The Weekly Bite, October 2 – 8, 2010

Illustration courtesy ##http://www.fishedimpressions.com/Gallery_of_fresh_fish_4CWH.html## Fished Impressions##

Not much to crow about this fall, as the wind has been horrendous and the fall-run has not been much better overall. It seems that, for the most part, big bass have once again given the inshore waters a pass, save for a few isolated spots, and for a few sharpies who have done well at night. Not many reports of blitzing schoolies either, which is troubling. Still, the water remains pretty warm, so the die-hards remain hopeful.

  • Big blues were the big news most of the fall all along the coast, and are still available, especially in Long Island Sound. Albies have all but disappeared, although they are still showing in parts of Long Island Sound and off the Vineyard. It was not a gangbuster season for funny fish by any stretch.
  • Bottom fishing for ‘tog is picking up south of Cape Cod, and should get better if the weather moderates and more anglers can get out to the rock piles. In spots like Buzzards Bay they should be over most of the ledges and rocks in 10 to 15 feet of water.
  • Tuna fishing has failed to happen on a steady basis, despite everyone’s high hopes. However, there’s plenty of season left.

Maine

  • The season is definitely winding down in Maine, although the bottom-fishing die-hards are doing well at Jeffreys Ledge with cod, haddock and fall-run pollock. The headboats are still making runs, and doing well with groundfish.

Massachusetts

North Shore

  • Capt. Scott Maquire of Summer Job Charters says that weather has not allowed many trips, although blues were still thick outside the river and off Plum Island, at least as of last weekend.
  • Surfland Bait & Tackle reported some stripers coming from the beaches on worms.

Boston

Pete Santini of Fishing Finatics in Everett said:

  • Pogies are thick in Winthrop Harbor, and that big bass (up to 40 pounds) and bluefish that have been feeding on them with abandon. Hooking up is as simple as snagging a pogy and letting it swim around the school.
  • On the other side of the harbor, clams are taking fish up to 50 pounds in Hull Gut, Pete reports. Get there now!
  • Tube-and-worm combos are still taking fish during the day elsewhere in the harbor, but there has been no sign of surface feeds with schoolies on top.
  • Pete says that the inshore push of cod in President Roads and off Deer Island will probably start soon. Halloween is prime time for that bite.
  • Big fall-run pollock and other bottom fish should be available off the northwest corner of Stellwagen this month.
  • There’s a big bite of giant bluefins on Georges Bank, but that’s a long run for most boats. Pete is still holding out hope for a fall run of small tuna on Stellwagen. He says there’s at least a month left, if the wind ever decides to stop blowing.

South Shore

Capt. Dave Bitters of Baymen Charters of Duxbury reports:

  • “Here is the update on the Baymen fishing reports for Massachusetts, Boston, and Cape Cod Bay. Specifically, today’s report is for Duxbury, Kingston, Plymouth Bay. We are just coming out of a strong NE/E wind rain and fog pattern that has lasted for several days. Normally, with today’s west winds, things would turn around in a tide or two and the bay would fill up with migrating fish. This pattern would continue until all the fish up north pass through our waters as they move south to the Chesapeake, Delaware, and Hudson Rivers for the winter months. However, even though we have the NE/E weather pattern moving out, right on its tail we have big minus tides coming right in with a –1.0 October 6, a –1.5 October 7, a –1.7 October 8, and a –1.7 October 9. Then, next week, it starts to turn around with a –1.3 on October 10, a – 0.8 October 11, and a –0.2 on October 12. We are back into plus tides October 13 for the rest of the month.
  • The big question is this: Is there enough time (read: bait, water temps, W/NW wind patterns and bass) after the tides turn around, to get into some fall striper blitz fishing in OUR BAY, here? South of us, absolutely. Right into Nauset to Long Island Sound, as the remaining migrating fish move south. My guess, and that’s what keeps this game interesting year after year, is IF the fall fish are still coming down near shore and not passing us by offshore, we COULD see a significant fall blitz between October 13 and October 25. This is a big IF. There are a lot of factors that could come into play over the next two weeks that could swing things one way or the other. But that is the realities of fall fishing with the weather pattern and tide pattern we are currently in.
  • How was the season overall? Excellent. Baymen boated 3,000 fish+/- on light tackle, bait, and fly gear. The majority striped bass, with some huge blues finally showing in our bay for the first time in decent numbers in September. We also did well on spring (winter) flounder. Striped bass were very, very consistent this season. We were still into top-water sight fishing in July! And the spring blitz in May? By far the best spring we have seen in our bay in ten years! Also, the quality of fish in our bay was way up. I cannot remember boating some many topwater stripers in the high teens to low 20-pound range on light tackle. Usually, we have a few big fish mixed in with a lot of small schoolies. This season has been just the opposite, much to pleasure and joy of sight-fishing. Overall, this season has been one of the best in many, many years on Duxbury, Kingston, and Plymouth Bay, Massachusetts.
  • Baymen has 4 more scheduled charters to complete this weekend for wrap up our striped bass season. We are scouting the bay daily and will post Massachusetts fishing reports and photos right here at www.baymencharters.com. We will start booking for the Spring Blitz 2011 in November. The best dates go fast, and May is booked solid quickly due to the excellent fishing and anglers chomping at the bit to get back out on the bay after a long winter. So, keep this in mind if you plan on fishing with Baymen in the Spring. Book early!
  • As the fishing season comes to a close on our bay, we have a few days of transition, and then we start the fall/winter waterfowling guide season, that will take us into the end of January. We also guide rabbit hunts over hounds and that runs through February. The end of March starts the beginning of the spring trout guide fishing season here in Massachusetts. Then, at the end of April, we are guiding our clients to Spring Turkey Season. Also it is the beginning of striped bass season in our bay, so there is a LOT happening and never a dull moment at Baymen Guide Service, Inc. all year long.
  • That’s the word for today, October 7. All of our fishing, hunting and waterfowling reports and photos will be posted right here on our site all fall and winter, so check back often to stay up to date on what’s going on in the woods and on the waters of Massachusetts.

Tight Lines! Capt. David Bitters, Baymen Charters

Cape Cod

Eric at The HookUp! in Orleans reports:

  • There are still tuna to be had off Chatham, on Stellwagen and in Cape Cod Bay, if the weather allows a trip. He was out last Sunday and bagged a 50-inch fish, and he knows of some giants that have blasted live bluefish baits on the Southwest Corner. He is confident that the bite will happen in October if the winds mitigate.
  • Inshore, striped bass are still around outside Chatham on the 40-foot foot mark, as well as off Barnstable.
  • Loads of big blues are available too, especially for trollers along the Outer Cape, Chatham and Monomoy.

Cape Cod, South Side

  • A report from one of the few diehards to fish the South Side of Cape Cod says that he managed a few blues and even a couple of albies on Wednesday afternoon. Others have reported bluefish action on some of the shoals. Trolling seems to be most effective right now.

Martha’s Vineyard

Steve at Dick’s Bait & Tackle says:

  • Boat fishing has been on the slow side, but mostly because of the wind. Bass in the 16- to 18-pound class are being taken off Gay Head and Squibnocket on chunks and eels, but nothing huge. The lead Derby fish is still 37 pounds.
  • Some albies are still showing off Edgartown, Tashmoo and Vineyard Haven.
  • Bluefishing has been slow, too, with a few fish being taken on the shoals of Nantucket Sound.

Buzzards Bay

  • Tautog are moving into the upper bay and taking up residence over the usual structure spots such as Bird Island Reef, Nyes Ledge, the Bow Bells, and Cleveland Ledge. Green crabs are the ticket. Check out today’s feature on catching fall-run tautog for more information on rigging and technique.

Rhode Island

Narragansett Bay

  • There are reports decent tautog fishing deep inside the Bay. The fish have pushed north a good distance and were being caught up to Warren, Bristol and the Providence River. Crabs are the top baits.
  • Overall, the upper Bay has been pretty quiet in terms of topwater action. Bluefish have been available in the Providence River, but on deep baits and lures. Some large bass, as well as a lot of schoolies have been hitting off Rocky Point.

Newport

Arden at the Salt Water Edge says:

  • Things have really started to happen in the 3 days off Newport, and this weekend looks like it could be gangbusters. The local waters have seen a big increase in action with bass, blues, and albies, and there’s a big variety of bait, from big bunker to mullet to bay anchovies.
  • Striper action has been great, with squid, live eels and chunks all taking big fish to 40 pounds along shore and especially off Narragansett. Daytime and evening fishing have been hot off Sachuest and Sakonnet.
  • Albies have even made a reappearance off Newport, and Arden said this morning’s bite was one of the best this year.

South County

  • Tautog season is well underway, and the fish are biting all along the shore down to Watch Hill area. Find some rocks or a wreck and you should do well.
  • For the most part, surf fishermen had the ocean to themselves over the past week, and have found some big blues and bass near shore. Nighttime fishing with eels and chunks is taking most of the larger fish, but surface plugs have been effective at dawn.
  • Lots of mullet have invaded the beaches, and they have big blues stationed outside the breachways. Some big bass too, especially at night on the dropping.

Block Island

  • Bass fishing remains productive at Southwest Ledge for wire-line trollers, and most likely will through October and into November. Diamond jigs are taking fish for anglers off the north end of the island.
  • Tautog have moved in closer to shore and are available in 10 to 15 feet of water.

Connecticut

Pat Abate at Rivers End Tackle in Saybrook emailed the following:

  • STRIPED BASS: Weather, wind and waves were the excuses this week. Some fishermen benefited from the weather. If you were standing on shore midweek in the Watch Hill area, those easterly winds gathered the bait on the shoreline and gave surfcasters good numbers of bass and blues.
  • There’s mullet, bay anchovies and snappers along the RI shore and when those onshore winds kick up the first day or two can put the bass and friends at your feet. Boat fishing was a different story, few small craft ventured out for long.
  • There were bass at the Race for some of the party and charterboats and some of the boats that fished live bait close to the Old Lyme shore. There were adult bunker in the Connecticut River as of this morning.
  • School bass were still available from shore on the beaches from Old Saybrook to Waterford. Montauk has picked up the last few days with some better sized bass on the windward side of the Point.
  • BLUEFISH: Chunkers are still doing a consistent business with blues in the mouth of the Connecticut River. Again, not too many reports from the boats that remain tied up due to weather. When the weather breaks tomorrow I’m sure we’ll get more reports of big blues harassing the bass fishermen.
  • SNAPPER BLUES: No reports but I’ve had bass and blues spitting them up along the beaches this week.
  • BLACKFISH: The fall season is a week old and the catching has been fair. When they could, the boats fishing the popular reefs such as Southwest and Hatchetts had fair results at best. Boats fishing shallow water did a lot better, even shore casters did well. Breakwaters, jettys and shallow rock piles were the better producers this week.
  • FALSE ALBACORE: Before the blow they were in the Race, Pine Island, Fishers and Montauk. They’ll probably regroup at the Race and Montauk, but that’s pure speculation on my part.

Norwalk

Nick at Fisherman’s World in Norwalk told us:

  • Bluefishing was hot and heavy at buoy 13C. One boat took 50 fish on diamond jigs this morning.
  • Chunking and jigging continue to produce off 28C and 11B with both blues and bass. The latter aren’t huge (up to 20 pounds), but bigger fish could show any day once the migration starts. Still plenty of fish up north.
  • Casting plugs around the Norwalk Islands is raising fish for light-tackle anglers.
  • Blackfish season is underway, and fishing has been strong in 10 to 20 feet of water.
  • Albies are still in the area, and have been popping up sporadically on Green Ledge.