We are approaching Memorial Day and I already feel like 'Prime Time' fishing is already here. I'm hearing a lot of Striped Bass being landed in Buzzards Bay the Vineyard areas and even parts of Cape Cod Bay and Nantucket Sound. There are some slot fish in the mix as well.
I've been daydreaming about black sea bass for about two weeks prior and preparing for the start of the season which was this past Saturday. Before black sea bass, I also felt like I had some unfinished business with the haddock. I made one more haddock trip and I'm very glad I did. I fished a rocky, gravel area in about 150' of water and hooked into something complete unexpected. I was fished a 5" B2 jigging rig tipped with bait and a smaller jig hoping to catch some haddock. My boat was anchored and I had dropped a chum pot down.
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The fight lasted about 8 minutes and all sorts of possible species entered my mind ranging from a hooked shark, a large pollock, a large cod, wolffish, and super sized cusk all were possibilities, but what emerged from the depth was a large dark outline of an oval that was the amazing outline of a beautiful halibut. I estimated the fish to be around 42"-46" but I wasen't sure it was a legal fish. I didn't gaff it. I wasen't even sure in the moment that I wanted to kill it and harvest it. I was caught in the moment of having it alongside the boat. Not lost in all this was that I had caught it on one of my own rigs. The hook was gently removed and the fish kicked away slowly back to the bottom.
Two fish I have never personally hooked before are a tuna and halibut. I always thought a tuna wasen't far off in my future, mainly because of my son's growing desire to get one and the availability of the fish and information on them. The halibut has always been a 'ghost' as my cousin Bruno refers to them. My father had gone on a trip to Alaska and caught some and he always spoke about them. He would joke with my brother and I that we would eventually catch one on Cape Cod. I find some irony and romance in the notion that I caught one after he has passed away. He would given an organ to be out there to experience it if he was still alive. I wonder if he actually sent it as a reminder of all the time we spent fishing with him. His little personalized gift.
Black Sea Bass
I did make a black sea bass trip into Buzzards Bay on Sunday. The fishing was solid, but not on fire as in years past. The water was just north of 50 degrees, perhaps a little bit on the cool side. There were a lot of scup around and very few fish took a jig. The majority of the fish were caught on baited rigs right on the bottom. The tell tale aggression of the fish was lacking. We caught a two person limit and kept only males above 18" which is our imposed size limit. It was good to be out there.
We noticed a lack of boat traffic. Speaking to dockmaster at Taylor Point Marina, he noted that the parking lot was never completely full during any part of the first weekend of black sea bass season which to him and me, is unusual. With the cost of life and fuel being what it is, I'm not totally surprised that this is happening. I certainly hope that people can get out and most importantly get children out to fish for this terrific fish.
The fish were caught on a variety of rigs, but all baited and all fished tight to the bottom. Interesting that the rig I caught the halibut on also caught a black sea bass. The B2 is truly a versatile teaser.
It was also great to hear feedback of several customers of Monomoy Tackle on social media who shared their stories and catch on social media. Below is a photo from John who was fishing on Saturday and he shared this image of a fish caught on a B2 tandem rig. Several customers purchased rigs from HarwichSport Bait and Tackle. Please continue to support your local small business and tackle stores. It's much appreciated.
A more substantial report will hopefully come out over the weekend. I hope everyone gets to wet a line Memorial Day weekend. Thank you to our Veterans and our current Service Members and families for the Sacrifice and Dedication they make each and every day.
Don't forget to shop the sale this week for Memorial on the website