First and foremost, I’d like to apologize to all our fans for the delayed report. Especially you Kevin. Having said that, as I compose this report the fishing on the Vineyard is fantastic. The striped bass fishing is red hot right now pretty much 360 degrees around the island. It’s nice when the biggest problem you encounter all day is figuring out which ramp to leave from.
This season has been marked by open water bass blitzes on a variety of local forage, including sandeels and squid. Hot flies during this type of feeding activity have been wig hair Clousers and Jiggys, Silhouette Sandeels, sparse Flat-wings and of course the trusty Red Can Squid and Humboldt Squid. Open water blitzes of this nature are most often marked by birds, especially gulls and shearwaters, and fishing guides. Fish size in these open water scenarios has ranged widely; the majority of the fish seem to be between the 24 and 36 inch range, but there are many larger specimens present with quite a few over the 30 pound mark and a couple over 40 pounds being landed on the fly by the Fishing the Vineyard team this spring.
The fishing in the shoal water has been excellent as well; with north shore rips as well as those on the east side giving up impressive catches to fly and spin-fisherman alike. The blues are filled in quite nicely to all of their summer haunts. Putting up serious numbers on teeth is a nice diversion from chasing bass on the days when they’re tough or when the weather prohibits a varsity striper effort. They’re also mixed in with the bass out there, so be sure to use a shock tippet to avoid losing all your nice squid flies.
If the open-water isn’t your fancy, there have been plenty of bass on the flats as well. East and west end flats are producing well at the current juncture, with the majority of the activity moving outside the ponds and estuaries and onto the cooler shore line flats for which the Vineyard are famous. Hot flies have been the Green Diablo, sparse Ray’s Flies, and standards like Skok’s Lady and Mole (Blind Crab) crab patterns.
Shore fishing has been better this season than many in recent memory. West end and north shore locales are giving up nice fish to those in vampire mode; Fishing the Vineyard’s friend Justin Pribantic registered one just over 30 pounds on the fly from the beach last week. He won’t tell me where he caught it, but they’re out there, you’ll get um. Hot flies on the shoreline have been sandeel and squid patterns. Surfcasting has begun to improve as well, with more squid available to those attempting to bottom fish with fresh bait.
Still slow on the tuna front out this way, we’ve all thrown at a couple behind the island at this point, but they were only really there in fishable numbers for a few days. Best bets for this action seem to be to the north and east; we’re all hoping to get up there soon with clients or on an off day, so stay tuned. Prime dates are still available, so if you’re coming to the island this summer give us a call.
Captain W. Brice Contessa