2014 Nantucket Fishing Reports

Nantucket Fishing Reports


IMG_22129/8/14 As Reported By Captain Hal Herrick – http://nantucketfishing.com/

Albies are here!!

Can someone give me a reason why fishermen in the South refer to the False Albacore as “Bonita” or “Bonito”. When I worked the charter docks at Bahia Mar in Ft Lauderdale (circa 1975-1983)we called them “boneheads”and were considered a trash fish.
I can tell you being a long time Nantucketer, we love having the False Albacore visit our island. We call ourselves Albie-holics. There is nothing like them on light tackle and especially on fly rod. I get the bug so bad , I follow them down to Harkers Island every November for the fall run.
There are  loads of sand eels and tiny squid in place from Great Point to Muskeget. The Albies arrived almost 2 weeks earlier than last year and there are still lots of bluefish around the island.
Everything is in place for a fantastic fall run!

8/18/14 As Reported By Captain Hal Herrick – http://nantucketfishing.com/

The bonito have been hit or miss off the Bonito Bar for the past 2 weeks. Mixed in with the Bonito are some nice size Blues. Sand eels cover the bar on the East tide. Fishing last week with my good friend Bill Collins and two of his friends, we landed a dozen bones from 14 feet of water all the way out to 40 feet. Out in the deep water, we found them pushing on the surface.
Big bluefish have been off the South Shore steady throughout the summer. This past week Barclay Manley landed a 14 pound Bluefish on fly aboard my boat.

Great Point has been steady bluefish action with mixed Bonito and Stripers. The False Albacore should be showing in the next couple weeks.
This is a great time of year to get out and fish.

Bluefish Fly

7/30/14 As Reported By Captain Hal Herrick – http://nantucketfishing.com/

Big bluefish have kept my anglers busy over the past 2 weeks off the South Shore of Nantucket from Miacomet Rip down to Tom Nevers. All top water action! 8-13 pound fish.
Great Point was very productive this morning. We ended up catching 6 bass and a boat full of 4-6 pound bluefish throwing swimming plugs into the rip. The light was perfect in the shallow part of the rip and you could see both the bass and bluefish along the sandy bottom.

photo 1

Capt Bill Toelstadt had a great day bottom fishing for fluke and Sea Bass earlier in the week. Nice big fluke and a couple nice Sea Bass.

The offshore report has not been as productive as 10 days to 2 weeks ago. White Marlin are still being seen within 12 miles of the island.

The Bonito are here but not schooled up yet. I have heard of a couple fish taken . It is only a matter of days before it cuts loose on the Bonito Bar, and The Hooter.
As long as the high pressure stays around , we can expect great fishing days ahead!!

7/14/14 As Reported By Captain Hal Herrick – http://nantucketfishing.com/

Tropical Storm Arthur put a good hit on Nantucket . Winds gusted over 80mph and the water got churned up for several days. Big South and Southwest winds continued on through the week after the storm passed.
This past week has been solid top water fishing for Bluefish . North Shore of the island has had Blues up to 11 pounds off the 40th Pole out to the Eel Point Bell Buoy. Great Point continues to be productive with a good early morning Striper bite , then blues up and down the rip. The South Shore of the island also has big Blues from the airport to Old Man Shoal.
James Kilmartin fishing aboard his 26 Regulator landed a nice 40-50 pound Bluefin Tuna spin casting to busting fish near The Dump over the weekend.  I hear there are a number of temperature changes offshore with good bait.
The Atlantic Bonito should be here in the next 2 weeks as the water temperature increases.

Matt Kisaday holds up a nice 10 pound Bluefish caught off the North Shore.


7/1/14 As Reported By Captain Hal Herrick – http://nantucketfishing.com/

Fishing is in full swing on Nantucket.
The South Shore of the island is loaded with big bluefish ranging from 7-12 pounds. Fish are tailing on the surface and top water poppers are producing tight lines for the better part of the tide. Both the East tide and West tides have been equally productive.
The North Shore of the island from Dionis to the Chord of the Bay is also loaded with big schools of 3-6 pound Bluefish.
Flats fishing for Stripers on fly has also been very consistent over the past several weeks. Captain Jeff Heyer has put his fly fishing clients on fish up to 38″ this past week.
I have fished the Eastern Rips on my last three trips . Lots of squid in the rips and it has been incredible watching the big bass blast the squid on the surface. We had several nice days of Stripers up to 42″ . This is all catch and release since it is outside the three mile zone. Water temperatures are still in the high 50’s .
Great Point is also starting to heat up. I noticed the sand eels are back on the rip. We caught several school sized Stripers on the Hogy 7″ Bone and bubble gum in the shallow part of the rip. We prefer to fish them with no weight which allows you to see the fish nail it on the surface. It looks like the next few weeks are going to be productive.

hal herrick salty cape nantucket fishing reports

6/19/14 As Reported By Captain Hal Herrick – http://nantucketfishing.com/

Summer has finally arrived on Nantucket. The fish are here and it is time to get out a wet a line.

Great Point

Traditionally in years past Great Point is one of the hottest places to fish on Nantucket. This year , the point has started off very slowly which has hurt the town charter fleet. Charter boats are now running further to the East to find the Stripers and the big blues.

South Shore of Nantucket

The South Shore of Nantucket is alive. Big schools of 7-11 pound Bluefish are running off Miacomet Rip , Old Man Shoal and Pochick Rip. A few bass Are mixed in but there are so many bluefish to weed through to find the Stripers. I had a trip on Monday and we landed 15 or more blues on both top water and swimming plugs. For the fisherman that wants lots of top water action, the bluefish will keep the rod bent most of a 4 hour trip.

Capt. Hal Herrick Salty Cape Nantucket Striper

Nantucket Harbor

Nice reports of both schoolie bass and keeper sized bass have been reported. Low light conditions with a moving tide have produced some nice catches for some of the inshore boats. Enjoy it now, because once that water temperature creeps up , the bass will tend to move on.

On my boat, we are encouraging more catch and release on legal sized Striped Bass.

10/1/13 As Reported By Captain Hal Herrick – http://nantucketfishing.com/

Albie madness!

Hal Albie 101Albies are being caught around the island .False Albacore are being seen and caught from the Bonito Bar west towards Muskeget Island. The schools are moving fast . The best bet is to get your boat ahead of the school of moving fish , turn your engine off and wait patiently. The  run and gun boats  only put down the moving Albies.
Bigger Albies showed up this past week. Billy Davidson fishing with legendary fly fishing guide Chris(CB) Brown weighed in a nice 11.8 pound Albie on fly for the Nantucket Inshore Classic.
Great Point has had some hot fishing days this past week from both the beach and the boat. Riley Fusaro had a 10.8 pound Albie off the beach earlier in the week.
I had the pleasure of fishing with Capt Pete Kaizer on board Althea K Charters last Thursday with my two sons. We fished near the Sword, 35 miles East of Great Point. Rough conditions but a good bite was on. We landed a nice 58″ Bluefin and had one other hook up that pulled the hook. Jay Starr, fishing on board Starrfish caught 3 Bluefins. His largest weighed in at 521 pounds.
Striped Bass fishing has been a disappointment this fall once again. Our fall run in decades past was legendary  and today it is weak.

9/23/13 As Reported By Captain Hal Herrick – http://nantucketfishing.com/

The Albies arrived with the full moon and the full moon tides this past week. There was a big push of fish through the cut between Smiths Point and Tuckernuck. I fished with Steve Moore a fishing guide from the Cape and we had great action on Thursday and Friday on both spin and fly. Fish were mostly between 7-9 pounds with a few pushing 10 pounds.
Yesterday, the bonito showed up at the bar and also there were a few caught off the beach along the outside of Great Point by local anglers Riley Fusaro and Jeff Lema . Big bluefish are being caught off Sankaty Lighthouse, Old Man Shoal and the rips to the east. Night time bass action from the beach has been spotty.
The next 3 weeks should be great fishing. Enjoy!!

9/16/13 As Reported By Captain Hal Herrick – http://nantucketfishing.com/

Nantucket Bonito Epoxy JigFished over the weekend in 2-4 foot chop off the west end of the island. Not much bird life, so I started off trolling the edge of the  bar in 15-25 feet of water. Caught several 5-7 pound bluefish in 15 -20 feet of water. Started working in deeper water and hooked a bonito. After landing that fish, I marked where we had hooked the fish on my GPS and we anchored in the area. Within 10 minutes, we started casting and hooked a second bone on the Green Mack Epoxy Jig using a fast retrieve with a 60 pound fluorocarbon leader. We ended up landing 4.
Reports are in the the False Albacore are finally showing up. I am sure we will have great success catching the Albies with all the Epoxy Jigs.

9/12/13 As Reported By Captain Hal Herrick – http://nantucketfishing.com/

If you like bluefish, we have them. I fished the Nantucket Slam on board Tom Richardson’s 35′ Everglades on Monday and Tuesday. The total count for 2 days was 115 Bluefish,  5 Bonito and 1 Striped Bass. We tried to get away from the blues but they seem to be everywhere . Over 30 boats fished the tournament and I would guess several thousand bluefish were caught and released.

The False Albacore still are nowhere to be found. We did catch some nice size Bonito off of Great Point.  Tom Richardson Sr landed a 27″ Bonito , around 8 and half pounds.
Last Friday, Katherine, the Great White Shark which was tagged with a transmitter  last month off of Chatham pinged off the Coast Guard buoy near Great Point. She is a 14 footer weighing over 2300 pounds. You can track all the Great White Sharks that have been tagged on the Ocearch Shark Tracker.

Capt Bobby DeCosta on board the Albacore won the Bluefin Blast this past weekend . He caught 4 Bluefins over the 2 day tournament. All the boats were fishing out to the East off the Bb Buoy and the Sword.

9/5/13 As Reported By Captain Hal Herrick

hal nanucket bontio copyWhere are the Albies? There have been scattered reports of a few schools of False Albacore busting off of Great Pt and the Chord of the Bay but few and far between. Last year , we were knee deep into schools of Albies from the West End to Great Point. Lets hope they get here soon.
Bonito are still being caught off the Bonito Bar but still not red hot.
The best reports I have heard are the evening fishing off the South Shore beaches and Great Point for Stripers. Local angler (and at times part time resident of Great Point) Dennis Dias has had some very good bass action this past week. He had several legal size fish between 15-18 pounds.
Capt Jeff Heyer fly fishing out of Madaket has recently had a good bite on Stripers on the flats . He has had multiple fish days in his last few trips.

This weekend kicks off the annual Nantucket Inshore Classic fishing tournament. This month long  tournament helps support the  Nantucket Anglers Club scholarship fund. This event offers prizes for boat and beach anglers in spin and fly fishing. Also, this weekend kicks off the annual Nantucket Slam . This tournament is a 2 day event to help support the The Cure for Cystic Fibrosis.
Hopefully next week , the Albies will be in and the fishing gets back to being “red hot”

8/28/13 As Reported By Captain Hal Herrick

Fishing continues to be very good around the island. The recent bad weather has kept me on land for the past few days , so there is little to report recently. Last week , we had several good trips catching 6 or more Bonito per trip off the Bonito Bar , plus a good number of 4-6 pound bluefish.

I did hear reports from the boats that fished the canyons last week that there were some nice Big Eye, Dolphin and White Marlin caught. Out to the East , the tuna bite has picked up and there have multiple hook ups in all sizes.

I heard local angler, Jared Strang caught and released a nice White Marlin 12 miles south of Nantucket. He caught the white pitching  dead balao to a tailing fish.

Labor Day weekend is upon us and I anticipate a good False Albacore bite very soon. Enjoy the holidays, take a friend fishing , and be safe

Capt Hal Herrick Nantucketfishing.com Sankaty Head Fishing Charters-Facebook

8/23.13 As Reported By Captain Jamie Boyle – http://www.boylermaker.com/

Jaime Boyle fished the hooter today and had a mix of bonito and bluefish. The bluefish were super thick, most were about 5 pounds. He did manage to get 4 bonito in total. The bonito were taken on the 20gram SI epoxy jig in olive. The bonito to bluefish ration is ever so slowly improving. Probably your best bet for Nantucket sound. There are some bass down deep on wire.

8/22/13 As Reported By Captain Hal Herrick – http://nantucketfishing.com/

Great Point

The report from Great Pt is great fishing from both the beach and boat. Bluefish are still in a feeding frenzy along the rip with all the sand eels.  Adam Rickleff who runs a private boat in town  told me he had bluefish up to 12 pounds out towards the end of Great Point rip earlier this week.
Quent Waters landed a bonito from the beach at Great Point and I heard there was a Spanish Mackeral caught on Monday. Seals are a real nuisance with the beach anglers. The False Albacore should be here shortly, get ready!!

Bonito Bar

There has been good days and off days at the bonito  Bar on the east tide. Tonite I went out solo and landed two nice bones on fly rod using a white deceiver pattern. Great fun on fly.
Bluefish are around but not as thick as weeks prior. The water is getting cooler which may be the answer.


Boats that have fished the canyons this past week are getting rewarded with Big Eyes over 200 pounds, dolphin, wahoo and blue marlin . It has been a great summer for the offshore angler.

South Shore

Old Man Shoal and Pochick Rip are still loaded with bluefish in all sizes.

My oldest son, Tyler was on board the Ocearch vessel last week when they sucessfully tagged a 13 foot Great White Shark, Betsy. He was super excited to be part of the first Great White tagged this summer off the Cape. There have been two seals spotted this past week with size able bite marks possibly from another Great White. The first seal was spotted and photographed off Muskeget Island. The second seal was spotted with a huge bite mark off Low Beach in Sconset.

Some of the best fishing days are in front of us. Get out and enjoy this great resource we have.

8/14/13 As Reported By Captain Hal Herrick – http://nantucketfishing.com/

Great Point

Hal Great Point StriperDespite having a treble hook getting lodged into my arm and a trip to the ER, it was another spectacular week of fishing off Great Point. The big news was that the Conservation Foundation opened up Great Point to four wheel drive vehicles all the way to the point. For the shore fisherman, Great Point is one of the finest beach fishing spots on the East Coast.  Be prepared to encounter seals while fishing, they have been a nuisance to both shore and boat fisherman all summer.
Great Point Rip is still loaded with Bluefish . I had several trips up there this past week and found both tides very productive. Acres and acres of Sand eels up and down the bar have kept the fishing red hot!

Bonito Bar

Hal Bluefish KidsWhat a week at the Bonito Bar! Fishing was “el fuego”last Thursday.  Merritt and Baker Tilney and friend landed 16 Bonito and 30 bluefish on board my 23 Jones Brothers. Yesterday, we landed 6 bonito and a number of 4-6 pound bluefish. We fished the Yozuri Crystal Minnow in all colors, the Deadly Dick and the Hogy 7” Bone. All produced good bites. Reports from Paradise and The Hooter are also producing nice Bonito catches. It won’t be long before the Albies show up. There is plenty of bait for their arrival.

South Shore

The areas off  Miacomet Rip and the Airport have been hit or miss this past week. The fish are there but are deep. They are big fish pushing 8-12 pounds. We are spoiled since we normally always catch these fish on top water plugs. The guarantee action is going the extra 4-5 miles and fishing the Old Man. It is loaded with Bluefish in all sizes. A word of caution , the rip can get very nasty, please use caution!


Tate Keogan on board his Cabo “Waterboy” had a great trip this past week out to Oceanographers Canyon catching  and releasing a 400 pound plus Blue Marlin , a 175 pound Big Eye, several Yellowfins  and many Dolphin. Good going Tate!
The boats venturing South of the Dump are being rewarded with a nice variety of fish. Dolphin, Wahoo, Yellowfin, Longfin and Mako Sharks.
Jonas Baker owner of Slip 14 landed a nice 78″ Giant Tuna out to the east near the Sword this past week. If you are ever visiting Nantucket, Slip 14 Restaurant on South Wharf always has the freshest fish on their menu.

We are blessed to have this world class fishing here out on Nantucket.

Tight lines

Capt Hal

8/7/13 As Reported By Captain Hal Herrick – http://nantucketfishing.com/

Check me out on Facebook – Sankaty Head Fishing Charters

Great PointHal PBR Bluefish 800px

Great weather and calmer waters have produced excellent fishing around Nantucket and especially Great Point. Both tides are producing good numbers of bluefish in all sizes. The 4-6 pound fish seem to be the norm but bigger blues in the 10 pound range are mixing in. I am hearing reports of Bonito and Bass being caught along the rip. There is plenty of sand eels to keep these fish around.

Bonito Bar

We caught Bonito this morning at the beginning of the East tide at the bar. I have heard the end of the tide has also produced some good action from these Speedsters. These fish are wonderful table fare. Make sure you bleed them immediately and get them on ice quickly. Danno , who runs one of Capt Tom’s charter boats out of Madaket had several trips this past week catching  multiple Bonito on a trip. Bonito fishing will only get  better in the weeks ahead.
Bluefish are still being caught  in good numbers on the bar but have thinned out some from last week. Also, Try jigging a lead head with a 7″ or 10″Hogy near the bottom and there are some nice bass to be caught.

South Shore
The Airport , Miacomet Rip and Old Man Shoal produced some big blues this past week. We had bluefish up to 12 pounds caught all on top water plugs and on fly.


Last weekend the Nantucket Anglers Club had its annual Shark tournament. There were several nice Makos and Thresher Sharks caught. Most of the sharks caught were released. Dave Bell and his son , Chris  landed 10 Makos on Sunday. Most of them were pups and were released. Dave said they were catching them on spinning rods. great fun on light tackle especially when they were jumping. The report was the cold water had moved in off The Dump and finding water temps higher than 62 degrees was a challenge. With the colder water, the tuna and White Marlin action was limited.


7/31/13 As Reported By Captain Hal Herrick – http://nantucketfishing.com/

Check me out on Facebook – Sankaty Head Fishing Charters

Great Pointbontio bar bonito

Great blue fishing off Great Point Rip for the past several weeks. Larger sized blues in the 6-10 pound class are now being caught along with the 3-5 pound fish. Merritt Tilney pulled out a nice 31″ Bass off the rip earlier in the week in the midst of the bluefish frenzy. We are so fortunate to have this great resource year after year on Nantucket.

Bonito Bar

The report continues about the incredible blue fishing. Acres and acres of sand eels with bluefish gouging . Most trips have produced catches of 40 or more bluefish. Yesterday, The big blues moved in on the Bonito Bar for several hours. We had bluefish up to 10 pounds on light tackle and on fly rod. Ruairi Minne pulled in a nice Atlantic Bonito on Monday off the bar and there were a few others caught but we are still waiting for the bite to turn on.

South Shore

Miacomet Rip produced some nice blues yesterday morning for my clients. The south shore bluefish are usually pushing 7-11 pounds. The airport and the golfball(airport radar tower) have been spotty of late.


Reports of White Marlin , Dolphin and tuna south of the island within 20 miles. Hoping to get out next week with my 23′ Jones Brothers Cape Fisherman and find some white marlin.

7/25/13 As Reported By Captain Hal Herrick – http://nantucketfishing.com/Hal Herrick Big Striper Head Closeup

Great Point
The word is Bluefish , Bluefish and more Bluefish. Sand eels from the point all the way out to the end of rip. At first light , a few bass are being taken in the white water edges. Swimming plugs such as the White and the yellow Bomber are very effective. The Yozuri crystal minnow is also a great lure for bass, blues and Bonito this time of year. I haven’t heard of any Bonito caught off Great Point yet.

South Shore

The blues off of the airport and Miacomet Rip were at times tough to find. On the sonar we marked them down deep. Sean Perry, Capt of the Westmoor boat has done well jigging deep for the blues. He had some nice sized blues ranging from 6-12 pounds. Most boats are having little difficulty finding the blues off Old Man Shoal.

Outer Rips

Capt Bill Toelstadt of Nantucket Outfitters had several good trips this past week on the Stripers out to the east. Most of the guides fishing to the east are doing 5 and 6 hour trips as they are running sometimes an hour or more to find the cold water edges. There are nice low 60 degree edges out to the east.

Bonito Bar

The first few Bonito were taken off the Bonito Bar this week. The sand eels are thick and it is only days before it breaks loose. The 3-5 pound blues are gorging on the sand eels at the bar.

The Flats

No recent news from the flats

Evening bass fishing seems to be good from the beaches of Tuckernuck , the south shore, and the west end of Nantucket. Fishing the Hogy 7″ Bone and Bubble Gum in the shallows has been the ticket.

7/19/13 As Reported By Captain Hal Herrick – http://nantucketfishing.com/

Great Point RipNantucket Hogy Lures Striper Fishing Hal Herrick

Acres and acres of sand eels on the rip. 3-5 pound bluefish in abundance on both East and West tides. Bass are still be caught in the rip but getting past the bluefish is a challenge. The water temperature on Great Point Rip was 73.5 degrees yesterday. Bonito should be showing up any day with the amount of bait and the warm water.

South Shore

Big blues along the South Shore from the airport all the way to Siasconset. Old Man Shoal and Pochick Rips are loaded with 6-12 pound blues. We are using all top water plugs , and flies.

Bonito Bar

The sand eels are in place and it is only days away from the Bonito showing up. There are numbers of tinker blues on the bar.

Nantucket Flats

Capt Jeff Heyer and  Capt Lynn Heyer have had excellent sight casting for bass on the flats over the past month. With the water temperature pushing in the mid 70’s on the flats , the bass are getting more finicky. Crab patterns seem to be the best bet. For the light tackle spin , a 4-7″ Hogy Bone color is a good choice.

Outer Rips

The outer rips east of the island are producing some nice bass. We had a great trip earlier in the week with fish up 44″ all on Hogy products. The Hogy Squid with a 2 oz Barbarian jig has produced some big bass. I also like the bone and pink in both 7and 10″  unweighted. Producing some excellent top water bites. Key to finding the bass is to find 64-68 degree water.

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