Nantucket and Vineyard Sounds Fishing Report – May 19, 2016

The bluefish action has been less than inspiring, both for shore and boat anglers. One angler I spoke to fished Cotuit this morning and caught one nice 32-inch, ten-pound blue, but that was it. A good trip right now is a couple of fish all along the southside.

Most everyone who is fishing for stripers is doing so either up inside the numerous backwaters that dot the Nantucket Sound shoreline or from the front beaches from Falmouth to Chatham. There is a wide range in the size of the fish, with a few up to the mid-30-inch range and last week’s worm hatches saw good numbers of high 20-inch fish caught. Poppers and other surface plugs have been working especially well for both fly and spin anglers; floating version such as the Smack-it, the Super Strike Little Neck (the green eye version), and Rebel Jumpin’ Minnows are very effective when fished tight along marsh banks or creek mouths.

Jon Hagenstein with a healthy 24" striper taken in the Cotuit narrows. There have also been reports of worm hatches in the area.
Jon Hagenstein with a healthy 24″ striper taken in the Cotuit narrows. There have also been reports of worm hatches in the area.

When fishing the beachfront, a number of anglers have emphasized that the bass have been close in, right in the trough during high water and under the cover of darkness. Swimmers such as Daiwa SP Minnows, Bombers, and Yo-zuri Mag Minnows are good choices, but soft plastics are made for close in work and can be swum and swung with the current as well.

Daytime squid fishing is pretty much a bust, with any commercial or recreational hook-and-line fisherman who is experiencing success is fishing at night. That also helps lessen the chance of scup jumping all over the jig you are using.

Speaking of scup, the fishing is outstanding for them, with a good number of dinner plate size specimens around as they are still spawning. There should be plenty of boats out Saturday on the first day of the recreational sea bass season, but while many will crowd the wrecks off of Oak Bluffs and spots such as Collier’s, there are numerous holes and patches of hard bottom structure where you can develop your own hotspot and avoid having to maneuver for a prime spot.