There is no question that the best way to start this sector is this report from Capt. Peter Fallon who spend a number of days fishing around Vineyard Sound and the Vineyard proper this week and did very well:
“We ran from Boston to Vineyard Haven on Monday afternoon, making a straight shot to the canal and didn’t see signs of feeds until we got through to the west end of the ditch. We only found small schoolies up on the Mashnee Flats, but we didn’t spend much time there. Best fish of the week came from Middle Ground late in the day. It had plenty of fish hanging in the rip.
Tuesday was a bonanza. We started early morning down at Wasque and the rip along Muskeget Channel was loaded, just packed, with bass chasing squid. We fished through the incoming tide and then found pods of fish, including some larger one, hanging in the deep hole just to the east of the rip by the buoy. It was one of those “fish on every cast” mornings, all morning long. They would lurk down low and then make an occasional showing on the surface. Late morning we went exploring and off of Noman’s found a huge school of stripers of mixed size swimming just under the surface, slurping small sand eels. This pod of fish stretched for quite a ways, complete with hundreds of screaming gulls. These guys were fussy. We were getting reaction bites on spooks and Hogy originals but most consistent producer was a two inch long sand eel fly. We stayed on these fish for hours and never saw another boat the entire time from when we left Wasque until we headed to Larsen’s for chowder at 3:30.
Wednesday morning was a repeat of Tuesday at Wasque and we had no company from dawn until about 7:00 and then only two other boats. The rip by the channel buoys was up and didn’t look like a lot of fun so we found birds working a more manageable bar a bit to the northeast. Once again, it was hour after hour of fish slapping and slamming baits on every swing through the first standing wave. By far the best performers were Hogy’s in pink and white. We tossed Double Wides, Long Casts, and Originals all in 10-inch lengths. Other lures that we tried produced fish on every attempt but sizes were not as consistently large – even with the big spooks.
After a mid-day break, we went back out Wednesday late afternoon. Middle Ground had a lot of terns crashing the water and there were stripers there but it wasn’t consistent for us and the wind against the tide just wasn’t helping us set up well for the spot. After an hour we decided to make the run back to Wasque and were rewarded again. The fog, strong current, and good breeze seemed to combine for pretty ideal conditions and we caught zero small fish. Every bass was between 27 inches and 34 inches – nothing really big, but really, really fun. The rips were up but you could choose which were comfortably fishable. We stayed until the sun started down and ran back tired but happy.
We’ll fish our way back to Boston today. I’m on Nantucket next two weeks and will send you updates.”
Capt. Fallon also said that there were bluefish mixed in with the bass, especially close to shore around Wasque and Squibbie, with the only place where they found schools of just blues was off of East Beach.
Ken Shwartz made the run down from Mattapoisett on Tuesday and did well at Middle Ground tossing Hogy’s and plugs; they also had an interesting experience when something exploded on the Rebel Jumpin’ Minnow that Ken’s so was casting and began to run at an alarming rate. After following whatever they hooked for about 20 minutes and making it all the way past West Chop, with nothing gained, the line snapped and they will never know what they hooked. They suspect it might have been a shark because it never surfaced, but I suspect it was a seal; Ken wasn’t sure since he doesn’t believe they can stay subsurface for long without coming up for air, so I’ll have the check that out.
All of the shoals and rips in the Falmouth and Mashpee area are alive with fish pushing squid; Arthur Vose went out to Halfway on Tuesday and it was filled with bass up to the low-30-inch class and small bluefish. Some of the charterboats out of Falmouth Harbor were there, drifting what looked like shell squids back into the rip and doing very well.
Hedge Fence is holding both bass and blues in good numbers, and while the number of bass isn’t quite as large around Succonesset, there is no lack of blues between those rips/shoals and Wreck Shoal. There are plenty of sea bass as well, although many folks have told me that there pretty much isn’t any place where there aren’t BSB.
Some of the charter captains out of Hyannis have been doing a combo trip out around Bishop and Clerks, trolling Hootchies and Yo-zuri Hydro Squids to pick up a limit of bass before switching over the sea bass. I can tell you from the photos and comments, their fares are very happy.
Jeff Clabault from Forestdale Bait & Tackle on Route 130 fished Popponesset on Tuesday night and there were a number of bass caught on plugs, with the largest he saw in the mid-30-inch range; he was casting a pencil popper and was getting greater distance, which resulted in a couple of bluefish. Other anglers throwing lighter lures such as small spooks were doing well with small bass.
The last couple of days, there really haven’t been any reports from the beach, Jeff said, which makes sense with all the wind and the foul weather yesterday. This weekend looks to be shaping up nicely with plenty of sun and southwest winds, so perhaps the blues will push back in.
From Falmouth to Chatham, there are small stripers in pretty much every backwater that you can name. There’s no guarantee that you are going to run into blitzing fish and birds, but tossing poppers against marsh banks and over grass patches typically will bring some sort of response for some schoolies.
Lee Boisvert at Riverview Bait & Tackle in Yarmouth said that down his way, the number of sizeable bass being caught from the beaches is very low, with a few small bluefish being caught from West Dennis Beach, but he acknowledged that things are better to the west, including Craigville, Dowses, and Osterville.
That said, nobody really had any super reports about blues from the beach, but there is always hope that a couple of days of sun and winds from the south will have them tight to the beach this weekend.
Lee did report that boaters have been doing pretty well on fluke out front of the river entrances in his area, including Bass, Parker’s, Herring, and others. These aren’t necessarily huge fish, but there are enough legal ones to make up a tasty dinner.