Updated: Sep 12, 2021
Labor Day has come and gone. The weather for Labor Day weekend has mixed but hopefully the fishable part of the weekend was 'fishy' for those that got out. The signs for me locally in Cape Cod is that the summer is moving out and the fall season is moving. I've season clear signs of motivated fish feeding on the various pods of bait. The amount of bait in the water that I fish off of Monomoy has increased substantially and everything has taken notice.
From customers and contacts around Cape Cod and outside of Cape Cod, I also have the sense that the fishing has been good to great for a variety of species.
MONOMOY AND NANTUCKET SOUND
The Bonito and False Albacore have invaded the south side of Cape Cod. Less so the Bonito but the number of Albies has been really strong. Prior to Labor Day there were many reports of 'finicky' albies and matching the bait and trying to get one to take a lure trolled or cast was very frustrating.
From the middle of last week through this weekend it seems like the fish have been more cooperative. A week ago, Saturday, when I was out on a fluke trip after the hurricane, I thought all the signs of the funny fish were there, but I didn't make the concentrated effort to target the. My cousin, Bruno Demir, this past Wednesday, did, and he hit it big. Bonito and Albies were caught. Concurrently I was also hearing that charter captains and recreational fishermen were catching funny fish off of Nobska, Waquoit, and Woods Hole. The Falmouth area has been very productive and very crowded. The battle between boaters and kayakers has been real and some fishermen have described the Albie fishing as bumper boat conditions. Hopefully common sense and safety win out and there are no disasters out there.
The bait has been very small. A week ago, the bait seemed to be 2" or less. Silver, tiny, offerings in metal and resin were catching the few fish that were being fooled.
I was able to get out this Friday and Saturday during Labor Day weekend and I was able to troll and get one to hit a Monomoy Tackle Amber Resin Jig. The Albies around Monomoy have been larger than other parts of the Cape. The ones caught by Bruno and I have been between 7-10 pounds on the scale consistently. Bruno's bonito on Wednesday was in the dinosaur class, an impressive fish well over the average size we typically see. This one had to have been close to 8 or 10 pounds.
Trolling the Yozuri Crystal minnows in the shallow diving, smaller lip, produced Saturday. I was able to get a half dozen Albies and several bluefish. Trolling over five knots, these bluefish were serious athletes getting these lures and performing aerials after hooking up.
Customers from MyFishingCapeCod using rain bait jigs and resin jigs from boat and shore have been having good success in recent weeks. Thank you to those great folks sending images. Full credit goes to them.
Post hurricane, prior to Labor Day, I was also able to get out to the fluke grounds and I am happy to report that the fluke are still there in numbers. The Massachusetts season is open till October. We also caught a number of good sized black sea bass. Season ends this coming week on them.
On the Striped Bass front, Bearses Shoal and parts north all the way up to Nauset Beach have fished well on live bait, smaller jigs cast into feeding fish, and wire line jigs.
CAPE COD CANAL
The Canal has been slow since the end of August into the first part of September. Sporadic blitzes, pockets of bait have been reported, but the overall intensity of the fishing has been slow. As we get into the throws of the fall run, I expect his to change. The moon cycle with the fall run could really ignite the canal. My sense is that the anglers who favor the Canal are getting antsy and are prepared with their small bait offerings.
CAPE COD BAY
Cape Cod Bay Striped Bass fishing has also been on the slower side. Stripers have been down in deeper water if they are being found at all. Bluefish are being caught with regularity. The bluefish fishery in general has made a big comeback in Cape Cod this season. The demise of the bluefish I think has been greatly exaggerated. Blitzes of bluefish have kept anglers busy on days when the rest of the fishing has been slow.
On the funny fish side, the bonito fishing in Cape Cod Bay has been good but not as good as last year. Charter captains and recreational anglers are catching bonito near Billingsgate and areas like the Path with some regularity. Juvenile bonito are reported being caught in areas around Barnstable Harbor.
CONNECTICUTT, LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK, AND NEW JERSEY
The fluke reports out of Long Island continue to be strong. The funny fish have moved in there as well, but some Monomoy Tackle customers have reported strong catches of fluke on charter boats and private vessel trips.
I have also heard that the scup/porgy, and triggerfish bite have been strong as well. It's time to load up and fill the freezer before the winter on these fish.