You know when you are putting a puzzle together and all of sudden, it starts to take shape and you can tell exactly what it’s going to be? That’s what our fishery is like at the moment. All of a sudden all of the pieces are falling into place and man does it feel good. Everything is just about running on all cylinders.
As I have written about for a couple of weeks, our Bass Fishery is fantastic and right now, we feel spoiled. The fish are on the beach, in the harbor, in the rips and everywhere in between. Those of you focusing on Bluefish are finding huge fish and plenty of them. Our Fluke fishery is awesome. Period. And well, Black Sea Bass seems to only get better every year. Basically, pick your poison right now and you’ll be rewarded.
Let’s start with Striped Bass, since it is our main focus this time of year. Just yesterday I was taking my kids on a boat ride on the North Shore and sure enough, while they were driving the boat, I look out and see an enormous school of fish. I got very excited and yell, slow down! They have no clue what they are doing, so I run back, put the boat in idle and sit there and watch hundreds of fish swim under the boat. I tossed a couple of plugs at them, but they were not eating. These fish were fresh and coming into our fishery. They had some size to them and were ready to find the bait. That night, I got a text from my buddy, Rafael Osana, who must have found that school of fish or another, because he caught 20+ fish in a tide at night, not far from where we spotted the ones that got away. When was the last time you caught 20+, 30-35 inch fish? Like I said, this is the year to do it. However, it takes dedication like Raf has to really get on the fish. Raf is one of those unique anglers who isn’t about himself, but loves knowing everyone is catching fish. That is why he puts on one of the best tournaments of the year. Three years ago, Raf started the Spring Sea Run Opener, which I wrote about a few weeks ago. The tournament is a fun event to raise money for local fisheries and, most importantly, to jump-start the enthusiasm of fishing after a long winter. Raf, works hard for the fish, the tournament and Nantucket, he deserves some kudos. Thanks for everything Raf!
Additionally, Striped Bass are great from the beach right now. The North Shore and the harbor have received a lot of attention with big winds and waves in the past few days. As we see the weather calm down, the South Shore should be a great spot this week and we’ll see fewer fish caught during the day and more in the evenings. There have also been Bass rolling on the east side from Great Point down to Sankaty in the evening. These fish are feeding on Sand eels, so be ready to present a small soft bait. All of this is normal, but we should also see these fish getting bigger so make sure you have the proper equipment and line. From the boat, we are seeing a strong fishery develop. Sankaty even feels like it used to back in the day. The fish are not huge, but they are plentiful so use heavy jigs and get them near the bottom. Bass are also showing up at Great Point, especially on the East (rising) tide. Perhaps our most fun fishery has been the rip currents to the West. While these fish are not large, they are very active and we’ve seen a lot of fish on the surface, chasing squid out of the water.
Blue Fishing is not at its peak yet, but man is it good. The fish were active on the South Shore this week, and when I say there were acres of them on the surface, this is an understatement. These fish were finning up top with the cooler water and hot sun and were very happy to chase top water plugs. In the Tom Nevers area, we’re seeing huge schools of fish in all of the smaller rips that develop South East of the Island. They are then pushing all of the way up the East side of the Island and are huge. We have heard of fish between 12-15 lbs and that’s a big bluefish.
While I love Bass and Bluefish for table fare, I am often a catch and release angler. Having said this, there is nothing like fresh fish and my family loves Fluke and Black Sea Bass. We have plenty of Fluke to the East side of the Island right now and these fisheries are super consistent and a lot of fun. Most anglers don’t know much about our bottom fishery, but I would encourage you to explore, it’s fun for all ages and experience levels.
I highly suggest you get out there and enjoy everything that is happening right now. It is a special time of year to enjoy this wonderful Island we live on so wet a line and explore some new water, you’ll be handsomely rewarded.