Pretty much everyone who has fished any of the shoals in Nantucket Sound has reported good fishing if you hit it right, but knowing which tide to be there has been important.
For example, Middle Ground seems to be fishing much better on the incoming tide; Bob Lewis and a couple of his fellow Cape Cod Flyrodders, Vin Foti and Chris Ryan, hit this area in the early afternoon on Wednesday and had excellent action with bass up to legal size pushing squid. The two days I fished this area this week were in the morning and again in the evening on the opposite current and there were fewer fish and they were very fussy; they would occasionally whack a topwater plug and even swung at squid flies left dead in the water.
Bob and his crew visited Wasque that morning and while they didn’t have the wild fish blowing up everywhere and birds raising a ruckus, he said the fishing was very good. Wasque can be really nasty and Bob used good judgment, as always, staying in some of the smaller rips as opposed to the big stuff around the corner from the point as well as across Muskeget Channel at Mutton Shoal where the Vineyard charter boats were concentrated.
A friend of Andy Little, the man to see at The Powderhorn in Hyannis, did really well at Tom Shoal and around the corner using the new Albie Snax Squid, catching roughly 40 bass over legal size. The waters around Muskeget have been quiet for years, so it’s great to see this area really doing well.
Charlie Richmond fished Wasque last Sunday on his way back from Cuttyhunk and reported:
We fished Cuttyhunk last Sat from 11:00 PM to 4:00 AM Sunday morning–(4) bass, (1) legal: We returned, took a shower, and headed over to Devils Bridge–Nothing! Squibnocket produced (6) bass; All under 28″; we ran up the south side of MV to Wasque, and picked up another 6-8 fish plugging, all undersized (feeding on baby squid); As you can see, my success has been extremely limited recently: not one bluefish in the last two weeks. The previous week we did the Pink Squid Tournament; from Bishops, to the Horseshoe, to Halfway Shoal, to Wasque and back to Succonesset with the same results. Glad I’m not charging for these trips!!
I can’t speak as to what technique Charlie was using during the Pink Squid, but I know he likes to fish wire. Jigging the stainless line is a traditional Cape way of fishing the rips, but I have seen many of the local charterboats electing to stem the tide and drift and twitch shell squids and other soft plastics along the rip lines.
The one thing I can say is that way too many recreational boaters haven’t learned from the charter boats and other successful boats and continue to sit in the rip, whether casting or jigging. Staying on the uptide side of the rip and moving in and out, testing the flat water, the edge, and even a couple of waves back into the rip with your casts is the way to go. That said, I have seen some folks raise fish on surface plugs casting from the downtide side of the rip, especially during the slower current times, but overall it can be tough to keep up with a plug that is moving back at you with the tide.
Amy Wrightson from The Sports Port in Hyannis told me that along with some smaller bass and bluefish, Succonesset has been producing a fair number of fluke at the moment.
The word from Jim Young at Eastman’s Sport & Tackle on Main Street in Falmouth is that the fluke fishing down his way has been fair, with some fish around Middle Ground and around Lucas Shoal, but overall he said things have been better to the east. He believes that the water is still too cold and the fluke haven’t really moved in yet.
According to Christian Giardini at Falmouth Bait & Tackle in Teaticket, across from McDonald’s, they weighed in a 24-inch, 3.5-pound fluke caught in shallow water in front of Falmouth and he advised that there are a number of areas virtually a stone’s through from the dock at Falmouth Harbor where you can catch legal-sized fluke.
Lee Boisvert at Riverview Bait & Tackle in Yarmouth said the fluke fishing has been good off of the river mouths from Bass River to Parker River and those in Harwich; this is generally shallow water that perhaps has warmed up faster, resulting in more activity.
Although black sea bass seem to be everywhere, Wreck Shoal, Lone Rock, and Collier’s continue to be areas where a number of anglers are concentrating their efforts, looking for larger fish.
Most of the charterboats out Hyannis and Yarmouth have moved to Monomoy, reported Lee Boisvert at Riverview Bait & Tackle in Yarmouth, leaving Bishop and Clerks to recreational anglers, who continue to pick at some bass trolling squid imitations such as Hootchies and Yo-zuri Hydro Squirt, a very popular trolling squid imitation.
Andy Little advised that tossing plugs and soft plastics that look squiddy has been working as well around Bishops.
Horseshoe Shoal is holding some bluefish, as well as some fluke, while in front of Sampson’s Island is another area where you can plug up some blues.
Beach fishing in the Falmouth area is limited to mainly schoolies, advised Jim Young, but you can have fun fishing around Bourne’s Pond and Waquoit Bay/South Cape Beach where folks are still catching good numbers on artificial lures on light tackle and flyrodders are using generic baitfish patterns such as Deceivers and Clousers.
Jeff Clabault from Forestdale Bait & Tackle on Route 130 advised that there is still some good bass fishing up inside both Popponesset/Shoestring Bays and the Three Bays area for boaters, while Andy Little said there was a worm hatch up inside North Bay last night.
Shore anglers have been picking up the occasional bass and blue tossing topwater plugs, both pencils and spooks, from the Poppy sit; Jeff said that one hardcore angler who fishes the Poppy channel from the Cotuit side all night long has been picking up the occasional legal bass on SP Minnows.
Two nights ago there was a decent push of bluefish off of Oregon Beach, with most anglers picking up two or three each on plugs. Jeff noted that a couple fishing pogy chunks along the Cotuit beaches, including Loop, Riley’s, and Cross Street, have managed the occasional legal bass, along with a number of dogfish.
From Osterville to Chatham, you will be dealing with mainly small bass and bluefish, with folks fishing the entrance channels along this stretch catching scup, fluke, and sea robins, as well as the occasional small bass, before the boat traffic stirs things up and puts an end to the action – that is, until after dusk when things quiet down again in terms of the stinkpotters heading to spots hither and yon.
Although “keepers” are typically on the mind of most anglers, it’s important to keep things in perspective when it comes to fishing. I was speaking with Paul Newmier at Blackbeard’s yesterday when he mentioned that it’s still an adjustment for him to use the phrase “they caught a 40” and mean that the number refers to inches. Paul has been working in the tackle shop business for decades, including the golden years, and back in the day when you said “a 40,” you meant pounds. The odds are that we will never see those days again, but as Lee Boisvert pointed out, if you go to light tackle or perhaps even learn to use a fly rod, there are more than enough schoolies up inside the rivers and marshes down his way, from the mid-Cape to Chatham, as well as all of the backwaters to the west.