Fishing has slowed considerably in the rips. It was as if the first of July someone flipped a switch and turned off all of that great bass activity we were having. Even with using fresh squid for bait, I have been having a hard time catching a limit of bass for my customers. I think it is the small tides that have these fish off the bite. Monday the 28th of June, I was at Bearse's shoals and had my 2 fish per person striped bass limit in a couple hours. Then I had a couple days with no charters, and was doing some land based work. By Thursday it had shut off and my next trip out to the same place I managed to catch only 2 bass and a tiny bluefish! Yesterday I did ok on the morning trip with 8 nice bass and a fluke, but the afternoon trip was horrible and only could catch one 36-37" bass and some dogfish. The rips were barely making up with the less than 8 foot tides that were running. I have a mid morning bass charter today of a family that has come with me for several years, and I am at a loss as to where to go.
There are some bass and bluefish on the surface in the mornings on the tuna grounds, but thats outside of the 3 mile line. Its not that far from the harbor for the small boats to go see. Folks were catching them on trolled umbrella rigs and occasionally on the squid bars while trolling for tun. I also heard that there were some monster blues mixed in as well. They can destroy a nice squid bar in a couple of seconds ! The whales are in this fairly close area quite heavily too, so one could see a whole lot of action if you got there early enough in the morning. Just head east-northeast for 3-4 miles and you will see the whale spouts.
The tuna bite seems to have slowed as well. Perhaps as the moon gets bigger and brighter they feed more at night and the day bite slows. I have not tuna fished in a week, but I hear the radio talk and one of the better boats was making a move at mid morning, telling me there wasn't enough "sign" to stay in the old bite area. At least he was willing to go look for his customers. Fishing is fishing, sometimes its catching. If you are on a boat where the skippers is willing to travel to other spots to find you fish, that is the best you can hope for. ( You can always barbecue up a rack of ribs !)
Have a great Independence Day weekend,
Bruce & the "Marilyn S"