Vineyard & Nantucket Sound Fishing Reports

Capt. Dave’s Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report- May 26, 2023

Check out the latest Salty Cape T.V episode! In this video, Capt Mike steams out to Nobska Point aboard his 28′ Contender to do some rip fishing for striped bass. Capt. Mike goes deep into the proper approach for rip fishing for striped bass at Nobska Point, such as boat positioning and the art of fishing “the swing” of the rips. From a deep dive on his fishing outfit, to the proper retrieve of the swimbaits, no stone is left unturned. You’ll also see some awesome striped bass action too. Enjoy!”

Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report

When I caught up with Evan Eastman at Eastman’s Sport & Tackle on Main Street in Falmouth on Wednesday morning, he was “working” in his boat at Hedge Fence. He had picked up a number of bass at Middle Ground earlier on the Hogy Charter Grade Popper in amber, emphasizing that on each drift, if he failed to raise a fish in the prime water, he simply opened that bail on his reel and let it drift back, where a bass was almost certain to inhale it. 

It’s been weedy at MG on both tides, but removing or even cutting down to one treble makes it easier to keep a plug clean and when fishing soft plastics you can bury the point of the hook in the bait, making them virtually weedless.

Evan did say that the last few trips he has made to MG has turned up increasingly smaller fish and it was the same at Hedge Fence. On the other hand, late last week he fished the rips between Nobska and Falmouth Harbor and caught fish up to the mid-30-inch class using the Hogy Epoxy Jig. While squid are quite often what the fish are chasing on the shoals at this time of the year, there are also sand eels around and towards the quieter times of the tide, including slack, the fish are often cruising through shoals of these slender baitfish, making them much more receptive to Hogy Epoxy Jigs and smaller soft plastics ripped on swimbait hooks or light, small jigheads. 

While jigging wire was once the king on the shoals, Evan pointed out that far fewer private boats are snapping the stainless. Many of the charter boats continue to employ it and it is very effective – if exhausting – with white or chartreuse parachute jigs most popular. I was at Succonesset on Monday and watched a couple of charterboats dragging wire, but the tide seemed to have died and at least one of them headed east towards some well-known sea bass locations.

Emergency Action

Division of Marine Fisheries has announced that starting Friday, May 26, the new slot limit of 28 to less than 31-inches will be implemented in Massachusetts, as well as all other Coastal States. The ASMFC’s Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board took this action to alter the slot limit based on a large increase in recreational catch mortality in 2022 in comparison to the 2021 figures, mainly because a large percentage of the 2015 year class – which represents at the moment the best hope for a recovery of the stock by 2029, the date established by the bass board – entered the slot and suffered extensive mortality. Only time will tell if the new slot reduces the pressure on the 2015’s, but as with plenty of things in life, only time will tell. 

Charlie Richmond was out both on Monday and midweek at Succonesset, and while the nastiness during the former trip convinced him to call it a morning after picking up a couple of fish on plugs, his latest venture was much more productive both in terms of number of fish and the sea conditions. Like many folks, Charlie often puts to sea by himself, but as he emphasized, even in a rugged boat like his Regulator 26, when you’re by yourself in rough stuff, one wrong move can mean disaster, so there will always be better days to get out.

On Wednesday, Bob Lewis had a full boat as he fished this same general area with two of his daughters, Lindsay and Caroline, along with Caroline’s boyfriend and Olivia Dinkelacker, a Ph.D. candidate doing catch-and-release research as part of her doctoral thesis. The rips were filled with bass from 17 to mid-30-inch class that gladly ate squid Gurglers and plugs, while a big bluefish annihilated a special deer hair spook style fly that Bob had carefully crafted over the winter – and that was after instructing Caroline’s beau to keep it away from any choppers!

There are still plenty of bass up inside pretty much any backwater from Falmouth to Chatham, including some news of smaller schoolies. Now, my friends will tell you that my concern about small stripers is a matter of my not being able to catch anything else, but in truth, I keep things simple and if we don’t have schoolies in good numbers, odds are not good for the future. 

Amy Wrightson, who will always steer you right at her Sports Port locations in Hyannis and Osterville, and her eldest son, Tucker, continue to catch schoolies up to small slot bass on topwater plugs in the Three Bays area and Lee Boisvert from Riverview Bait & Tackle in South Yarmouth emphasized that there are bass being caught in Bass River and other protected waters, as well as from the front beaches and jetties between Hyannis and Chatham.

On a less than positive note, it appears that the seal population continues to grow along the southside beaches; Andy Little from The Powderhorn in Hyannis noted that there have been a lot of those big gray seals off of Dowses and other folks are stating that they have been both around the beaches fronting the sounds and up inside the rivers, bays, and harbors. Generally speaking, these huge “horseheads,” as I like to call them (although I acknowledge that I might have stolen that moniker from others) rarely made an appearance in the inshore areas of the sounds, but competition for food has made the schools of pogies in these areas much more attractive to them.

Equally distressing was a report sent to me by Frank Manville about his friend’s experience this week up inside Falmouth’s Great Pond. I imagine most serious striped bass anglers are aware of the fish kill up inside this salt pond recently, as reported by the local media. Well, on Wednesday, Dan Noyes was fishing this area and noticed some birds sitting on the water and “ I got the kayak and went out there and there were hundreds of bass cruising on the surface sipping these worms.  The worms were smaller than the only fly I had.  The fish had no interest in my fly.  I was fishing with an intermediate line.  Switched to a Clouser and a Deceiver with no luck.  Totally ignored my fly.  I noticed if I casted to them they would look but then reject my fly.  I did catch a few trolling because I think one fish saw another one look at my fly and that one grabbed it, mostly schoolies.  Lots of dead bass on the shores.”

Now, not being able to catch fish that are swirling and slurping during a worm hatch can be very frustrating, but the dead bass Dan mentions at the end should be very concerning. I know about the suggestion that these fish died because they inhaled too many worms and suffocated as well as that water quality wasn’t necessarily to blame. 

But, as Dr. Andy Danylchuk, who along with his wife, Sascha, is supervising the kind of catch-and-release research that Olivia Dinkelacker is undertaking, told Bob Lewis, fish are all about energy. In particular, after feeding heavily, they need time and the right conditions to digest. Apparently, that’s why you might have run into bass or blues cruising shallow, warmer water like Ken Cirillo did recently off of Cotuit. In most cases, these fish show no interest in what you are casting, with only an occasional slash at a lure. I hate to anthropomorphize fish, but sometimes it seems like they are doing so out of anger. 

Well in the case of the bass in Great Pond, they might have been feeding heavily on worms, but when it came to digesting them, the poor water quality – generally a lack of dissolved oxygen – stressed them and caused their demise. 

Hey, I’m always willing to admit when I’m wrong, but the idea that these fish suffocated on worms seems a bit farfetched. But tune in because I’m fairly certain that someone who takes the time to read my blather will take me to task. 

As mentioned earlier, the black sea bass season is in full swing; I would do far better to compile a list of where you can’t catch them and what to use. A general sense I am getting is that the fish have been smaller on average so far, with fewer of the big, lit up males at the moment and the need to cull through more sublegal fish to get a limit. Bob Lewis emphasized that at the 16.5-inch legal limit, a BSB really doesn’t have that much meat on it, so like many folks he doesn’t even both keeping fish until they reach the high teen’s and hopes for even larger. I’m not a big pursuer of sea bass, but a few folks told me that they think the season opened later and that means the larger fish have spawned and gone, but Bob confirmed that opening day occurred at pretty much the same time this year as it has in the past.

Martha’s Vineyard Fishing Report

Steve Morris from Dick’s Bait & Tackle in Oak Bluffs is gearing up for a big holiday weekend and some very good fishing awaits those who visit the island. The shoals are holding good numbers of bass feeding on squid and sand eels; obviously spots like Middle Ground and Hedge Fence are popular since they are so close to home, but the boaters who are willing to burn a bit more fuel have been picking up a solid mix of bass and blues around Wasque. Of course, with another cut through Norton Point occurring this winter and continuing to widen with each passing day, the full impact of the movement of sand in this dynamic situation has just begun to be felt. 

The word Steve offered is that the rip isn’t shaping up as it has in the past, which is definitely not good news for shore folks. Boaters will also see an increase in really shallow conditions, including the potential for the appearance of a new “island,” so keep your eyes open to what is happening around you.

The salt ponds are holding good numbers of smaller bass, but a worm hatch or the appearance of a school of pogies has in the past drawn in some surprisingly large stripers for folks lucky to be there.

Over at Larry’s Tackle in Edgartown, Julian Pepper made the mistake of answering the phone when I called. I’m sure he has now placed my number on his “no answer” list for the rest of the season. But seriously Julian reported that along with a good number of schoolies and slot fish, a few of the hardcore shore folks are picking up some better bass, especially at night around structure from Squibnocket to Gay Head and along the north shore. This is prime plugging time, with needlefish and darters hard to beat around the rocks, although casting pencil poppers at first light and again at dusk can produce as well. The bluefish bite hasn’t really gone off in a big way around the east side of the island, but it should get going soon. I have noticed a number of small, ink spattered squid jigging boats coming into Falmouth Harbor an hour or so after first light and Julian said there are still enough squid around for folks looking to pick up a bucket or two.

The black sea bass fishing on the wrecks is in full force and the tautog action is still happening, although the bag limit changes to one fish on June 1 as the fish move into deeper water and there is a need to protect what is left after the

Nantucket Fishing Report

Sam Brandt at the Nantucket Tackle Center advised that that the fish haven’t really filled in on the shoals, with the Bonito Bar giving up a few bass. Most folks are concentrating on the harbors, with good topwater action in the morning and evening on plugs like the Hogy Charter Grade Popper and an assortment of spooks, as well as soft plastics; Sam emphasized that the numbers of bass up to the high end of the slot has been impressive. Along the southside beaches, there is typically a decent topwater bite in the morning using pencil poppers, but overall bucktail jigs claim many of the largest fish especially when worked in close. A 40+-inch fish was taken from a south shore location this week, the first really big fish from the beach this season. A couple of blues have been caught around the west side of the island, but so far the Great Point area has been quiet. The west side flats have also been holding fish, with sight fishing off of paddleboards something that more folks are engaging in.

As Capt. Corey Gammill reported from the helm of his Regulator, there is plenty of good open water fishing on 30+-inch bass, especially using topwater lures. The pattern is definitely still a migratory one, thus the emphasis on “open water” as opposed to the rips and shoals, although Corey did say some fish have been caught around the Old Man. His buddy caught a 40+-inch striper from a south shore beach this week, signaling the arrival of larger fish into the area just in time for Memorial Day weekend. The harbors are just loaded with bass, giving shore anglers a good number of spots to get in on the action, along with boaters willing to be quiet and respectful of those around them.

Capt. Dave’s Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report- May 18, 2023

Check out the latest Hogy Lures video. In this video, Capt. Mike joins Capt. Cullen Lundholm of Cape Star Charters aboard his beautiful 33′ Conch. There’s been a consistent topwater striper bite at the West End of the Cape Cod Canal, with lots of fish in the 40″+ range. This gave us a perfect opportunity to fish the new Charter Grade XL DogWalkers paired with the Hogy Hybrid Spinning Rod!

Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report

The early to midweek winds kept a lot of boaters home, but those that did get out and sneak in some time were rewarded with continued great fishing on impressively sized bass.

@rockpylefishing on IG reported a solid late morning topwater bite on poppers.

Charlie Richmond has had no problem finding bass up inside the Three Bays area of Cotuit and Osterville, but on Tuesday he decided to give Succonesset a shot despite the wind forecast. Sure enough, he found the larger bass he was looking for using pencil poppers, but when you’re fishing a rip by yourself and it’s really going, as you drift from the smooth water into the slop . . . well, you get the picture. So Charlie called in a day and had confirmed that this set of shoals would be worth another trip in less “sporty” conditions – or at least with someone else to run the boat!

Evan Eastman from Eastman’s Sport & Tackle on Main Street in Falmouth has done well with his shrimp colored Hogy Epoxy Jig at the rips from L’Hommedieu to Nobska. I believe Capt. Mike did an instructional shoot his week on how to fish a rip with the new Hogy Protail Thumper Paddle; in fact, if I recall correctly, they caught some nice bass despite heavy wind and tide conditions. I know that as much as I love my topwater fishing, learning how to get down to where the fish are holding and enticing them to eat is always a good idea since those techniques can always come in handy. 

Middle Ground continues to fish well; Hogy Charter Grade Poppers in a variety of colors are hard to beat, but if the conditions are too rough to keep good contact with the plug, resulting in no hook-ups, then I typically switch over to a seven or 10-inch Original Hogy, either rigged unweighted or on a weighted swimbait hook if things are really gnarly and the wind is blowing a big bow in the line. It’s always a good idea to keep a variety of swimbait hooks in different weights to handle the wave action and currents you encounter. 

I have also had good luck rigging the Hogy Originals on jigheads when faced with a maelstrom filled with hungry stripers, but I need more weight to make an effective presentation. 

After picking up some bass on the fly on Thursday, Gerry Fine agreed to experiment with the new Hogy XL Dogwalker. As I do with all of my plugs that have multiple trebles, I removed the tail hook and replaced it with a custom flag that I make myself. As for color, Capt. Mike had provided a selection of pink, white, and clear amber – and you can guess which one I reached for first. Whenever bass are feeding on squid, I always elect to go with magic that Bob Pond created so many years ago, both in his metal lip 40 and its cousin The Reverse.

The Hogy XL Dog Walker has been the plug of choice for many anglers targeting larger fish. {PC: Cullen Lundholm of Cape Star Charters} 

While I have always adhered to the notion that spooks are best in calmer conditions where they can be best walked, in this case the current and wave action often pulled the plug under and then it would pop back up – where it typically was attacked by several nice bass. On one occasion, Gerry masterfully swung the XL Dogwalker down the edge of the edge of the white water, similar to the way a fly rodder drifts a dry fly, and it was inhaled when it hit a point of shallow water. 

Worm hatches continue to entertain, and in one story shared in the news, the worms were so thick and the bass so gluttonous that a number of them choked and died up inside Falmouth’s Great Pond.  

Some larger bass have also been caught up inside Waquoit Bay; big surface plugs, both spooks and poppers, are working and the same scenario exists inside Popponesset Bay, although the entrance is garnering almost all of the attention from shore anglers. 

Amy Wrightson and her son Tucker fished up inside Cotuit last weekend and found plenty of willing bass; many were your original schoolies, but a few larger stripers were hooked and landed on the Hogy Charter Grade Popper in the Albie Crack color, as well as on blue back/silver sides and belly Cotton Cordell Pencil Popper.

Capt. Cullen has also been using the Hogy Protail Thumper to great success.

I watched a front end loader, bulldozer, and dump truck spreading sand along what is left of the beachfront near the New Seabury condominiums and I couldn’t help but wonder what impact this continuing practice has had on beach fishing from South Cape Beach to Popponesset and beyond. So I was glad to hear from Capt. Warren Marshall that his oldest son David and his wonder dog Ollie have been catching bass from the sands thereabouts. 

Amy W. acknowledged that Dowses has had some good bass action, but when it comes to bluefish, they are definitely more concentrated around Oregon Beach. From Yarmouth to Harwich, the bass fishing is very good from the beaches that exist on either side of the numerous inlets in this area, explained Sarge at Riverview Bait & Tackle in South Yarmouth, and there have been a few bluefish around as well. The Tire Reef is holding some tautog and a lot of people are itching to get at the sea bass tomorrow, while scup fishing gets better and better all the way from Falmouth to Harwich. 

Martha’s Vineyard Fishing Report

If there is one thing I respect about Doug Asselin at Dick’s Bait & Tackle in Oak Bluffs is that he keeps the customers who frequent the shop in mind when electing which locations to fish. As he explained, there are plenty of stripers inside the great ponds from Edgartown to Tisbury, but you have to own the appropriate vehicle to handle the often rutted mile or two that leads to where you can fish. And there are always directions to be had. Even Tashmoo can be a challenge to fish in terms of access.

@chiptheripp8 on IG has been finding great success fishing the Hogy Charter Grade Poppers in the rips.

On the other hand, Doug fishes spots like Big and Little Bridge, Lagoon Pond in Vineyard Haven, Sengekontacket Pond, and other spots with easy access and public parking. As he said, “People can drive right by where I am fishing and see what I am up to.”

At the moment, there are plenty of bass in all of the backwaters on the island; a variety of soft plastics and plugs are working well, while flyrodders are having a blast imitating sand eels and other small baitfish. There aren’t that many boaters out on the water yet and Doug lamented the fact that with so many boats and so much money on the island, combined with the pressure on local marinas and mechanics, some of the locals can’t get their boats prepped for the season. The few boaters that have been out have said the bass fishing is very good around Hedge Fence, where a combination of squid and sand eels are keeping the bass happy.

Doug did hear of a single bluefish caught off of East Beach, but as of midweek there hasn’t been any big push. Of course, wind is supposed to come around southwest again, Chappy and Wasque could turn on. In fact, Joel over at Larry’s in Edgartown said that both shore and boat anglers are reporting some bluefish in the rips, along with a good number of bass. Folks are also pre-fishing the wrecks and other black sea bass spots in preparation for tomorrow. Joel added that while many folks elect to use more exotic offerings, he finds the classic white bucktail jig a great choice for this time of year.

Squidding hasn’t been anything to write home about; Edgartown Harbor and State Beach have been OK, although Doug said the weed from all of the dragging has been tough.

Nantucket Fishing Report

Dave Brandt at the Nantucket Tackle Center said that the southside of the islands continues to produce plenty of bass, although some sections were weeded up due to all of the wind. Winds out of the south/southwest push bait in and the bass will follow. It’s hard to beat a white bucktail, Dave added, as the fish are in the wash and even the lightest weight lure will catch fish. 

Small poppers are really effective up inside the harbor and Madaket picked them up this week as well. No signs of bluefish yet, but there are squid boats south of the island so if the squid is around, the blues can’t be far behind.

Small soft plastics are perfect for enticing finicky fish. {PC: Gorilla Tactics Sportfishing}

The word from Capt. Corey Gammill is that while fishing started out with a bang along the southside and folks were finding schools of fish, now things are spreading out a bit. Madaket has actually been better than the main harbor at times, both on poppers like the Hogy Charter Grade Popper and soft plastics. 

One day the rips have fish and the next there is nothing, so things have yet to settle down, but that should change soon, Corey explained.

Relevant Links

Capt. Dave’s Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report- May 11, 2023

Welcome back to our annual Cape Cod Fishing Reports! We greatly appreciate all of our readers and wish everyone a “fishy” 2023 season! {PC: Matt Rissell}

It seems odd to even register any concern about the present fishing here on the Cape, but I kind of agree with Bruce Miller at Canal Bait and Tackle in Sagamore who opined, “This is definitely not normal.” Of course, what Bruce was referring to was fish to the upper 40-pound class being caught in the Canal already, while the south-side shoals are filled with quality bass and the bluefish bite started to turn on last week. Buzzards Bay is no slouch either, with big bass around and a solid tautog bite. Meanwhile, Cape Cod Bay is producing plenty of stripers as well for the shore crew for the most part – mainly because there aren’t a lot of boats in the water.

As I far too often do, I can’t just focus on the quality of the fishing and have been wondering where all these big fish are coming from. Was it a cold, wet winter in the Chesapeake, which typically results in an early spawning season and thereby an earlier departure from the bay for parts north? Or are these Hudson fish; from what I have gathered, that river system has enjoyed some solid spawning classes over the last decade that has resulted in excellent fishing in the bays and backwaters of New Jersey and New York.

With the new coast wide slot limit of 28 to 31-inches, there are going to be even more size-able fish that are going to have to be released and how that is handled – pun intended – is critically important to how successful any rebuilding program from the ASMFC is going to be.

Then again, I can already hear the voices of the charter fleets up and down the east coast proclaiming, “See there are plenty of fish; they didn’t need to change the slot. It’s going to put me out of business. My customers want to take fish home.” And on and on. Hey, it must be tough seeing all these big bass around and not being able to kill them. I guess they’ll have to settle with photos of a dock load of dead slot fish like they did last season as opposed to the real ego boost of stacking cows.

Meanwhile, I am also wondering where the schoolies, you know the little guys, are. It would be interesting to ask a bunch of anglers what length(s) constitutes a schoolie; I suspect over the years it has changed. Then again, my friends would say that I worry about small bass because that’s all I catch – if I catch anything. Talk about an Ouch!

Well, on to the reports. Be safe, courteous, and conservation minded out there and here’s to hoping that 2023 is a great season for you.

Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report

I cringe every time I mention Middle Ground because at times it seems like so many folks believe that it is the only shoal where you can find fish at this time of year. Capt. Mike heard from one of his Pro Staffers that it was “red hot” earlier this week.

That was confirmed by Evan Eastman from Eastman’s Sport & Tackle on Main Street in Falmouth who fished there after work on Monday. Now, unlike many folks who fish topwater plugs or soft plastics on shoals like MG when the fish are typically feeding on squid right now, Evan is a huge fan of the 1.25-ounce Hogy Epoxy Jig in the shrimp color and he especially likes them rigged with the in line single as opposed to a treble, which results in cleaner hook-ups and releases.

Fishing with father, Chuck, their largest bass was 40+-inches, but they also had numerous mid-30-inch and slot size fish, with only two that Evan said would quality as old school schoolies. 

Meanwhile, my good friend Bob Lewis has been hitting this early season hard along with his nephew Austin Sands. Last Sunday, they were fishing a worm event up inside Cotuit and had a big bluefish explode on a worm fly; that eventually gave Bob the idea of moving out onto some nearby flats to see if there any bluefish around. Sure enough, there were, and along with Bob and Austin catching them on the fly, their guest, Olivia Dinkelacker caught her second fish ever on a spinning rod and popper. Olivia is a PhD candidate in marine biology from Germany studying under Dr. Andy Danylchuk at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She’s on the Cape doing catch-and-release research as part of her doctoral thesis.

Olivia Dinkelacker, a PhD candidate in marine biology from Germany studying under Dr. Andy Danylchuk at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with the second fish she has caught in her life. Olivia is on the Cape doing research on striped bass catch-and-release mortality.

Bob said the backwater action has been really good, including the worm activity, as evidenced by a photo of a nice bass that Austin caught.

Amy Wrightson from the Sports Port in Hyannis has heard from a number of shorebound folks who have caught stripers that are much larger on average for this time of year. Being the honest person she is, Amy did acknowledge that her one wading trip down Osterville way produced no fish, but the tide and time of day wasn’t in her favor as even with so many fish around, a slight bump up in water temperature caused by sunshine that warms up the bottom will typically get the fish going.

It also didn’t help that we had the full moon earlier this week, which Andy Little at The Powderhorn in Hyannis said can impact the fishing negatively as it stirs things up due to increased tides and currents. He said folks have been picking up bluefish from the sound facing beaches between Popponesset and Osterville, with bass available there as well as up inside the numerous salt ponds, rivers, and bays. 

The word from Mac Fields at Riverview Bait & Tackle in South Yarmouth was similar to Andy’s; while I have always been a proponent of looking for the first bass of the season up inside your local backwaters, with Bass River always a good bet given its name, Mac emphasized that some really nice bass have been caught from West Dennis Beach, for example, as well as Parker’s River Beach and Red River Beach, to name just a couple. They also weighed in a 5.5-pound tautog caught around the rocky structure around Yarmouth.

Austin Sands, Bob Lewis’s nephew with a nice bass caught on a cinder worm fly.

Speaking of tautog, Amy Wrightson said that green crab sales have been steady, with folks talking of a good bite off of Hyannis, both from boat and shore. As the season progresses, the tog move into protected water to spawn, making for improved opportunities for the shorebound crew; think jetties and rocky shoreline, for sure. 

Unfortunately, the word I received is that the squid season has pretty much passed its peak, if not run its course completely. It seems that the stormy weather we had about a week ago, if I can remember correctly, stirred things up. Now, don’t let that completely discourage you; while commercial draggers need big numbers of Loligo to call it “good fishing,” a recreational angler might still be able to pick up a five gallon bucket or two and be completely happy.

There’s definitely still opportunities to get out on the squid grounds. It may just be difficult to stray away from the great bass bite! {PC: Capt. Rpb Lowell of Cape Cod Offshore Charters}

If you don’t manage to get your own “local” squid – which is just the best with all the ink and juices – Amy has secured her own supply, which is often the case with other shops. That said, you had better get to the Sports Port since the locals known the full benefits of local squid.

Martha’s Vineyard Fishing Report

Steve Morris over at Dick’s Bait & Tackle in Oak Bluffs said that saltwater scene is definitely on the upswing around the island. While folks were catching holdovers throughout the winter in the salt ponds, newly arriving fish are now mixed in there and on some of the open beaches as well. Doug Asselin, Steve’s right hand man in the shop, caught a number of schoolies this morning as well as one 28-inch fish, in one of the ponds, most likely on a small topwater or a soft plastic knowing him. Edgartown is holding some squid and a local charterboat out of Menemsha caught some mackerel and a codfish yesterday, Steve said. So far, there have been no reports of bluefish, but if we have them on the Cape, odds are they are lurking somewhere close to the Vineyard, planning their first assault at Wasque or some other spot on the east side of the island.

Nantucket Fishing Report

Sam Brandt at the Nantucket Tackle Center once echoed what I have been hearing everywhere: lots of bass and some surprisingly large fish for this time out on the island. As he explained, typically, after the first striper is caught, in most cases a true schoolie, it takes a number of days before any significantly larger bass show up. This year, the first fish was caught last Wednesday and the very next day a number of legal sized bass were caught, with the largest so far around 32-inches. The entire south-side from Nobadeer to Smith’s Point is holding fish, with paddletails like the Hogy Protail Paddle as well as traditional bucktails are good choices. There has also been some topwater action with pencil poppers. Up inside the harbor, paddles are again very effective, but Sam did single out the Hogy Charter Grade Popper in the 4-inch size as a really effective option at the moment. There are also bass on the west side flats, with a buddy of Sam’s picking up a slot fish while fishing from a paddleboard!

Relevant Links

Capt. Dave’s Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report- September 30, 2022

Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report

It should be quite a scene on Friday with the winds and seas scheduled to build right through the weekend, meaning plenty of boats will be out trying to take advantage of a fishable day and get into albies. The bass fishing is improving in Nantucket Sound, but all anybody seems to be thinking about is funny fish.

This false albacore caught by @rockpylefishing fell for the Hogy Epoxy Jig.

Christian Giardini at Falmouth Bait & Tackle told me that one of his regulars picked up some slot sized bass chunking pogies at night down around Menauhant earlier this week and the salt ponds and Waquoit Bay have seen increased action, mainly on schoolies in the early morning and again at dusk on a variety of artificials, including smaller lipped swimming plugs, soft plastics, and topwater plugs like the Hogy Dog Walker and Hogy Charter Grade Popper – and don’t be misled by the name of the latter as it can be retrieved slowly and made to swim or walk-the-dog. 

Hitting the water consistently is key to catching any time of the season, but it is especially true in the fall as spots like Popponesset, the Three Bays, East Bay, Lewis Bay, and Bass River to Parker’s River, as well as Swan River, Herring River, and Red River will typically see impressive shows of feeding bass, which are either dropping out of protected water or stopping to feed close to the entrances on the abundant bait that should continue to drop out over the next several weeks. This action can be sporadic and short lived, so the best way of being there when it does is to keep being there, day-after-day. To paraphrase a saying that appeared on a number of T-shirts that local tackle shops sold or perhaps still sell, “You can sleep when the fish have gone and migrated south.”

Amy Wrightson at The Sports Port in Hyannis and Osterville said that the sand people fishing around Craigiville Beach had a good week, with several fish caught from the beach, while folks I spoke to who decided to bypass the crowds of boats and kayaks that have made this area their home base for funny fish this season and headed east instead, did say they saw people hooking up on the spin. Amy added that there are also some five to six-pound bluefish mixed in, which is good for lure makers since they make short work of the light leaders used for albies and bonito, in the process causing increases in soft plastic and casting jig sales. Ken Cirillo said the albies weren’t cooperative on his one boat trip this week, but he did see flyrodders who work the Osterville area manage to catch a few; there is nothing quite so cool as being elevated up on the rocks and have these green speedsters race right along at your feet, all lit up and spraying bait as they go. 

On the bass front in the mid-Cape, Andy Little from The Powderhorn in Hyannis said that the few folks who aren’t chasing funny fish have been enjoying some good night time fishing from the jetties and beaches on plugs and soft plastics, with larger ones that imitate eels especially effective. Up inside the Three Bays, one of Amy Wrightston’s regulars has been catching plenty of schoolies and even some slot fish on smaller, white soft plastic paddletails and the good thing is that he has pretty much had things to himself as everyone else is racing for the sounds.

Beautiful false albacore caught aboard Gorilla Tactics Sportfishing.

Evan Eastman at Eastman’s Sport & Tackle in Falmouth explained that the albie action has been continually shifting between Waquoit and Nobska, with one area hot one day and the next not so much. Hogy Epoxy Jigs continue to be his number one seller, with the 5/8-ounce size generally the top seller, although the 7/8-ounce is a good selection in the windier weather we have had this week. As for color, Evan acknowledged that people come in asking for the wide range of Hogy options, a good sign that when someone catches a fish, that hue then becomes “the one.” 

Although not as many people use them, the Hogy Heavy Minnow Jig in Olive and Silverside has been working well this season for me, allowing for longer casts to finicky fish that just seem to pop up for a second and then disappear – but remember that blind casts in an area where the fish were last seen often produce the only fish of the day.

Mac Fields from Riverview Bait & Tackle in South Yarmouth said the fall scene is building up around the rivers down his way, with more bass active inside as they take advantage of all of the small bait that is hanging around the mouths and dropping out with the colder weather this week. This area holds some great jetty fishing as well, giving shore anglers opportunities at funny fish, while down at Harding’s Beach, especially towards the mouth of Stage Harbor, there have been bass, blues, and albies – and even a few bonito – running the edges of the sand close enough to get casts into them. Then again, a kayak or boat will have you in the game much longer during the falling tide as the fish continue to follow the bait out, accompanied by birds working up a storm – which is perhaps at once the most exciting and saddest scene for shore anglers as they can only watch the melee move out of casting range.

Martha’s Vineyard Fishing Report

 The Derby is in full swing and according to Doug Asselin at Dick’s Bait & Tackle in Oak Bluffs the albie fishing remains solid from both boat and shore, with plenty of small bait around the island to keep the fish happy. The issue, however, is that the best fishing for the little tunny is that the hotspot changes almost daily, especially for the shore crew. Menemsha had a good bite from the jetties the other day, including a good number of bonito, while on another it was State Beach and Tashmoo that saw the best action. Although boat anglers have been finding good numbers of fish, they have been fussy at times, with a lot of the Vineyard boats spotted around the Elizabeths. When it comes to bass, Doug said it wouldn’t be worth talking about the best location since they have been caught all around the island this week, especially schoolies in the ponds and for boaters all along the shoreline structure. He added that there are some nice fish to be had as well and he had a good story to illustrate that; a father and son came in looking to fish bait in hopes of catching a striper. Doug gave them some squid and suggested they try East Chop; they came in again with big smiles and a photo of a bass that looked to be about 20-pounds. Doug added that a friend of his who fishes Menemsha Pond regularly encountered some big bass, but no matter what he tried, he couldn’t get them to eat. 

Over at Larry’s Tackle in Edgartown, I was able to coax Julian Pepper into talking to me once last time this season with the promise of some Beachmaster plugs; he said that a good number of boaters continue to fish towards Nantucket where the largest albies, bonito, and bluefish are. That said, there are still plenty of fish around, with a good bluefish bite at Chappy, but it was a brief event; Julian did say that with all of the bait around East Beach, it shouldn’t be the last time they show there in force. The bass fishing remains good, especially out towards Gay Head, with surface plugs effective in the morning and evening before most folks switch over to needlefish and swimmers, as well as eels, at night. The bonito made a good showing this week down around Lobsterville and Menemsha, but most of them were on the small side, while the albie fishing has been getting the most attention from both shore and boat anglers. Hogy Epoxy Jigs are still very popular among the funny fish fanatics, but ripping surface plastics along the surface when the fish are concentrated on small bait will often draw a reaction strike.

Nantucket Fishing Report

Tim Coggins at Nantucket Tackle Center finally was able to report that bass, albies, and bonito made their way into the Harbor this week, following the masses of small bait and even adult pogies that has produced some great fishing. He has done well at night using lipped plastic swimmers, with a black version producing lots of bass. The albie bite remains strong around the island, with some really nice fish caught from both boat and shore, especially around the east side of the island. Big bluefish have been mixed in with the albies up around Great Point; in fact, Tim said there are big choppers up and down the east side of the island, with Sankaty  especially productive for the boaters. Along the southside, the water has been pretty roiled up, making bass fishing a matter of finding clean water. Tim is confident that there is still plenty of good fishing remaining this season, with a very real possibility of albies right through October, and the bass fishing should only get better, especially around the west side of the island. 

Capt. Corey Gammill reported that the Madaket area has been very good for bass, both on flies and plugs; pink has been a very productive color for artificials, including Hogy Epoxy Jigs. Up at Great Point, Corey explained that shore anglers are doing well on both bluefish and albies; it doesn’t take a tournament caster to catch fish from the sand up that way, although he did say that someone who can cast farther will generally catch more fish. EJ’s and slimmer profile metal jigs are great choices as they help achieve maximum distance and imitate small baits, especially sand eels which are a major food source for everything that swims around the island. Cisco and Smith’s Point are two areas that Corey mentioned when it comes to a good shore bite for bass; early AM plugging with topwater plugs is effective, but thinner profile metal casting jigs are an island tradition. Finding the white water is always key when it comes to finding bass around the island; of course, boaters have multiple options when it comes to rips, but shore anglers should consider wind direction and stage of the tide when deciding where to look for bass. Bluefish action is great on the east side of the island, with some really big fish in the mix; topwater plugs are almost synonymous with casting for blues and Corey said that an island creation has become his favorite, especially in pink or amber. At times, the blues are holding in deeper water, which makes wire line jigging an option, although Corey is not a steel fan and prefers to cast metals and other jigs if he has to get down to the fish. Water temperatures are still very much in the preferred range of all of the four big species that people want to catch on Nantucket; combined with just an incredible amount of bait, absent any kind of major storm, Corey thinks the season is going to just keep churning. He did say, however, that he is a little tired of all of the swell, with Ian potentially increasing the size of the seas.

Capt. Dave’s Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report- September 23, 2022

The Fall Run is Underway!

It’s a magical time on Cape Cod right now. The fall run is in full swing, and the options for anglers are endless. Jump into an older video highlighting the excitement of the fall run here on Cape Cod!

Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report

Nothing better than firsthand reports and Amy Wrightson from The Sports Port in Hyannis and Osterville had a great one concerning albies: “Another week gone by and somehow we managed to get another fishing report in there as well. (If I don’t pat myself on the back, who will?). This week was another EPIC albie week! We have reports of albies from Chatham to the Elizabeth Islands, so find some shoreline somewhere in there and you’ll at least have a chance of hooking into those speedy hardtails!” Amy and her kayak fishing partner Tony got into the action around Craigville and both managed albies, with white or bone the hot color, whether it was a soft plastic or a Hogy Epoxy Jig. There’s some cool video of Amy and her fish, including her losing her rod overboard. As she said, it’s probably time to invest in a rod holder. Amy added that she has had reports of some bigger bass inside East Bay, with nothing under 30-inches according to one angler, and plenty of scup and snapper blues around Dowses.

Riptide Charters reported great albie fishing this week!

I realize it might be my failure to hook up with albies talking, but I still find it kind of amazing that folks will pass by bass feeding up inside the Three Bays and Popponesset just to get frustrated. I guess that’s why I was happy to hear that shore anglers have managed to get into albies and bass both from the outside of the spit and even inside while horses asses running big horsepower race elsewhere. My nephew Frank went out the same area after work on Monday and managed two albies on white Hogy Epoxy Jigs, a really cool item since it reminded me that these fish don’t just feed in the AM – and there is usually less pressure. 

Speaking of pressure, on Tuesday I had the pleasure of fishing with Klemens Engelberg, a dedicated fly angler who can throw with the best of them. He managed one albie on a tutti frutti creation of his own, hooked up on the fringes after the school was apparently disappearing, a good reminder again about blind casting and covering water. We hooked up once more, but I have to believe my loop knot failed despite no evidence of a pig tail since he was using 25-pound fluorocarbon tippet and even a good sized false albacore would have a tough time breaking that. Then again, perhaps he hooked up with a bluefish or even a Spanish mackerel, which are often mixed in with the funny fish. Overall, however, despite having some good shots, the presence of a couple of run and gunners who charged after school of breaking fish, including those that we were waiting patiently for, well outside the general fray, reminded me why I hate fly fishing for albies around the Cape since spin anglers have no problem racing up to the fish, getting a cast off, and hooking up while we their wake pushes the bait and fish outside the range of our casts – and as if it isn’t tough enough casting a fly from a boat, try when it’s bouncing around after getting hit from wake coming from three directions.  

My friends Bob Lewis and Capt. Warren Marshall fished the Craigville area midweek and they had to leave before things really got going late morning as it did for Klemens and I the day before – although his one catch came much earlier, now that I think of it. Warren reported that the spin anglers did well, with multiple people hooked up while the fish were sipping and up-and-down, not an ideal situation for a fly angler. They headed back to Osterville and ran into Ken Cirillo and Charlie Richmond, who were working some albies outside the cut; fortunately, I got reports from both and I will offer them both up for your enjoyment.

First Ken, who was the captain: “We were in very skinny water and the albies were going up and down the beach schooling bait and then charging through it slicing it up, it was great to see in such shallow water (3′ to 5′). The second albie was definitely the most incredible fight in a long time. Using one of my light tackle setups, the fish were working bait in the corner and my cast laid perfectly in the middle of the fish and as soon as it hit, it was smacked and then the fish took off into the beach, thinking that it was going to run aground but then it turned and ran me around the boat a couple of times. In such shallow water, seeing the fish go around the boat was really cool, just wish it had been filmed as it would have been great. The one that got away was also very unique, the fish took the lure, ran back to the boat, then back out, then back in, back out, back in and then it spit the hook out. The albie must have used this technique before! Feeding albies behave like blue fish, hitting the lure, tossing it, hitting it again and moving on, very different than what it was like several weeks ago.”

albie study
Gorilla Tactics Sportfishing doing some albie tagging with members of the ASGA and New England Aquarium.

Now, Charlie: “Wednesdays AM Ken & I had a good morning off Osterville chasing Albies; all alone, along the beach, just drifting, landed several nice fish; towards the end of our trip, (2) disgruntled flyrodders who had been fishing off Craigville, with 100 other crazy albie chasers, joined us, but am not aware if success came their way-names unavailable; hoping this cold front and wind do not end the albie season.”

The word from Matt Garland at Eastman’s Sport & Tackle in Falmouth is that the albie action has been good this week, with fish caught from Great Point to Nobska and on into Woods Hole and down along the Elizabeths. He is a big fan of Hogy Epoxy Jigs and recognizes that they not only work for funny fish, but other species as well, like the bass and bluefish that are moving back into the rips such as Middle Ground and off Nobska, as well as the salt ponds. When it comes to funnies, Matt likes the silverside and EChix color in 5/8 and 7/8 ounce sizes, based on wind and wave conditions, while for bass he likes the shrimp and EChix in 1.25-ounce. 

Sarge Bloom at Riverview Bait & Tackle in South Yarmouth said that they have been getting good reports of albies feeding from Parker’s River to Lewis Bay and off Great Island, while there have been some nice schools of bluefish working on small bait up inside Bass River. 

And Capt. Caroline Scotti from North Chatham Outfitters and the charterboat Lil’ Jax answered in the affirmative when I asked about albies outside Stage Harbor and the Harwich rivers, but she added that they have been really finicky for the most part, as seems to be the case in the sounds.

Martha’s Vineyard Fishing Report

Steve Morris at Dick’s Bait & Tackle in Oak Bluffs confirmed that the albies went crazy yesterday morning, with cooperative fish around State Beach, inside Vineyard Haven, and East Chop, but Steve added that he suspected that they were active in numerous other spots as the rougher conditions with plenty of bait are a great combination. We had a good chat about the Derby and shore fishing for albies and bonito, with the opportunity to catch one of these fish from the sand or jetties is why so many people come to the island.

Big beach bonito caught by n_kraut on Instagram.

Back in the day when the Derby first pulled bass as an eligible species, there were plenty of people who cried that it would be the death of this legendary event, but instead, it grew. And it’s the same right now, with plenty of people telling Steve, who is a member of the Derby committee, that they can catch bass at home from shore, but they don’t have a shot at funny fish. In fact, I would argue that Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket are the two top locations on the east coast for catching a shore albie or bonito, although even the boat action for the latter has been off this season. As far as bass goes, Steve said that they have been selling plenty of eels for shore anglers who must really be enjoying the lack of pressure along the beaches with so many people chasing funny fish. 

I finally managed to catch – or should I say “trap” – Julian Pepper on the phone at Larry’s Tackle in Edgartown as he tried to pass it off to one of his co-workers, but when I told him I was planning on selling off a large number of Beachmaster plugs, he tolerated my questions. He took a trip out towards Nantucket earlier this week, which is where he said many of the Derby boats have been headed in search of big bluefish and a more consistent albie or bonito bite. Although it might not make sense to a lot of people, one method of targeting big blues around Gay Head and some north shore locations is to fish live bait, particularly scup or pogies. It’s the same with big bones, where spike mackerel, silversides, and even small baby squid have accounted for some Derby winners; of course, the big challenge is coming up with these baits, but the hardcores sometimes put as much – or more – time into getting critters to liveline. Bluefishing in general has been slow from the beaches, but there are still some quality bass coming from the shoreline between Squibnocket and Gay Head. Eels are tough to beat, but Julian is part of the plug crew on the island who live to catch fish like the mid-40-inch fish that was caught this week. Darters and needlefish are island favorites, but Julian reminded me that tossing poppers at dusk is a great technique, with one well-known maker’s 2 3/8-ounce model plastic popper (which actually started out in wood) really effective as a swimmer as well. Sounds like I should try swimming a Charter Grade at night.

Nantucket Fishing Report

With the winds pretty much guaranteed to kick things up for the next several days on the islands, Capt. Corey Gammill told me he was going to head off island for a few days. Before he left, however, he sent me a voice message emphasizing how great the fishing had been prior to the effects of Fiona hit the island. The albie fishing up around Great Point for both shore and boat folks has been “phenomenal” while he has heard of between six and ten bass 40+-inches caught on plugs from the southside beaches, where there is obviously plenty of white water. Although bass fishing with topwater plugs and swimmers is popular on Nantucket, when the surf really gets roiled up, a switch to bucktail jigs or soft plastic paddletails is often a good move, along with casting metals like Hopkins or Kastmasters. With big bluefish still around, I would be inclined to toss a big ballistic style casting plug in hopes of locating some big choppers, perhaps down Miacomet way or along the southside beaches. That said, remember that Nantucket is famous for its rip currents even in the best of conditions and wading is not recommended when the surf is booming and the currents are racing at top speed.

Capt. Dave’s Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report- September 16, 2022

Finicky Albies

Reports of finicky albies on Cape Cod have been abundant this year. In this video, Capt. Mike shares a deadly technique to fool these finicky fish!

Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report

As Amy Wrightson from The Sports Port in Hyannis and Osterville so aptly put it, “ There are albies all along the southside and people are catching them and other people are just getting frustrated trying to catch them.” The hot color, including among Hogy Epoxy Jig users, has switched from day-to-day, including bone, silver, pink, and olive – and then back to bone. Size has also made a difference, with larger ones working better in rough water and wind.

epoxy jig
The Hogy Epoxy Jig in “Rain Bait” is a perfect imitater of silversides.


If you have a larger boat and don’t mind burning fuel, you can run around until you find fish or you can also take advantage of a network and get the latest intel from other folks. But in a lot of cases, you just might end up zigging instead of zagging, ending up in the opposite direction from the fishing was best. That was the case for me on one trip this week when I headed east out of Falmouth Harbor and eventually made it all the way to Craigville, with hardly any real shots to speak of. Bob Lewis had a good day off of Point Gammon with some spin anglers on his boat, but I knew when the tide changed and the wind increased, we were going to get a tough ride home without making it any longer – and I was proven right. 

On the way home, we saw a few schools of albies off Popponesset, but given the really nice baitballs of peanut bunker we came across, I would have thought the place would have gone off big time. Of course, there is always the chance that things erupted just after we left. Capt. Mike experienced the “just didn’t go far enough” issue that same day as he went as far as Hyannis only to find out that the fish were going crazy off of Bass River – something that my good friend, Capt. Warren Marshall told me about. Apparently, his brother and a friend like to go down and sit at the mouth of the river and there were albies everywhere, with shore anglers getting good shots along with the boat gang.

When it comes to albies in the sounds, seeing is one thing; getting them to eat is another, as Mac Fields at Riverview Bait & Tackle in South Yarmouth explained. Even in the rough weather earlier this week, folks were reporting that the funnies “chewed reluctantly,” Mac said, which is such a good turn of a phrase when it comes to albie attitudes.

Nice albie caught aboard Riptide Charters.

Capt. Carolina Scotti, who runs the charterboat Lil’ Jax when she isn’t working at North Chatham Outfitters, said the albie bite has been mixed from Bass River to Harding’s Beach, but there are a good number of bluefish mixed in, so if you are in the habit of only carrying one of each lure and discover the hot item, only to have it lopped off by a chopper – well, you learned the hard way why sharpies carry boxes filled with an inventory of colors and sizes of their favorite lures.

Down around Falmouth, Evan Eastman at Eastman’s Sport & Tackle had a very good trip Tuesday, catching fish between Nobska and Green Pond on silverside Hogy Epoxy Jigs, but despite the rougher conditions the next day, which I am convinced has the fish feeding more aggressively, the action wasn’t quite as good. His dad, Chuck, caught a big Spanish mackerel on Wednesday fishing in the lee of Nobska, however. 

Mark Tenerowicz also told me his wife heard from one of her patients that a fleet had gathered off Nobska this morning, either a good sign that there were a lot of fish or that things were quiet elsewhere and everyone decided to hang out hoping for a shot at the one single school that had showed earlier.

Martha’s Vineyard Fishing Report

With striped bass still out of the Derby, in many ways this legendary event has become a funny fish tournament with bluefish thrown in for good measure. Steve Morris at Dick’s Bait & Tackle in Oak Bluffs said there are plenty of albies around in all of the usual spots – and some days they chew and others they turn their noses up at everything. Earlier this week, the jetty crew at Menemsha had a good morning and a number of fish have been caught from the northside; the shore leading albie was caught earlier this week, a nice 11.43-pound fish, while an impressive 16.52-pounder tops the boat category. As impressive as that boat albie is, it still pales in comparison to the Vineyard’s own Don MacGillivray’s 19.31-pound state record.

A nice boat caught albie by @wycegoesfishing on Instagram.

Steve said the bonito fishing was good this week as well, with the top boat fish 10.08 and a 5.8 shore fish; apparently, the boat angler found a nice pick of fish, but as one would expect during the Derby, it’s anybody’s guess where he was. Prior to the Derby, folks were regularly picking up bones trolling smaller, deep diving swimmers from Squibnocket to Noman’s, but the word is that this fish was caught casting. Then again, it’s pretty well known that some of the largest bonito are caught by folks livelining spike mackerel or even big silversides, of which there are plenty around the island, along with peanut bunker and sand eels, as well as some bay anchovies. 

Obviously, not many people are fishing for bass, but there are still a few hardcores who have told Steve that the couple of years they have experienced outstanding shore bass fishing; at the moment, one of them has reported catching some 20-pound fish along the southside on plugs.

Over at Larry’s Tackle in Edgartown, Joel said that there are plenty of albies around, but some boats are making the long run to Nantucket where the fish have been more cooperative for the most part. David Kadison, a very familiar face on the Derby leaderboard, has already thrown down the gauntlet in the boat bluefish category with an 18.06-pound fish. Where that fish was caught is, again, anyone’s guess, but there have been some big bluefish down around Gay Head and in the waters between the Vineyard and Nantucket. The 12.18-pound leading shore blue opens up plenty of options as well, Joel noted, with Chappy, including Wasque Point, known for producing big blues, including at night on bait. 

Nantucket Fishing Report

Capt. Corey Gammill once again took the time to call me and fill us in on the outstanding albie fishing on the island, as well as share his thoughts on what makes them chew so much better out there. He had been fishing up around Great Point where catching upwards of a dozen fish in a four hour trip on the boat isn’t unusual and shore anglers are also catching a decent number as well. The Bonito Bar has slowed for bonito, but there are still plenty of albies there, although like at Great Point, there are blues mixed in. What I found especially interesting is that Corey has been fishing plugs almost exclusively for the last two years when targeting albies, including a clear amber version as well as a pink one by the same manufacturer; in fact, he pointed out that those two colors have accounted for a large percentage of the bass and blues he catches during his trips. The Old Man is another area where there is a mix of albies and blues, while Corey had a good bass trip out by Tuckernuck earlier this week, with well over a dozen fish on plugs. The Miacomet area is still holding some bluefish for the shore crew, but the best action along the southside has been moving up and down the shoreline, with folks following the tides and winds to locate the best spots. Some boats continue to go east for their bass or up towards Monomoy, but over the next several weeks, plenty of stripers will be making their migration past Nantucket and should be stopping to feed on the abundance of bait there.

A beautiful sunrise accompanied by a beautiful albie caught aboard Riptide Charters.

One of the things that I drew from my talk with Corey is that the albies in the rips out his way is that they are almost like a different species of fish, aggressively taking plugs as they race up and down the white water as opposed to popping up for fleeting shots as they do in the sounds, which clearly doesn’t have the strong currents and structure close to shore where most folks fish for funnies. We do have salt pond, river, and harbor outlets that produce faster moving water that albies – and bonito as well – like and the Elizabeths also have some strong tidal flows, but if you watch albies feed off of Craigville or Bass River, for example, you will notice that they spend much of their time racing to corral bait and then erupt in a feeding frenzy of limiting duration, only to pop up elsewhere. With a rip or clearly defined edge, it’s the water that is doing the work of gathering up the bait, allowing the predator fish to concentrate on feeding. If you have fished for albies in rough water, you might have noticed that they often just ripple the surface or even cruise along, again perhaps because they don’t have to expend as much energy “working” smaller schools of bait. 

Tim Coggins at Nantucket Tackle Center said that shore anglers continue to pick at bass all along the southside beaches; he recommended topwater plugs for the early morning hours, including pencil poppers and spooks, while you can use the same options at dusk before switching over to swimmers after dark. One of Tim’s favorite plugs is a jointed black Bomber and he emphasized that dark coloration is typically the way to go at night when it comes to lure selection, with white or pearl an island favorite at dusk and on moonlit nights. Although the blow last weekend and into the early part of this week didn’t blow the fish into the harbor as Tim thought they might, he did fish the Jetties Beach area and picked up about two dozen schoolies on lures so they are around. So far, though, the harbor has been disappointing the last several months, say after the spring run. Folks are catching albies along the east side of the island, with some big bluefish mixed in, but the bonito bite has been pretty scattered; most bones have been caught trolling around the Bonito Bar or as incidental catches amongst the albies and blues. 

Last weekend, Capt. Christian Giardini from Falmouth Bait & Tackle ran a boat in a tournament to benefit Cystic Fibrosis research and they took top honors in bonito and albies; in fact, with four guys casting, they managed 27 albies fishing one of the rips around the island for about four hours. There were eight bonito caught in the event, with four of them coming in the boat Christian skippered; as he said, like the albies, these fish were caught on small, bone colored plugs, perhaps another indication of how funny fish feed differently in moving white water. Christian also spoke to another captain who ran up north of Monomoy point and found some good bass action.

Capt. Dave’s Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report- September 9, 2022

Filmed Recently!

In this video, Capt. Mike walks through everything you need to know when fishing for false albacore.

Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report

Before we get into funny fish, let’s talk some improving bass news. Evan Eastman at Eastman’s Sport & Tackle in Falmouth said that a friend of his fished Bourne’s Pond out of his kayak earlier this week for an early morning trip and picked up several nice bass, most of them approaching the lower end of the slot limit. He caught fish both on the fly and spin, with a shrimp colored Hogy Epoxy Jig working when the fish were on top. A shore angler was fishing under the bridge at the same time and picked up a low 30-inch class fish. 

I heard of some decent topwater schoolie action up inside Great Pond and Green Pond, especially around false dawn, and word is that Popponesset is picking up as well, both early AM and again at dusk. Be advised that at times these fish can be super picky with all of the bait to feed on. In that case, going with something larger, like a Hogy seven-inch Original, will get their attention and if the depth of the water you are fishing allows for a subsurface presentation without hanging up all the time, the smaller Hogy Pro Tail or Hogy Slow Tail will work as there are typically plenty of fish below the fray that you can target. A super slow walk-the-dog retrieve will also work, whether with a spook or even a small Hogy Charter Grade Popper

Amy Wrightson at the Sports Port in Hyannis and Osterville said the snapper bluefish bite is also in full swing; the problem is, the ever popular snapper popper rig has been tough to find. In that case, try making your own with a Hogy Charter Grade Popper (they float like the foam float on the pre-made rig) that you have removed the hooks from. Attach a 24-inch or so piece of leader material to the tail of the plug and a fly at the end of the leader and you have your own snapper popper rig. Besides being really good to eat pan fried, snappers also make excellent baits for big fluke. Remember that the bag limit for bluefish is now three fish per angler per day, unless you are fishing on a charter and it is then five fish. Massachusetts also has no size limit on choppers. Along with all of the albie and bonito craziness, Amy added that there have been some Spanish mackerel caught recently around Craigville and Osterville; from what I know, the vast majority of this species is caught by folks trolling deep diving small swimmers, as they do with bonito around the Hooter, but frankly from what I saw this week, I would challenge anyone to try and drag a lure behind their boat amongst all of the kayaks and boats in some areas.

terry albie
Capt. Terry Nugent of Riptide Charters skipping Hogy Epoxy Jigs for some nice size albies!

So, speaking of which, here is some of the news I heard this week about albie fishing, but be advised: These fish swim and swim very fast, making them a here today, gone tomorrow target.

Evan caught three albies casting 7/8-ounce Hogy Epoxy Jigs in silverside between Green and Great Pond on Wednesday; given all the chop and wind, despite the fact that the bait he saw (which he believed were silversides) were closer in size to the 5/8-ounce model, he went with the larger jig because it cast better and allowed for a better presentation. Nobska had fish, albeit small, up-and-down schools, earlier this week and there weren’t many boats around, but expect the number of anglers to increase exponentially with a good weekend ahead.

Jim Young told me that he has been really disappointed so far; he has been out around Green Pond, Waquoit and as far down as Popponesset, with only one brief encounter, just confirming our belief that this season is a matter of zigging it and getting it right and zagging and finding an empty ocean. 

I fished the Craigville area twice this week, with Tim Negronida picking up three albies casting a 5/8-ounce olive Hogy Epoxy Jig, with the skippy cast method blowing up two of them in an area where they had stopped breaking, but the bait was still there and funny water indicated the fish were still in the area. The next day, Michael Beebe put an idea into action that  I had talked with Bob Lewis about concerning all of these small, precise flies we have been throwing when guys casting larger jigs and plastics have been doing better. Michael had a larger peanut bunker fly tied on a 4/0 hook that he had spun up a few years ago in his pursuit of bluefin and sure enough, when he got into the fish, he was on. I had high hopes that we were going to have a good day, but despite what seemed like good shots, the fish eventually settled down, perhaps as a result of so many boats and an absolute armada of kayaks in the area.

Gorilla Tactics Sportfishing deploying tags as apart of a study going on by the ASGA.

There have been some schools of albies around Hyannis and Point Gammon, but again, it doesn’t seem any two days are the same; Mac Fields at Riverview Bait & Tackle in South Yarmouth said there have been scattered schools of albies off of Bass River and the jetties and river entrances in Harwich, but the bass have yet to school up in numbers up inside just yet. He did say that folks focus on the jetties in this area if they are fishing from shore, unlike spots like Craigville which is basically a long stretch of sand beach. 

Finally, I get to my favorite albie story of the week. The Cape Cod Flyrodders held their Albie Fest yesterday and due to boat issues, Bob Lewis joined the crew that fishes for albies from shore in the Cotuit to Craigville area. For a number of years, Bob has been taking out Dave Palmer, another flyrodder, out to try and catch his first albie on the whippy stick with no success. Well, Dave not only hooked two yesterday from a jetty, but landed one of them. Another club member, Josh Wrigley, was fishing there as well and hooked up, but the fish came unbuttoned. Bob spoke to a couple of guys who regularly fish from shore for albies and he said that it was really kind of interesting to talk with them, as they represent a dedicated, really hardcore element of the fly rod community. Also, in a rebuttal to my big fly theory, Dave caught his fish on a small tan over white epoxy fly and Josh was using a pink over white epoxy. Oh, and Bob said that the club folks who fished from boats that day around Bass River as well as Monomoy/Stage Harbor might have hooked a few more fish, but didn’t land more than Dave. After all, a shore caught albie is worth way more than any caught from a boat.

Martha’s Vineyard Fishing Report

 The word from Steve Morris at Dick’s Bait & Tackle in Oak Bluffs is that the albies are spread around the island in all of the usual spots, with Edgartown Light added to Cape Poge, State Beach, Tashmoo, and Menemsha as areas where folks have reported getting good shots at them. The flip side is they have been very finicky, requiring a lot of patience and a lot of casts to be rewarded with a hook up. Steve believes getting a fish to pay attention to an artificial with all of the bait around, including peanut bunker, sand eels, and silversides, is a real challenge, similar to what happens when a worm spawn gets going in the spring and there are too many worms to get a bass to look at a worm fly. 

The Hooter has been really quiet on bonito, but folks are trolling some up around Squibnocket, although they have apparently really been on the small side. Evan Eastman at Eastman’s Sport & Tackle in Falmouth spoke to one customer who had a good day trolling up bones around Squibby using a wonderbread color deep diving swimmer.

Nice albie caught by @chiptheripp8 on Instagram.

Jim Young was fishing last weekend with Kyle Rigazio around Squibnocket and over towards Noman’s and he saw someone troll up an albie and there were occasional signs of funny fish around them, but they were generally just slurping, almost like bass. It was a beautiful, sunny clear day and that kind of behavior isn’t atypical in those conditions, as opposed to the frenzy folks associate with funnies. Kyle has been chumming and chunking this area for bass all season and generally has managed a couple of slot sized bass on pogies, which was the case on this most recent trip when Jim managed a 34-inch bass.

According to Steve, there are plenty of schoolies in all of the ponds and harbors, with early morning and again at dusk always good times to target them; that said, the thick schools of bait have at times had fish absolutely turning their noses up at anything that wasn’t the real thing. Ripping a surface plug or even a soft plastic is worth trying as a last resort in hopes of drawing a reaction strike. Steve admitted that he was surprised that bluefish have been a bit scarce, especially from shore along East Beach down to Wasque, where even the boats have reported a bit of a slowdown, with some making the run out towards Nantucket in hopes of finding both blues and even bass. 

Sam Bell at Larry’s Tackle in Edgartown explained that not many folks are targeting bass around the island at the moment as albie fever has gripped the island. The shore bite has been really tough, with folks manning the rocks around East Chop, Tashmoo, and Menemsha getting fleeting shots at albies and nothing in the way of bonito to speak of. Cape Poge seems to be one area where there has been some better action, with some boats making the run all the way over towards Nantucket, sometimes finding fish in one of the rips before making it there, but overall getting the best action on both bones and albies when they reach the Grey Lady. 

Of course, there are still the hardcore shore bass anglers that keep up the tradition of looking for cows around the island and Sam said there have been some 30+-inch bass caught around the rocks at night, generally on needlefish and swimming plugs, although live eels are tough to beat. Squibnocket and Gay Head contain all of the elements for big bass, including boulder fields, white water, and baitfish as well as crabs and other crustaceans, and that’s why they keep popping up in a conversation about where to go. The northside of the island also holds plenty of good structure as well and productive bass water, but access remains the greatest challenge there. Sam heard of a few schools of small bluefish around Chappy, but overall folks have been singing more of the blues than catching them recently along the sand beaches on the east side of the island. 

Ken Cirillo provided a good report about both the Vineyard and Nantucket, with both albies and bonito in the mix: Went out five days straight, Cape Poge was most productive followed by the Bonito Bar. At Cape Poge on Monday I got two albies (25″) and Morgan (my daughter) got a bonito. I found soft plastics the best, and Morgan got hers on that bunker fly that Warren makes. We discussed on Fran and Bob Clay’s boat and they both did well at the Bonito Bar (long ride but not bad in their 32 Yellowfin).”

Nantucket Fishing Report

The fishing remains good on the island, according to Tim Coggins at the Nantucket Tackle Center. Topwater plugs, especially pencil poppers, have been producing stripers along the southside, including Cisco, Point of Breakers, and Fishermen’s Beach. Boats, on the other hand, have been traveling to shoals and rips well east of the island if bass are their target. Bluefish are pretty much all around the island, with Miacomet remaining a consistently productive area and the Old Man still worth checking out if you prefer to troll wire-and-parachutes. The rips around Great Point have probably been most consistent for albies, with shore anglers managing to get into them at times as well, with heavier Hogy Epoxy Jigs and Hogy Heavy Metal Jigs popular, along with a variety of other sand eel and small baitfish casting metals and jigs. Smith’s Point and the Bonito Bar have actually been producing more albies than bonito, perhaps because the former are larger and more aggressive. Looking at the upcoming weather, Tim is interested to see if all of the north wind predicted pushes the bass and albies out of the sound into Nantucket Harbor. When I asked him about tuna or billfish south of the island, Tim said that there are a couple of big tuna tournaments this weekend and the word he has gotten is that almost all of the boats are headed east.

Capt. Dave’s Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report- September 2, 2022

Filmed Last Week!

In this video, Capt Mike is joined by Capt. Rob Lowell of Cape Cod Offshore Charters as they target deepwater bluefin tuna on Hogy Charter Grade Poppers.

Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report

It would be fruitless to offer up any specific locations when it comes to where the albies are at any given moment as in all sincerity they have shown in every known location along the southside over the last couple of weeks, with the one generality being that they have been awfully finicky according to most folks. 

Don’t ask me why, but since I had some time to myself, I elected to check out Osterville and Craigville yesterday in the flats boat, hoping that the wind forecast would be off in terms of strength and direction, allowing me to tuck up out of the breeze. Suffice it to say that when I approached the Osterville cut, it was stacked and any sane person would have probably turned around, but I pushed through and my Mitzi Skiff proved to be a worthy submarine. Now some folks will tell you that a flats boat is just fine to fish out of in Cape waters outside of the flats and they may be right, but mine is a 17-foot, 500-pound hull that planes dead flat and there is no way to really get the bow up and have it stay that way. I suspect that the guys fishing on the jetties got a kick out of my getting one roller to roll right over the bow casting deck and do a nice job of soaking me. At that point, I was more determined to make it east and frankly it was no issue once I cleared the mess created by opposing wind and tide, but I can’t emphasize how different a boat made to pole in four to six-inches of water is compared to tin boats that folks like my friend Paul Moriarty use with great success in all conditions, even when it gets snotty. Any way, I made it Dowses and there was a big gaggle of birds working over what I presumed was small bluefish or perhaps even the blue runners that are known to gather there in the fall, so I made it to Craigville and soon encountered some nice schools of albies blasting through baitballs of bay anchovies and peanut bunker. Now, be advised that I was trying to fly fish solo and this is a challenge in the best of conditions, but the rollers and wind had me drifting right over my line, causing me to miss some really nice shots. What I was reminded of, however, is that while some folks only cast to breaking fish, it was clear that these fish would have made great targets for blind casting, as I could see them swirling all around me even when they weren’t busting bait.

Gorilla Tactics Sportfishing found good albie feeds earlier this week.

My friend Bob Lewis was out off of Hyannis yesterday as well, fly rod in hand, and he said it was tough to get set up on the schools of fish they kept popping up around him. In retrospect, carrying a spinning rod would have been a good idea, not because this would have guaranteed hook-ups, but it would have at least let me get a proper presentation in time. 

Now, I realize that this will come across as being a Debbie Downer, but I personally believe that while albie season has started, it definitely is not happening in a big way. Sure, some folks have had great days and there is plenty of bait around to keep them happy – and hopefully swimming around the sounds for the next couple of months. But I believe we need a little cold snap to get the albies really revved up. 

Evan Eastman at Eastman’s Sport & Tackle in Falmouth has become an albie obsessive and he told me that there have been some good bites between Falmouth Harbor and Great Pond, as well as around Waquoit; he also ran into some decent schools down Popponesset way. He has been using silver or silverside Hogy Epoxy Jigs, preferring the 5/8-ounce in calm conditions and the 7/8th version when it is snotty. He added that with the schools on the small side and way too many boats on them, he has made a concerted effort to skip the shit shows and find his own fish, which is a really good idea given what has transpired so far. One angler who keeps his boat in Falmouth Harbor told me on Friday that he should have taken my advice and skipped fishing on Saturday’s as he had folks wrap their lines and lures around his rods that he had stored vertically on his console. Another said he is done fishing for albies on weekends – period. 

Given the report of massive numbers of albies down Monomoy way last week, Matt Cody from North Chatham Outfitters on Monday decided to pay a visit there and he found the same thing I did that day: no signs whatsoever of funny fish on the east side. But while I elected to stay with my friend Gerry Fine and catch some really nice bass in the rips, Matt went back around the point and headed west, eventually finding some solid false albacore action around Bass River; he and his buddy managed a half dozen, including a couple on silver Hogy Epoxy Jigs and a pair on white soft plastics.

Flukwe can still be caught off various jetties on the Cape.
{@rockpylefishing on Instagram}

On my way back in to Stage Harbor, the wind had kicked up and the tide was dumping, creating some really nice chop and there were fish and birds going wild; I immediately got albie fever, convincing myself that this was the largest funny fish blitz I had ever encountered on Cape Cod. Unfortunately – and I only say this because we were looking for another species and I would never demean a chopper – but the vast body of fish proved to be bluefish. That said, Matt showed up at the same time I was there and his friend managed to pull out a bonito, so perhaps there were more funnies around like I originally thought. Gerry and I never hooked up on the fly as the wind and the speed with which the fish were moving made it extremely difficult to get set up properly, but getting to see that kind of all out feeding, with terns and laughing gulls shrieking and bait spraying everywhere, is something I won’t soon forget.

Shore folks are getting some good shots at albies as well and remember that they only get limited opportunities as opposed to somebody in a boat, so give them a break and stay well outside their casting zone. On the other hand, Amy Wrightson at the Sports Port in Hyannis and Osterville had a cool story of a guy who hooked an albie while fishing from a southside jetty and then had a brown shark follow it in, at which point the shark hung around looking for another opportunity to catch a quick meal. He took a video of this action and it reminded me of how my friends Capt Warren Marshall and Bob Lewis described bringing in nothing but the heads of albies they caught in North Carolina and Florida, respectively, thanks to all of the sharks in the area. Speaking of sharks, Andy Little at The Powderhorn in Hyannis said that a good number of the folks who partake of beach fishing for browns, sand bar sharks and any other species that takes an interest in their bait have left for the season.

Whether from boat or shore, the bass fishing in the sounds is nothing to write home about, with some schoolies at night up inside the various backwaters that dot the southside, although Evan Eastman told me about one angler who managed a low 30-inch class fishing around one of the bridges that span the salt ponds in Falmouth. Even the boat crew has, for the most part, given up on fishing for bass in the sounds, with most folks who enjoy the trolling game heading east to Monomoy or, if they want to stay closer to home, to Horseshoe Shoal which is still holding some bluefish. 

The good folks at Riverview Bait & Tackle in South Yarmouth said there is the occasional small bluefish taken from West Dennis Beach and a few schoolies up inside Bass River and the rivers down Harwich way, but bottom fishing for scup and northern kingfish remains the most consistent fishery at the moment until the snapper bluefish action gets going.

Capt. Mike’s Report

Team Hogy patrolled from Falmouth to Gammon Point this morning from 6AM to 10AM. We found albies in all the usual places: Woods hole, Falmouth Harbor, Waquoit, Poppenessett, Cotuit, Osterville and Hyannis BUT! The one commonality was that the feeds were short lived and being poised for fast casts when the opportunity avails itself.

Capt. Mike landing an albie on the 1/2oz Hogy Heavy Minnow.

Some observations:

  • We had the best action off Gammon Point. There were albies scattered throughout the cove. The fleet was VERY WELL BEHAVED, largely avoiding run and gun behavior which is highly disruptive to the fishing as each charge makes albies spookier and more spread out. The albies here were keyed in on teeny silver sides and we had the best action on the 1/2oz Heavy Minnow in Silver side color. We eventually lost the one unit we had and switched to the 3/8oz Hogy Epoxy Jig lure which worked out great but we had less casting range. We were wishing for more 1/2oz HMs…. The small compact body of the 1/2oz Heavy Minnow helps cast the lure an extra 10-12’ over the 3/8oz EPO.

    heavy minnow
    1/2oz Hogy Heavy Minnow in Silverside.
epoxy jig
3/8oz Hogy Epoxy Jig in Silverside.

We noticed orange bait balls near Osterville with no fish on them. I believe those orange baitballs were schools of teeny bay anchovies. We did not see any albies on them, but if we did, we would have cast the 1/2oz Heavy Minnow in shrimp – the same size as the silverside version above. The EPO15 or EPO20 in shrimp is a known producer when small chovies are around.

heavy minnow
1/2oz Hogy Heavy Minnow in Shrimp.
epoxy jig
3/8oz Hogy Epoxy Jig in Shrimp.

We found big pods of peanut bunker all alone between Cotuit and Succonessett. We drifted with them for about 15 minutes hoping the albies would show up and BLAST THEM. The plan worked. We still had our EPO15 Silversides on but hooked up. The ideal lure would have been the Hogy Peanut Bunker Jig. A few boats showed up and we took off.

bait ball
Bait balls are worth sticking around to find albies.

By this point (9:45Amish) the tide was slackish and we didn’t see much on our run in other than a couple of onsies and twosies.We headed in but to our surprise, two pods of albies blasted off the heights as we pulled. Sadly, we didn’t make it in time.

I heard there was a massive fleet off Woods Hole. I heard the boating conditions were very challenging with boats crowding each other which bums me out a little because crowding in on each other is no fun and counterproductive. We saw plenty of albies in our travels with only a handful or no boats on them which is a shame. Hopefully the fishing was fantastic off the Hole so everyone got some! I just heard the boat report. Here’s a few tips on albie etiquette:

Albie Etiquette: 10 Tips for Staying Sane During a Blitz #360

Martha’s Vineyard Fishing Report

The word from Steve Morris at Dick’s Bait & Tackle in Oak Bluffs is that most of the traditional false albacore hotspots – other than Edgartown which he hasn’t heard much about – have been holding schools of albies, but they have been tough to get on the hook. There is a ton of bait around, including silversides, sand eels, and some peanut bunker and that might be the problem – how do you get a fish to eat an artificial when there is so much of the real thing around. The shore bass fishing has been good, with plenty of schoolies up inside the ponds and harbors, while the hardcores continue to pick up slot-and-over bass at night around the rocky structure from Squibnocket to Gay Head. One reality that Steve emphasized about getting information from folks right now is that the Derby is on the horizon, making people even more tight-lipped than usual. The charterboats are trolling up some bass and blues on wire and jigs, as well as deep diving swimmers, between Gay Head and Noman’s, but the bonito bite has been really slow overall, with a few trolled up around Squibby and some out at the Hooter, but folks who are catching them consistently are putting up with a lot of bluefish and really putting in their time. The inshore, casting bite on bones has been virtually non-existent so far, which is kind of surprising given all the bait, including their favorites: the silverside and sand eel. Bluefishing has slowed down recently, with some reports of decent fish around Wasque Point, although the boats are doing much better on blues in this area.

Sam Bell managed to get out on the boat last weekend and said they did well on albies in the water between the Vineyard and Nantucket both on Hogy Epoxy Jigs and soft plastics; anyone who has fished for little tunny in strong moving water or rough water conditions will tell you they are like another fish compared to the ones that you encounter in calmer, clearer water with very little sweep or current. On the other hand, both shore and boat anglers who are sticking closer to the island have been frustrated by how finicky the little tunny are, and when combined with a very quiet bonito fishery so far, folks are searching all over the island for dependable action with little to show for it. A few folks are still working the rocks and white water at night for bass, but far more attention is being paid to the funny fish. 

I spoke with Michael Beebe after his trip with Capt. Jaime Boyle on Monday and they hit a good number of the rips between the Vineyard and Nantucket with no results until they checked out one and found active, happy fish; Michael managed two on the fly, a white sand eel looking pattern that Jaime ties himself. Michael said it was so interesting to go from spot to spot, many of which looked so promising, before finding one that “worked”; as a thinking angler, he kept wondering what it was about that one spot that made it productive. I suspect that bait played a factor, but after having fooled around in rips for years, there are just certain stages of the tide where one comes alive, even for just a brief time, and you have to keep putting in the time to catch those magic moments, something Jaime is renowned for.

Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report

I am a little worried about writing this since it will have folks on the Cape pulling their hair out after another tough week of chasing albies, but Capt. Corey Gammill told me that his fly and spin charters have been racking up big numbers of albies, both at Great Point and the Bonito Bar. In fact, he had just come off a trip where his group managed 10 on the fly and his average trip has been a half dozen or more. Shore anglers are also catching albies up at Great Point, while the Miacomet rip area is producing a mix of bass, blues, and albies for both shore and boat folks. The rips around Tuckernuck and Muskeget continue to produce bass and blues, but the bass in the waters to the east of the island tend to be larger. The key to finding stripers along the southside beaches is to find the white water, Corey advised, with casting pencil poppers and other topwater plugs a really productive and fun way to catch bass and blues; even if the fish aren’t showing, these lures just have a way of bringing them up. Corey added that the amount of sand eels is incredible and even though he hasn’t seen any yet, he suspects that some of the feeds he has seen are driven by the arrival of really small squid. 

For Tim Coggins at The Nantucket Tackle Center, fall is his favorite time of year since the crowds start to dwindle a bit and there are all four of the most popular inshore species to be had around the island. He said that he prefer to troll the Bonito Bar and has been doing well with brightly colored deep diving swimmers, a lure type that works well on bluefish as well. He said there are bluefish all around the island, with Great Point and Miacomet two areas that both shore and boat anglers find good numbers of bluefish, along with false albacore and even some bonito. Bass fishing is definitely an early morning/nighttime activity for shore folks, with surface plugs around first light and plastic lipped swimmers and soft plastics good choices for the dark. Although they might not be the sexiest choice, with all of the sand eels around, thinner profile casting jigs work really well and versions such as the Hogy Epoxy Jig can be worked at all levels of the water column, from skipping it across the surface to bouncing it right on the bottom. For the shore angler, the Hogy Heavy Minnow Jig is an excellent choice when you need to get extra distance, but keep that all important swimming action.

Capt. Dave’s Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report- August 26, 2022

Filmed Last Week!

In this video, Capt. Mike is joined by renowned angler Eric Harrison as they target bluefin tuna on Hogy Sand Eel Jigs.

Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report

It has been an up-and-down week in Nantucket Sound when it comes to albie action, but the one really positive development is the ever increasing amount of bait pouring out of the numerous backwaters that empty into the sound, as noted by Christian Giardini at Falmouth Bait & Tackle. After my business was over on Wednesday, I shot down towards Menauhant and Waquoit and was pleasantly surprised by the amount of bait I saw, both bay anchovies and peanut bunker. In fact, it was the ability to pinpoint a couple of bait balls of bay anchovies that paid off for Michael Beebe in the slop off of Osterville on Monday; we hung with the small rusty brown stains and were rewarded when two of them exploded with that classic albie attack. In both cases, Michael calmly got his tutti frutti Clouser into the mix and came tight almost immediately; it was fun seeing backing and even better being able to watch both fish jet away since I kept up my kneeling and removed the hook without even lifting the fish out of the water.

Albie action is picking up. Here’s one caught by Chris Topher.

Evan Eastman from Eastman’s Sport & Tackle in Falmouth was off of Waquoit Bay that same day and he said the action was outstanding; anyone who has ever fished for albies knows that they are a totally different fish when there is a good chop going, especially when combined with overcast skies. They caught fish on Hogy Epoxy Jigs and soft plastics, but it was especially cool to hear that these fish were so hot that they crashed poppers as well. 

The next day, I was joined by Gerry Fine and Capt. Warren Marshall; it was still plenty overcast and no lack of torrential rain, but the wind had died making for some frustrating fishing between Falmouth Harbor and Waquoit. We got our shots and changed flies frequently, even dropping to 12-pound fluorocarbon tippets, but all we ended up with were wet heads and big slices of humble pie.

To his credit, Evan – who was also out there with his dad, Chuck, but with the advantage of a nice dry cabin – said this variability and unpredictability of albie fishing is what he likes about it; one day you’re a hero with happy fish on every cast and the next they’re still popping – and extending the proverbial middle fin(ger). 

Amy Wrightson from The Sports Port in Hyannis and Osterville managed to steal some time away from her shops on Wednesday and reported that there were some good schools of albies around Osterville and Craigville; she didn’t manage to hook up, but Amy is such a generous of spirit person that she acknowledged it was pretty cool watching a couple of other folks hook and land fish, including a nearby flyrodder. Generally speaking, whether you are using flies or soft plastics, white or pearl is a popular color, but Amy noted that Ben Sussman, who is part of her summer crew, is a big fan of amber imitations. I have seen a number of plastics in this hue work their magic on bonito and albies even when the food is micro sized, making the imitations we were throwing apparently way too big, but the funnies just crushed them. 

The word from Andy Little at The Powderhorn in Hyannis is there has been a good bite off of Great Island, as well around Point Gammon and the shoreline to the east. I can tell you from personal experience that if you are a flyrodder, be prepared to get frustrated if you elect to fish among the kind of fleet that Warren and I unwisely joined last Sunday off of Hyannis. There were some really nice schools, but every time we got set up and had the drift just right, at least one boat filled with spin casters sped over and began to release a fusillade of lures, while at the same time drifting in such a way that they cut off any angle we had on the fish and in at least two cases kept moving towards us where I had to maneuver to avoid getting rammed. Now, I understand the fever that funny fish engender, but if there are multiple anglers on board, I don’t understand why folks can’t take turns at the helm – if they know how to run a boat, that is – or the person who is captaining to give up his or her fishing time to set up their guests or clients, as opposed to grabbing a rod and racing to the bow to get off a cast. 

OK, take a breath, Dave. It was fun seeing Bob Lewis setting up his daughter Caroline and his other guests as they managed seven fish that day on Hogy Epoxy Jigs and plastics – and Bob even got in the act with a fish on a Crease Fly! Now that I think about it, maybe it’s more a matter of Capt. Marshall and I simply spitting the bit when it comes to funny fish flailing. One piece of advice I can offer is to get your albie fishing in during the week; the fishing should only get better over the coming weeks and the crowds will swell, as will the attitudes. An even better idea might be to avoid the temptation to visit a spot where you know a fleet is going to form, even if the reports are saying the fish are virtually jumping in the boat. Sometimes, a little intel and reconnaissance can have you into your own happy albie spot, with nobody else around.

@RockPyleFishing on Instagram, had some solid albie action earlier this week.

While Amy said there are snapper blues up inside the bays, harbors, and rivers along the southside, Andy spoke to a number of folks who have been picking up some nice bluefish at Horseshoe Shoal, mainly on the troll. 

Shore anglers continue to pick up the occasional bluefish from South Cape Beach and Dowses, while the “O Dark Thirty” hardcores are starting to see an uptick in striper activity around Cotuit and Craigville, as well as off West Dennis Beach. Andy said that the water temperatures are starting to trend downward, even up inside the Three Bays where the schoolie bite is a bit more consistent, especially if you can get out of bed before brunch. 

Evan spoke to a hardened shore angler this week who reported catching some decent sized schoolies on swimming plugs and plastics at night in the Popponesset area; the entrance channels there and in locations such as Great Pond, Waquoit, Cotuit Bay, West Bay, and Dowses to the west and Bass River, the Harwich rivers and harbors, and Stage Harbor to the east feature deeper, cooler water which, when combined with all of the bait starting to pour out at the moment, should get the bass bite going on both smaller and even a few surprisingly larger fish. 

Scup fishing remains OK in the sounds, while sea bass of size require looking for hard bottom in deeper water. Meanwhile, the fluke bite has definitely slowed.

Martha’s Vineyard Fishing Report

Like plenty of the dedicated shore anglers on the Vineyard, Doug Asselin from Dick’s Bait & Tackle in Oak Bluffs has been hitting the jetties every morning in search of his first albie of the season. At the moment, there are scattered schools providing sporadic action around State Beach, East and West Chop, and Menemsha; the good news concerns the abundance of bait in pretty much all of the popular inshore locations, which should get things really fired up when the albies show up in force. Boaters are finding a few albies here and there, but things have yet to really go off. As far as the bonito bite goes, it has been a tough season for the boat crew and an even tougher go of it for the shore crowd; folks trolling deep diving swimmers have picked up a few fish down Squibnocket way, as well as out at the Hooter. Doug advised that folks who are trolling should expect plenty of bluefish bites as well, which can lead to increased lure expenditures as it is most common to use lighter fluorocarbon leaders when targeting funny fish. Doug is a fan of the Yo-zuri X Rap deep diver series as it has models that will get down as deep as 40-feet, while the ever popular Yo-zuri DD Crystal Minnow is limited to say between 8 to 13-feet. There is no lack of schoolies in the multitude of bays, harbors, and salt ponds around the island, but this is definitely an early morning bite, followed by dusk as a secondary option. While brown sharks provide most of the action from shore, followed by sand bar, dusky, and even the occasional small thresher, Doug told me that at least three hammerheads were confirmed in various beach locations on the island.

fly rod bass
Gorilla Tactics Sportfishing getting it done on the fly!

Sam Bell at Larry’s Tackle in Edgartown was back on duty after enjoying some vacation time up in New Hampshire and he has heard of 40+-inch, mid-20-pound class bass being caught at night on dark hued swimming plugs from Squibnocket to Gay Head; the challenge, however, is getting the fish to the shore before a brown shark leaves just the head. The Lobsterville Beach area is holding mostly schoolies and the occasional slot fish; think sand eel imitations in this area. The bluefish action has slowed around Chappy for the sand people, but there are some really big choppers being caught by boat at Wasque. Folks targeting sharks continue to do well, with all that is required is a chunk of fresh bait and some heavy equipment.

Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report

Capt. Corey Gammill was good enough to take a moment between trips to fill me in on things out on the Grey Lady, starting with lots of blues around the east side of the island, especially in the Old Man Shoal area. Around the west side, the Bonito Bar is getting better, with a mix of albies, bones, and blues. The false albacore action hasn’t been off the charts just yet, with most trips producing between one and three fish. Great Point is your best bet for albies from boat or shore, with the Bonito Bar next up. Folks are still getting bass in the evening on sand eel imitation jigs fished right in the wash in the evening, especially around Tom Nevers; the shore bluefish bite is OK at Great Point, but Miacomet continues to produce more and larger blues. Plug fishing for stripers is also a good bet in the rips to the west of the island, including Miacomet, Tuckernuck, and Muskeget. 

Over at the Nantucket Tackle Center, Colin Lynch explained that Finnish style swimming plugs from Yo-zuri and Bomber in darker colors have been working on bass at night around Nobadeer and Dionis, with a 35-inch striper caught this week at the latter. There remains a good bluefish shore bite around the Sewer Pipe, which Colin said is between the airport and Miacomet. Albie fishing is improving, with plenty of small bait in the form of sand eels and peanut bunker to keep the funny fish busy; no one area has had a monopoly on the little tunny, with Great Point, Miacomet, and Smith’s Point areas where some have been caught. Bonito action as the Bonito Bar remains a slow pick, almost exclusively on the troll, with no fish reported from the Harbor just yet.

Capt. Dave’s Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report- August 19, 2022

Check out the all new CLEAR Hogy Charter Grade Poppers.

Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report

Bob Lewis was on his way to work Thursday morning when he received a call from Chris Gill that there were albies working hard off of Osterville, Craigville, and Wianno. Of course, as any good funny fish angler would do, Bob put off the office for a bit and turned around, heading for the marina. When he made it out of the Osterville cut, there were some nice schools of fish working small bait, including along the jetty where a friend of his said he had gotten a number of good shots from shore. Anyone who has ever fished albies with a fly rod – especially when doing it solo – understands the challenges of setting up a drift, especially when the wind is howling as it was yesterday, only to have an idiot with a spinning rod racing around, cutting you off. Sure enough, there was only one other boat where Bob was, but it happened to be a knucklehead who has been given an appropriate moniker given his penchant for racing towards every school of breaking fish. Sure enough, just as Bob had set upwind and was drifting towards a school, this clown raced across his bow, ruining any chance he had of making a cast.

albie fishing
Capt. Terry Nugent of Riptide Charters had an epic day albie fishing earlier this week.

Unlike others – including yours truly at times – Bob keeps his temper in check and elected to move towards Craigville, where there was a mix of albies and bluefish; ultimately, after switching from a intermediate line and first a tutti fruitti unweighted streamer and then a Clouser in the same color scheme, Bob hooked up with a Crease Fly on a floating line. It was so cool listening to Bob describe the take as the little tunny screamed across the water in pursuit of the surface fly that mimicked a peanut bunker perfectly. 

Over at Eastman’s Sport & Tackle in Falmouth, Matt Garland confirmed what I had been hearing about massive schools of albies between Menemsha and Noman’s; his buddy was returning from going offshore for tuna and billfish south of the Vineyard earlier this week and told Matt that the false albacore were breaking everywhere. I can’t imagine that they all moved inshore at once, but clearly a portion of them have. 

Matt said that on Wednesday evening, a couple was enjoying dinner on their boat off of Falmouth Heights when they were suddenly surrounded by a large school of breaking fish that certainly sounded like albies, and given other reports of funny fish around Waquoit and even in Woods Hole, odds are that these uninvited guests were false albacore. 

Andy Little at the Powderhorn in Hyannis reported that some nice schools of albies were racing around the waters near Horseshoe Shoal earlier this week, a clear indication that fish are starting to move inshore all along the southside, mainly because of all of the small bait that is starting to pour out of the backwaters from Falmouth to Chatham.

More albies aboard Riptide Charters.

The word from Ben Sussman at the Sports Port in Hyannis is there are some small schoolie bass being caught inside the Three Bays and small bluefish from Waquoit to Craigville while Frank Mainville said that during his recent AM walks along the Popponesset Spit he has scene fish pushing bait against the shoreline, a scene reminiscent of the early stages of what used to be called the fall run. Capt. Corey Gammill out on Nantucket had an interesting suggestion that with the warmer than usual spring water temperatures, the eggs of species such as menhaden that drift into the southside backwaters might be hatching and developing earlier, resulting in what appears to be an earlier fall run. 

According to Mac at Riverview Bait & Tackle in South Yarmouth, they haven’t seen any albies yet, but with all of the small bait in the rivers and harbors down that way, the funnies should show up soon, especially now that they have been seen in force from Falmouth to Hyannis. 

Beach fishing is generally really slow, according to Christian Giardini at Falmouth Bait & Tackle; the last report he had of bass or bluefish from shore was over a week ago from South Cape Beach, where a couple of blues were caught on bait. 

Fluke Fishing Report

Fluke fishing in the sounds has been OK, with fish reported moving in closer to the entrances to Waquoit and Popponesset, with plenty of scup around as well. My buddy Capt. Warren Marshall went out towards Succonesset earlier this week and managed to pick up some legal sized sea bass amongst all of the really small ones; bigger baits and deeper edges proved to be the key to finding fish for dinner.

Martha’s Vineyard Fishing Report

The good news from Steve Morris at Dick’s Bait & Tackle in Oak Bluffs is that the albies have shown up in force along State Beach, as well as some good catches off East Chop, which means they are probably up inside Vineyard Haven as well. Some schools of little tunny have been encountered down around Menemsha, while the Hooter is primarily seeing far more bluefish than bonito. Squibnocket has had an OK bonito bite on the troll, but from there to Gay Head it has been mainly about bluefish. In fact, Steve said the bluefish action has been really good around the island, with Chappy and Wasque Point the best bets for shorebound folks while boaters are picking them up in the shoals between the Vineyard and her sister island, Nantucket. If you want to get up early, you can enjoy consistent action on small bass inside all of the salt ponds around the island; this is definitely a false dawn activity, with a variety of smaller lures working, including peanut bunker and sand eel soft plastic imitations; small casting jigs such as Hogy Epoxy Jigs and the classic island metal, the Deadly Dick; and small spooks and swimmers.

A recent albie sent in by @13igvu on Instagram.

Meanwhile, Sam Bell at Larry’s Tackle in Edgartown said that a friend of his picked up a 31-inch, 14-pound albie from a boat and there have been big schools of them in all of the usual haunts on the east side of the island. The hardcore shore folks are still managing bass up to the 20-pound class at night using needlefish and live eels around the rocks between Squibnocket and Gay Head, but the rest of the island has been pretty quiet when it comes to stripers of size. The bluefish action is great along the southside of the island, while shoals such as Hedge Fence and Middle Ground have been pretty quiet, with a few fluke around as well as a smattering of small bluefish.

Nantucket Fishing Report

Capt. Corey Gammill was anticipating good things on Friday once the wind settled; prior to the two day blow, the albie fishing was picking up, with the first of the season caught from shore at Great Point and a few picked up by the sand people down around Miacomet, which has also seen excellent bluefish action. In fact, Corey said there have been blues all along the southside for boat and shore anglers. Corey has picked up albies by boat at the Bonito Bar, Miacomet, and other spots around the west side of the island; he said it hasn’t been off-the-charts just yet, but he has managed at least one amongst all of the bluefish in these areas. The concentrations of sand eels around the island are just incredible, Corey noted, with the bonito most consistent around Smith’s Point, which is known for its plethora of these thin profiled baitfish. So far, white soft plastics and narrow profile casting tins and Hogy Epoxy Jigs have been working well on all four species this year, with a pick of smaller bass on the shoals and white water off of Tuckernuck and Muskeget.

Albies aren’t the only funny fish around. Bonito have been worth targeting too! This one was caught aboard Gorilla Tactics Sportfishing.

Colin Lynch was manning the phone at the Nantucket Tackle Center and explained that there has been a decent early morning bass bite between the 40th Pole and Eel Point. The Miacomet Rip has a mix of albies and bluefish, as is the case with Great Point. The southside is experiencing really good bluefish action; topwater plugs such as pencil poppers are very popular on Nantucket when it comes to casting for choppers, with sand eel imitation jigs a good choice when the fish are holding outside the distance that can be achieved with a plug. Deadly Dicks have always been an island favorite, but Hogy Epoxy Jigs and Hogy Heavy Metal Jigs are garnering more converts as well. Colin said the Bonito Bar has slowed a bit, but a return to winds out of the southwest should help the action pick up there as well.

Capt. Dave’s Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report- August 12, 2022

Take a look into Capt. Mike’s inshore fishing tackle, featuring the Hogy Mesh Crate Storage System.

Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report

Given what I hear, there must be a lot of forlorn faces among the anglers who count on the sounds to produce most of their fishing successes as this area is locked into a heavy case of the summer doldrums. 

In fact, it was so bad for me on Tuesday that my buddy, Capt. Warren Marshall, and I got excited seeing some scattered groupings of terns, hoping against hope that we might be the first anglers to happen upon some funny fish in the sounds this year. That said we knew in our hearts that they were most likely small bluefish and after hooking one and having it spit the hook on a popper, we finished our cruise back to Falmouth Harbor. Despite my prodding, Warren made the wise decision not to grab his fly rod and put one of his precious funny fish flies – the Blue Slammer that he created himself – in front of a mini-chopper which would have made short work of his 12-pound tippet. 

Bob Lewis said that last Saturday, one his way back from Monomoy, they found peanut bunker flying out of the water around the entrance to Osterville as they tried to escape the jaws of what Bob assumed were small bluefish, although they never hooked up for a definitive ID. On Sunday, he went back and the birds were right where he left them, but again they just weren’t interested. There have been similar reports around the entrance to Waquoit and Andy Little at The Powderhorn in Hyannis said there have been terns working over small bait down around Craigville, typically a spot that produces Spanish mackerel and even king mackerel, usually on the troll with small deep diving Finnish style swimmers that work well at high speeds.

shark tagging
Shark tagging aboard Gorilla Tactics Sportfishing

On Tuesday, Evan Eastman and his dad Chuck cruised over to Horseshoe Shoal after hearing reports from one person of false albacore he caught there recently, but all they came up with was a half dozen sea bass while trolling. This area has been producing bluefish all summer long – something it has been known for over the years – but the word is that it has been tough to find decent sized choppers consistently over the last week, even at areas such as Succonesset, Hedge Fence, and Middle Ground that are known to have blues even in the doggiest days of summer. 

As for bass, either from boat or shore, the news is not positive; if there are any fish around, they are holding with their bellies on the bottom. That means scratching deep with wire and jigs, or as in the case of folks who know Vineyard Sound well, fishing live bait deep in the holes heading down towards Gay Head and off of Cuttyhunk, especially at night. 

According to Matt Cardarelli at Riverview Bait & Tackle in South Yarmouth, the best action from the southside beaches from Falmouth to Harwich has been on sharks, mainly browns but with a few others like sandbar and even an occasional more exotic variety thrown in. This is generally night fish with heavy gear, so don’t go unprepared.

Martha’s Vineyard Fishing Report

When both of the shops I speak to regularly on the island say the fishing is pretty bad, then that’s saying something. 

Doug Asselin at Dick’s Bait & Tackle in Oak Bluffs said that the bluefishing has slowed down quite a bit lately, with a few around Chappy for the shore folks, but it is very inconsistent. As for catching bass from the beach, things are very slow and it’s tough when a tourist comes in and says that want to catch a striper from shore and “you really can’t give him any real hope that it can be done right now.” On the other hand, sharking remains good around East Beach. The boat crew is doing better on blues around Wasque and Squibnocket, but it has been mainly a trolling bite on parachute jigs and deep diving swimmers used with wire line; surface feeds aren’t that common, with your best bet early mornings. The Hooter has had a few bonito, but the inshore bite has been non-existent, with a lot of people looking but nobody is reporting any signs of slashing fish, other than a few small blues in the harbors. 

Over at Larry’s in Edgartown, Joel said that the hardcore surf guys and gals are scratching up a decent bass here and there between Squibnocket and Gay Head fishing needlefish and eels, but the north shore is very quiet. The key to catching any bass has been to get deep, with a few legal fish being caught by boat anglers on live bait and chunks the closer you get to Menemsha and Devil’s Bridge, as well as Squibby, but again you have to use rigs that will get them deep. The sharking is good, however, around the east facing beaches, making up for what Joel called “really slow when it comes to bluefish” along East Beach and even Wasque Point. The bonito have yet to show, never mind albies, and the last two guys he spoke to who fished around the Claw and the Dump came up empty on tuna. 

During his stay on the Vineyard, Jeff Hopwood from Maco’s in Buzzards Bay and Monument Beach said there was a lot of small bait around Oak Bluffs, while Rory Edwards at Falmouth Bait & Tackle told me that on their way back in from offshore yesterday, they saw funny fish off of State Beach. He couldn’t say if they were bonito or albies, but if they were the former, they were big.

Nantucket Fishing Report

The word from Capt. Corey Gammill is that if you want to fish bass by boat or shore, you have to find the white water since it is a bit colder and holds more bait. The east facing beaches have produced some smaller bass, but Great Point is closed to oversand travel, pretty much eliminating one of the better spots for shore angler. On the other hand, boaters have managed a few bonito and even a handful of albies off of Great Point and there are some bluefish in the mix as well. Some bonito are being caught around Madaket as well, but Corey said that the Bonito Bar, which had been productive, albeit on mainly small bones, has quieted since the wind started to really stir things up starting last weekend. Old Man is still producing bluefish and the shoals between Muskeget and Tuckernuck continue to produce mainly bluefish and the odd bass here and there, but again, the key is finding a rip that is really working up good. 

Over at the Nantucket Tackle Center, Austin Conroy pointed to Dionis as one spot that is still turning up some bass from shore, with topwater plugs working in the early morning with a change over to weighted soft plastics and swimmers a key to success from dusk to dawn. The southside has been quiet on bluefish, but Sankaty is still producing some nice choppers for boaters, while making the run well east to the Vortex is your best bet if you want to get into some larger bass. The bonito bite has slowed this week, but they were being caught in more spots around the island before that. Trolling has definitely been the way to go at the moment, with no fish turning up inside the harbor just yet.

Capt. Dave’s Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report- August 5, 2022

Filmed Last Week

Despite being in the “Dog Days” of summer, Capt. Mike found some hot and heavy topwater bluefish action at Hedgefence.

Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report

This is bluefish time, but from what I gather, even they have been hit-or-miss at the moment. 

Evan Eastman at Eastman’s Sport & Tackle in Falmouth said there have been some small blues around Middle Ground and Hedge Fence, but even this hasn’t been the topwater bite that folks associate with choppers; instead, you want to concentrate on the deep water on either side of the shoals with jigs on wire or deep diving swimmers. It’s the same story around Horseshoe Shoal according to Andy Little at The Powderhorn in Hyannis; bluefish can handle water that is too warm for bass, but even they seek cooler conditions when it reaches the mid-70 range as it is in Nantucket Sound. 

On a positive note, Gary Blazis at The Sports Port in Hyannis and Osterville found random schools of small bluefish on top between Succonesset Shoal and Horseshoe yesterday; they were spitting up peanut bunker, perhaps a sign of good things to come for the funny fish fandom. Speaking of bones, there have been no reports of slashing fish from any spots along the southside that typically harbor the first funny fish on the year. That said, any news of concentrations of small bait and water temperatures as they are right now have in the past combined to produce a sudden appearance of Spanish and small king mackerel off of Craigville Beach and Osterville, as well as bonito in what Mike Issner used to call the Magic Triangle: Middle Ground to Hedge Fence to Succonesset. 

If you want to catch bass of size, go deep – period. Sam Bell over at Larry’s in Edgartown said that one commercial bass sharpie managed his limit this week fishing in Vineyard Sound, but he knows the humps and holes like the back of his hand and he was – dare I say it – yo-yoing pogies – and we will go with the story that he was using a legal rigging technique where the weight and skewer weren’t inside the baitfish. You know, just like all of the charterboats and recreationals up in Plymouth are transferring their pogies from a snatch hook to circle as opposed to just dropping them down as only commercials are legally allowed to do.

Fluke Fishing Report:

Plenty of sublegal fluke around Lucas Shoal and other spots in Vineyard Sound closer to the Cape and it’s the same in Nantucket Sound. Evan Eastman said the ratio of legal to throwbacks has been has been well in the favor of the latter around Hedge Fence and Succonesset, often leading to frustration since in some spots they are an inch or so shy. That said, Evan added that the deep water at the far western end of Middle Ground is still holding some decent fish amongst the shorts. Given the numbers of small fish, you would think this would be good news for commercial flukers who are allowed to take fish as small as 14-inches as opposed to 16-5-inch recreational minimum, but the few I have spoken with said this season hasn’t been as good as last year. Jim Young fished with Kyle Rigazio last Friday and they managed five legal fluke, but they were fishing down towards Menemsha in deeper water where there are lots of lobster pots and other gear that keeps the dragger, while Lee Boisvert at Riverview Bait & Tackle in South Yarmouth explained that a good number of boats down his way that are looking for fluke – and sea bass – to take home for the dinner table are heading east towards Monomoy. Speaking of sea bass, there are plenty of small ones in the upper reaches of Vineyard Sound and throughout Nantucket Sound, mixed in with a mixed bag of scup sizes; if you need bigger BSB, then fishing the deeper water in V-Sound off of Gay Head out to Noman’s is your best.

From shore, nobody I spoke to had good news on bass and only the occasional bluefish is being caught on bait around Menauhant, South Cape Beach, and Dowses, but for the most part the sand-and-rock people are dealing with scup and northern kingfish. On the other hand, the beach sharking is excellent. While typically a dusk-to-dawn activity, Gary Blazis reported that one dedicated shark angler has been doing really well around Kalmus Beach during the day; at one point, he had three rods set up in sand spikes when they all went down. They were brown sharks on the lines, but there was also a thresher taken in the same area recently. 

Martha’s Vineyard Fishing Report

Steve Morris at Dick’s Bait & Tackle in Oak Bluffs said there is still some good action on bluefish around Chappy for the sand people as well from the boats at Wasque and along the southside from Squibnocket over to Gay Head. Bass have been tough to come by, with deep presentations key, including the old wire-and-parachute/pork rind combination, although some charterboats employ deep diving swimmers with success, especially around Squibby. Steve added that folks have been out high speed trolling deep diving Yo-zuri Crystal Minnows in hopes of finding bonito south and east of the island, but so far, it has been pretty quiet. And there has been word of bonito busting bait from any of the known island locales. Speaking of Squibnocket, Jim Young fished there last Friday with Kyle Rigazio and he managed a nice, fat 33-inch bass on a pogy chunk and he added that Kyle has been managing a pick of fish there on most of his trips. 

The news from Sam Bell at Larry’s Bait & Tackle in Edgartown is that bass fishing has definitely slowed from the beaches, with a few fish up to the 20-pound class being caught between Squibnocket and Gay Head on needlefish plugs and live eels. The beach shark fishing remains really good around East Beach, while there are still good numbers of schoolies up inside the harbors and ponds, but you have to fish at night and match the hatch to get them to eat since they are on small bait. Of course, the presence of so many sand eels, silversides, and other diminutive baitfish as people anticipating the arrival of bonito, but so far there has been no inshore action, with only a few caught on the troll at the Hooter among plenty of bluefish, resulting in increased lure sales since you troll for bones with lighter fluorocarbon leaders that are no match for a chopper’s dentures. 

Nantucket Fishing Report

While everyone else around the Cape and Vineyard can only wait and hope for the first funny fish arrivals, Austin Conroy at Nantucket Tackle Center said there are bonito on both sides of the island, including around Great Point and off of Smith’s Point at the Bonito Bar. Trolling is definitely the way to go, with Austin saying the trips he has made to the Bar have produced around a half dozen on Yo-zuri Deep Diving Crystal Minnows. There are bluefish at Great Point as well, while shore anglers are catching blues and a few small bass at Quidnet on metal jigs, especially longer, thinner profiles that match sand eels. As the bonito fill in, Austin pointed out that they typically move into the harbor, producing hot action around the Jetties and Brant Point. As far as bass go, it’s been a tough go close to the island, with one boat making the trip out to the Vortex, a confluence of shoals that is about 17 miles east of Great Point, where they found a good number of decent bass in the 30+-inch range casting plugs and plastics. 

Capt. Corey Gammill was good enough to take a moment to check in between his trips on Thursday and said there are still bass around, but the key is finding white water, whether from the beach or boat. Sand eel imitations are working well on everything from bass to blues to bonito, with the latter being caught at Smith’s Point and Great Point. There are also still some bluefish along the southside and the flats are still producing bass, but you have to bring your A game in terms of casting and presentation. Corey confirmed that they caught their first albie on August 1 from an undisclosed location, which is crazy early, and he hopes this is a sign of a great season to come with Fat Albert.

Capt. Dave’s Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report- July 29, 2022

Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report

When all I can gather in the way of encouraging news is beach shark fishing and scattered reports of bluefish, I know we are in the depths of the summer doldrums for the casting and trolling crews. 

Christian Giardini at Falmouth Bait & Tackle said that some of his shop’s crew have taken to dunking dead eels around Menauhant and Bristol Beaches, but they have been struggling with keeping fish buttoned up; no problem with getting what are most likely brown sharks to take their baits, but keeping one on the line is another matter. They have tried all kinds of rigging, including Christian giving them a lesson in bridling, but so far all they managed is frustration, something he is confident they will change soon. Christian did say that when he was driving into work earlier this week, he saw someone hooked up inside one of the salt ponds; I was surprised to hear that this was about 7:30 AM since I assume that with this heat wave, once the sun is up the fish are down and out for the day along the southside shoreline. Shows what I know, doesn’t it? 

Overall, however, Evan Eastman at Eastman’s Sport & Tackle said that beach fishing in the Falmouth and Mashpee areas has slowed way down. If you were to go – and a good part of the enjoyment inherent in fishing is just being out there – he recommended chunk baits as the way to go and the darker hours as the best time to employ them; mackerel and squid are most popular, but if you can get your hands on some fresh or recently frozen pogies, then you might have an ace in the hole. South Cape Beach and Popponesset were two areas mentioned when it comes to chunking for blues. A great deal of the southside is known for being sandy, shallow, and rather featureless, but as Andy Little at The Powderhorn in Hyannis pointed out, there are areas with deeper drop-offs and holes, as well as entrance channels and sections of rocky structure where bass can be found at night. Obviously, this is not the time for ripping poppers across the surface, with slow bouncing soft plastics like the Hogy Original 10-inch one way to go, along with crawling wooden metal lip swimmers or one of the many Finnish-style swimmers another. Live eels are tough to beat, too – there, I had to say it!

Andy has typically mentioned Craigville Beach as a popular beach sharking location, but he added that a nice fish was caught at Kalmus Beach this week as well. The really cool thing about beach fishing is hooking into that one surprise catch – and it only takes one, as Amy Wrightson at The Sports Port in Hyannis noted. For example, a couple of kids who come into her shop were fishing Dowses recently and catching scup and northern kingfish, which along with sea robins are your typical height-of-summer catches, especially during the daytime and when using squid. But one of them managed to hook into something much larger, which ultimately turned out to be a 22-inch fluke, a great catch whether from boat or beach.

Sharking is the big story as we continue east, with Mike O’Harra hearing of browns and the occasional sandbar from West Dennis Beach, as well as beaches down Harwich and Chatham way; Mike emphasized that these can be really big fish – well over 100-pounds – and require stout tackle and hooks rigged on heavy wire – typically cable – leaders. One mistake folks make is assuming that sharks will eat anything and, in fact, prefer smelly, even rotten bait. Nothing could be further from the truth, advised Amy Wrightson. If you are going to use chunks of bluefish or pogy (menhaden or bunker, for those of you who hail from regions elsewhere), then get the freshest you can since they provide the best scent trail that only the juices from the best bait can produce. And if you opt to go with what is the number one bait mentioned by beach sharkers – the dead eel – then don’t ask for the ones that have died in the tank and developed a serious case of rigor mortis. Any serious bass angler who uses rigged eels or skins his or her own eels would never use them and nor should you. On the other hand, if a shop freezes eels that die – and conscientious ones like Amy’s look to make sure the eyes are still clear before opting to bag them up and put them in the deep freeze – they will work just fine. And, I suppose, there are sharkers who prefer to “whack” their own snakes before feeding them to Bruce’s smaller, but no less impressive, cousins.

As far as boaters go, it certainly looks like this is bluefish time, with a side of fluke and perhaps even some scup. Horseshoe Shoal is one area mentioned by multiple shops if you are looking to get into some blues, which have been smaller lately, with the bigger double-digit critters apparently having moved out towards Monomoy and Nantucket. Although bluefish are known to tolerate warmer water than striped bass, even they will often be found in the deeper water areas of the shoals, with jigging wire often out producing trolling swimmers right up on the shallower areas. Nobody really had encouraging news about bigger bass in the sounds, whether it was jigging wire on the shoals or the holes and humps that characterize Vineyard Sound the closer you get to Menemsha and Gay Head. 

I spoke to a couple of commercial flukers and they said the fishing has been OK, with one noting that it hasn’t been as good as last year and the other emphasizing that he is catching a few more selects (two to three-pound fish) and even the occasional jumbo (four-pounds and up). The deeper water around the north shore of the Vineyard has often been mentioned as an area that holds larger fluke, but strong currents in this area make heavier jigs and sinkers a necessity. Evan Eastman said that the far western end of Middle Ground is still fishing well, while both Lucas Shoal and Hedge Fence have been just OK, with lots and lots of throwbacks. Oh, and Evan added that MG holding some bluefish and small bass, especially in the early morning and evening if that time of day coincides with incoming water. 

Although I would not pass up a nice fried scup dinner, they do drive tube-and-wormers crazy since they are bait stealers of the highest order. On the other hand, there are still some larger ones around, making folks who prefer groundfishing happy as the sea bass bite has slowed. Evan did say that he has spoken to one commercial sea basser who has been doing really well, but he has refused to give up his spot – as it should be. Again, deeper water at this time of year is often mentioned as a key to finding larger BSB, with humps often holding a convention of these fish.

Martha’s Vineyard Fishing Report

If there is one major thing I respect about Steve Morris at Dick’s Bait & Tackle in Oak Bluffs is that he tells it the way it is and he said the fishing around the island has been “horrible” lately due to all of this warm water. A few bass are being caught around Squibnocket and between Gay Head and Noman’s, but you have to work awfully hard for even a small fish or two, never mind anything of size. Steve added that there are bass in the ponds and harbors, but they are tough to catch. The one saving grace is that there is plenty of bait around and when this weather breaks things could get good. For the shore folks, the good news is that Chappy is now open to over sand travel, so hopefully there will be some good reports concerning bluefish from the shore, with boaters still picking up blues around Wasque and the shoals east towards Nantucket. 

Over at Larry’s in Edgartown, Sam Bell acknowledged that bass fishing has slowed around the island for both boat and shore anglers. The hardcore shore folks have been picking at some fish, including the occasional over slot striper, around Gay Head, Squibnocket, and some of the rocky structure spots on the north shore. This is strictly a night time activity, with eels preferred by some, while needlefish remain a top choice for folks who prefer to go the artificial route.  I know of one guy from the Cape who had been making the run to chunk pogies off Squibnocket, but that has died down and overall the Vineyard crowd isn’t having much better luck than folks from the Cape are having in the sounds. If there is one saving grace, there are still bluefish around Wasque, but they are now on the smaller side as opposed to the really big stuff from a couple of weeks ago. 

Evan Eastman tried the Hooter for bonito on Tuesday, but the swell made it tough to keep their fast troll swimming plugs working correctly; they did manage one bluefish and on the way back found a number of boats working over bluefish off of Cape Poge.

Nantucket Fishing Report

The folks at Nantucket Tackle Center provided the news that plenty of folks have been waiting for: bonito showed up in good numbers at the Bonito Bar. Spencer said he fished there yesterday and they caught seven bones, including the largest one he has ever seen. They trolled long billed swimming plugs that swim correctly even at higher trolling speeds until they hooked up and then they changed over to plugs of the same family, but more suited to casting with their shorter lips. There were also some bluefish mixed, but they required trolling deeper in the water column. Great Point has also seen a few bonito caught by the boat crew, but be advised that you might have to work you way through some bluefish to connect with a bone. Along the north shore, there are some blues around the 40th pole, but the south facing beaches are way too warm for any kind of consistent fishing. Some bass continue to be caught on wire off of Sankaty, but more boats are heading for shoals way to the east such as Great Round and McBlair’s.

Capt. Dave’s Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report- July 22, 2022

Latest Video

In our latest video, Capt. Mike Hogan heads offshore targeting bluefin tuna on spinning gear using a combination of the Hogy Harness Jigs and Hogy Charter Grade Sliders.

Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report

After trying his tube-and-worm, Capt. Mike opted to go for what I have labeled a “smorgasbord trip,” trying out different spots and techniques in the sounds: “We punted on trolling the tubes and shot across to Lucas Shoal. We dropped some Sand Eel jigs paired with biki rigs and he 15-inch fluke bite was red hot, but since they need to be 16.5-inches to keep, we moved on.
We checked out Middle Ground and there were a handful of larger blues in the rip. We caught a few on Hogy Surface Pencils
But we still curious to find out what else was going on so we zipped over to Hedge Fence to find a full on blitz of blues crashing on juvenile squid. It was amazing. Bluefish where chasing squid around just like you would expect stripers to do in the spring. We made a short instructional bluefish video and kept a bunch for a fillet demonstration with our new knives back at the dock. My favorite fried bluefish recipe was on the menu at the Hogan household that night.”

One of many 15″ fluke caught by Capt. Mike Hogan.

Clearly, from what I gathered this week, bluefish are definitely on the menu, whether you want to catch or eat them. Ken Cirillo was grounded for last Saturday’s Rotary fishing tournament – something about his wife’s birthday and son and spouse being in town and not wanting to end up in the penalty box with his daughter, who really loves to fish – but he did file a report about Bruce Cunningham: “Bruce did fish on Horseshoe and caught a decent number of blues, mostly in the mid-eight-pound range trolling Hootchies and Rebel like lures. He said it was pretty good for most of the time they were fishing.”

Amy Wrightson at The Sports Port in Hyannis added that at times folks have run into some bigger blues in the 10 to 12-pound range; in those scenarios, there might not be as many fish, but bluefish of that size are a lot of fun. While trolling is fun, you can also employ this technique to locate the fish and then switch over to surface plugs like the Hogy Pencil Popper or Hogy Squid Plug and enjoy watching them display their pugnacious character. Both of these plugs feature single tail hooks that are perfect for blues which chase their prey, looking to lop off their motors – their tails – and also assist in landing and releasing these toothsome critters, especially if crush the barbs down. The body of the plug also keeps your hands away from a bluefish’s dentures, although I do have to admit that the pencil is longer and gives you just that much more separation from their jaws.

Evan Eastman at Eastman’s Sport & Tackle in Falmouth said that Middle Ground has been holding some smaller bass, mainly on the colder, incoming tide but they are running on the smaller size and there are far more bluefish in the mix. He added that if you are determined to stick close to home and yet want to try for something larger, then jigging wire is the way to go around the rip around Nobska or L’Hommedieu/Halfway, or perhaps even vertical jigging in the deep water around the far western end of MG. Debbie and Chuck Eastman have been doing well recently fluke fishing, with Evan’s mom picking up a fish in what looked to be the five to six-pound range, again in the deep water around Middle Ground. Overall, they picked a half dozen legal fish, all released and awaiting the next boat that wants them for table fare. Given the number of fluke rigs he has been selling lately, Evan said the bite must be improving on legal fish must be improving, with Lucas Shoal also  producing more fish, but you are going to have to pick through plenty of shorts. 

The black sea bass bite is definitely slower, with folks encountering more small fish, with the exception of Kyle Rigazio who likes to fish the deeper water off the north shore of the Vineyard; this requires heavier jigs or sinkers due a combination of depth and current speed. As Evan pointed out, we’re not talking about two-ounce jigs, but more in the range of eight-ounces and even ten at times when the moon tides are running harder. Overall, the live bait bite in Vineyard Sound has slowed; a few fish are being picked over by the regulars who know the humps and holes, but even they are finding it tough at times to keep their precious baits away from the increasing numbers of big bluefish. 

As far as shore fishing goes around the beaches that front on Nantucket Sound, things are tough as this hot, steamy weather has turned local waters into a sauna. Andy Little at The Powderhorn advised that even the bluefish shore bite has died off around Oregon Beach and South Cape Beach, with your best bet for finding any sizeable bass is to fish at night using live eels or metal lip swimmers, especially around rocky structure that features deeper, stronger currents with water that is even just a couple of degrees colder. As Amy W. admitted, boats definitely have the advantage when it comes to bass and blues, with very little to reports from shore on these species; in fact, it’s been pretty much scup and northern kingfish from the beaches, with a lone sublegal fluke from Dowses getting more attention than it deserves. Of course, if you do want a challenge in the midst of the midsummer doldrums along the shoreline, then it’s all about sharks; Amy said that folks have been picking up mainly brown sharks off of Craigville and South Cape Beach. Connor Swartz at Red Top in Buzzards Bay also spoke highly of South Cape Beach, but he has also been getting some nice fish around Woods Hole at night. He has been catching mainly brown sharks, which can get up to 200-pounds, but there is also the occasional sand tiger in the mix and they get much bigger. 

Mouth shot of a brown shark caught by @wycegoesfishing on Instagram.

Down around the mid-Cape, the word from Lee Boisvert at Riverview Bait & Tackle in South Yarmouth is that sharks are also providing the best opportunity get a real tussle on your hands, with most folks limited to scup and kingfish from the beaches. West Dennis Beach is a good option for sharks close to his shop, but Lee added that the beaches more towards Harwich and Chatham also have some decent sharking. 

Capt. Charlie Richmond sent me a report about a great bluefish trip last Saturday out off of Nantucket, but I had to ask him if he saw any bass action up inside the Three Bays area of Cotuit/Osterville since I knew he leaves the dock early, but he responded by saying that there was nothing going on at 4:30 AM when he left Prince Cove and I can’t imagine that this sauna is doing anything for the backwater fishing anywhere along the southside. That is, with the possible exception of the Chatham area, where I have seen flyrodders and light tackle folks in the wee hours of the morning picking at some small bass outside of Stage Harbor and around Morris Island, Although I have been marking water temperatures up in the low to mid-70 range up inside where I launch, there is the chance that this area is feeling some influence from water coming in through the cuts to the barrier beach to the east, which is typically much colder this time of year. It’s important to note that these folks are fishing before first light.

Martha’s Vineyard Fishing Report

Steve Morris at Dick’s Bait & Tackle in Oak Bluffs reported that there are still good numbers of bluefish around Chappy for the sand people, with boaters still finding some bass at Wasque amidst all of the blues. There are bass being caught on the troll from Gay Head out to Noman’s, with the key on larger fish being – you guessed it! – getting deep. Jim Young told me that Kyle Rigazio has been picking up some slot sized bass fishing pogy chunks down around Squibnocket, an area known primarily for trolling activity among the charterboats that run out of Menemsha and use smaller jigs on wire as well as Hootchies. The shore action for larger bass is definitely better at night among the rocks between Gay Head and Squibby, with a few fish coming from the north shore. The salt ponds continue to hold smaller bass, but they are really warming up, making night fishing a must. 

Pink & White Hogy Surface Pencils are a perfect “hatch matcher” for all the squid in the sounds.

Although Phil Stanton is a dedicated Woods Hole and Elizabeths guy, he switched it up last Sunday and fished the Devil’s Bridge area in 85 to 105-feet. He and his two guests were vertical jigging; one of the guys aboard was from Florida and used a flutter jig, while Phil and the other angler used traditional diamond jigs. As Phil explained, “I am a numbers guy and I keep a detailed log of what we catch and on this day, in three hours we caught 41 sea bass, six of them big, legal fish; 12 sea robins; 15 cunners or what we used to call sea perch; a ten-pound bluefish that took the jig on the drop about 30-feet down; and a 20-pound bass right on the bottom in 102-feet of water.”At this point in the season, a lot of folks are thinking about bonito, and as Steve said, “Everybody is asking and everybody is talking about them, but nobody is catching.”

For some reason, many people associate mid-July with the start of bonito season, but my experience has shown that late July into early August is a more reliable time. I guess it’s all of this warm weather and water that has people fixated on hardtails. Over at Larry’s Tackle in Edgartown, Julian Pepper has heard rumors of a few bonito caught on the troll at the Hooter, but this area is still filled with bluefish and while that may be good for tackle shops since most of the time folks are trolling smaller, high speed swimming plugs on light leaders, it can get expensive replacing these lures. Boaters are catching plenty of bluefish around Wasque, but the bass bite for the stinkpotters has been tough.

On the other hand, shore anglers are enjoying a variety of action, staring with big bluefish around Chappy and Wasque Point, including a confirmed 15-pounder. Some bass are being caught at night around Lobsterville by flyrodders and light tackle anglers, but generally the best bet for sizeable shore bass is from Gay Head to Lobsterville, again at night on plugs and eels. There are also plenty of brown and the occasional sandbar shark caught from East Beach, both on dead eels and bluefish chunks. The fluke bite has slowed a bit this week along the northside, with any sizeable sea bass being caught more out towards Noman’s.

Nantucket Fishing Report

Capt. Corey Gammill from Bill Fisher Tackle was good enough to take a moment from his busy charter schedule and give me a call, with the biggest news being the huge number of bluefish around the island. He said the boat fishing is definitely better right now, although folks are still catching some bluefish, especially around Great Point down to Wauwinet and a variety of southside locations. There is nothing better when targeting bluefish than tossing surface plugs, something that Corey considers his bread-and-butter. He especially likes pencil poppers and typically uses attractor colors such as pink and orange; in fact, the other day he was using orange as well as white versions of the same plug and while they were both catching, the former was outfishing the latter big time. These are big bluefish, with no small ones in the picture. Boat fishing for bass is definitely better on the east side of the island down around Sankaty in the deeper, cooler water, but there are still some small bass in the shoals off Muskeget and Tuckernuck, and a few being caught inshore around Eel Point. Of course, boaters are commenting about all of the small bait piling up around Eel Point and the Bonito Bar, with everyone hoping for a stronger, more consistent bonito season after three years of disappointing returns. 

Over at the Nantucket Tackle Center, Tim Coggins said that this kind of weather dampens inshore fishing, with shore anglers concentrating on holes and other deeper water. Great Point has been perhaps the best shore spot this week, with mainly bluefish and a report of a bonito caught from the sand in this area this week as well as a few schoolies. There have also been bluefish caught from shore around Madequecham and Nobadeer, with shore bass fishing strictly a nighttime activity. Even boaters have been struggling at bit to find bass close to home in areas such as Sankaty, with the waters around Rose and Crown and over at Monomoy better bets for casting action. 

Of course, jigging wire for blues is a tradition around Nantucket and Capt. Charlie Richmond filed this report from his trip to the waters east of the island during last Saturday’s Rotary tournament: “Yesterday we had an epic bluefish trip; 50/60 bluefish on the east side, all over 10 lbs/ largest, 11.5–probably old news for you; just like the old days-take care.” Since I am not a wire line guy, I asked Charlie for some details about his set up and he obliged, including a joke about the realities of fishing for blues: “wire/lead core–4/5 oz red & pink jigs–solid six hours of doubling up-today is ‘Fix & Repair Day!’” Finally, Charlie said, “We fished in the area of the light, mostly in 20 to 30 feet of water. We took a shot out around the Old Man and Bass Rip looking for bass to no avail; the water was very warm for that area-68-69 degrees.”

Capt. Dave’s Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report- July 15th, 2022

Latest Video

The schoolie size bluefin tuna bite off of Cape Cod has been one of the best we’ve seen in years! Here’s a look into our latest video, trolling for bluefin tuna just east of Chatham!

Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report

After unsuccessfully targeting bigger bass on eels last
Sunday along the Elizabeths, Evan Eastman from Eastman’s Sport &
Tackle in Falmouth switched over to dusk fishing at Middle Ground and
he was rewarded with non-stop action drifting Hogy Epoxy Jigs from the
smooth water into the rip. While his fishing partner was using a shrimp
variety, when Evan had his lopped off by a bluefish, he switched over to
Electric Chicken and get on catching. While much of the action at MG
and other local shoals at this point in the season is a result of big
numbers of baby squid as opposed to their mommas and poppas, sand
eels are also a huge source of food for bass and blues at Hedge Fence,
L’Hommedieu or Halfway, Succonesset, and the like. I like to use small
soft plastics, either rigged unweighted or on jigheads – weight adjusted

for depth and current speed – the aforementioned Epoxy Jigs are a
great sand eel imitation that can be fished really effectively in shallower
It’s great to see so many bass still hanging in the shoals between
Falmouth and Barnstable at this point in the season, but the word from
Morgan Dennison at The Sports Port in Hyannis and Osterville is that
the action is turning more and more to bluefish along the southside.
Morgan also emphasized that the average size of the choppers is also
dropping; early in the season, double digit fish weren’t that uncommon,
while now a big fish on the shoals is around six pounds or so. If you are
targeting big bluefish, I can tell you where to find them, but you will
have to check out the Monomoy and Nantucket reports.
Morgan did say that the sand people are still picking at bluefish from
South Cape Beach to Osterville, with the evening bite best, followed by
first light. A willingness to fish low light – dusk to dawn – is a key in the
summer when targeting bass from the southside beaches and
backwaters. Around Cotuit, fluke are being caught from shore, albeit
mostly sublegals, but they are a nice surprise among all of the scup, sea
robins, and kingfish.

Big daytime bass, captured by Eric Kulin.

As Rory Edwards at Falmouth Bait & Tackle pointed out, the warmer
water in the salt ponds in Falmouth – and up around Buzzards Bay spots
in town as well – has made for some super picky fish. He was fishing
Great Pond recently and although they were a good number of bass
slurping bait, it was tough to get them turned on to what he was
tossing. If it had been earlier in the season, I would suspect a worm
spawn, but similar to when fish get hyper focused on worms or even a
crab hatch, if they are feeding on larger concentrations of silversides or
sand eels, it can be tough to get them to take an artificial. In those
cases, switching over to something that stands out as opposed to trying
to imitate the real thing.
Evan Eastman said that while shore anglers have been picking at some
bass along Surf Drive a night tossing eels, from Bristol Beach to

Menauhant, the emphasis has been on chunk baits for bass, as well as
shark fishing.
From Craigville to Chatham, the shark fishing is garnering more and
more attention from folks looking to test their tackle from the beach,
added Matt Cardarelli at Riverview Bait & Tackle in South Yarmouth.
Sand tigers and brown sharks are the species usually encountered and
they will pull like no striper you have ever caught. Dead eels are a top
bait, but fresh bluefish chunks are another great option; too many
people assume that sharks will take any old hunk of smelly, rotten bait,
but they prefer their meals fresh – and that means bloody, as well.
Wish I had better news from Bishop and Clerks and other pieces of
inshore structure from Barnstable to Harwich when it comes to bass,
but the reality is that boaters leaving from ports in these areas are
either headed east for bass down Monomoy way or south to Horseshoe
Shoal, among others, for bluefish.

Fluke Fishing Report

And the word on fluke remains depressing in Nantucket Sound, with
folks culling through a lot of small ones to get enough for dinner. Jim
Young recommended fishing deeper water that often features stronger
currents, requiring heavier jigs or sinkers to get down to where the big
summer flatties reside. The far west end of Middle Ground; the deep
edges of Halfway Shoal; the drop offs around Lucas Shoal; and the
northside of the Vineyard are spots to check out if you prefer to stay
close to home, as opposed to running to Monomoy or Nantucket.

Martha’s Vineyard Fishing Report

According to Steve Morris at Dick’s Bait & Tackle in
Oak Bluffs, the fishing remains quite good around the island. Shore
anglers who like to rock hop the north shore have been doing well at
night on slot sized fish, both on needlefish plugs and live eels, while the
ponds are still holding schoolies, but mainly at night or early in the
morning when the water is a bit cooler. Chappy is the place to be for
big bluefish from shore, with the sand people getting into big sharks as
well. Last weekend’s big fluke was won with an 8+-pound fish that was
caught along the northside of the island and there were good numbers
of three to four-pound fish caught in this area as well. Wasque is still
holding bass and blues and a few boats have been out trolling around
the Hooter, looking for the first bonito.
Over at Larry’s Tackle in Edgartown, Sam Bell said there haven’t really
been any super big fish caught from the beaches, but the regulars are
doing fine on slot fish in the Gay Head and Squibnocket areas, mainly
on darker color needlefish and live eels at night. The live bait bite in the
sounds has pretty much died, with some boats picking at bass around
Squibby on the troll, while Wasque is producing more blues in the rips,
with some smaller bass in the mix. I fished there last weekend with
Michael Green and it seems that the concentrations of squid have
thinned out; we had fish blowing up on our poppers, but you had to

really move about to find the action, which died out pretty quickly in
many spots just as we thought it was going to get good.
Sea bass has slowed, with more folks moving to the waters between
Gay Head and Noman’s.

Nantucket Fishing Report

Spencer Beakey at the Nantucket Tackle Center said the
bluefish action along the southside beaches, especially on the tide
changes, has been really good; the Miacomet Rip is traditionally a good
bluefish spot and the stretch between. Nobadeer and Cisco has also
been fishing well. The bass bite is moving more off the beaches as the
water warms, with any fish coming in the dark. Great Point has good
numbers of bluefish and plenty of sharks, while the boat crew has
moved east into deeper water off Sankaty in search of bass, as well as
over to Monomoy. The fluke and sea bass bites remain very good and
folks are definitely keeping an eye out for slashing fish.

Capt. Dave’s Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report- July 8th, 2022

Coming Soon…

Here’s a sneak peek into Capt. Mike’s latest offshore tuna trip. Stay tuned for the full length version!

Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report

My good friend Bob Lewis provided a perfect example of
thinking outside the box to turn a frustrating trip to Middle Ground on
Thursday into a successful one.
Now, as way of explanation, Evan Eastman at Eastman’s Sport & Tackle
in Falmouth told me that MG and Hedge Fence have both produced
solid fishing for him, although the bass have definitely been on the
small size. Evan is a big fan of fishing these areas after work, typically in
lower light conditions and when there is less fishing pressure. He also
uses Hogy Epoxy Jigs – the shrimp colored ones – in the flat water in
front of the rip as opposed to going crazy chasing birds and breaking
fish as seems to be the choice of so many folks.
On a side note, Doug Asselin at Dick’s Bait & Tackle in Oak Bluffs told
me that he believes the daytime boat activity at MG is definitely
spooking the fish and really what do you expect when someone runs
the boat through the rip at full speed or even better yet decides to troll
in the white water.

Gorilla Tactics Sportfishing breaking on the fly rod on some slot-sized bass.

This is especially problematic on calmer, sunnier days and when the rips
aren’t set up as well do the moon phase and lack of wind; earlier this
week, when Henry Hogan and his friend Jack fished MG with me, we
had no problem getting the bass and even a few blues to take Hogy
Charter Grade Poppers, but with the wind already starting to puff and
the current pulling well, the rip was really going.
Anyway, back to Bob. What he encountered yesterday was those
sunnier, calmer conditions; when we talked, he noted that the rip was
going OK and there were definitely fish there, but he couldn’t get them
really interested in topwater plugs as they wouldn’t even swirl on them
nor were they taking his big squid flies that he likes to drop back into
the white water on lead core outfits. I always carry a couple of
ultralight outfits with super small jigheads adorned with Hogy Sand Eels
to target fish during the slower periods of the current, including slack
water, but when Bob said the rip was going pretty well, I suspected that
he needed to go small.

And I mean baby squid small, but since he didn’t have any soft plastics
in the three to four-inch range, he did the next best thing: he took
scissors and did his best Vidal Sassoon imitation on his light pink 10-
inch squid flies, trimming them down to around three-inches. As he
said, “We had a great morning” once they did.
I know it sounds blasphemous, but if all I was carrying were Hogy
Originals in 7 or 10-inch sizes and I needed to go small and unweighted,
I would consider breaking out the scissors, although I don’t know how
good I would be at sculpting a split tail like so many small soft plastics
feature or even get the right taper on an eel style tail.
Topwater fishing with unweighted soft plastics and plugs is fun, but
Evan reminded me that most of the larger bass coming from the shoals
are coming on wire line as the fish seek cooler water.
Succonesset is turning into more of a bluefish location, with Ken Cirillo
picking up some decent sized fish there on his last trip, but no bass to
speak of, while Horseshoe Shoal is once again popular with the trolling
crew who find Hoochies a good option.
Meanwhile Andy Little at The Powderhorn in Hyannis pointed to a real
slowdown in the early morning topwater plug bite, with trolling the
deeper water around this area the way to go.
Andy also emphasized that there are stripers, mainly schoolies, up
inside the salt ponds, bays, and harbors from Falmouth to Hyannis, but
you have to get up and be on the water before first light to take part.
Small topwater plugs and soft plastics are effective and flyrodders can
have a blast with poppers and Gurglers.
There are plenty of scup and even some northern kingfish for both
shore and boat anglers, explained Amy Wrightson at The Sports Port in
Hyannis, but overall the fluke bite locally in the sounds has been
disappointing. You are going to have to pick through way too many
shorts to even get one legal fish.

Chip Rich caught this healthy slot-sized fish earlier this week!

Sam Bell at Larry’s Tackle on the Vineyard did say that some folks have
been out scouting for larger fluke in preparation for this week’s big
fluke tournament on the island, with an 8-pounder weighed in from

Vineyard Sound, with the waters out around Muskeget Channel also of
interest. We’re talking deep water up to 100-feet, meaning heavier jigs
and bigger baits.
It’s definitely time for shore anglers seeking bigger bass to forget the
daylight hours and switch over to eels; larger, darker soft plastics; or
even waking style metal lip plugs at night.
On the other hand, there are still bluefish being caught from South
Cape Beach and Oregon Beach, and while spots such as Menauhant and
Craigville are popular for the beach shark crew who want to tangle with
the strongest fish you are going to find along our south facing beaches,
the good folks at Riverview Bait & Tackle in South Yarmouth said this
activity is also popular down their way, including at West Dennis Beach.
This is definitely a night activity requiring stout tackle, wire or cable
rigged hooks, and either big, dead eels or bloody/oily bluefish or pogy

Martha’s Vineyard Fishing Report

The word from Doug Asselin at Dick’s Bait & Tackle
in Oak Bluffs said that the fishing in the rips has been very hit-or-miss,
with mainly bass in the 20 to 26-inch range and some larger bluefish
mixed in. Middle Ground is a parking lot on the weekends and Hedge
Fence can be tough as you have a mix of folks casting and trolling for
bass and blues, along with some boats drifting for fluke and sea bass.
It’s cookie cutter bass at Wasque, but you can pick through smaller
stripers to get a few in the slot, as Laurie and Fred Thwaites, along with
their good friend Sandy Reid, did on the Fourth. Poppers and pink
Hogy Originals on the spin and a variety of squid patters on the fly did the trick.
Doug said that Chappy has had some bluefish, especially around
Wasque Point, for the shore anglers, but it’s often a matter of spending
all day there for a half hour of action.
There are also some concentrations of bass – and some bigger ones, at
that – around Second Bridge and they have been there for a good
while, slurping small bait typically in the early morning, but getting
them to eat on your terms is almost impossible, Doug said. Every once
in a while, they put on the feed bag and you can only hope that you are
there when they do.
Sam Bell over at Larry’s Tackle in Edgartown said that the fishing for
larger bass from the beaches has been the best it has been for several
years; he picked up a 45-inch fish on a needlefish fishing the rocks on
the north side of the island this week. The bait dunking in Vineyard
Sound has slowed, but Sam spoke of a sand eel bite down Gay
Head/Devil’s Bridge way. Small, surface presentations have been

producing some nice bass, especially in the early morning. And some
double digit bluefish continue to be caught on Chappy.

Nantucket Fishing Report

Sam Brandt at the Nantucket Tackle Center said things
have slowed a bit, with more boats concentrating on fish east of
Sankaty. There is a mix of bass and blues around the Bonito Bar. Shore
anglers are enjoying a good topwater bite along the north shore and at
Great Point, while slow rolling soft plastics at night along the south
facing beaches is effective – but don’t expect there to be a bite for
several days in one spot. As Sam explained, “The only thing that has
been consistent about where the fish are is the inconsistency.” As
seems to be the case in many locations, they are only catching big
bluefish on the island, with no small ones to speak of.
Capt. Corey Gammill at Bill Fisher Tackle said the action is so good in
the rips that he is running three trips a day. Squid imitations are the
way to go, with the Hogy Charter Grade Poppers really working well,
especially the amber version. There is a mix of bass and big bluefish
around Old Man Shoals, while a push of bigger bass has moved into the
cooler, deeper water east of the island and the southside is filling in
with blues. Unfortunately, there is a fleet of squid boats working off the
southside of the island and who knows what that will mean since the
fish just love their calamari. Corey also reported that a bonito was
caught from the beach at Coatue.

Capt. Dave’s Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report- July 1st, 2022

Mixed Bag Fishing

With so any different fishing options in the sounds this time of year, you may find it hard to choose! Here’s a look back to some mixed bag fishing in the sounds with Capt. Mike Hogan.


Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report

Big bluefish and smaller bass appear to be the mix on the
shoals at the moment, especially if you insist on using surface
presentations. Evan Eastman at Eastman’s Sport and Tackle in Falmouth
told me that on his last two trips to Middle Ground earlier this week he
encountered the most incredible bluefish action he can remember.
There were some small bass mixed in, but it was tough to target them
since bluefish are so much more aggressive. What should be noted
about Evan’s experience is that he typically fishes MG and Hedge Fence
in the evening after work and he works sections of the rip where there
are far fewer boats.

Often forgotten about, the scup fishing this time of year is tremendous!















And unlike many folks who work these shoals with topwater plugs, Evan
continues to do well with the 1.25-ounce Hogy Epoxy Jig in the shrimp
color fishing the calmer water in front of the rip. Evan is convinced this

color imitates squid, but it also has a great sand eel or other small
baitfish profile.
On Thursday as Gerry Fine and I were heading in from points unknown,
where we enjoyed great fly rod action, we stopped at Hedge Fence to
toss – what else – the Hogy Charter Grade Popper in amber and blew
up a trio of small bass with no visible signs of fish. It was a matter of
targeting likely looking water where fish might be holding and swinging
the plug through it, with the fish just blasting it right as it hit the water.
From what I gather from folks like Evan and Jack Ryan at Falmouth Bait
& Tackle, it’s the same scenario at all the shoals off of Falmouth and
Mashpee, so it is possible to avoid the crowds and find your own little
piece of either heaven using either a topwater or subsurface
presentation with your favorite Hogy lures.
Folks targeting a consistent bite on larger bass on the shoals are
typically jigging wire this time of year as seek cooler water, but if you
prefer to cast your jigs, it’s tough to beat the versatility of the Hogy
Epoxy Jig. Evan said that among all the blues and smaller bass he was
into at MG, he managed to drop his HEJ below the fray and hooked up
with a big bass that managed to pull the hook.
Andy Little at The Powderhorn in Hyannis said the early morning plug
bite around Bishops and Clerks continues, with a switch over to trolling
the deeper edges once the sun gets high in the sky a good way to go.
Most boats leaving from Hyannis to Harwich ports are heading to
Monomoy, but the bluefish bite is steady at Horseshoe if you prefer
some easy trolling or casting and burning less gas.
The biggest news on the shore scene is that folks are starting to target
brown sharks. Jack Ryan and his friends were doing that at Menauhant
earlier this week and while they didn’t catch any sharks, they did
managed to pick up what they estimated to be a 20+-pound bass on the
dead eel they were using to target Bruce.

An influx of bluefin have made a showing south of MV. Not a bad idea to take a trip offshore.












Lee Boisvert from Riverview Bait & Tackle in South Yarmouth said that
folks are employing both dead eels and chunk baits in hopes of hooking
up with what is no doubt the toughest fish you are going to catch from

any Cape beach. Remember this requires big tackle and heavy cable
leaders, so seek out some help if you are going to try it.
Oh, and brown – or as some folks call them, sandbar sharks – are
protected and must be released.
As for bass fishing from shore, although it was a deal eel, there is no
doubt that live eels at night or well before sunrise is the way to go all
along the southside beaches, while Andy Little said that folks are still
catching bluefish around Oregon Beach and points to the east.
You will find plenty of warmer water in the backwaters and while that
makes for good scup, sea robin, and kingfish action, explained Amy
Wrightson at The Sports Port in Hyannis, it definitely slows the striper
fishing. That doesn’t mean they aren’t there; it just means that you
aren’t likely to encounter them when the sun is at high noon. I know
plenty of folks who tell me that when they are heading out at false
dawn for a run to Monomoy, they often encounter schools of happy
The black sea bass bite has definitely slowed, with the sharpies like
Adam Bancroft from Patriot Party Boats working deeper water off the
north shore of the Vineyard as well as some deep holes off the
Elizabeths. In fact, Adam took The Boat Guy crew and their families out
last Sunday and they picked up some really nice BSB, including a 21-
inch pool winner, while Dad Bancroft managed the only fluke, a solid

Capt. Mike Hogan had a great fluke trip out on the Nantucket Shoals.















Capt. Mike Hogan and the rest of the Salty Cape Crew had a succesfull ground fishing trip buzzing around through the Nantucket Shoals. Capt. Mike reported lots of 18-20″ fluke despite tough conditions. The Hogy Sand eel jig paired with the Hogy Jig + Biki rig was getting bit almost every drop.

Speaking of fluke, the fishing is abysmal in the sounds. It’s not a matter
of numbers, but size. Everyone is talking about how many fish they
have to through to get even a single legal fish. No doubt, your best bet
is fish deep and use larger baits, whether you like natural fluke
sandwiches such as a combination of squid, sand eels, and perhaps
even a bluefish strip fillet or jigs tipped with big Gulp! Swimming
Mullets or Grubs.
I spoke to a commercial fluker at the Falmouth Harbor boat ramp the
other morning and he said they are catching fish that recreational

anglers can’t keep, with very few “selects” that would qualify as
recreational fish.

Martha’s Vineyard Fishing Report

The word from Steve Morris at Dick’s Bait & Tackle
in Oak Bluffs is that the fishing remains pretty darn good on the
Vineyard. The sand-and-rock people are catching some quality bass on
needlefish and darters between Gay Head and Squibnocket at night,
while the north shore is enjoying some live eel action. Wasque is fishing
really well for the boat crowd; even though it takes a lot more gas, I
have been making the run to point south of the Vineyard and I can tell
you that although the bass are starting to run on the smaller size, there
are a ton of them and very few boats. The Hogy Charter Grade popper
in amber and albie crack has been producing epic activity, including in
the rips and in the flat water between them. There are some big
bluefish as well and it was kind of cool getting my opinion handed to
me when my friend Barney Keezell snapped on a black Super Strike
needlefish around high noon as the bluefish were chowing on sand eels
towards slack water and subsequently hooked up.
Steve did say that the live bait bite in Vineyard Sound has been better
than it had been the last few years, with the recremercial crew working
the humps and holes with live bait, including pogies, scup, and eels. He
did say they aren’t the huge fish they are catching up in Cape Cod Bay,
but there decent numbers of 35-and-up inch fish to make selling fish

Ian Devlin putting his clients on some fly rod bass.













There are still schoolies in the ponds, but you have to either get up
early or visit in the dusk/night as the water is starting to really warm.
Meanwhile, Peter Slikowski at Larry’s in Edgartown noted that
flyrodders have been doing well using sand eel patterns at night around
Lobsterville and Dogfish Bar; they’re picking up mainly schoolies, but
there is also a solid pick of slot sized fish. Bluefishing is very good down
around Chappy and people are picking up decent numbers of fluke

along the north shore from Cedar Tree Neck to the Brickyard, but they
are mostly on the small side.

Nantucket Fishing Report

Over on the Grey Lady, Sam Brandt at the Nantucket
Tackle Center reported good topwater bluefish action from beach and
boat around the 40 th Pole. Great Point is starting to produce sand bar
sharks on baits such a dead eels and chunk baits, the bloodier and oilier
the better. A mix of bass and blues is keeping boat anglers busy on the
shoals south of Tuckernuck and Muskeget on everything from topwater
plugs to soft plastics, as well as wire line jigging parachute jigs. The
black sea bass and fluke bite southeast of the of the island remains
steady, although there has been some scuttlebutt that the number of
really big fish is down from previous years.

John Burns with a double header fluke on the Hogy Jig + Biki rig.














Along the southside beaches, there has been some action at dusk using
pencil poppers, but it might be a good idea to pass on soft plastics since
there are more bluefish than bass on most days. Low-and-slow at night
with Finnish style minnows has been producing some larger bass
among the legions of schoolies; dark colors are best, whether black,
blurple, and or even dark green.
The flats around Tuckernuck are still fishing really well as the bass
haven’t gotten finicky due to warmer water, less forage, and more
fishing pressure.

Capt. Dave’s Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report- June 24th, 2022

Jigging for Black Seabass

In this video Capt. Mike Hogan shows us one of his favorite ways for targeting BSB here on Cape Cod, using the Hogy Squinnow Jig paired with a Hogy Teaser Assist Hook


Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Fishing Report

Barry Woods texted to say that Middle Ground is the gift that keeps
on giving as he comes to the end of his stay in Falmouth, although my experience
has been that the rips are holding mainly smaller bass as we start to transition
into summer and resident bass. Believe me; there is no issue with catching fish on
top with plugs and plastics, or swinging squid flies and poppers, but we got pretty
spoiled earlier this season with a preponderance of slot sized bass.
Evan Eastman from Eastman’s Sport & Tackle noted that he is still getting reports
of larger bass, but the key is fishing deep, whether it’s jigging wire in the deep
holes off MG or around Halfway Shoal or even dropping live eels like one of his
employees did earlier this week around Hedge Fence when he marked some big
bass in the area. Unfortunately, despite hooking up a number of times, the use of
circle hooks proved to be a challenge as he struggled to get the basic technique of
just reeling as opposed to trying to set the hook.
While the bass and bluefish bite from the Falmouth shores has slowed according
to Christian Giardini at Falmouth Bait & Tackle, with most activity occurring at
night on eels or cut bait, he did say that bluefishing has been good from South
Cape Beach and spots to the east, with enough bass in the mix taking plugs and
eels to keep things interesting. Remember that as summer approaches, there is a
definite change over from being able to catch fish in the daytime on surface lures
to fishing in the two D’s: Deep and Dark.

Capt. Rob Lowell of Cape Cod Offshore Charters showing his client with a 12lb doormat!

Andy Little at The Powderhorn in Hyannis said that folks using plugs and eels from
Cotuit to Craigville are still picking at some larger bass in the dark, targeting rocks
and other hard structure, while the schoolie bite remains consistent up inside the
Three Bays. Boater continue to find fish on plugs and jigs around Bishop’s as well.
What I can tell you is that there are monster bluefish in the rips and I can’t tell
you for the life of me where they are coming from, given all the dire news about
the species that lead to a new management plan and bag reductions. After a trip

on Monday to the Succonesset area to get some blues for the smoker for Frank C.
and his wife Sheila, I hosted Andy Bancroft and his wife Jess, along with their kids
Dylan and Lucy, for a trip to the same area the next day and we had a ball on the
orange Hogy Pencil Popper (floating model). There were stripers mixed in,
especially during the stronger stages of the tide, and what I really came to
appreciate was the length of these plugs that definitely keep your fingers away
from the impressive jaws of big blues. At one point, we were using a similar
design surface plug from another maker and It was definitely noticeable how
much closer – and perilous – it was even though it also was rigged with a single,
big Siwash hook as well.
What I enjoyed the most about these trips was how much everyone enjoyed
seeing the fish in the rips; the visuals were just incredible. It was apparent that
the heaviest feeding was on baby squid, with the adult population definitely
thinning out. On the way back in with the Bancroft’s, we were mesmerized by
bluefish just lazing on the surface almost all the way back to Falmouth, perhaps
just digesting their meals as the tide slacked.
Lee Boisvert at Riverview Bait & Tackle in South Yarmouth said that the bass and
bluefish action from the beaches and in the rivers down his way remains steady,
albeit with the aforementioned need to fish early or late as opposed to right in
the middle of the day. Plug fishing is still productive, but some folks are definitely
transitioning over to bait.

Riptide Charters finding big schools of daytime bass.

Christian Giardini said that folks are picking at fluke, but the throwback to take
home ratio is definitely tilted to the former; the draggers have been out pretty
much every day which can’t be good for recreational anglers looking for summer
flatties. You definitely want to consider checking out deeper holes down off the
Elizabeths, but if you prefer to make nice quiet drifts over your favorite shoal,
don’t be surprised if you get bit – and perhaps even by a bigger fish – as you
transition into deeper water.


The word from Matt Cody at North Chatham Outfitters is that there
has been a slight change to the bite around the shoals. Whereas the fish were
definitely spread all over the area earlier, this week folks started to notice more
consistent fishing in the waters to the north and east of the point as opposed to
those to the south and west. This definitely could be a function of warming water
temperatures or bait availability; the concentrations of squid weren’t as heavy
Matt said, with some pogies in the mix and a move towards sand eel munching as
well. What this means is that while squid flies, plugs, and plastics remain popular,

remain flexible and match the hatch when the fish aren’t busting in the rips
because they are typically still there, but not showing. Hogy Sand Eel and Epoxy
Jigs have saved many a day for me out east when the bass aren’t busting, while I
would never visit Monomoy without Hogy Pro Tail Eels or jig-heads tipped with
Hogy seven-inch Originals or Hogy Sand Eels.
There are also big bluefish around Monomoy and for the life of me I will never
understand the disdain for these fish; I can tell you that I have exhausted folks
after hooking-and-landing a few of these fish in the rips. They are simply
awesome, especially on surface plugs like the Hogy Pencil Popper or Hogy Squid Plug
and they are great bass plugs as well, so you aren’t limiting your chances of
catching stripers that are in the rips as well.

Martha’s Vineyard Fishing Report

Steve Morris at Dick’s Bait & Tackle in Oak Bluffs reported plenty
of bluefish on Chappy, with fish reported up to 12-pounds. There are also good
numbers of bass in a variety of sizes, with reports of bigger fish from Tom Shoal to
Wasque on surface squid plugs, with Capt. Terry Nugent of Riptide Charters doing
well with the Hogy Squid plug. Steve said there are still small bass around the
inlets and in the ponds, and while the fishing might not be as crazy in areas such
as Middle Ground and Hedge Fence, it’s still very good. The diehard shore anglers
are moving around, with some good bass being caught around the rocky north
shore. While he was fishing the rocks on the northside last week, this week Sam made the
move to the southside sand beaches and managed up to a dozen bass in the 30 to
35-inch range each trip, with a couple over 36-inch in the mix. He prefers to rig his
own paddle tail shads on 1.5 to 2-ounce jigheads, but said that the Hogy Pro Tail
Paddles and Slow Tails would work just fine – as long as they are white, the only
color he uses. Sam said that a 13-pound bluefish was caught earlier this week

down around Chappy with a 15-pounder eyeballed as well, while there have been
some quick bluefish blitzes on sand eels around Lobsterville/Menemsha.

Fluke Fishing Report

As for fluke, some are being caught, but no real size to speak of.
The word from Sam Bell at Larry’s Tackle in Edgartown is that the striper action
from boat and shore is pretty good. The selling crew has been picking at some
nice fish using live bait in Vineyard Sound, making sure to get them deep.

Nantucket Fishing Report

Austin Conroy at Nantucket Tackle Center said there was definitely a
change on the island; whereas last week the best fishing from shore was along the
southside, this week the north shore was hotter, especially around Eel Point, the
40th Pole, and Dionis. The fish were feeding heavily in these areas on squid, with
one report of big squid flying out of the water down around Eel Point. His favorite
plug colors are orange and red head/white body – or traditional squid imitations.
Up inside the harbor, flyrodders are doing well on bass around Pocomo Point and
the creeks, as well as near the yacht basin; silverside and squid patters are good
choices, although Austin advised that you need to carry crab imitations as well –
and you should never go near the Tuckernuck flats without some. The rips around
Miacomet, Muskeget, and Tuckernuck are also fishing well, with good numbers of
bass in all size classes, while the bluefish action is heating up as well.

Capt. Dave’s 6/17/2022 Cape Cod Fishing Report for the Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds

Filmed Last Monday!

In this video, Capt. Mike Hogan heads out to the rips off of Monomoy targeting striped bass. Hogy Poppers in translucent pink and amber color were the ticket to success in imitating the squid these bass were feeding on!

Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Cape Cod Fishing Report

The most interesting piece of information I gathered this
week came courtesy of Sam Bell at Larry’s Tackle Shop in Edgartown.
With commercial bass season slated to open Monday, for the first time
in a number of years, folks familiar with the structure in Vineyard
Sound have been catching big fish well over the 35-inch sellable limit.
Pogies, eels, and scup have all been effective.
As far as the shoals go, everyone I spoke to said that the fishing has
been off the charts, although Evan Eastman from Eastman’s Sport &
Tackle in Falmouth said that over the last week or so he has noticed a
change from pretty much every bass being in the slot range to more
sublegal fish around Middle Ground and Hedge Fence.
Last Saturday, Middle Ground was absolutely stupid, with big bluefish
filling the rip around slack water and into the early stages of the tide
before the bass moved in in full force and the fishing remained fairly
consistent. I did notice less big squid as this week progressed, with
more what are clearly young-of-the-year squid flying out the water,
requiring the use of smaller plugs, plastics, and flies. Last weekend, big
gaudy squid flies worked well, but as of Thursday we had switched over
to smaller tan, light pink, and even white flies, as well as small Gurglers
that it was hard to imagine a bass could pick out.

Pink Hogy Poppers are a perfect squid imitation.

When it comes to plug fishing a rip, it’s tempting to keep using the
same option since it has worked before, but at times we watched as

fish just followed a plug that had been drawing serious competition and
acrobatics, as well as impressive takes, just a day or even a tide before.
Change color, change size, and above all else change your retrieve,
sometimes just letting your lure ride the edge of the rip as it swings in
the current, as opposed to retrieving it right back to the boat.
Bob Lewis managed to get in some fishing time on his own and “had a
good morning at Eldridge on Sunday…one blue and mostly bass on the
splayed squid Gurgler in both orange and pink
We also had a good trip plugging the rocks at Bishops on Ken Cirillo’s
boat on Saturday…bass up to 32-33′ all on top…also we were
surrounded by hundreds of bass at one stage in the tide, but they
wouldn’t eat…finning around like redfish” I talked with Bob about this
situation and we reminded by what Bruce Miller said about fish
needing time to digest, especially around slack tide; when Ii asked
whether he thought the fish might be feeding on krill or some sort of
hatch, he told me there were no signs of the fish feeding.”
Bob concluded his report by noting that Colin, his daughter Caroline’s
boyfriend, did well on Tuesday evening at Succonesset with both bass
and blues, fishing a topwater bite with a spook style plug.
Overall, the bluefishing is very good from Mashpee to Osterville,
reported Amy Wrightson at The Sports Port in Hyannis and you don’t
have to travel very far to get into them. In fact, shore anglers are
picking up a good number of fish from Oregon Beach to Dowses, while
West Dennis Beach to Harwich has been good for shore casters
targeting blues.
That said, Jack Pinard was out with Capt. Mike on Monday for their
weekly video shoot and emailed “On our way back to Falmouth Capt.
Mike made the decision to make a quick stop at Horseshoe to try and
get some blues on the Hogy Surface Pencil. Our videographer, Matt
Rissel, launched the drone and with an aerial view spotted a wolf pack
of blues cruising the rips. We swung plugs right to where they were
cruising and instantly got attacked by multiple fish fighting over the
plug, landing a couple before making our way home.”

According to Andy Little at The Powderhorn in Hyannis, the night bite
for larger bass remains steady along the southside shoreline from
Osterville to Craigville; big wooden metal lip swimmers, large darker
colored soft plastics, and eels have been the ticket.
That doesn’t mean, however, that there aren’t still some quality fish up
inside the backwaters, with Amy W. telling of a 33-inch bass caught by
12-year old Jack D. at night on an artificial lure up inside the Three Bays
Overall, the water remains a bit cooler than usual in the protected bays
and harbors, making for some good schoolie action, while Amy added
that among all of the scup being caught by shore anglers, there are also
good numbers of northern kingfish in the mix.
Finally, the sea bass bite is solid, if not spectacular; Capt. Warren
Marshall took out members of his family on Monday and after
everyone picked up some stripers at Middle Ground, they hit
Succonesset and managed five nice sea bass in the 20-inch range, along
with a good number of throwbacks.
And on his last trip Jim Young picked up four nice sea bass and two 18-
inch fluke at Halfway Shoal, a spot that is favored by the charter crew
out of Falmouth for wire line jigging, although the topwater bite there
has been good as well.

Martha’s Vineyard Fishing Report

Sam Bell at Larry’s Tackle Shop in Edgartown told
me that the beach fishing has picked up over the last week or so; in

fact, he has been picking up some nice bass fishing at night along the
shoreline fronting Vineyard Sound. He had one recent trip where he
managed fish of 40, 38, and 36-inches, while his buddy fishing nearby
had a 42. Sam is a big fan of needlefish lures, including Super Strike and
custom wood versions that can sometimes be tough to get. He favors
sand eel colorations such as Block Island green and natural.
Down around Wasque, there are plenty of big blues and Capt. Mike has
heard from at least one Hogy Pro Staffer that the rips are filled with big
bass chasing squid. Given my experiences with the Hogy Charter Grade
poppers, I wouldn’t go there without a wide selection of the Hogy
Charter Grade poppers in translucent amber and pink, along with some
Hogy Pencils in bright squid colors as well. I can’t tell you how many
times I have had fish keyed in on one color and then it goes quiet, only
to have the action resume with a change in hue. I don’t know what it is,
but as my friend Bob Lewis has said on more than one occasion, “ Don’t
think; just fish.”

Capt. Terry Nugent of Riptide Charters found some gator blues earlier this week!

Shore anglers are doing well at Wasque using surface plugs for bluefish,
but there are typically bass in the white water close to shore, making
plugs the fish well in strong currents such as darters a good choice,
although you would be hard pressed to find something more effective
than a jighead/soft plastic combination or internally weighted soft
plastic, like the Hogy Protail Eels, or even a classic bucktail jig with a
soft plastic teaser.
The fluke fishing has been OK, with legal fish in the 18-inch range
around Hawses, Sam added, although the doormat bite out Nantucket
way seems to be drawing more and more boats.

Nantucket Fishing Report

The word from Sam Brandt at the Nantucket Tackle Center
is the fishing from the southside beaches is spectacular; pencil poppers
in orange, pink, and red have been the ticket with huge numbers of
squid feeding on silversides. Most of the bass are in the slot, with the
occasional 40+-inch fish and a limited number of schoolies. The

northside shoreline is also fishing OK, with mainly smaller fish,
especially around Eel Point and the 40 th Pole.
Boaters are doing great on the shoals off of Tuckernuck and Muskeget,
again on bass pushing squid, while the flats around Tuckernuck are
fishing really well, too. Typically, this sight fishing game is associated
with flyrodding, but Sam noted that spin anglers slow rolling and
twitching unweighted soft plastics can get in the game when the fish
are focused on sand eels. Translucent amber is a good color at times,
but Sam pointed out that the best option is using super small, say three
inch or so, stickbait soft plastics in sand eel or pearl colorations.
As with fishing for bass on the flats pretty much everywhere, once they
became crab oriented, the flyrodders have the advantage because they
can put weighted variations right on the bottom where the stripers are
focused. In fact, I can always remember Capt.’s Jeff and Lynne Heyer,
who specialize in fly fishing the flats of Nantucket, emphasizing that you
can’t go wrong with the Capt. Crabby pattern.
Bluefish action for the boats is good and less so at the moment for the
beach crew, although there are some mixed in with the bass along the
southside and up around Great Point.
Last weekend, Capt. Charlie Richmond filed this report on his trip to the
rips off Nantucket: “I fished Nantucket (Sankaty) last Saturday with Rich
Haskell and Dave Rose. We had a good day with 30+ bass (mostly slot
fish) and more than a dozen blues averaging six to eight pounds.”
Of course, no Nantucket report would be complete without a fluke
report; while Sam mentioned Rose and Crown as well as McBlair’s as
spots where folks target big flatties, Rory Edwards at Falmouth Bait &
Tackle told me that owner Christian Giardini fished Davis Shoal last
weekend well south of Nantucket and they limited out on double-digit
And Jack Pinard of Hogy Lures said, “As we were about to leave
(Monomoy), Capt. Rob Lowell of Cape Cod Offshore Charters pulled up
showcasing an 11.5-pound fluke his customer got in the shoals off
Nantucket. It was his first ever fluke!”

Capt. Rob Lowell of Cape Cod Offshore Charters with multiple door mat fluke!

Plenty of boaters out his way are continuing to target their personal
best fluke out off on Nantucket, said Matt Cody at North Chatham
Outfitters. Fish in the 10 to 11-pound class – and larger – are the goal,
with more and more headboats getting into the action. In some cases,
they are doing two day trips to the shoals, staying over night so that
folks can legally pick up two limits.
Matt said that targeting the humps where the water is between 90 and
120-feet is key; when jigging, eight ounces will generally work, but he
moves up to 10 to 12-ounces when fishing hi-lo rigs with a bank sinker.

Capt. Dave’s 6/10/2022 Cape Cod Fishing Report for the Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds

Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Cape Cod Fishing Report

It really is pretty remarkable how good the fishing is around all the shoals that the
sounds are famous for. For example, in spots such as Middle Ground, where you often had to
concentrate on certain points and bowls to find the most consistent action, I had my charters
tossing the amber Charter Grade Poppers in spots up and down the rip and from end to end
and the bass were all over them. We even played with using a single inline hook on the belly
with a flag on the tail and once folks go the hang of it, they were hooked up just as frequently
as when they were using a plug with a single belly treble.
One of the challenges with fishing MG, especially from mid dropping tide on is that there is a
ton of weed that will foul a plug big time; when that happens, I simply switch over to a
Hogy Original (seven or ten inch) rigged weedless.
Rory Edwards from Falmouth Bait & Tackle said that he fished MG on Monday and that there
were squid jumping out of the water all over the place, with bass up into the slot in hot pursuit,
making for great visuals. We also witnessed bass pushing pogies out of the water there this
Now, one of the keys to becoming an effective angler – or anything in life for that matter – is to
learn to adjust to challenges and Evan Eastman at Eastman’s Sport & Tackle in Falmouth
provided a perfect example this week. He told me that he was having difficulty with his
shoulder, making casting and working topwater plugs a challenge, so he has switched over to
the 1.25-ounce Hogy Epoxy Jig in the shrimp color and been doing well at Middle Ground and
other shoals, including Hedge Fence and Nobska.

Capt. Mike Hogan found acres of bass feeding on small bait in the sounds earlier this week.

Evan believes that color does a great job of imitating squid coloration, as well as sand eels,
which some folks forget about when fishing the shoals. If you pay attention to when a rip
caused by sandy structure starts to die, you will often see a change from gulls to terns working
the area. The reason is that the smaller seabirds are working on sand eels that come out during
the slower stages of the tide, even at slack water. Just a week ago, I was fishing with Davis and
Robert Yetman and arrived around slack tide at a local shoal; there was nobody else there,
although I can assure you that the place had been filled end-for-end with boats just a short
while ago. We opted for what I call my “fly rod for non-flyrodders” spin outfits: ultralight spin
sticks and reels loaded with eight-pound test line with 12-pound fluorocarbon leaders that are
perfect for tossing Hogy Sand Eels on super light jigheads. There are generally smaller bass
around chowing on sand eels, but you never know when something bigger will come along. You
can drift right across the shoals, quartering your casts so that they drift from deep to shallow to
deep again. After catching enough bass on topwater plugs once the rip got going, we even used
the same outfits during the stronger stages of the tide and the bass willingly grabbed out
jighead/plastics combinations.
Lots of other shoal tales came in this week, including Bob Lewis enjoying some time to fish
himself and finding squid spraying and bass hounding in the waters around Eldridge Shoal,
while Andy Little from The Powderhorn in Hyannis said the fishing at Succonesset and Wreck
Shoals, which are really part of a series of rips that include where Bob was, has been really good
on everything from surface plugs to soft plastics and squid flies. In fact, Bob sent me a photo of
a bright orange Gurgler style squid that the bass just loved.
Bishop and Clerks is holding plenty of fish, although it is more of a trolling location, but some
folks do well tossing spooks and poppers there.

Capt. Diogo of Gorilla Tactics Sport Fishing putting his clients on some larger bass.

Speaking of trolling, the word from Amy Wrightson at The Sports Port in Hyannis is that friends
of hers caught some larger bass trolling swimmers and soft plastics around West Chop; the
deep holes in this area are known for holding bass that are of a different class than you will find
a short distance away harassing bait on the surface at Middle Ground.
That said, Evan confirmed that folks jigging wire around MG have picked up some larger bass in
the deeper water, another example of how big fish are often best sought in deeper water. He
added that bass up to 40-pounds have been caught off of Nobska on wire and
L’Hommedieu. Haflway is filled with bass.
Both shore and boat anglers are enjoying good action on bluefish from South Cape Beach to
Osterville, according to Amy Wrightson; there is no need to make a long run to summer spots
such as Horseshoe Shoal, although a friend of hers fished there earlier this week and managed
a nine-pound chopper.
Lee Boisvert at Riverview Bait & Tackle in South Yarmouth said that the bluefishing from shore,
especially around West Dennis Beach, has improved, with plenty of bass in the rivers as well,
from Yarmouth to Harwich.
Rory Edwards said that there hasn’t been as much action on big bass from shore in the
Falmouth and Mashpee area; earlier on, they were doing well on bass up to 30-pounds using
big wooden metal lip swimmers, but generally the southside bite has consisted of schoolies up
inside – unless you find a school of pogies, in which case a big bass or two might be shadowing
them, making them good targets for a wounded pogy imitation or perhaps even a snag-and-

drop presentation – although remember that by law you have to transfer the bait to a circle
hook, unlike the old days when people just let them swim on the snag hook.
Perhaps we are already seeing some movement of larger bass from west to east, although the
water is still plenty cold and there doesn’t seem to be a lack of food, as Andy Little said friends
of his continue to pick up larger bass from the front beaches at night.
No word recently from any of the shops of worm events, but that probably is a result of the
crappy weather this week; next week looks like light winds and sunny warmer weather if that is
a hint.


The black sea bass bite on the wrecks has slowed a bit, but Rory Edwards shared Christian
Giardini’s belief that the fish, especially the larger males show up there first and then they,
along with the spawned out females move into their deeper holes at this point in the season,
making a gift of productive numbers from a friend a really nice gesture.
I spoke to a couple of rod-and-reel commercial flukers this week and they said things have
picked up after a slow start. One said his first day produced only 65-pounds, but his last three
trips were between 100 and 150. Remember that commercials fish on a smaller size limit, but
they told me that they have been picking up recreational sized fish in better numbers than last.
And Evan Eastman told me that his mother, Debbie, picked up a 24-inch summer flattie at
Hedge Fence, while Capt. Willy Hatch of Machaca Charters was in the shop picking up teasers in
preparation for his doormat trips out to Nantucket.

Martha’s Vineyard Fishing Report

Steve Morris from Dick’s Bait & Tackle in Oak Bluffs said the fishing for
bass has been good all around the island, with some bigger bass being caught from shore all
around the island while the salt ponds and harbors are filled mainly small stripers. There have
been bluefish around Chappy mixed in with bass. A few folks have started tossing eels, but
generally plugs like needlefish and darters are Vineyard staples, with each one serving a
purpose based on the type of water you are fishing, calmer for the former and rougher for the
latter. Remember, that’s only a general rule of thumb and I know of some very experienced
surfcasters who do well fishing darters on quieter, sand beaches.
Evan Eastman from Eastman’s Sport & Tackle in Falmouth had an interesting Vineyard report,
courtesy of his uncle and his cousin. They have been fishing Wasque and had a banner night
this week, picking up about 50 bass up to 43-inches using the 1.25-ounce Hogy Slow Tail in
black/silver. Evan was surprised they were using such a small, light lure, but the fish are quite
often right at your feet at the point, making them quite willing to take a shorter swing with the

Nantucket Fishing Report

Definitely some bigger bass around the islands, with the Nantucket Tackle Center
posting a photo on their Facebook page of a 40-inch fish from the Harbor on a white plug.
The folks at Bill Fisher Tackle said that there have been some bluefish showing off Dionis, while
the rips to the west are seeing more bass and bluefish every day feeding on squid. That typically
means topwater plugs, along with an assortment of pink amber, or white/bone soft plastics –
unless the blues are really thick. There is some debate about where the fishing for bass is best
right now, with folks catching plenty of fish around Madaket throughout the day, while the
harbor area has been good early in the morning and again in the evening. The southside

beaches are also seeing increasing numbers of bass, with the bite, again, best in the morning
and evening. Soft plastic/jigheads in white or pearl are traditionally a good way to start along
the sand beaches, with pearl Finnish style minnow plugs very popular and productive.
Meanwhile, the Tuckernuck flats are fishing really well, with a good number of bass in the 26 to
30-inch class feeding on sand eels and crabs.

Capt. Dave’s 6/3/2022 Cape Cod Fishing Report for the Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds

Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Cape Cod Fishing Report

Clearly, a combination of water temperature and bait is producing
some of the best fishing imaginable on the shoals in the sounds. I don’t care
where you go, there are bass being caught, with the topwater bite absolutely off
the charts.
Now, Middle Ground will certainly garner plenty of attention and for good reason:
if there is anything such as a guarantee in fishing, it’s happening there right now.
In fact, the Hogy Charter Grade Popper in clear amber is doing something to bass
that is just incredible to see. Even if you don’t pop one and just let it drift into the
rip or even across the flat water in front, bass have been turning cartwheels trying
to get hooked. In fact, I was saying to Capt. Mike that I feel guilty because I
haven’t been using what were always my go-to Hogy lures at this time of year: the
seven and ten-inch Originals in amber. I love topwater plugs, but let’s be honest:
they aren’t the easiest item to catch fish on – especially when you have rigged
them catch-and-release style with one set of hooks.

Capt. Mike Hogan reported nonstop topwater action in Vineyard Sound.

Speaking of which, I asked the brothers Yetman, Davis and Robert, to help with an
experiment on Thursday, fishing one popper with a single set of trebles in the
head/belly position and another with a single in line hook in the same spot. Both
plugs had custom tied flags and they switched back-and-forth between the rods.

Early on, it appeared that the single in line wasn’t getting it done, but ultimately
what happened is something I have noticed on almost every one of my trips this
year tossing poppers rigged for catch-and-release, even treble rigged ones. Once
Davis and Robert got into the hang of fishing these plugs, they had no trouble
hooking fish on a regular basis and I could see that they were feeding the plug to
the fish.
What I especially appreciated was that even in those cases where a fish came to
hand with the plug sticking out of its mouth, the hooks were in the corner or on
the roof of the mouth, with the release clean and easy with the barbs bent down.
You know what would have happened if the plug was rigged with multiple sets of
hooks and protruding out like a cigar: hooking in the gut and gills, with blood
everywhere.But while MG will always garner an inordinate share of attention, there are fish
being caught everywhere and that means if you find yourself getting crowded and
a bit scratchy there, which will often happen on weekends, you can go elsewhere
and in many cases have an area all to yourself. For example, I have been stopping
at what I call the rip off Nobska, although Capt. Mike believes it is probably the far
western end of L’Hommedieu, and the fishing has been great, again mainly on the
amber Charter Grade Popper. Mark Tenerowicz and I fished there on Tuesday and
had the place to ourselves and I would say the action was as good as it was out by
the Vineyard and when the tide died, we ran across the sound.
Well, Mike had a later start on Thursday than I did and when he visited Nobska,
the tide had picked up and he found a bigger class of bass chowing down on
pogies that absolutely crushed the new seven-inch Hogy Charter Grade popper in
what he calls the translucent white color. Again, he was on these fish with pretty
much nobody else around, but when a couple of what I will generously call
“knuckleheads” showed up, he went elsewhere and caught fish.
Jim Young told me that he fished Hedge Fence earlier this week and he caught a
good number of bass using a pink, subsurface squid imitation, while Charlie
Richmond was good enough to call and report that he and Rich Haskell did well at
Bishop and Clerks jigging wire, with every one of the dozen bass they caught well
within the slot limit.

Capt. Eric Stapelfeld of Hairball Charters found some oversize bass out in the sounds this week.

If you recall, earlier I wrote “if there is anything such as a guarantee in fishing”
and I was hedging my bet for a good reason and Bob Lewis provided a perfect
example why. Two groups of his friends fished Succonesset Shoal this week and
although there were bass present, they were acting very finicky, with no hook ups
or real reactions of any kind. Ultimately, both parties left and found happy fish

elsewhere, in one case pretty close by while the other made a more substantial
move. Now, as I am often wont to do, I offered up a few thoughts on what have
been happening, including the fish might have been feeding on krill or there was a
hatch going on. In the end, Bob was his usual sensical self, suggesting that if I run
across this, then there are so many fish around that I should just go elsewhere
and find some of the many cooperative fish in the sounds.
There are some monster bluefish in the sounds, like the ones Bob and his
nephews Hunter and Austin encountered earlier this week while the rest of the
crew on board were happily catching black sea bass at Lone Rock, just one of the
many spots holding these feisty groundfish from Cotuit to Hyannis.

Capt. Terry Nugent of Riptide Charters found big schools of Bluefish in the Sounds.

Evan Eastman from Eastman’s Sport & Tackle in Falmouth has been hearing that
the shore fishing around Falmouth is slowing a bit, although there are still good
numbers of smaller bass up inside the ponds.
Meanwhile, Christian Giardini from Falmouth Bait & Tackle said that the sea bass
bite in the sounds remains really good, with many boaters doing the striper/sea
bass double: hitting the shoals to pick up some bass on plugs or plastics and then
visiting their favorite stretch of hard bottom to add some BSB to the mix.
Amy Wrightson from The Sports Port in Hyannis said that shore anglers are also
picking up blues from Cotuit to Osterville, along with a mix of bass up into the slot
limit. White surface plugs have been an excellent choice, especially when longer
casts are needed to reach the fish.
The night bite continues to be consistent in the same area, according to Andy
Little at The Powderhorn in Hyannis, with the main difference being that the fish
are often much larger under the cover of darkness and right in close, making
larger soft plastics an excellent choice, especially in darker colors.
The word from Sarge Bloom at Riverview Bait & Tackle in South Yarmouth is that
there is a mix of schoolies and slot size bass in the rivers and off the beaches,
along with bluefish for the shorebound crew. Out at the Tire Reef and the High
School Reef, the sea bass bite is excellent, along with plenty of scup.

Martha’s Vineyard Fishing Report

Doug Asselin at Dick’s Bait & Tackle in Oak Bluffs said that the
schoolie action around the island is absolutely crazy, with smaller fish in all of the
ponds and backwaters. He has been catching pretty much any time of day without
regard for tide; just the other day he was fishing near one of the bridges on the
east side of the island and enjoyed non-stop action on surface feeding action for
close to two hours on bass up to 26-inches. Doug is a big fan of small (less than an
ounce) eel style paddletail soft plastics or small spook style topwater plugs when
fishing these smaller bass. As he added, everybody pretty much knows about the
bass in the shoals, including Middle Ground and Hedge Fence, but a few boats
have ventured out towards Tom Shoal and found some bass and blues. Wasque is
producing more bass than blues, mainly on jigs and other subsurface
presentations when the current is pulling – which it usually is at the point.
Jim Young told me that the run of big, spawning sea bass at the wrecks off Oak
Bluffs has slowed way down; there are still legal fish to be caught, but you have to
pick through more fish right now if you want to take home a limit of larger ones.

Nantucket Fishing Report

“We’ve been having a great early season,” noted Sam Brandt at
Nantucket Tackle Center. The bass and blues are filling in along the south shore,
with a good topwater bite in the morning while low and slow with soft plastics
and swimmers has been the way to go at night. The flats fishing around Eel Point,
the 40th Pole, and off Tuckernuck is really good, while there has been a good push
of bluefish around the north and east sides of the island. Up inside the harbor, the
bass bite remains very strong, both in the early morning and again in the evening.
And the rips south of Tuckernuck and Muskeget are producing some really nice
bass on topwaters, soft plastics, and flies.


Capt. Dave’s 5/27/2022 Cape Cod Fishing Report for the Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds

Filmed last Monday!

Stripers have arrived full force in the rips feeding on squid. In this video Capt. Mike shares his favorite technique using Amber Charter Grade Poppers to imitate squid for exciting topwater striper action.

Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Cape Cod Fishing Report

I can tell you in one little snippet how good Middle
Ground is: Barry Wood was down from Maine on Tuesday and he called
me to say how good the fishing was there in case I was out and wasn’t
finding fish. He said the topwater activity was phenomenal, both on
spin and fly.
I shouldn’t say anything more about this shoal as it will only get more
and more attention as the word gets out, but Capt. Mike and I spoke on
Monday and he had fished MG on Monday out of his new Contender,
while Hogy Pro Capt. Cullen Lundholm fished nearby, and they had non-
stop action on the amber Charter Grade Popper. Most of the fish were,
again, in the just below to just into the slot, although Cullen’s crew
managed a bigger fish in the mid-30-inch range.
By Wednesday when I decided to give MG a shot, we were one of three
boats there just as the sun came up and the fishing was insane, but by
late morning after the tide turned, the boat numbers increased
exponentially and it was back to the dance, with multiple boats
jockeying for position and people drifting into where others were
casting, mainly because everyone on board wanted to fish as opposed
to keeping someone at the helm.

Oh, well, that means it’s going to become more important to get to a
popular location early and then leave when things get crazy or perhaps

even later in the afternoon or evening when folks are back at the dock
celebrating their day on the water.

Capt. Mike Hogan with a chunky striper that crushed a Hogy Charter Grade Popper in amber.

Then again, another option is to check out the numerous other shoals
in the sounds; for example, Evan Eastman from Eastman’s Sport & Tackle in Falmouth

and his friend went out with Chuck, the patriarch of
the Eastman clan, for a hour or so earlier this week and had great
surface activity at the rip of Nobska. Now this spot is known more for
wire line jigging early in the season and then a decent fluke bite before
the draggers show up, but Evan noticed gulls working over the rip and
they caught fish on smaller walk-the-dog plugs with nobody else in
sight. That said, I did notice more boats there on Wednesday, so
perhaps the word is already out.
While topwater fishing is always fun, the reality is that when the
current gets humping, then switching over to something weighted is
the way to go, whether it is wire line jigging or tossing soft plastics on
jigheads or weighted swimbait hooks.
Getting back to plugging, shore anglers are getting into the action using
pencil poppers and WTD plugs; one of Evan’s employees was casting a
smaller, plastic one of the latter under the Great Pond bridge and
picking up schoolies when he hooked something that lopped the tail
hook – and part of the tail of the plug – clean off, a confirmation of
what folks have been saying about the large bluefish that have shown
up. They have been mixed in with some bass around South Cape Beach,
but the waters down Cotuit and Osterville way seem to be holding the
greatest number at the moment. They are also mixing in with the bass
in the shoals.
From Yarmouth to Harwich, there are more slot sized bass showing up,
confirmed Lee Boisvert at Riverview Bait & Tackle in South Yarmouth,
both from the beaches on the sound shoreline and back inside the
That seems to be the general story, schoolies and slot sized bass for the
sand-and-rock people, but Andy Little at The Powderhorn in Hyannis
had work of an estimated 50-pounder caught by a shore angler in the

Falmouth area who was fishing dead eels near the bottom. Andy saw
the photo of it and it was massive; apparently, some other
exceptionally large fish have been caught from shore by folks dragging
large soft plastics along the bottom and using black, blurple, or other
dark colored Danny plugs – with all of this big fish activity happening in
the darkness.

Ground Fishing Report:

Last Sunday, Christian Giardini from Falmouth Bait & Tackle planned to
hit some of his sea bass spots, but boat issues left him working a stretch
of broken bottom in the sounds where he said there shouldn’t have
been fish, but within a couple of hours they limited out on fish between
18 and 23-inches, with no spawning females kept. Christian is a big fan
of the jighead/scented soft plastic grub combination; when the subject
of color came up, he listed green, pink, glow, and white in that order.
Also, when it comes to weight of your jigs and depth of water, a two to
three-ounce should suffice in 30-foot or so, while if you are fishing in
80-feet, as they were, then upping to four-ounces when using braid or
even six-ounces or more if you are using mono.
Along with the BSB, the scup fishing on jumbos is very good, explained
Capt Willy Hatch of Machaca Charters, who sails from Falmouth Harbor,
but also picks up parties on the Vineyard. Willy has also been doing
really well on combination striper/sea bass trips.

Martha’s Vineyard Fishing Report

The black sea bass season is off to a strong start
around the Port Hunter and other wrecks off the Vineyard, noted Steve
Morris at Dick’s Bait & Tackle in Oak Bluffs. As far as stripers go, there
are plenty of schoolies in all of the ponds, with some slot fish mixed in;
both unweighted soft plastics and topwater plugs are working, while
down Wasque Point way bucktails and weighted soft plastics are
preferred when it comes to picking at the bass there. Steve has not,
however, heard of any bluefish around Wasque from shore nor of any
boats trying the rips there as well. As far as squid goes, Steve went out
the other night and didn’t see any in his lights – nor any small bait for
that matter.

Nantucket Fishing Report

Timothy Coggins at The Nantucket Center confirmed that
the bass have shown along the southside beaches, with smaller jighead
mounted soft plastics being used by the hardcore surfcasters who seem
to be the only ones fishing these sandy stretches of beach. As he
explained, distance is not critical as the fish are holding close to the
beach, so lighter jigs work just fine. Some slot sized fished are being
caught up inside Nantucket and Madaket Harbors, especially in the
morning on topwater plugs and unweighted soft plastics. No bluefish
have been reported and the waters around the east side of the island
are still too cold even for bass, although the boaters who have been
fishing for black sea bass have spots out that way, as well as north, but
they keep those numbers “close to the vest,” as Timothy explained. The
fluke bite hasn’t started either, but he anticipates that within a week or
two they will begin to show.

Capt. Dave’s 5/19/2022 Cape Cod Fishing Report for the Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds

Fishing the Rips

Middleground is a great spot to target striped bass in the rips!


Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Cape Cod Fishing Report

I wasn’t sure where to start this
report, but I elected to go with fish being caught rather than an
observation and a question.
Let’s start with worm hatches – or spawning activity to be more
precise. Bob Lewis personally fished a number in the Cotuit area
starting last weekend and extending into this week. Last weekend, at
the point where he found the worms and fish, the scenario was one
anglers dread: way too many worms to get the fish to really
concentrates on your artificial, which for Bob, as a flyrodder, was an
assortment of bugs that he ties himself. He did catch fish, but not as
many as one would hope given the number of stripers slurping and
Then on Monday, Bob’s good friend Ken Cirillo called to say he had just
finished fishing a worm event from shore and did very well, with his
best fish a 32-incher. Ken is a spin angler, so he fished one of Bob’s flies
behind a casting bubble.
The next two nights, Bob fished the same waters and experienced the
same great action, mainly because there were fewer worms and the
fish were more willing to eat artificials. Bob was joined by his daughter
Lindsay, who picked up a 30-inch bass, along with her boyfriend who
has also caught the fly rod bug.
Color didn’t seem to matter, Bob said, but he is convinced that the key
is making sure your fly stays right on the surface, making a V-wake that
gets the fish’s attention – mainly because that’s what the real thing
does. His favorite pattern – at the moment – is one made of twisted
yarn; on one variety he accomplishes the surface presentation by
adding strips of foam, but on another he goes the freshwater mode and
applies fly floatant. In both cases, a floating line is a must.
One other interesting tidbit is that while Bob is a big believer in worm
spawns happening in the late afternoon and evening/nights of sunny

days, especially if there is low water, Ken was fishing in cooler, foggy
Evan from Eastman’s Sport and Tackle also reported numerous worm hatches over last
weekend in Falmouth’s salt ponds and Waquoit Bay, while Capt. Mike
heard from Capt. Shaun Ruge that he happened upon worms and bass
inside Popponesset last Sunday.
Speaking of Popponesset, Gerry Fine and I spent some time there on
Monday well up inside the bay and although we managed to pick up a
shad and a lone schoolie on the fly, we were taken to task by a
shorebound spin angler who seemed to be hooked up pretty much on
every cast. Honestly, I couldn’t tell whether he was using a soft plastic
or a surface plug, but if I had to guess, I would say the former.
When I spoke to Bruce Miller, he told me that his friend, Dave, had
done well that night in the same area and the individual I mentioned
above just might have been him. In that case, the lure was a small pogy
imitation plastic.
The highlight of our trip was running into Mark Roberts, who was
flyrodding from one of the marsh banks at the entrance to the bay. He
said that fishing has been good, with some quality bass being caught,
including some in the slot. In fact, I saw an angler who appeared to be
fishing bait heft a bass that looked to be well over the upper end of the
Andy Little from The Powderhorn in Hyannis said that from the Three
Bays to Hyannis, the bass fishing has been very good, mainly on
schoolies with enough slot or larger fish to keep things interesting.
It’s the same story as you continue east, noted Lee Boisvert at
Riverview Bait & Tackle, with more fish being from the open beaches
along with those up inside the rivers and bays.
How you take this news depends on how you feel about bluefish, but
Christian Giardini at Falmouth Bait & Tackle saw photos of a couple of
bluefish he estimated to be in the double digit pound range that were
caught earlier this week by an angler who was plugging the Oregon

Beach area for bass, while Bob Lewis spoke to Chris Gill who picked up
some choppers tossing plugs in the same area.

Capt. Dave From the Field:

Now, as far as the observation I mentioned earlier, before Gerry and I
hit Waquoit and then Popponesset, we ran across to Middle Ground
where there were terns working everywhere, picking at what must
have been small bait since you won’t see these diminutive creatures
pursuing the squid that make for so much fun in most every shoal in the
Before we left Falmouth, Gerry and I had run into Capt. Mike who was
returning from some filming and he said that the shoals he fished
seemed very slow in terms of stripers. When I found all those terns at
MG, I called him up to compare notes and he said that he had
experienced the same birdiness and it was more terns off Waquoit, at
Succonesset, and even on the shallows around Popponesset.
Speaking of Succonesset, Christian spoke to one angler who picked up a
bass or two thereabouts earlier in the weekend on soft plastics,
confirming Christian’s observation that this shoal is often the first that
sees striper activity at this time of year.
Being the nervous Nelly that I am, I expressed to Mike my concern at
not seeing any signs of squid or bass and the possibility that we might
be dealing with shoals filled with small bass feeding on what I believed
were sand eels this season. Capt. Willy Hatch believes those terns are
feeding on some kind of a krill hatch and if you have ever fished for
bass when they are on krill, the thought of that being an every day
occurrence certainly didn’t calm me down. Of course, Capt. Mike called
me off the ledge, stating that he believes the squid that we find in the
shoals from Succonesset Middle Ground and down Vineyard Sound are
a different body of squid than what is found down Hyannis way.

Squid Fishing:

Speaking of the Hyannis squid, it appears that the blow we had about a
week ago has pushed the Loligo out, perhaps south of Nantucket and
the Vineyard. With diesel prices being what they are, the inshore
draggers aren’t going to make the run to the backside of the islands, so
perhaps the fishing will be better out there this year.

Overall, Amy Wrightson said the squid fishing this spring was terrible
during the daylight hours, while at night they had some very good fishing.

Martha’s Vineyard Fishing Report

Doug Asselin at Dick’s Bait & Tackle in Oak Bluffs
said that there are schoolies in pretty much all of the salt ponds around
the island, but there are no sizeable fish to speak of. Soft plastics are
definitely the way to do, with the chartreuse Hogy Pro Tail working well
recently on smaller fish for a friend of Doug’s. There have been a couple
of bluefish caught down Lobsterville way, but nothing else to speak of.
Doug knew of one boat who went trolling the waters around Hedge
Fence and Middle Ground, but came home empty. The inshore squid
fishery also seems to have died, with no boat lights showing at night off
State Beach recently.

Nantucket Fishing Report

Timothy Coggins, manager of Nantucket Tackle Center,
said there has been a decent schoolie bite around Nantucket, Polpis,
and Madaket Harbor. There have also been small bass caught from

Jetties Beach to Eel Point, but the bass action along the southside is a
couple of weeks away. No bluefish have been reported as well. Along
with soft plastics, Timothy said a good schoolie option has been the ¾-
ounce Hogy Charter Grade Popper. As for which color has been working
best, he added “match the sky,” which I am going to interpret as light
during the day and darker in low light conditions.


Capt. Dave’s 5/13/2022 Cape Cod Fishing Report for the Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds

Filmed Recently in Nantucket Sound

No Problem filling our buckets!

Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds Cape Cod Fishing Report

It was the same news in the sounds
for Gerry and I as we checked out a number of shoals that will
eventually – hopefully – become more active in the next couple of
weeks. All we found was 49-degree water, no signs of fish or bait, and a
variety of birds flying around in search of something.
Oh, and gray seals everywhere: in Woods Hole, off Nobska, at Middle
Ground and Halfway Shoal, and even the entrance to Waquoit Bay;
Andy Little at The Powderhorn in Hyannis told me that they are being
seen up inside the Three Bays area and in greater numbers inside
Hyannis Harbor and Lewis Bay . Now, these aren’t your “cute” little
harbor seals that hang out on the rocks throughout the winter and into
the early spring until warming water temperatures and boat traffic
typically send them elsewhere. Nope, these are the critters that can be
found in ever increasing numbers on the outer Cape beaches, around
Great Point on Nantucket, as well as Muskeget and Tuckernuck Islands.
They have been implicated for years by anglers as primary culprits for
the demise of fishing on the outer Cape and for bringing increased
numbers of great white sharks into our waters since seals are one of
their favorite snacks. All I know is I am encountering them with
increased regularity in waters where I would be surprised to find even
one and can’t help wondering if increasing populations and the
resultant competition for food is causing them to become residents in
the sounds.

Cape Cod Backwater Fishing Report

As for the fishing, it’s really good in the backwaters according to
everyone I spoke to, which makes sense for two primary reasons: food
and more agreeable water temperatures. After deciding that we had
enough data in the form of colder water in the sounds and around the
Elizabeths to prove that we most likely weren’t going to find any
actively feeding bass, we headed for the upper reaches of Waquoit Bay.
Given the number of shore anglers and kayakers we encountered, most
of whom were wielding fly rods, it seemed pretty certain that fish had
been caught in this area recently. But even there, when we arrived my electronics were reading 50-degrees and everyone seemed to be
moving around in search of fish. After no fish fishing for a brief period, I
elected to move into a location away from everyone else where I had
typically found slightly warmer water. Sure enough, the gauge read 52
and Gerry started to catch fish. Coincidence? I will never say for sure,
but I have enough evidence over the years to show that even a slight
increase – or decrease in the doldrums of summer – in water temps will
trigger activity.

Rory over at Falmouth Bait And Tackle in the Teaticket section of
Falmouth, across from McDonald’s, told me that he has been doing
very well using the fly rod up inside Waquoit, news that perhaps
explained all the activity there that we saw. In fact, on Wednesday
night, he enjoyed a great trip with actively feeding bass, including some
slot fish. He was using, for the most part, a blue/white Deceiver type of
pattern, although he also mentioned having success with a brown
rabbit strip fly, perhaps one that imitated worms that inhabit the clam
flats in the area.
Speaking of clam flats, Rory added that he and his friend encountered a
worm hatch well up inside Waquoit already this year; it’s been said
many times before, but this isn’t truly a “hatch” in the traditional,
freshwater buggy sense, but rather a spawning activity, with the tail
sections of various species of worms breaking off and rising to the
surface, where they spin and release eggs and sperm, beginning the re-
establishment of their species. Waquoit contains all the elements
required for worm spawning activity, including shallow water over
darker, muddy bottom that warms more quickly and sluggish
currents/tides that keep the temps up.
In Rory’s case, he wasn’t using one of the myriad worm fly patterns that
exist, but a small baitfish imitation. I had one of my best worm hatch –
ah, spawn – trips ever using a chartreuse Deceiver when I couldn’t get
any love on all of my finely crafted worm bugs. Just something to keep
in mind.

I can’t say for sure when Rory found the worms, but I would suspect it
was before the most recent northeast blow we enjoyed, since given
what I have seen and heard, I can’t imagine water temperatures
approaching 60 degrees, which worm event aficionados such as Bob
Rifchin and Page Rogers often cite as the magic number, as Bob Lewis
reminded me. In fact, right before the gale kicked off, Rich Haskell
found a worm event up inside Cotuit and he and a friend managed to
pick up a half dozen fish apiece in water that had warmed to 60
degrees. A couple of days later, Bob went out with Rich and the water
they fished registered only the mid-50’s and not only did they not find
worms doing their spawning dance, but no bass.
With air temps predicted for this weekend in the high 60’s and even
low 70’s tomorrow, I would suspect that worm events might be a real
possibility, especially on Sunday when there is supposed to be some
sun, as opposed to the clouds and fog on Saturday. As Bob emphasized,
all of his best worm fishing trips have been on calmer, sunny days.
Along with Falmouth, which features numerous salt ponds that harbor
good early season spots, Popponesset and Cotuit have also been
enjoying good action, explained Andy Little. On Thursday, shore anglers
found schoolies throughout the Three Bays area, around Dowses, and
the Centerville River. Unfortunately, they all also discovered parking
tickets under their wipers when they returned to their vehicles.
Apparently, it wasn’t like they were taking up spots that residents
would use in local lots this time of year; in fact, they were pretty much
empty, but that didn’t make any difference to the town gendarmes.
This is becoming more of an issues as towns go to no-parking
regulations for non-residents year round, as opposed to the good old
days when regulations were relaxed from Labor Day to Memorial Day.
Matt Cardarelli at Riverview Bait and Tackle in South Yarmouth said that
along with the schoolie lures that they have been selling to folks
targeting stripers in all of the rivers down his way over to Harwich, they
continue to sell good numbers of crabs, so the tautog bite must still be
pretty strong. Matt emphasized that most of the better tog spots in the

sound are to the west of their shop, particularly from the waters off
Hyannis to Osterville and Cotuit, which feature more rocky, sticky

Cape Cod Fishing Report for Scup in the Sound

Scup are being caught in increasing numbers, as well, which is not good
news for folks targeting squid. Combine that with the windy, choppy
conditions earlier this week and odds are that the squid have been
pretty much scattered, making for some tough jigging action. In fact, I
have heard of some folks booking squid trips recently and managing
single digit numbers; the saving grace has been that the ones they
caught were really large. Another sign of the slowing action are the
decreased sales of squid jigs.
And, if you’re like me and eagerly look forward to the arrival of the first
bluefish of the season, no news yet, but hopefully a shift in the wind
direction for a few days to the southwest will bring the choppers in.
Fishing Tip: It’s important to remember that fish can become lethargic
when water temperatures are at the lower range of their preferred
water temperatures, which can sometimes make the best retrieve a
slow one – or no real retrieve at all. When Gerry Fine and I fished
Waquoit, we noticed folks tossing soft plastics and flies followed by
fairly rapid retrieves; it wasn’t until we switched over to letting our
Deceiver style flies just sink through the water towards the bottom with
no or very little retrieve that we picked up fish. For spin anglers, that’s
where the Hogy Slow Tail excels as it vibrates enticingly on a very slow
retrieve or no forward movement at all.

Conservation Tip:

I wanted to say something snarky about one of the
most important conservation issues on the Cape being the protection
of shore anglers, in the wake of Andy Little’s parking ticket news, but I’ll stick to what should be the obvious. When fishing involves most
smaller, sublegal fish or you are going to intentionally practice catch-
and-release, your best option is to use single hook lures with the barbs
crushed down. And release fish while keeping them in the water,
whether from shore or boat.


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