by Jerry Vovcsko
In some ways it has been a strange season. Typically, around this time we are chasing albies and bonito all over the Sound but this year they seem to have skipped past and headed further north which makes me wonder if rather than being a one-year anomaly, that Ole Debbil, Global Warming, is causing temperatures to creep ever higher in the northern climes. If so, it will be a real treat to add some of those tropical fish such as mahi mahi, wahoo and barracuda to our regular catch list. The downside, however, is the effect higher temperatures will eventually have on the usual migratory species, especially striped bass. It's wait-and-see time, I guess.
Striped bass continue to bite at Billingsgate and bluefish are all over the place these days much to the delight of the backyard grill crowd.
Want a quick treat? Skin a few small bluefish fillets. Place them on a sheet of aluminum foil. Layer on a strip or two of bacon, slices of onion both red and yellow, slice of tomato, with maybe some red or yellow pepper slices. In a small bowl mix a paste of mayonnaise, yellow mustard and a tablespoon or two of blue cheese dressing and spread over the layers. Seal the foil into a pouch and place on the grill over medium heat. When the fillets are cooked through hand these out to your friends along with a bottle of cold beer. Stand by for compliments.
If you're considering making a run at the outside beaches check out the beach-mung situation before you head out. Weeds have clogged some locations while others have been relatively weed-free. Take it on a day by day basis and call the local bait shops to get an idea of where to go to get away from the nasty stuff. Depending on what Hurricane Matthew decides to do, beach-mung could soon be the least of our problems. Those are hundred-and-forty-mile-an-hour winds kicking up around the Bahamas and if they veer our direction on their northward journey we could be writing finish to the 2016 season real soon now. Latest predictions say the storm should be taking a hard right turn somewhere around the Carolinas and blow itself out to sea…here's hoping.
The Cape Cod Canal has seen a lot more striped bass caught lately than during the previous week or two. Business has been best in the deeper holes and right after turn of tide at the east end. Eels are the bait of choice during night time hours and sand eels have also been effective. Jig and plastic combos do the job as well so long as they are presented down deep where the bass are holed up. Of course, that means knowing where the holes are and reading the current so as to get the lures into the zone, but there's a lot of debris down there as well which means lost lures, expensive lures at that. And that, dear friends, is one example of why learning to fish the Canal is a lifetime thing.
But lordy, lordy…some mighty big fish come out of there when things go just right. And sometimes even when somebody who wouldn't know a parachute jig from a Boga Grip just happens to get lucky, which is why the banks along the canal are pretty much always populated with hopeful anglers.
Over Nantucket way, they're catching stripers – keeper size - at Great Point during the daylight hours and scoring a mix of bass and blues over on the south side. If Hurricane Mathew makes it this far north those south-facing beaches stand to get really pummeled. Look for continued action along the Elizabeth Islands but that's another spot that could get really hammered if the storm track takes a westward turn when and if it reaches our waters. In any event, look for residual high winds and intense surf even if the storm remnants pass eastward of our location. Not a happy recipe for small boat activity.
Multiple reports of tuna in the Bay this week, and some big ones at that. Kiss those goodbye if windy, old Matthew puffs a cap-of-wind our way. By the way, those fall-delivery trucks from the Mass Environmental folks have been depositing new reinforcements of trout in our freshwater ponds and lakes so even if the saltwater scene tanks, there will still be fishing to be had. The season is winding down towards the fall, which means New England foliage time will soon be upon us, which means if all else fails, those local freshwater ponds will be pretty spectacular settings in which to catch bass and trout. I tell you truly, the Cape is a wonderful place to go and do some fishing. In fact, I believe I'll take my own advice and head down there right now.
PS: Tom Brady's back from his four game suspension and the Patriots take on the Cleveland Browns this Sunday...Tom's got a boulder-size chip on his shoulder thanks to Rodger the Dodger Goodell's nefarious machinations viz a viz, Deflategate. This could be the Year of the Patriots. Maybe even a Super Bowl's worth of success.