Nantucket and Vineyard Sounds Fishing Report – September 15, 2016

It seems that for many boat anglers, the only game in town has been casting for false albacore. While Waquoit, New Seabury/Popponesset, and West Bay have been active, mainly the schools have been on the small side; there are some large schools of peanut bunker around, but at times the fish are much fussier when they are on bay anchovies and tiny, almost unformed white baitfish, which are often called “snot bait.”

The best action along the southside for albies has definitely been from Dowses Beach to Hyannis; mornings and low light conditions during the day are when the fish are more likely to eat, while high sunshine and calm waters can make them ultra picky. Contrasting color Epoxy Jigs and tutti frutti flies have been effective this week.

There are some schools of smaller bluefish along the beaches in Nantucket Sound, while snappers are very active in almost every backwater. Spots such as the Three Bays are home at the moment to some schools of pogies, and if this year holds as it has in past seasons, there should be some big bluefish and even a few larger bass working them over.

For the most part, however, the bass are schoolies in all of the southside estuaries, with an occasional just legal fish caught on chunk bait, live eels, or swimmers such as Yo-zuri MagMinnows, Bombers, Red Fin’s or Daiwa SP Minnows fished after dark. Jigging the deeper entrance and navigation channels from dusk to dawn is another alternative for finding any larger bass in the area.

Tossing topwater plugs such as Rebel Jumpin’ Minnows and Smack-its up against the jetties that line the many entrance channels along the southside is also productive for schoolies and small bluefish, with a few bigger fish in the mix as well. Not only did we have a large bluefish rocket out of the water after a plug tossed up tight to the rocks along the Waquoit channel, but some schools of albies ran up the channel and into the bay, with one taking a Jumpin’ Minnow.

Recreational fluke season closes next Friday, September 23, so there’s still time to cull through the smaller fish that predominate around Succonesset, Hedge Fence, and other Nantucket Sound shoals, while Lucas remains one of the most targeted areas when it comes to summer flatties. If you haven’t tried them, consider purchasing and using a package of white or chartreuse Gulp! Alive Swimming Mullets as part of your favorite fluke rig; I don’t think you will be disappointed.