Vineyard and Nantucket Sound Fishing Report – May 17, 2019

John Waring at Eastman’s said there are schoolies pretty much in all of the protected waters from Falmouth to Mashpee. He has seen people fishing off the jetties at Great Pond every afternoon and one of them, an angler visiting from New Jersey, told John that he did well using topwater plugs on schoolies up to 30-inches. That said, he noticed that the fishermen on the opposite jetty were doing even better with white soft plastics, so he came in and picked up some Hogy Pro Tail Paddles in bone, an excellent choice for fishing inlets.

Bourne’s Pond has undergone some dredging recently and John advised that the work seems to have helped the fishing, based on reports from folks who have been catching good numbers of schoolies.

Up inside Waquoit, there have been some worm hatches; Jim Young spoke to one angler who typically fishes up inside the bay in the early spring using plugs and he has done well at night. On one trip, he happened upon a worm hatch, with bass waiting at the end of a spillway where they were happily slurping up the “bugs.”

There have also been reports of worm events up inside Popponesset and Cotuit, but no matter whether one is going on or not, there are plenty of bass to be caught, especially on the outgoing tide. Andy Little at The Powderhorn in Hyannis advised using white soft plastics and smaller white plugs, with flyrodders able to stick with basic Clousers and Deceivers in some combination of chartreuse, olive, and white.

Bob Lewis fished a really nice worm hatch a week ago up inside the Three Bays area; while he did well with the fly rod, he noted that a couple of kids were catching plenty of fish using what looked like small soft plastics.

Evan Eastman and a couple of his buddies went out with his dad, Capt. Chuck, on Wednesday, hoping to troll up some bass or even a blue. Unfortunately, the waters around Poppy were filled with weed and Middle Ground was devoid of life, so they elected to do some bottom fishing. Apparently, what they experienced bodes well for another banner black sea bass season.

A few small bluefish have been caught from Loop Beach all the way up inside as far as Prince Cove, but the action hasn’t been consistent by any means. Given the colder water and lack of squid, odds are that we just might be facing another so-so southside spring bluefish run.

The word from Mac at Riverview Bait & Tackle is that Bass River is living up to its name, with plenty of schoolies from the entrance all the way up to the Route 6 bridge. The largest striper they have heard of or seen is 34-inches, but there have also been an increasing number of fish over the 28-inch minimum.

There are large numbers of big scup in the sound, but they have scattered the schools of squid, making it more difficult to pinpoint any concentrations. Recreational folks fishing between Osterville and Hyannis have managed to jig up enough to make a trip worthwhile. Draggers, on the other hand, have had a very up-and-down season.

The tautog bite has been steady at Collier’s Ledge and off of other pieces of hard structure, but there have so many sea bass stealing the green crabs that anglers use to target tog, frustration has been an issue at times. Of course, Saturday is opening day for sea bass, so having a healthy population throughout the sounds should make a lot of people happy.

The rivers and bays in Dennis and Harwich are also filled with schoolie bass, with the occasional larger fish mixed in as well. From what I gather, nobody is using bait since there is no reason to fish anything but artificials, given how feisty the bass have been.


Hogy Tip:

Pretty much anyone who has fished or seen a worm hatch (which actually is a mating activity, but what’s in a name?) recognizes the characteristic movement of the worms as they come to the surface and spread their eggs and milt. They key element is surface and that makes flies tied with yarn very popular, but the problem with this material is it soaks up water, causing a fly to sink. Now, there are a number of worm patterns out there that feature foam or spun deer hair as a way of staying on top, but my friend Bob Lewis told me that he has been using a substance this is commonly used by freshwater flyrodders: fly floatant. There are plenty of brands out there and they have worked just fine in the salt chuck, Bob said.