Yesterday, I was out with my brother, Bion, who while jigging for bluefish to use as giant tuna bait, hooked and landed the biggest striped bass of the year (so far) for the Marilyn S. This fish was 47 inches long and with a real full belly probably weighed 38-40 pounds. I thought he was hooked on the bottom !!! The rod doubled over and the drag was streaming out. We were fishing in 14 fathoms of water (84') and jigging bluefish up off the bottom. We landed 2 really nice bass along with 8-9 blues in a half hour. The other bass was a decent 20 pounder. All of the blues were large in the 8-10 pound class, not what I would prefer for tuna bait, but since we were the only guys with bluefish yesterday I was still hopeful. Generally it takes a really large 800 pound plus tuna to wolf down a big blue like that. But we never had so much as a big bluefin sniff at our offerings.
There are lots of gannets and gulls and comorants working on scattered bait, 2-3 miles southeast of the Chatham cut. While trolling umbrella rigs for bait there, I saw several medium school sized bluefin crashing on the surface, at least 4 different times. Even though we trolled there for over an hour, we never did catch a bluefish there. The tip of Monomoy had so much weed in the water that we couldn't fish a rig without weeding it up immediately. Acting on a tip from a local gllnetter, I ran back up to the northeast and found some blues right tight on the bottom in 12-14 fathoms on a heading of 70 degreees from the Chatham cut. We were able to catch these fish with some of the new butterfly jigs from Shimano. They get to the bottom quick and tend well with braid lines. The glow color was red hot yesterday.
As for the bluefin bite, the Regal Sword area was slow yesterday as well as SW of the BC bouy. Water temperatures were in the 52 degree range and although the fish marked on the fish finder, I only heard of one fish caught and it reportedly was on a trolled ballyhoo in the Sword area. The weather looks like its going to blow again for a couple days and then after that, perhaps another calm break for one or two days. If the water temps warm another 2 degrees or so, I think some more big fish could be caught during that break in the weather. If you are after the school variety, I would try a lot closer to shore, perhaps only 3 miles off the beach. the bait sign is abundant and 50-75 pound fish are readily seen crashing on the surface.
Bruce & Marilyn S