Weekend Warrior: It’s quiet…too quiet

While it may not feel like it, it’s September. And this week, the fishing was…well, actually kind of slow. But that’s okay. Our Fall run is coming. We just have to stick with it. Both Bays are loaded with bait and we’ve got the new moon coming this weekend. Temps will be dropping drastically. Reports of Albert are starting to trickle in.


My guess? We’ll start to see the telltale signs of the Fall run this weekend. By this time next week, we’ll be raving about the massive schools of albies that suddenly showed up, the ravenous acres of blitzing gorilla blues, and the sudden onslaught of 50# stripers showing up in Cape Cod Bay (okay, okay, a guy can dream, right?).


The report: Engine trouble

This weekend, we had some issues with the Mal de Mer. After a local fishing session on Saturday, Capt. Bill and I were cruising in when the YAMMY suddenly cut RPMs. We limped in and hoped for the best but expected the worst.


On Monday, not wanting to miss a second of the Fall run action, we went out on Dulamon and got into miles of blitzing schoolies and juvenile bonito-bonitos in Warrens Cove and by the Powerplant. We found full strings of mackerel in deeper water by the “1” and moved inshore to fish them.


We found lots of fish on the dropping tide but they seemed to have lockjaw. We managed one small keeper and a few smaller fish. I’ll blame it on the Northeast wind.

Elsewhere in the Bay, the Canal remains very quiet. Only the real Canal rats are pulling fish out of there. The East End and Scortons is fairly slow, although I’ve heard of a decent bite off Sandy Neck, the Ledge, and further down the Cape. Billingsgate remains inconsistent with smaller fish on top (same as Barnstable Harbor) and Monomoy is slowing down as well as the water warms.

The commercial quota still hangs around 70%, well behind where we were at this time last year. This tells me the hardcore guys aren’t finding a consistent bite of commercial grade fish. So if it’s been slow for you, don’t feel bad.

The blues made an appearance in the Three Bays in Warrens and by the Powerplant, but the bite has been relatively inconsistent. We still have huge schools of mackerel in the Bay, so the bluefish presence can’t be that strong. We know that as soon as the big schools of blues show up, the mackerel make a miraculous disappearing act.


Onto the funny fish. The schools of juvenile bonito have been everywhere in the Bay. And they’re not just feeding deep in the water column with mackerel. They’re blitzing all over the place on peanut bunker and silversides. But they’re finicky as hell. I’ve heard this is a rare occurrence and I’m not sure what it means. Exceptionally warm water? Too much bait in the Bay? A huge year class for bonito? I’m hoping it’s the latter. I wouldn’t mind masses of 5 pound bonito blitzing all over the bay in coming years.

There are confirmed reports of big schools of albies in RI, and a few have been caught around the Islands. We’ve just got to get those schools up here. I think it could be albie city pretty soon in Upper Buzzards Bay.

The plan

Luckily, the Mal de Mer will be back in commission tomorrow, so we’ll be able to get her some stripers this weekend. Big shoutout to Atlantic Boat Repair (Plymouth, http://www.atlanticboatrepair.com/) who always gets us in and out. These guys do some great work.

We’re going to have to keep an eye on the NE wind this weekend, but we should be okay Saturday morning early. While the NE isn’t ideal for the stripers, I think the new moon will trump all and we’ll get a hot bite. And here’s a little anecdote about this Fall NE wind. Every once in a while in the Fall, a good NE will blow massive schools of gorilla bluefish all the way into the Three Bays. When this happens? It’s a massacre. I’m getting the feeling this may be happening soon.

Sunday may be an organize tackle, buy albie gear, and tie albie flies while watching football type of days. We’re showing a 20kt NE wind starting early. If this happens, you won’t find me out there. But we’ll see what he weathermen and women say.

Tight lines, peeps.


Billy Mitchell

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