The Tight Lines Fishing Report is brought to you by Corey and Cam Gammill via Bill Fisher Tackle and Bill Fisher Outfitters. Visit their website, their shop at 127 Orange Street, or give them a call at (508) 228-2261.
What we love about this time of year is the number of rods we see on peoples cars. Fishing is in the air. School vacation week is nearly over and the ponds are full and conversation is abound everywhere about when and where the first sea run fish will be caught. It helps (stings) a bit that fish are being caught somewhat consistently on the west side of the Cape and the Vineyard has seen fish. For better or for worse, some of our most dedicated fishermen on Nantucket are also our hardest workers and there is A LOT of work being done on the island right now to get it ready for the summer season. It is also important to remember that there is historically a block of cold water that comes through Muskeget channel that can often act as a wall. As much as we are part of the Cape and islands, it is important to remember how different our fishery is to theirs, most often, in a good way.
What’s also not helping matters is the pond fishing right now is exceptional and FUN! The ponds seem to be alive with perch and crappie and pickerel and… Striped Bass… yup, we all know there are holdovers, but three have been a bunch caught this year, most notably, last week Miles Beaudette and Nico Tedeshi, two high schoolers were out fishing at night and Miles caught a 36 inch holdover and Nico a 30… Talk about a night to remember. When those pics came across my phone the next morning I was so excited for the boys. And many tried to replicate by hitting the ponds. We all love a good spark that gets us going.
Another good spark in the last week was the 4th year in a row of the introduction of trout into our ponds. This initiative was led by Joe Tormay and Norm Frazee and others at the Anglers Club through the NAC Conservation Fund. If you are around the club, member or not, consider walking up there and donating! Such an awesome addition to the island. The actual stocking also led to my favorite story of the last week. The delivery took place on Saturday afternoon and I was lucky enough to be among a dozen there to witness and help. I had my littles so I was more of a witness, but an incredibly cool day to witness. Once the trout were in and porpoising around a conversation took place about ethically how much time should be given to start trying to catch the fish. Laughs took place and within minutes rods were out and half a dozen EXCELLENT fishermen were fly and spin fishing with artificial lures. Jimmy Cook was there as well with three of his kids and he had a bunch of worms and bobbers in his truck and two rods and after watching everyone else strike out his kids started bringing in a variety of species as everyone else was watching. We all were ecstatic and everyone there had a good laugh. And honestly I don’t think any grown-up would have traded the blank they received in those 30 minutes for the laughs that Ross and Winnie had catching fish after fish.
So while the ponds are firing, the trout are here, we still want to keep people focused on the ocean for the first striper. But while the focus will be on the squaretails, a group of dedicated anglers have been catching Tautog around the docks and the jetties. These fish are a favorite in the Fall on the Cape and Rhode Island and like most fish, have made their way over here. Tautogs are funny looking blackfish that are best targeted with small green crabs, which luckily we have an abundance of here in our harbors. When you find the fish around the docks and have the right bait, usually the catching is the easy part.
As for when the sea runs are going to get here, we think pretty soon and it wouldn’t surprise us in the next week. The wind is going to blow Saturday and Sunday and stabilize for the rest of the week so we hope soon. The problem we foresee is getting fishermen off the ponds and onto the beach!
What we also want to remind everyone (and ourselves) is it’s easy to become overwhelmed with work and deadlines and say you will fish when. But most often that leads to fishing in July. This next few weeks/month is as fun as it gets as this is the beginning and when all the fun stories begin. Drop the hammer, leave the office, take kids out of school and go create some memories.