buz23

MV Report

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I fished up island from 6/20 to 7/4, from the new moon to the full moon.  Mostly north facing beaches, which are much quieter than south this time of year. 

 

Fishing was marginally better than last year (I go every year about this time).  Last year I didn't get a legal fish, either in the summer or fall, first time ever for me.  This year I caught 3 marginally legal fish to 32".  They all went back.  I also caught a ton of little guys.  Lots of 14-20" fish, maybe a third of the ones I caught were 20-26".  I fished almost exclusively at night, using bombers or an occasional small needle.  I also caught 2 scup (on a big bomber), one little bluefish, and one morning got into a few hickory shad.  The latter were bigger and fought better than some of the dinks I caught, and jumped around like miniature tarpon.  That morning I had started at 2:30 and fished into the light.  There were lots of swirls once it got light, but a lot of them were hickory shad.  A small deadly dick worked for them.  I didn't do squat with a jumpin minnow which has worked mornings and evenings in past years.

 

I tried Squibnocket a couple of times to no avail.  I'm getting old and don't relish the long walk to the right around the point or to the left up to Stonewall point anymore, but still check out the area near the beach.   For some reason it was extremely popular with surfers this year, although the waves didn't look any different than previous years.  They were there early in the morning before the lot closed for permit holders, and they showed up after 5 after the lot opened again.  Maybe there's a lot of surfer dudes (and dudettes) who have lots of extra time due to Covid.

 

Speaking of which, the crowds and traffic were way down.  The ferry coming and going was almost empty of walk ons, the road traffic even on July 4 was non-existent going home.  Most people out in public had masks and would pull them up when they came near you, although I didn't see any fishermen or the surfers with masks.  The Chilmark store had just opened with restrictions.  The Home Port was closed, but the Menemsha Deli, Menemsha Fishmarket, the Galley and Larsons were all open, and were all looking for help.  A lot of the summer employment on the island is filled by European college kids, but not this year.  The Bite is gone and probably won't be back.  THe gal that owned it was grandfathered into not having to met a lot of health/safety/etc rules and I doubt if someone can make a go in that hole in the wall if they have to bring everything up to code.

 

The weather was good, hot most days with a nice southwest breeze at night.  Fishing wasn't as good as I had hoped with the new moon, and wasn't as bad as I had feared as it approached a full moon.  I don't really get to pick the exact dates every year, but sometimes I get to fish with my two weeks straddling the new moon.  I like fishing a few days after the full moon before it comes up and like the new moon too.  Mostly I like it dark.  Seems like every evening I would get a couple of bites just after sundown, if I was out that early, but the main bite never occurred before 10.  I fished until 1-2am most nights, and was almost always the last guy on the beach at that time.

 

The last two nights my 23 year old son announced that  he wanted to try it, and he has never fished for anything.  Fearing the worst (20# braid) I gave him a short daytime lesson during which managed to get a massive wind knot so my enthusiasm for taking him at night waned.  However, he wanted to go so after untangling the rod, we packed a third reel and hit the beach that night.  He didn't get a single fish on a bright Thursday night, only got one bite, but didn't get any tangles (yay!).  The next morning when I inspected the rods I found I had unintentionally left a jumpin' minnow on his rod instead of a bomber, and  he fished with it all night.  My BAD. The next night he had the right lure, and in spite of a strong in your face wind the tide was better and it was cloudy and dark.  He managed to catch 3 little ones, and even hooked one that I was catching in the tail, and again avoided a wind knot.  He was disappointed that the moon was too bright the first night because he wanted to see the stars.  Turns out MV is rated highly for lack of light pollution, something we fishermen probably don't pay much attention to although I spend a lot of time looking at the milky way, shooting stars, and the steady parade of jets going to Europe (not so this year, though).

 

The predominant bait was small sand eels, although there were a few bigger minnows in Menemsha Harbor.  One mid-morning there was a nice blitz in the channel, but even with 5 or 6 people heaving lures no one got a hit.  They are awfully hard to catch when they're on sand eels during the day.

 

I saw a few piping plovers, one came within 5 feet of me at night.  One morning I saw 5 little ones chasing Mom around, they looked like little golf balls on stilts.  Lots of least terns too.  Saw some skunks poking around the nesting areas, I wonder if they plunder eggs?  At least they don't close anything down for the birds, they just put some string around the area and request that you not let your dog run.

 

That's it for my summer fishing.  Hope to close out the season with a late week after the Derby.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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That's a great report, I use to fish the Vineyard back 20yrs ago and always enjoyed the the many spots you could hit.  I had one night with the famous "Coop"which was memorable to say the least.  Hope the bass population gets back to a better level in the next 5 yrs. Stay safe.

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17 hours ago, buz23 said:

I fished up island from 6/20 to 7/4, from the new moon to the full moon.

Thank for posting the report Buz.

 

There was no chance of me running into you in the middle of the night this year. We cancelled our trip. Too many of the people in the group were concerned about the virus, not being to go to restaurants, etc so we cancelled the rental.

 

I was really bummed about not going. Last year I had some good fishing. I caught some keeper sized stripers up island. I also got into a great bluefish bite one evening on Chappy. I caught a bunch of blues in the 7-10lb range.

 

This summer/fall I'm going to try to get over there for a day trip or two to fish. I've never fished the tournament so I might try this year, mid-week in September. With no stripers in the tournament, and crowds down due to the pandemic, maybe I'll be able to fish some spots I haven't tried before, without there being big crowds.

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Buz that was a great read, thanks for posting.  On our way to Aquinnah for 2 weeks soon, your post has me ready to go.  I'd love to get out to Dogfish Bar, it looks so enticing watching the birds work out there.  

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Was out there 6/19 to 6/23 with family. We stay in Edgartown. 

 

Didn’t  fish much. Did have some fun with scup at Tashmoo and helping some kids catch crabs with my squid. 

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