Friday May 20,
Over the past week the squid fishing has slowed down a bit, according to commercial and recreational fisherman alike. The northwest blow moved most of them off the south east corner of Nantucket, but anglers are still finding stripers feeding on them in rips closed to Falmouth. Throughout the summer there are a few places you might be able to catch squid, one being Woods Hole at night and the other is the Cape Cod canal. Generally speaking, the squid bite is primarily early spring but some with stick around and are seen eaten by stripers in places like middle ground and hedge fence. I still have plenty of squid jigs in stock if you are looking to restock your squid lures.
Tautog fishing has slowed down a bit as anglers have been more focused on striper fishing, but there are still tog out there. Buzzards bay has been the best place to catch tog, but I have also heard that people have been catching them in Woods Hole and along the sound side of the Elizabeth Islands. Green crabs is always the best bait for tog but you can also catch them with squid or sea worms. I have a fresh batch of crabs for those looking to catch the tail end of the spring tog season. They depart the shores of Falmouth for the summer but they return in the Fall which is the best time to fish for them.
The striped bass fishing so far this year has been excellent, better than I can remember in the in the past 4 or 5 five years. Last week there were cinder worm hatches (technically they are spawning but people say they hatch) in almost all the salt ponds on the south side of Falmouth as well as Waquoit and Popponesset bay. This drew in hundreds of stripers to feed and catching them while they are keyed in on worms can be challenging. Fly fishermen tend to "match the hatch" the best with cinder worm flies, but you can cast flies with spinning gear as well with a casting bubble. They tend to slurp the worms on the surface, so having a fly that floats is the best presentation. People were also catching them on the 4" Pink Ron Z and berkley gulp sea worms on a jig head. Over the past few days I have heard less and less people seeing worms and stripers have diverted their attention to Pogies and squid. I have heard of slot size fish feeding on pogies inside of Popponesset bay and places like south cape and Menahaunt beach. Anglers are not only reporting large numbers of stripers around the Falmouth area, but the size of them as well. There are way more slot and over slot fish being caught than the past two years combined. Multiple boat fishermen reported this morning catching large fish off of Nobska and they were using lures that imitate squid. One guy was using a 3/4 oz white Joe Baggs Freedom fish with a red jig strip and the other was using an 8" white ron z. I also talked to an angler fishing inside of the Popponesset bay and he caught multiple slot fish on top water plugs like the bone colored jumpin minnow and the white yo-zuri hydro pencil. I have also heard places like Old Silver beach, Scorton's creek and the canal have also been producing large fish. This weekend should provide some of the best striper fishing we see all season. I would take advantage of this now, as with most things fishing related, things can change quickly and the fish could move or the bait could disappear.
Sea bass and Fluke season opens tomorrow, Saturday May 21. This year the sea bass regulations are 16" and 4 fish per day. This changed from last year where the limit was 15" and 5 fish per day. The best thing I sell for sea bass are our custom Eastman's sea bass rigs which includes hand tied green and red teaser's. These are typically fished with either squid or gulp on each of the teasers with a bank sinker to get down to the bottom. If you're fishing 20'-40' you need about 2 oz - 4oz to get to and hold the bottom and if you're fishing 60'-80' you need at least 6 oz. In addition to sea bass rigs, you can also use diamond jigs, crippled herring, daddy mac elite jigs Hogy flutter pitch jigs and a variety of bucktail jigs. I personally like to use rigs but any of the above will work. Early season sea bass fishing is very good in Buzzards Bay, particularly at Cleveland's ledge. You can also fish for them in Nantucket sound around one of the many wrecks off of Martha's Vineyard. I personally like to fish the Port Hunter wreck, but Kershaw is also a well know spot to catch big sea bass.
The fluke season also opens tomorrow and there are a few ways to fish for summer flounder. I recommend using Eastman's custom Fluke rigs tipped with squid and a bank sinker for the weight. I've historically had the best luck with Fluke generally only feed in between tides, so try to avoid fishing for them at slack tide. You can also use bucktail jigs fished on their own or with a teaser rig or double dropper loop.
Whether you're fishing salt water or fresh water, I am fully stocked for all of your fishing needs;
Live salt water bait in stock - green crabs and sea worms.
Frozen salt water bait - local squid, squid, squid strips, sand eels, mackerel, pogies, and clams.
Live fresh water - shiners and night crawlers.