Nantucket Fishing Report – July 11, 2019

July 11, 2019 Weekly Rating: 4 out of 5

Great Point remains closed to fishing, but the southside beaches are still producing some quality stripers, both day and night.

Michael Blaney at Nantucket Tackle Center said the bass fishing in the Old Man and Rose and Crown areas is improving; instead of squid, he said during his last trip there he noticed that the fish were feeding on small baitfish that might have been juvenile sea herring.

There are some bluefish mixed in around the rips, but generally they have been more readily available from Madaket to Smith’s Point. There has also been a solid mix of bass and blues out around Tuckernuck.

No bonito have been reported, but there has been some talk about bluefin south of the island.

From shore, with Great Point closed, your best to find beach action is along the southside, including Nobadeer, the airport, and Dionis. Fishing from dusk to dawn is definitely key to catching bass from the beaches, with prime tides typically falling between midnight and just before first light. Swimming plugs and soft plastics are very effective, but some folks are tossing live eels.

The flats are fishing OK, with mainly smaller bass at this time of year, along with some bluefish mixed in.

Dave Stetson at Bill Fisher Tackle suggested that soft plastics are typically effective for bass along the south shore, but with the blues having shown up in greater numbers, that means plenty of soft plastic nubs.

Folks out fishing for bass or blues have caught a few bonito, but they have yet to move in to the Bonito Bar.

Out east, the fluke and black sea bass action remains very good, with scup around in increasing numbers as well.

While I was on the phone with Dave, he asked one of the local charterboat captains about tuna south of the island; the report was that there have been a few thereabouts, as well as some white marlin, but nothing is thick offshore.

If you elect to visit the waters east of Nantucket to get in on the big fluke action, remember that big baits attract doormats. We often put videos on the TV at the shop that I work at one day a week, with fluke films especially popular. I can tell you from what I have seen, the most successful boats are fishing big fluke belly or squid strips on heavy jigs with large soft plastic grub tails and an assortment of spinners and beads.

June 27, 2019 Weekly Rating: 4 out of 5

Perhaps the most important news at the moment is that Great Point is closed due to the presence of nesting plovers.

Austin Conroy at Nantucket Tackle Center said that there are bass pretty much all along the north and south shore of the islands. Nobadeer Valley and Cisco are two good areas for shore anglers along the southside for bass. The rips are filled with more bait, including squid and sand eels, making for some good action on both bass and blues; in fact, Capt., Matt Reinemo included in this week’s email report that Austin fished the Old Man on Monday and had fish on every cast.

Capt. Matt noted that he has been fishing Wasque and since the main problem hasn’t been the number of fish but size, they have been using lures that feature single hooks for safer and cleaner releases.

Photo via Nantucket Tackle.

Finally, Matt said that he managed to get some time on the flats and although he saw some larger bass, the fish, once again, were mainly in that 23 to 25-inch range. In cloudy conditions, blindcasting with spooks and soft plastics is the way to go, while when the sun is out and sight fishing is possible, crab flies and Clousers are typically productive.

Meanwhile, the word from Dave Stetson at Bill Fisher Tackle is that the rips both east and west of the island are picking up; the main body of fish consists of bass between 24 and 28-inches, with larger fish upwards of 30-inches mixed in. There are bluefish in the harbor, mainly on the smaller side, as well as along the north shore, but there are some smaller pods of bigger blues around as well.

June 20, 2019 Weekly Rating: 4 out of 5

The rips and shoals around Great Point have come alive recently, providing solid shots at bluefish and bass for shore and boat anglers.

It’s really obvious that John Beattie at The Nantucket Tackle Center has his finger on the pulse of fishing on the island given his insights and knowledge.

First off, he noted that the number of sand eels has definitely increased and the squid are showing in the rips as well. John also said there are still mackerel and herring around.

Boaters and shore anglers have been getting into increasing numbers of bass up at Great Point on plugs and plastics, while bluefish have showed up at Old Man Shoal and around the north side of the island as well. The blues are generally in the 3 to 4-pound range, but some up to 10-pounds have also been caught.

Bass fishing along the southside beaches is also quite good, with Pearl Red Head, Bone, and Candy Yo-zuri Mag Darters catching plenty of fish, along with pearl or white Finnish style swimmers. Bone Hogy’s are also a popular daylight lure, from Originals to Pro Tails in both Paddles and Eels.

John explained that there are good numbers of bass on the flats, but the difference this year is that they are smaller on average. Sand eels and crabs are the main forage items in these waters, but spin casters find pearl, bone, or white soft plastics effective at this time of year.

There are still bass up inside the harbor, but John did advise that this action is starting to slow.

Meanwhile, the fluke bite is heating up in the shoals to the east and south of the island, with excellent sea bass fishing closer in around the Whale’s Tail.

The flats around Tuckernuck provide some of the best sight fishing on the Cape and Islands. While this type of fishing is popular with fly rod anglers, providing a New England equivalent of fishing for bonefish, in the early parts of the season the fish are more willing to eat soft plastics and even topwater plugs such as spooks.

June 14, 2019 Weekly Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Again, a half point off on the island because of a lack of big bluefish, although John Beattie at The Nantucket Tackle Center said that fish in the low 20-inch range are being caught, especially along the west side jetties.

The bass fishing on the southside remains good, with large numbers of fish up to the 28 to 30-inch size feeding on sand crabs, but they are willing to hit plugs, including poppers and the Yo-zuri Mag Darter, especially in white and pink.

The harbor is also still fishing well for bass, with water temperatures in the mid-60’s, while along the southside they are registering the low 60’s.

Squid have shown in the rips and the sand eel hatch has taken place as well.

The west flats are also filled with bass, John emphasized, with flyrodders doing well both on sand eel and crab patterns.

Nantucket is traditionally an artificial lure fishery; for years, Finnish style minnows in white or pearl during the day were the hot ticket, while black, dark green back, and blurple ruled at night. Over the several years, though, soft plastics have taken over a large part of the market, again with the same, traditional color orientation.

June 6, 2019 Weekly Rating: 3.5 out of 5

It certainly is early, but a bonito was caught this week off of Eel Point this week. Can anyone say Bonito Bar and Hogy Epoxy Jigs?

The word from John Beattie at The Nantucket Tackle Center is that the bass fishing is improving along the south facing beaches, while the harbor is also productive at dawn and dusk. Finnish style swimmers in pearl or Wonderbread are consistent producers along the sand beaches, while poppers and stickbaits/spooks are popular up inside the harbor.

The mackerel are thinning out around the island, but a few bluefish have been caught, typically a sign that some squid are moving into the rips. But not many boaters are out fishing the shoals and rips, but that should change with each passing day in June.

On the flats, there are good numbers of smaller bass and sand eel patterns work just fine at this time of year, before the waters warm and they become more interested in crab flies.

May 30, 2019 Weekly Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

John Beattie at The Nantucket Tackle Center said that he would rate the fishing as good based on the number of bass around, which are general under 28-inches with a few legal fish mixed in. A bluefish was caught at Dionis three days ago, while the bass fishing is best in the harbor and on the southside. There are also hickory shad on the southside and the mackerel bite remains solid, so John advised that imitating those baits would be the way to go. Typically, Nantucket anglers use plenty of plugs and soft plastics, with white during the day and black or blurple at night the theme they rely on. At the moment, the squid haven’t moved in and there hasn’t been any hatch of sand eels yet.

Spook style plugs are popular in the protected waters of the harbor; both first light and dusk are excellent times to employ the walk-the-dog or toss unweighted soft plastics from shore.