May 17th Nantucket Fishing Report

Fishing is really fun right now.  Like, really fun.  We are still really early in the season, so it is by no means red hot.  But it is the time of year where anglers are running around to all of their favorite holes to see which are holding fish.  It’s the time of year that there is no advantage to fishing at night. It’s the time of year when you don’t know if you’ll catch a 12” Striped Bass or a 32” Striped Bass. It’s the time of year where you are more productive from the beach than from a boat.  It’s the time of year when your ten-year-old son can out fish you!

In the past week, we’ve seen bigger fish caught on west end than in the harbor.  Madaket Harbor seems to have more steady action as the opening between tuckernuck and smith’s point is a prime gateway for fish entering Nantucket waters.  These fish are holding in Madaket as there is plenty of food and the water temps are an ounce warmer than elsewhere.  With the perfect weather this week, we’ll likely see many of these fish flush into the harbor and we are bound to see bigger fish in the harbor by the time this prints.  This means don’t just fish the harbors, but fish the thoroughfare that is the north shore!  Guys and Gals in Madaket have caught fish on Poppers (topwater fishing plugs) and on soft baits (soft rubber baits that sit under the surface and move naturally).  The retrieve should not be too erratic, as the water is still cool and these fish are sometime a little slow to respond.

While the bigger fish have not been in the harbor, there has been no lack of fish there.  I fished with a great friend over the weekend and we landed 15 fish in a couple of hours, all small, but we did see a couple of very good fish.  A couple of keepers, have been caught in the Monomoy area.  It’s our opinion that the Harbor will be solid this weekend as the the conditions have been great.  Striped Bass love water that is 55-62 degrees and the relative warmth of the harbor water is optimal for attracting the ever increasing population of bait and Bass early in the season.

Anglers are also very excited to see what effect the new Jetties will have on the fishing.  Stripers love moving oxygen rich water.  One of the big benefits of this type of water is that it allows them fish to breathe while exerting minimal effort.  The other benefit is bait is out of control in the fast moving water, which allows bigger fish to ambush their bait.  The rebuilt jetties, as I understand it, will have much fewer perforations between the rocks and as a result, water coming in and out of the jetties will be moving much quicker than what we have seen in the past.  Think about putting your thumb on a garden hose and this is the effect we should have at the jetties. This should flush more water out and in the central thoroughfare and create a great habitat for fish.  Time will tell.

One of my favorite stories from this past week was from Kris Wiggin and his son Curren.  I was fishing in the harbor and saw the father and son combo plugging away. They fished for a couple of hours and didn’t catch anything.  My favorite part was that Curren did not stop casting and I kept mentioning this to my friend.  That is incredible patience from a ten-year-old! I got off the water and went about my day and later heard they headed out to Madaket to fish.  How awesome is that, he just could not get enough.  He was later rewarded with big fish out of the surf. You get a lot of guys who don’t put in their time and get frustrated that they don’t catch anything.  The key to becoming a good angler is patience and persistence… Curren is well on his way! good job buddy!


Early in the week we heard reports of a bluefish caught off the south shore!  While this seems early, it’s probably right on time, considering the Vineyard and the Cape have monster bluefish all over. Right now, the mass of blues are hanging offshore a little longer waiting for bigger bait to pile up in our waters.  In the meantime, we should enjoy mostly Bass before we get inundated in another few weeks. With that in mind though, don’t forget to use leaders on your line.

Go enjoy one of the best times of year. It’s the time to discover and remember to find your inner ten-year-old self and be patient! Tight lines