There are plenty of stripers around in the estuaries and areas holding the warmer waters. Bluefish seem to still be pretty scarce so far. Cape Cod Bay has been steadily improving and with the last blast of sunny weather should be on fire by now. Pleasant Bay and the marshes of the Nauset estuary have been producing schoolie bass regularly. Use small grubs and jigheads to fish for these fish. Remember to try and save stressing the fish, by using small single hooks. There hasn't been any squid or mackeral in Nantucket sound to speak of, and even the pogies have been not as abundant as in previous years. Perhaps the mid water herring trawlers have done more damage than was even suspected. I haven't been fishing as the cooler ocean waters east of Chatham are usually the last places to have consistently good striper fishing. That said, I am ok with starting later than some, as long as we can still catch decent bass when the warm water places are too hot and hold only bluefish later on in the summer. My season starts in mid June and extends into November for stripers. A lot of folks are calling and emailing for trips in May and early June and I have been telling them they will have a better trip by going with a boat in Cape Cod Bay, where the early season fishing is better than what I can provide. My philosophy is its better to tell the truth and maybe get that customer at a later date than to take them out fishing and not catch anything.
I have been working on the boat, trying to improve a few things. The head and for' castle have had a complete fairing and gelcoating redo. The old gel coat was yellowing and rough, perhaps from thinning it with acetone when it was applied, but now its gleaming and shiny new white. I installed a larger drip rail on the back edge of the house to prevent the dew from dripping on my customers on the way out in the morning. (Yes we do have foggy dewy mornings fishing in Chatham.) Other beautification things were new lettering of the boat name and fishing numerals, gel coat scratch repairs, buffing and waxing of the hull, gel coat in fish hold, decks, and washboards etc.. My fishing gear is all really new, so there isn't much to do there, maybe make up another couple of squid rigs and re-spool new mono on the spinning rods. I did manage to get to my commercial fishing friend and buy about 200 pounds of fresh squid to stock my freezer in case there isn't sand eels again this spring. Lastly I had a few new shirts embroidered with the boat name and logo so you all know who your fishing with. Oh yeah, I also ordered 2 dozen new hats and a few colors in case anyone wants a fishing hat with a embroidered striper on the front that actually looks like a real striper. Its my custom striped bass logo (servicemark) embroidered on a blue, tan or pink lightweight summer ball cap for $20. No lettering on the front and "sportfishingcapecod.com" on the back adjustment band.
Bookings are slow with this stagnant economy, and I realize that folks are cutting back. Last year many of my customers that usually book two or three trips, only booked one or a couple 5 hour trips instead of a couple long trips. I suspect this year to be the same. I realize how hard it is to do a vacation and not go over budget, but in the fishing charter business, if you wait until the last minute to reserve your day, you will have less selection and possible not have a good opening during your vacation week. Speaking of vacation weeks, my girlfriend Carol, rents her large nice house during the summer and moves in with me. (brave girl!) There is a possibility of my customers renting her place during September and October if you were coming with me for fishing trips. Our BEST fishing is in the months of September and October ! The biggest tuna of 1000 pounds or more are caught in late October and November.
Here is a link to her listing.
Please email me or call for information about fishing with me on the "Marilyn S".
Thanks very much, Capt. Bruce