There is definitely no lack of stripers in the sounds; the big question is whether you are satisfied with solid fish in the 26 to 30-inch range or if your goal is something much larger.
From Nobska to Halfway/L’Hommedieu to Succonesset to spots from Hyannis to Chatham, boaters have been catching bass jigging wire and livelining scup, but so far there really has been no word of any particularly big striped bass.
Jeff Clabault from Forestdale Bait & Tackle said that the largest boat bass he has heard of from the sounds is about 36-inches, but inside the protected waters of Popponesset and Cotuit, he has heard of stripers in that same size range mixed in with all of the schoolies in the 12 to 24-inch range that people are catching. Earlier this week, he managed a 33-inch bass on a pencil popper fishing the Narrows in Cotuit and he knows of a 34-incher that was taken on a chunk of mackerel last weekend from the same area.
A pretty good indicator of how slow the fishing has been for big bass from shore is that even the members of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe who can still use river herring haven’t been coming into Jeff’s shop and talking about all the fish they are catching nor are the folks who watch this going on coming in to complain.
Bill Howland from the Sports Port in Hyannis explained that the weather has kept most boaters tied to the dock or mooring, so getting news on what they are doing has been hard to come by. Overall, however, from what he has heard, there have been big fish caught in the sounds.
Shorebound folks have managed to fish through the smaller schoolies from Osterville to Hyannis for an occasional just legal bass using plugs around Dowses, but the push of big bluefish that took place from Menauhant in Falmouth to Hyannis has pretty much petered out about a week ago. Bill hadn’t seen such big choppers in the spring in a long while, but it seems that they have moved offshore and nobody has found a concentration of them.
Jeff knows of a couple of blues that a boater caught near the Poppy spit, but a local captain who lives for plugging up big blues at Horseshoe Shoal said he has yet to find any there. That’s the same story that Jeff has received from anglers he knows who have made the run to that shoal.
Lee Boisvert from Riverview Bait & Tackle in Yarmouth said that the beach fishing from West Dennis Beach to the beaches in Harwich remains good. Most anglers are tossing plugs, from topwater in the morning and evening to SP Minnows and an assortment of soft plastics. Lee has heard of some bass being caught around Collier’s, but the reports have been scattered and there has been no word of any really big bass. Lee did add that there is good scup and sea bass fishing around the tire reef off of Bass River.