Best tide: Either Tide, Moving
Hazards: Logs, Debris
The term “fishing at Wasque” is used quite liberally and could mean Wasque Shoal, Tom Shoal,
Mutton Shoal, Muskeget Channel or Bass Ledge. This is a pretty big area, spanning about 3
Wasque (pronounced WASKEE from the Mainland and WAYSKWEEY on Martha’s Vineyard).
I believe the Vinyarders pronunciation is historically accurate. Anyway, Wasque is a very
famous area for Striped Bass and Blue fishing. While Wasque will hold fish all season long, it
fishes best in June through mid-July. The reason why Wasque fishes so well is that bait from
Nantucket sound gets swept through the channeled water between Martha’s Vineyard and
Nantucket. In June, anglers are likely to see a show of Bass feeding on squid and lady crabs.
When either bait is in town, pink and amber colored lures are very effective.
I grew up fishing Wasque while mating on the Minute Man and running the charter doat “Do
Buoy.” You would think I know the place like the back of my hand, but I don’t. The area is very
exposed and vulnerable to several wind directions (SW and NE the big ones!!) coupled with a
very soft sandy bottom. Many of the spot’s nuances change from year to year as sand is
redistributed. While the major features hold year to year, part of this spot’s charm is re-learning
it each spring. Wasque has it’s “UP” and “down” years. The recent ones have been pretty good.
Wasque fishes best in June and early July.
As mentioned above, Wasque is a loosely used reference to a very wide area, so I will break up
my spot tips by region:
1. Tom’s Shoal: Tom’s shoal starts getting hot in early June, sometimes earlier. This spot is
particularly popular with anglers who like to troll wire or lead core, There are a few fish
in the shallow rips, but boats working baits closer to the bottom over some of the varied
contoured lines will produce more fish. This is a good spot to “drop” lures on fish that are
seen on the fish finder by taking the boat out of gear.
2. Mutton Shoal: Be careful here. The rip gets very gnarly. Please use caution, especially
when the wind and tide are against each other. Bass and blues can line up the rip, making
it a great spot to cast topeater lures such as the Hogy Pencils in this video we filmed in
June of 2021.
3. Shallow Rips: Wasque holds numerous shallow rips that change from year to year. They
often are not fished and can hold some great fishing. Fish move from rip to rip, so if you
want to get off the fleet, you can often find your own fish by trial and error.
- Casting: Weedless soft plastics are probably your best bet here as the water can
be so weedy. If the water is clear, popper and top water plugs can be quite
effective. The favored technique for casting the rips, is to stem the tide in front of
the rip, and cast up tide and work the bait into the rip for stripers waiting in
ambush. Pink, White and Amber colors are the most effective colors.
- Trolling: (2) In the rips, particularly on a south bound tide, trolling wire line or
lead core line with small jigs, parachute jigs and soft baits is effective. Be sure to
try all the various rips as they all hold fish. There is no need to always fish with
the fleet at Wasque.