Cape Cod Bay is producing great striper fishing this last week, with really nice sized striped bass being caught and released. I wish my boat was over there ! Since we fish on the colder water side of the Cape, we must wait a bit to get in on that action. There is an up side though, because later on this summer when the Cape Cod Bay waters warm so much that bluefish are what is mostly caught there, we have some much cooler waters and a predominance of stripers into late September.
Pleasant Bay, Nauset Harbor and all the many estuaries of the Cape are producing schoolies now, and its a good time to get on the water. Many locations are accessible from shore as well as a small boat or kayak. Bend your barbs down and catch and release until you have had enough !
Starting June first, we should start targeting bluefin on the troll. I have heard some decent rumors of bluefin tuna being caught in two separate areas nearby and I am looking forward to going after them again this year. I have a couple of new things to try this year on my 35 foot “Marilyn S” down easter. One is the new SIMRAD wide angle CHIRP fish finder, and the other is a prototype of a hydraulic down rigger system I am making in order to put a trolled bait down 50 or 60 feet. We will see how that develops this summer.
There still are plenty of decent small tide days unbooked if you are looking to try your luck on landing a big bluefin. Pay close attention to NMFS regulations as they do change occasionally during the summer, depending upon landings data. Currently the “Angling Category” (recreational) limits are: “2 school BFT and one large school/small medium BFT per vessel per day/trip for private vessels” and if fishing on a charter boat, “3 school BFT and one large school/small medium BFT per vessel per day/trip for charter vessels”. The “General Category” and “Charter/Headboat Category” (commercial) limit has been reduced to 4 BFT per day and all fish must be greater than 73” in length. The recreational BFT trophy fishery (73"+) is currently open north of 39°18' (off Great Egg Inlet, NJ) as well as in the Gulf of Mexico with a limit of 1 BFT measuring 73" or greater/vessel/year.
Usually, folks will ask if they will get money from the sale of a fish that is over 73”. We “Charter Category” boats MUST sell a fish that is over 73” because the law states only one per year can be taken. If we allow the customer to take the fish, then we can no longer target them further in that year. So we sell them as our permit allows. My policy is to give the charter one third of the proceeds from that sale after fuel, gear and ice. These fish generally go for $3-6 per pound, and a 73” fish is about 160 pounds when dressed, so there isn’t a big payday. (like you see on TV) Regardless of the size of the “return”, a 200 pound plus tuna will kick your butt and is a challenge on a stand up rod and reel, and is a welcome break from the usual bass and blues type of charter. Call Captain Bruce at 508 237-0399 to set something up or if you have a few questions.
Capt. Bruce & “Marilyn S”