Hi Folks, This fishing season on the backside seems to be off to a slow start. The water temperatures have been colder than normal. Usually we have landed and sold several giant tuna by now, as well as, the many recreational tuna we catch in June. The striped bass were slow migrating into the area as well and are just now coming into the cooler backside waters where we fish. The rips have been dead. The first bass were caught there 3 days ago and they now moving into the sound well. I have always used Father’s Day as the start to when the fish move onto Bearse’s shoals and the rips there.
There is great amounts of bait in the offshore area. The squid are large sized and thick bodied this year, and seasoned commercial fishers believe this is a good sign for abundance of bluefin tuna. Another predictor of upcoming tuna quantity in Northeastern waters is the presence and abundance of Calanus, a marine copepod. Cycles of colder water like we had this past winter, increases the abundance of these zooplankton and therefore the herring and bluefin abundance as well. With new catch restrictions on the midwater herring boats, I think we will finally see the bluefin come back to our area. The harpoon category boats are doing very well and reporting really good numbers of larger fish being seen. The day before yesterday, one boat came in with a record haul of bluefin just a few miles north of where I fished on Saturday ! There is a large amount of bluefin in our area right now according to the tuna spotter and other boat captains that I have talked to, of which not many were biting as of last week. I attribute this to the phase of the moon, which was full last Friday. With the passing of the full moon and the large tides that go with it, you will now see the bluefin bite take off on a tear. Fish will be landed by the trollers this week I am quite sure of it.
There is a pile of stripers off Provincetown, and as the waters warm, they are moving down towards Chatham. One fellow, (Rob) that fished there Sunday, told me he thought there was a “million pounds” of fish there ! There is also stripers off Nantucket as well to the boats that make the run. There are bass in the sound and on the western edges of the Handkerchief Shoals. It seems they are moving with the squid, as they always do. Things will be busting open soon at the rips of Monomoy. Watch for the gulls on the rips !
It seems we boats that fish out of Chatham, always start slow and have to suffer and watch as Nantucket Sound and Cape Cod Bay boats catch fish several weeks earlier than we do. As the summer gets rolling though and those early spots start to warm to over 66 degrees, the stripers and tuna move out of there and go to the cooler more bait rich waters in the ocean. It is no accident that the majority of the commercial striped bass catch is landed just outside of Chatham every year. When there is nothing left but bluefish in the hot water locations, during the months of late July, August and September, the Chatham boats are putting their customers on consistent striped bass and bluefin.
Good Fishing to You,
Capt. Bruce & “Marilyn S”