Yes finally there are fish back in the rips. We have been doing limits on the stripers, using squid for bait on the light tackle. Of course now that the Massachusetts commercial striped bass season has started again, there are more anglers competing for position in the rips as well. For the record, I DO support a commercial striped bass fishery, as it is well managed, has a limited quota and the fishery provides a way for folks that do not have a a boat or a surf rod to share the common resource of striped bass.
The water temperatures have dropped considerably and we now have squid and birds in the rips, and therefore the stripers are under them, boiling and splashing as they seek an easy meal. The fish are ranging in sizes from 30" to 42" with most in the 33 inch range. The tides have been running strong and that I think is what has made the water quality improve and cool down. The fog has been thick as pea soup, making it hard to find the fish and birds, and for stressful operation. In addition the bar has been breaking at 5-7 feet on a few of the mornings last week. Last Friday a Orleans angler lost his life as he fell out of the boat trying to cross a bar in Nauset Inlet with less than optimal visibility. I saved a couple of lifejacket clad fellows in the Chatham inlet on Monday. They had dunked the engine and were without power, and had anchored up right in the breakers. I quickly pulled them aboard and towed their 13 foot whaler (little pisspot) in to the Fish Pier, berating them all the way for their incredible stupidity in taking that little boat out in the huge surf in the fog. I even asked them if their little fishing trip was worth their life !
I have not fished for tuna in over a week, due to my daily bass charters, but I hear the guys on the radio everyday. It has been hard for the gang to find the fish with the thick fog. The bluefin are mixed right in with the schools of bluefish and stripers. They are all feeding on the same food supply. Usually there are a smattering of birds hovering these tiny pockets of feeding fish. If you have a good radar, and its properly tuned, you can see the echoes of the birds on the screen to help you get on the fish. By the way, all of those little boats that have no radar reflector on your boats, you cannot be seen on radar except in flat calm conditions. With any kind of 2 foot chop, the radar reflects "sea clutter" on the screen at close range, making your small boat invisible and undetectable. Invest in a $25 radar reflector and it just could save you from being run over in the fog.
Good fishing to you,
Bruce & "Marilyn S"