Hi Folks, I have actually seen the sun a few times this week ! I know I am exaggerating but it seems this winter was a real bear ! I am not just talking about the stock market either. . (A nice little rally in financials didn’t hurt either) With the ever-increasing amounts of daylight, the wheels are set in motion for nature’s creatures to poke their heads up out of the mud to see what’s left after the winter. As the increasing amounts of sunlight warm the estuarine waters, the levels of plankton and algae start blooming and multiplying, steadily increasing the amount of food in the water for the smaller bait fishes. Eels and night-crawlers will soon come out of the mud; spring peepers are set to start their nightly choruses at any time. As the Washington bunglers and blabbers go on and on, life in the natural world is oblivious. Procreation and survival is the order of the day for all of the animals and fishes. The Shadbush should start to bloom by mid April and we will then again have voracious schoolie bass in the warmer shallow waters of western Nantucket Sound, Pleasant Bay and Town Cove. The herring, squid, pogies and mackeral again migrate northward into the sound, followed by the racer blues and the larger striped bass. By May decent keeper sized fish are everywhere in the Sound and Cape Cod Bay, and feeding heavily, spread around the Cape. Although I get requests for May fishing, I don’t start doing charters until mid June, when I am sure there is consistent fishing in the rips near Monomoy and colder waters of southeast Chatham. Bookings to date at this time are understandably slow, due to our economic situation, with only my regulars reserving their usual dates, the welcome exception. Within a month, reservations will be steady, as folks set aside time for fishing fun this summer. Even though we are slow to start here in Chatham, due to colder ocean water, we have consistent quality striped bass fishing from early July all the way into latter October, when an area such as Cape Cod Bay or Nantucket Sound is all bluefish ! In latter June and early July, for about 3 or 4 weeks, migrating squid are the baitfish of choice. Charters to the rips at Bearse’s Shoal and Handkerchief Shoal at this time of the year are usually treated to sights of “blitzing” stripers boiling and crashing on the surface, as they feed on squid. Watching and hearing the big Blackback gulls wheeling and crying, as they fight for position to take leaping, escaping squid from the mouths of busting and chasing stripers, heard over the steady roar of all the rushing water of the rips, makes for one of the better trips to be had in my area.
I realize that its hard to shift from winter “survival mode” thinking to an easier more relaxed vision of summer fun, so I hope that my little description of a feeding bass “squid blitz” has helped in some small way.
I hope to see you this summer,
Capt. Bruce & “Marilyn S”