by Jerry Vovcsko
Took a run up to Nantasket Beach yesterday and sat in the sun watching birds diving at baitfish that were being harassed by a fairly large school of stripers. Breaking fish during the summer is fairly routine in our waters but watching bass feed on bait a week before Halloween is another matter entirely. Especially when it's happening as far north as Hull. And the day before Plymouth Beach featured a blitz of its own with anglers nailing stripers ranging up to nearly twenty pounds while casting chunked pogies and Yozuri swimmers into breaking fish so close to shore they could probably have been dip-netted from the beach.
And the action continues in several locations in Vineyard Sound. The Elizabeths are still hot with some of those genuine Large chomping down on topwater plugs along the stretch of shoreline from Tarpaulin Cove right on down to Sow and Pigs reef with the emphasis on Quick's and Robinson's Holes and around the main channel leading into Cuttyhunk Harbor. Some of the locals like to set up near the rock reef in that channel and cast into the turbulence around those rocks; but, friends, as they say, don't try that at home…or if you don't know your way around that spot, because it's way too easy to get sucked into trouble.
On the west side of the big island, Martha's Vineyard, Devil's Bridge has been hot as it tends to be this time of year. Try jigs worked deep around there or take the opposite approach and slow-troll a tube and worm rig through any and all rips that form around there. If the weather says: It's Okay, duck around the corner and work the heck out of Wasque Rip. Right now a mix of jumbo bass and slab-sided blues populate the rip and it's as close to can't-miss as an angler is likely to see. Throw just about anything into Wasque when that rip is making up and good things will most assuredly come your way.
Further east in the Sound stripers have been active from Woods Hole to Hyannis and beyond. Popponnesset, which is the location of choice for early season anglers, comes alive again here in late fall as schools of bass cruise along the beaches. The surf crowd loves this area as access is easy, parking is a cinch now that the summer crowd has departed, and bass (with some remaining blues in the mix) cruise by frequently providing great late season action. For those who prefer to work from kayak or canoe there is no better place to fish than in and around Waquoit Bay. The jetty channel is a fish magnet all season long and when the weather cooperates anglers can fish the Sound, but then duck into the bay should it get breezy on the outside.
For those contemplating a foray to the backside beaches between Chatham and Provincetown, check with the bait shops about daily beach conditions. There have been some northeast winds lately and that means mung-clogged shoreline to contend with. Make that call before you set out and save yourself the frustration of trying to fish when you can't see the water for the weeds.
Keep an eye on the winds...things change fast.