We’re coming down the stretch of the striped bass season, but the final sprint has only just begun.
The fall run of striped bass down the coast is different every year. Some years, the run has legs, and good fishing continues well into October along the Massachusetts Bay coastline. Other years, a major coastal storm or a severe cold snap sends the stripers packing early.
At the moment, a stretch of beautiful beachy weather has blessed us with a slow-simmering start. There are swarms of baitfish moving along the coast, surface waters are cooling slowly every night, and it’s looking like we have plenty of great fishing ahead.
Next week is looking especially juicy, when a midweek new moon will have tidal currents cranking and should spark some fantastic fishing. There’s potential for Jose to arrive off our coast around the same time, kicking up winds and waves. Provided the effects aren’t severe, it could add up to a “perfect storm” that will have striped bass crashing bait along the beaches.
However, nothing is promised when it comes to fishing and weather, so keep an eye on next week but get out on the water and fish when you can.
The Cape Cod Canal has cooled since the outrageous topwater blitzes of last weekend, but the Ditch continues to produce fish at night on eels and during the day on jigs and pencil poppers. With loads of mackerel and squid around, make plans to hit the Canal on the days following the new moon late next week and into the weekend.
Thick schools of peanut bunker along the Cape Cod Bay beaches and much of the South Shore are under daily attack from school-sized striped bass. The juvenile menhaden tend to hug the coast, so stick to beaches and coves where striped bass can corral the bait.
Bluefish have been noticeably absent along most of the Massachusetts Bay coast, except for Plymouth Bay and Manomet.
The phenomenal year for mackerel continues, with macks readily available, usually within a mile of shore. Bring those baits back in tight to structure and ledges to pull out the keeper-sized stripers. High Pine Ledge, Brant Rock and the cliffs have all been hosting mixed schools of bass.
Surfcasters should look for surface action during the day and return after dark with live eels for a shot at a cow striper.
Pogies in the harbor have been under attack from big bass this week, with fish up to 40 pounds picking off the big baitfish around Castle Island and in toward Fort Point and East Boston….