May 11th Nantucket Fishing Report

Here is your nantucket fishing Report for May 11th. It has been a fun week on island.  Often, after the first fish is caught, people fish and fish and catch them here and there, but not this year.  Lots of little fish have flooded the island and just yesterday the first keeper was caught in Madaket Harbor.  29.5 inches!  We have been hearing lots of reports from all around Madaket Harbor.  Fish have been tight on the beach near warrens Landing, they have been caught inside hither creek off the docks and they have been caught off of both Smith and Eel Points.  No doubt a large school filled in through the opening in the last ten days and the fish are enjoying the relative warmth.   Not surprisingly we are also hearing reports along the north shore of fish pushing around and being caught.  

In addition, fish are appearing in Nantucket Harbor.   The harbor has a long ways to go to get to her peak form, but in many of the normal haunts fish are schooled up and with higher water, anglers have been reporting catching 6 plus fish in an outing in both the bends and along the south side of the harbor.  Pocomo is even holding fish, although nothing has been reported yet at Coskata.  We have even had a few reports off the east side of the island, which is interesting as the Sankaty area does not usually fill in until late in the month.   

Mackerel are also present.  While understandably this time of year so many have their eyes focused on the Bass, we usually get an early shot of mackerel and then they disappear.  I highly suggest going and catching some as it is fun to target something different and if you need bait, this is a nice way to catch your own.  We often hear of Mackerel being caught at Great Point and along the East Side, which is really fun to catch these guys from the beach.  No reports of this yet, but perhaps not enough people are fishing for them!

One word of caution, is as excited as we are to have the relative large numbers of fish here, sometimes these fish stay for weeks/month and are accompanied by more schools and sometimes they stay for just a short period before pushing up the coast and our water thins out before the next series of fish push through.  Where we are optimistic, is that a lot of these fish are smaller fish in the 12-16 inch range and there is a group in the 16-22 inch range.  These fish are 2 and 3 years old respectively, which is great news as in the last 8 years we have had three very strong Striped Bass reproduction years, 2011,2014,2015.  So these fish arriving now are from the 2014 and 2015 classes and the keeper just caught was likely a part of that 2011 class.  As we think to last year and all of the 25-30 inch fish we caught all summer, those were part of that 2011 year class.  I mention this as understandably many of us are fearful that we over fish for striped bass.  While we certainly need to pay attention to catch rates, we should at least be excited that we are starting to see reproduction rates tick back up.  Next up is making sure we have enough bait for these fish to eat!

Go wet a line, but before you do so, make sure to stop by the shop for the latest reports and to get some new line on your reel.  There is nothing worse than losing a fish on old line.  We can’t wait to hear your story.