid on either wire or lead core is a top producer at Horseshoe and many of the other shoals in Nantucket Sound that hold blues, such as L’Hommedieu or the deepest parts of Succonnesset.

Around Hedge Fence, there have been no bonito reported from this area yet for either boaters or casters. Upping your trolling speeds and using swimming lures such as Rebel Fastracs and Yo-zuri Deep Diving Crystal Minnows is typically employed for folks who prefer to troll up and down the edges of the shoal, but you encounter plenty of bluefish as well, so make sure you have plenty of replacement lures on hand. Most experienced funny fish anglers find that upping the test of your fluorocarbon leaders to deal with the blues will cause these swimmers to swim incorrectly, with 20-pound test fluorocarbon about right.

No matter whom you talk to, the fluke bite has been mainly picking through good numbers of smaller fish in order to catch perhaps your limit of legal fish, with 20 to 22-inches about the maximum size right now being in most spots. Some folks have been reporting that spots closer in to the southside shoreline have been fishing better, such as outside of Falmouth Harbor, Popponesset, Cotuit, Bass River, and Saquatucket Harbor. Overall, fresh or even frozen sand eels have been outfishing squid, but getting them can be a challenge.

When it comes to bass, most boaters leaving from Nantucket Sound parts have been making the run to the Elizabeths, to Menemsha, and even Monomoy as things have become particularly tough when it comes to any technique for catching stripers.

As for shore anglers and boaters poking around the backwaters of Nantucket Sound, there are a few small schoolie bass around, but even they have been less active. The key is get out of bed very early or wait for evening to develop if you want to at least have a chance at putting a bend in your rod. Some folks have been reporting snapper bluefish and early morning outgoing tides have seen some bluefish splashing around off of Waquoit, Osterville, and Stage Harbor; the latter has also had some bigger blues working schools of pogies in the area.