It has been a long while since I shared one of these fish reports. There just hasn’t been much to tell you about since the commercial bluefin tuna season was closed so early. The annual quota was filled very early in the season with the allowance of such a liberal daily bag limit. I doubt the managers had any idea of the impact that would have. The fish that are caught early in the season have little fat and generally return less money, and the flood of fish on the market further beat down prices paid per pound. The annual quota was filled by mid September, and we were releasing many giant tuna of over 600 pounds during our fall charter season. The commercial season was a bust for most of the Cape Cod and Islands fishers, as we were not able to participate in our usual fall fishery.
2018 is a new year and hopefully the managers can learn by their mistakes and make regulations that allow all of the users a decent chance to participate in the fishery. Our bluefin fishery officially starts on June first and goes until the annual quota is caught. Depending upon water temperatures and the amount of forage species in the waters east of Chatham will determine when the first bluefin are caught. June is usually a great month, but last year they showed up 3 weeks later than usual. With our mild winter this year, perhaps we will see something different ?
Our striper fishery generally starts around Father’s Day because we have colder water to the east of Chatham than Cape Cod Bay or Nantucket Sound. Folks looking to do a bass charter prior to mid June I usually recommend going with a charter outfit in Cape Cod Bay. I don’t mind sending folks to another decent boat, as I would rather do that than take a customers money and not produce any fish. I usually will get reciprocal referrals from whomever I send the customer to in the fall, when their Bay waters are too warm for decent striper fishing. We can catch stripers most years right up until early or mid November.
Tide size has an impact on fishing. Some tides are larger than others and it effects the amount of current out in the ocean. Bluefin tuna generally prefer a smaller tide, and like to feed on the periods of slack tide. Striped bass like more current running and tend to stop feeding on the slacks. I will attach a list in the next few days of the extremes of these tides, that I find in the 2018 tide books. One can then use those posted recommendations to improve your odds in your upcoming charter, or fishing outing of your own.
Stay posted for the upcoming 2018 tides report. Good fishing to you all,
Capt. Bruce & “Marilyn S”