Fishing Report: September Tuna & Bass
September is the best month to target these two species on Cape Cod. Most of our summer visitors have gone back home, having expended their allotted vacation time, leaving a few luckier folks some really uncrowded fishing waters. We still have bluefish and cod, but September is the month of Bluefin and Stripers. The last trip out we had bluefin a mere 4 miles outside the harbor in less than 100 feet of water. The stripers were stacked up on the bottom just a couple mile inside of that. The sand eels are the bait holding the fish there, and when you can find the bait, you will be on the fish. The Stellwagon area has produced tuna all summer more consistently than the Chatham area, but with the onset of fall, its time for the Chatham bite to turn on.
The last two weeks of bass fishing has been good in the rips, provided you can get some fresh sand eels. Several of our lower Cape bait and tackle shops carry them, but you must stay in close contact with them to find out when the next delivery is coming. Sea worms work well too but they can be pricey. The bluefin are biting really great one day and then off the next. Yesterday was one of the "off" days and I had two friends with me that have been coming for 10 years. I'm sorry, Barney and Dana, that we couldn't have got you that tuna. We had a bite on the black splash bar that broke the 200 pound test flourocarbon stinger after a really vicious hookup. That was it for the day for us. One other boat the Tammy Rose, did get the only other fish that was hooked yesterday where we were fishing. I was more disappointed than my crew was and we ended the day with a couple of striped bass out in the rips.
There have been some giant tuna being caught recently. The fall run isn't too far away. There are several different ways to go for one of these great fish. One can use live bluefish or pogies and swim the "livies", or chum them to the boat with many pounds of herring, mackeral, or cod entrails, etc.. You could also troll ballyhoo or squid bars as well, but usually the smaller tuna grab the baits first. If you ever wanted to try your angling skills against the best of the fishes, your chance is now. Latter September through early November is your best chance at a giant tuna off the Chatham MA coastline. Tuna charters are expensive, and you don't even get to keep the fish. (one per year per boat- if you keep it) BUT, if you want to be able to tell your pals that YOU caught a fish weighing over 1000 pounds, like I can, then fall is the time to make it happen.
Good fishing to you,
Capt Bruce & "Marilyn S"