Folks headed offshore have reported seeing numerous flocks of birds working in Vineyard Sound, most likely accompanying the schools of blues that are pretty common right in the middle of the sound.
Horseshoe Shoal continues to be a popular spot for both charter and recreational boats, especially now that bass are tougher to come by. There have been smaller blues around Succonesset, Wreck, and Eldridge Shoals as well, although the action hasn’t been as consistent as Horseshoe.
An occasional bass has been caught around Nobska and Bishop and Clerks, areas that feature rocky structure; live scup or eels are your best bets in these areas, as is a very early arrival or a willingness to fish at night.
Evenings have seen schools of blues and schoolies working inside the Waquoit Bay channel and just outside, with similar activity at dusk and dawn around Cotuit, Dowses, Bass River, and the Harwich rivers. Although the tendency is to turn to topwater plugs when the fish are breaking, small soft plastics or lures such as Epoxy Jigs are better choices as they mimic the bait better.
The fluke bite has been good in the deep holes off of Halfway Shoal/L’Hommedieu and around Nobska; big baits on splashy rigs are usually most productive for large summer flatties, but a dead sticked Spro jig tipped with some sort of strip bait is quite often one of the offerings employed by a fluke sharpie. When the snapper blues are around, they also make a great doormat bait.
Shore anglers have been pretty much been dealing with scup as their main target; an occasional bluefish is caught on chunk bait and a few brown sharks have been caught on eels or chunk bait, but bass are another matter. Topwater plugs and big metal lip swimmers are options when working rocky structure along the south side, but the game right now is being played in the dark or just before the sun peaks above the horizon.
Given the lack of fish being brought to the trucks during commercial days around Chatham, it’s pretty clear that fishing for bass other than schoolies has been pretty tough.