FLUKE FISHING IMPROVING EVERYWHERE
South of the Cape in New York and in Rhose Island, the fluke fishing has been solid. I have customers in New Jersey also reporting good action.
I posted in social media that one of my customers has been really putting the black seabass XL rigs to the test. With two rigs in Orange chartreuse and orange shrimp, Brush Kinsta has boated person best fluke and several Black Sea and blue fish on these rigs. He’s even had double headers with fluke and bluefish. this is why the rigs are tied with 50lb flouro because you never know!
The transition from spring fishing to summer fishing is upon us. I have personally been able to get out and do some fishing in Buzzards Bay, Vineyard Sound, and Monomoy in the last two weeks and my own personal observations point to the water temperature rising the pattern of fishing moving from spring to summer.
The big news of this season as it relates to years past has been the presence of sand eels. From reading and speaking to those fishing, there are sand eels in large numbers all throughout Cape Cod. The presence of sand eels in this volume has not been seen in a few years around Cape Cod and the presence of bait has impacted in a positive way the fishing.
Something to note, the presence of sand eels changes a bit some of the strategies of targeting the fish. Sand eels are a smaller target than other types of bait. Sizes of lures, shapes, presentations, and tactics, are all impacted by the presence of this small forage. It's my expectation that on somedays, anglers will be delighted by the presence of sand eels as bait and there will be situations where the presence of sand eels will be frustrating because the fish will be so keyed on the bait and so finicky that some presentations may simply be ignored. More on this in subsequent writings.
The black sea bass season was a strong one. Jigs and baited teasers seemed to work equally well for me and those fishing Monomoy Tackle rigs or other similar offerings. As of this past weekend, there was still a fleet of boats getting plus sized fish around Cleveland Ledge. There are still charter captains targeting the black sea bass in this area. The water temperature this past weekend was hovering around 67 degrees. I expect this coming weekend to be the last hurrah. The fish will either be hard to find or they will have left. If you are in Buzzards Bay looking for Black Sea Bass, fluke or other bottom dwellers, certainly head for deeper water or head towards the Elizabeth Island or the entrance to Buzzards Bay.
I enjoyed a very productive trip to Lucas Shoal this past Sunday for Father's day. The water temperature was 63 degrees and there were sand eels everywhere. Birds in the area signaled a feed below and we were able to confirm that it was bluefish.
On the Lucas Shoal structure we drifted along in various depth from 30-70 feet and found black sea bass, fluke, scup, and sea robins. The fluke were mostly on the short side, but they were a welcome site. Some of the black sea bass and scup were plus sized and it was clear to me that some of the Buzzards Bay fish were moving into cooler water.
I made my first launch into Monomoy for the season. I wanted to see how the Stage Harbor Channel was impacted by the winter. Dredging by the Army Corp of Engineers was ongoing. The inlet can be navigated fairly easily and it is well marked, but it's obvious the dredging will be an annual occurrence.
Sand eels were prevalent all along the island and there were birds feeding from the mid point of the island all the way to the point. The weather was such that I did not fish much, but for those who want to fish Monomoy and are waiting for the right time, my message would be that if its not already happening its very very close. Captain Bruno was able to get some bluefish at Point Rip last week. He used a white spook on the surface to get his fish. In the short time that I fished I used a squid lure and it was ignored. On future trips I will certainly mix in sand eels and other similar offerings.
Cape Cod Bay
I have heard of some large fish being caught in and around Billingsgate and Barnstable Harbor. There are fish being caught on live mackerel, trolled rigs, surface offerings, and flies. Basically at various times, a full array of offerings are being deployed and successfully catching schoolies, slot fish, and trophy bass.
For me the significant news with Cape Cod Bay has been the reports of consistent catches being made at Race Point. The bite at Race Point has not been this good in years. I attribute this basically to the presence of the sand eels. When the stripers are stacked at Race Point, the sand eels have brought them in. It's a welcome development and one not seen for some time. The stripers have started to meander around the backside all the way to golf ball.