If you are looking for fluke in Buzzards Bay, I would definitely head out to the Mashnee Flats. Keeper fluke are being caught consistently off the flats and from the docks in Marina's. Seabass have now pushed out to Vineyard Sound hoping to stay in a little more colder water. Rumors of small fork tail football fish have been seen at the west end of the canal, but nothing can be confirmed. Stripers are spread across Cape Cod Bay following around schools of Mackerel and Pogies. Most anglers are getting them jigging wire and trolling tube and worms in 15-30ft of water.
Despite getting hit by the aftermath of hurricane Elsa this week, fishing has been picking up along the Canal. Mackerel have been pushed in, followed by Stripers ranging from 28 to 50 inches. Fishing remained consistent throughout the end of the week, and I feel it will hold over for the weekend. Most fish being caught are feeding on mackerel pattern jigs on the bottom, however fish have been seen on the surface in the early hours of the morning. I think with the constant change in wind and pressure, this storm will determine whether or not we see fish in the Canal for the rest of the year. If the wind pushes more mackerel deeper into the canal, the rest of this year will remain consistent, however, if it doesn't we may see a return to the slow and more lethargic Canal we have gotten used to.
The offshore bite has stayed consistent over the weekend with the football bluefin hanging south of the Vineyard, and giants moving further into Cape Cod Bay. Stellwagon Bank and The Sword have been loaded with larger Mackerel, holding these bluefin in those areas. Anglers are having the most luck keeping live bait on balloons about 15 feet from the bottom. The Bluefin being caught are anywhere from 75 to 120 Inches.
With the warmer water on its way up the coast, the hopes of Mako and Thresher Sharks are also on the rise. Anglers are checking south of the Vineyard and the northern parts of Stellwagon for their chance in landing one early this year. Most anglers are floating mackerel or bluefish on Kites and Balloons in hopes there baits get bit rather than themselves. I expect the Tuna bite to remain stable and continue as the sharks slowly make thier way up the coast line to the Cape.
With people travelling from all over to spend their 4th on the Cape, Buzzards Bay was not only loaded with people, but fish as well. The Black Sea Bass bight has been moving further south towards Vineyard Sound, but big blueheads are still being found out in the deeper water. The Fluke bite is beginning to pick up on the edges of the Mashnee Flats and out in Nantucket Sound. Keeper size fish are being caught in Buzzards Bay while there are numerous doormat fluke being pulled out of both sounds. I recommend dragging white bucktails along the bottom complimented with a 5.5 inch red Jig Strip trailer. Cape Cod Bay is still loaded with Stripers along common areas. Billingsgate Shoal and Provincetown are holding Stripers up to 40 pounds. These fish are keyed in on mackerel and sand eels, so your best luck is coming with a live lined Mackerel behind your boat. As the crowds move off the Cape I expect the bite to pick up a little more, giving you a better chance at some bigger fish.
Although the holiday weekend brought us lots of family and fireworks, Striped Bass steered clear of the Canal this weekend. On Friday, the Rail Road Bridge was lined with people in hops for a morning jig bite. Although there were a few slot sized fish caught, lots of long faces were seen as the fish were few and far between. Over the weekend Mass Maritime was also full of anglers in search of the notorious white magic swimmer bite. Although there was word of a few fish being caught, it is nothing making me want to run down there. The East End of the Canal has been full of not only mackerel, but some decent size fish as well. With the rain over the holiday weekend, along with a change in wind direction, I am hopeful the Canal will see a push of bait with fish in the coming weeks. Out in Osterville, there have been numerous gator size bluefish being caught. Bluefish up to 35 inches have been going stir crazy on pencil poppers and 2oz Crippled Herring. As the bluefish make there way towards Vineyard Sound and Buzzards Bay, there will be numerous times where anglers can get casts on them across the beaches of Falmouth.
If you have a boat or any access to one, pack your Tuna gear and get out there. For the past week and a half areas south of Martha's Vineyard, specifically The Claw and Southwest Ledge have been loaded with football size tuna. I got the chance to head out there along with a couple of friends last week and we were able to catch 11 out of the 12 footballs we hooked up to. Breaking fish are around in the dawn hours of the morning where boaters have been successful casting white 5oz Ron-Z jigs. Once the sun is up, trolling 24" Carlson Squid Bars has been seen to be most effective. While smaller Tuna have been consistent south of the Vineyard, boaters are beginning to catch giants up to 120 inches off of Stellwagon Bank, and East of Chatham. Overall, the offshore bite has been much better than we have seen in the past year, and I predict it will only get better throughout the year.
After a few schools of blitzing Stripers up to 50 pounds moved through the Canal last week, surfcasters began to hope for a turn around this season. However, the past week in the Canal has been slow despite a handful of slot size fish being caught, along with bluefish. Anglers on the Canal report that the key to finding big fish right now is putting time in during the twilight hours of the night. Although the Canal has been slow, there are bigger fish being caught on the beaches in Cape Cod Bay, specifically in Barnstable and Dennis. With the 4th of July coming up this weekend, expect larger than normal crowds down at the Canal, and hopefully a push of fish.
Boat fishing this year has been lights out so far. Black Seabass have been moving around Buzzards Bay and into Vineyard Sound while Fluke are beginning to make their way onto the Mashnee Flats over the past week. White Spro Bucktails with a 5 inch Gulp curly tail trailer have been most effective when bottom fishing. Stripers have been consistent throughout Cape Cod Bay in Barnstable Harbor and Billingsgate Shoal. Most anglers are picking them up trolling wire or slow trolling live mackerel. Bluefish have been running rampant across most south facing beaches and the marinas throughout Buzzards Bay.