Nantucket and Vineyard Sounds Fishing Report – June 15, 2017

Christian Giardini of Falmouth Bait and Tackle pointed out that there has been no lack of 24 to just over 30-inch bass on the shoals, with everything from jigging wire to vertical jigging to tossing plugs and plastics working at certain stages of the tide. There is a lot of squid around in the rips, from what look to be young-of-year stuff to larger adults; Billy Klemm dropped a five-gallon bucket off at Eastman’s for Jim to bag and there were some big ones in the mix, Jim Young said. There has been the occasional bluefish mixed in, but no great numbers by any means.

Nobody I have spoken to has mentioned running into blitzing or surface feeding bluefish; Succonesset has been holding some, but Horseshoe Shoal, a well-known chopper haunt, has been quiet for the moment.

According to Ben Clabault at Forestdale Bait & Tackle, shore anglers finally enjoyed some good bluefish action around South Cape Beach and Oregon Beach. It wasn’t fish on every cast activity, but there were enough blues whacking plugs from time-to-time to keep it interesting. These are your typical four to six-pound fish that are around from June to October, with an occasional 10-pounder thrown in for good measure.

Bluefish is also solid from Bass River and West Dennis Beach through Harding’s Beach in Chatham, pointed out Lee Boisvert at Riverview Bait & Tackle in Yarmouth, and the bonus is that folks are catching them throughout the day and not just at dusk. There are some bass mixed, but they have been best in the early morning or at night; Daiwa SP Minnows and Storm Shads are very popular when targeting stripers. While the open beaches have some larger fish, the schoolies are still enjoying the unseasonably cool waters in many of the rivers, giving fly and light tackle anglers plenty of activity.

The same has been true around Cotuit, where Bob Lewis has found himself surrounded by breaking bass on his morning trips before work and there are some bluefish in the back as well.

Fishing the Popponesset channel from the Cotuit side has definitely been outproducing the spit area, especially when it comes to any sizeable bass. Jigging the channel on the incoming tide when it falls in the early morning or at night is a good combination. There is a good amount of bait around the bay and that has resulted in some aggressive feeds around Shoestring Bay and the edges of the flats as you enter the bay; the marsh edges also hold bass, which you can often hear popping on shrimp and small baitfish at night.

The entrance to Waquoit Bay is in its usual schoolie mode, with fish settling in tight to the jetties, requiring a good, accurate cast to get your small soft plastic or fly right against the rocks where you swing through likely looking patches of water. This is definitely an early morning activity or you can try in the evening after the boat traffic has quieted down. On an outgoing tide, there are times when the waters to the left of the west jetty will erupt with blitzing schoolies and the same can be true of the channel itself and the tips of the jetties to where it opens up. At these times, a bone colored, four-inch “mini” Skinny fished unweighted or with a very small jighead is ideal.

Frank Webber with a Bishop & Clerk's striper caught on Thursday morning.
Frank Webber with a Bishop & Clerk’s striper caught on Thursday morning.

Bishop and Clerks is starting to fish better, with bass up to 14-pounds caught on a plug tossed into the rocks, with Dave Ryan taking top honors in last weekend’s Osterville Anglers’ Club event. Some of the charterboats continue to troll Hootchie’s and other squid imitations there, while Collier’s is a popular sea bass destination.

There really was no good word offered up for boaters when it comes to fluke, but Ben Clabault spoke to a young surfcaster who picked up a couple casting around the spit.