Friday, August 15, 2008

Fishing The Vineyard Report 8/14/08

The name of the game for team Fishing the Vineyard has been bass and blues over the past week. The bonito situation to this point in the season has been disappointing to say the least. They remain out over the shoal water in scant numbers mostly mixed with blues which can be a frustrating situation.

The bass fishing however has remained excellent, with some fast action for this time of year. These fish are not huge, but there are plenty of them with a solid number of keepers (they’re called keepers but we let them go, for posterity) in the mix. The bass are currently on a couple of different kinds of bait including tiny squid, sandeels and juvenile butterfish.

Captain W. Brice Contessa

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Here's a couple more from this week

Fishing The Vineyard Report 8/6/08

The story from team Fishing the Vineyard right now is sight casting for striped bass and blind casting for green bonito.

Fishing on the flats has been strong with a great deal of bass in a wide range of sizes available to sight casters on the island flats in the past week. Hot flies on the flats have been almost exclusively crab imitations, with lighter colors excelling over the sandy bottoms that are holding fish at the moment.

The bonito scene is the same as it has been; blind casting on shoals and rips but no fish jumping inshore. The fishing has improved though, where as last week we were picking away at a few mixed in with a lot of blues this week we’ve seen stronger bonito fishing with some spots holding far more bones than blues at certain stages of the tide. Needless to say we’d rather be fishing for them busting along the beach, but for now the blind blitz will have to do.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Fishing the Vineyard Report 7/31

Fishing on the Vineyard is strong at the current juncture. As it stands now, there are bass, bluefish and bonito available to fly and spin fishers alike. Bass fishing right now is subject to a great deal of pressure as a result of the commercial season. The constant presence of the local and out of town fleet employing every method under the sun for killing bass make it a wee bit difficult to target them via fly and light spin. The best bet for anglers that fish like we do at this point is on the flats, along certain stretches of shallow shoreline, and over rocky shallow reefs. All of these locations fish well for us at this time of year because they are away from the commercial fleet.

Blues are thick throughout both Vineyard and Nantucket sounds. They're are great numbers of them on the shoals and outside of the inlets and harbors under the birds. The ones inshore are smallish, typical of this time in the summer. The ones on the shoal water are larger with fish to 10 pounds a occurring regularly this season. No one should poo-poo bluefish, they save the day often at this time of year.

Bonito are now available in target able amounts. They are not jumping along the beach fronts too much at the moment but certain shoals and rips are holding good numbers of bones now and if you know how to get there you may or may not be rewarded with green gold. I don't think it will be long before they fill in to their usual inshore haunts and begin to leap gleefully.

There are some tuna south of the Vineyard. I haven't been myself, but I'm getting mixed reviews from those who have. Some are reporting bent rods and bloody decks, others hours on hours of endless searching with nothing to show for it. Robby talked to one dude who caught a cod and a mahi in the same spot. That's a pretty cool mixed bag if you ask me

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

7.22.08: Bones and Blues

The water surrounding the Rock is smokin' hot these days. East side water temps up to 78 degrees have forced us to change gears in the last couple weeks. Topwater bluefishing has been a blast with tons of fish up to 10-pounds on both tides. 1-2" squid have begun flushing through various rips in Nantucket and Vineyard Sounds. If you find the right edge it's non-stop bent rods. My client this morning put the first 2 bonito of the year on the deck of my boat - a matching pair of fat 7-pounders. It was a great start to what will hopefully be an action-packed late summer season...

Capt. Tom Rapone

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Fishing the Vineyard Report 7/10/08

Fishing on the island hasn’t changed much in the past week or so. There are still plenty of bass around, although the summer pattern is certainly beginning to emerge. The east side shoal water is still productive, but many of the bass populating these rips in past weeks have been replaced by hungry blues. Early missions and persistence have been the keys to scoring bass on fly and spin down island.

The west end continues to hold a lot of fish in the 28-34 inch range, with most of the usual spots holding. Bigger fish are in the mix up island as they always are. A few in the 20 – 30 pound range on fly have been put on the board by Fishing the Vineyard’s clients in the past week.

On the flats scene north and west end flats are filled in quite nicely with summer resident stripes. Limited visibility and novice/instructional trips kept me off the push pole for much of the week, but I did manage to get a decent busman’s holiday in with Tom Rapone on Tuesday. Despite 25 knot afternoon winds we managed to eek out a couple up in the skinny, all over light bottom which is nice. The biggest over the rail that day was in the mid 30 inch range, weighing in the mid teens; a nice flats fish no doubt. We threw at a few that were considerably bigger but couldn’t entice a bite. Hot fly was the purple lady crab.

Not much news on the tuna front. In the face of $5 fuel it seems that less and less people are taking a poke south to find out what’s happening. Reports continue to filter in from the east, but no one on team FTV has ventured out that way in recent weeks. Prime days are still available, so if you’re headed to the island in the coming weeks/months give us a call! Also, be sure to check out Boyle’s new website, , he did an outstanding job on it!

Capt. W. Brice Contessa

Monday, July 7, 2008

"Doc" gets his 30!

I just wanted to congratulate Dick Weiss on his 32 pound fly rod striped bass.
Capt. Jaime Boyle

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Another Pic

Late June/Early July Report

Summer's here on the Vineyard! This year it's brought tourists, families and mopeds as it always does. It has also brought sustained southwest winds, fog and consistent, strong bass fishing.

The east side shoals have been producing well since my last report; lots of bass from sub keeper all the way up to the mid 30 pound range have been posted by the Fishing The Vineyard squad on fly and light spin in recent days. Primary down-island forage is still squid, with sandeels in the mix as well.

Shoal water and open water on the north and west sides has remained productive as well. The fish up here seem to be much more spread out, with many spots fishing well where as on the east end much of the activity has been very, very concentrated. These fish are also somewhat smaller (mostly 24"-36") than what's been the norm down island, but they're are definitely a lot of them, and fish that size are a blessing to have around in such numbers this late into the season.

The sight fishing on the MV flats has been fantastic on the days that we've had adequate visibility to target them in a traditional sight fishing manor. Fortunately, even though the light has been less than desirable, the mid day negative low tides combined with the fact that lots of fish are over light colored bottom by this point in the season have allowed for some relatively impressive catches up in the skinny stuff. Hot flies on the flats have been green crab imitations and Dave's experimental sand shrimp.

On the beach, west and north side spots have been the ticket. The fish on the west end at the moment are on small herring, so fly selection has been a bit different than is traditional for this time of year. Try a sparse blue and white Deciver or a small gray or blue over pearl Mushmouth. Lots of the best action on the beach has been before dark, so plan to start earlier than you normally might.

Rumors of tuna south of the Vineyard are spreading like wildfire. I can't confirm or deny these reports, all I can say is they're out there, you'll get um. Prime dates still available, come see us if you're in town! Everyone have a nice holiday weekend, be safe, and god bless our troops.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008



June Synopsis

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

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Spring 2008...WELCOME BACK!

Hello all, and welcome back to the blog, 2008 edition! Thank you to all of our clients, families and friends, without you none of this would be possible. We hope everyone had a great winter and that this report find you all happy and healthy.

The spring fishing season is in full swing on the island with bass and bluefish at many of the Vineyard’s traditional early season hotspots. The action came out of the box a bit slow out here this year, with out a great deal of the schoolie action that we usually see along the south side in late April. There are probably a multitude of factors that contributed to this, but it seems that low water temps and a great deal of the northbound bass this year choosing to migrate through Vineyard Sound and Buzzard’s Bay as opposed to in the open Atlantic were the greatest contributers. Since then however the bass have arrived in force, filling into the Vineyard’s many estuaries and salt ponds; right where they belong in May. Fish at this time of year are generally found over dark bottom flats where the water is warmer and they can hunt the many critters that that are found in these types of marine environments in the spring. Sight fishing is the rule here, with the go-to flies being Jiggies, Diablos and Phlounders.

Bass have also begun to fill into the rips, with shoal water to the north and west being the most consistent thus far. The outer beaches and shoals on the east side are not quite on yet, but as we all know in the early season in this part of the world things can and do change overnight. It should be mere days before east end anglers are covered in squid ink and striper slime…sounds good to me. Bluefishing in the boats has had moments of blinding brilliance, but has yet to reach the level of consistency that we’d all like.

Beach fishing is on too, with multiple ponds and inlets fishing well for bass at this time. Those chasing striper on the beach at this time of year can find success using various tactics at various locations, but it seems that spin fishers do best with rubber shads and sluggos and fly rodders find the best success with Sliders, Deceivers and worm imitations. Bluefishing on the beach has yet to reach a fever pitch, but the best recipe for anglers searching out this type of action to date has been calm afternoons and surface plugs at traditional east end locales.

We’re all looking forward to a safe, fun and productive season of fly and light tackle fishing on the Vineyard. Stay tuned for up to date reports and info right here. Also, we all still have some prime dates available, so if you’re coming up to the island, don’t be a stranger!

Captain W. Brice Contessa