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Nantucket Fishing Report: July 2016


Fishing Report

Cam Gammill
Nantucket Fishing Report

Monomoy Bass

The good news is that fishing remains very good, the bad news is that the bass fishing is slowly declining.  While it’s July 8th and we should expect this, we are a little bummed. We have become used to 15+ fish days on the boat.  Having said this, there are tides when Bass are very accessible and even playing on the surface.  This week, Capt Carl and I were struggling in the western rips and we pushed south, only to find birds feeding on the surface.  There is no reason fish should be holding where they were, but there was a ton of bait and these fish were very happy. Why was there a ton of bait???

Those of you who were here in June and spent anytime on the south shore likely noticed the 26+/-  commercial squid boats that were three miles off our coast.  Each of the past three years, more and more boats fish our waters. Every year we see them having a bigger impact on the squid in our inshore waters.  Until the end of last year, the squid boats were allowed to fish where ever they wanted in our waters and essential trapped the squid before they could move into our north shore waters to reproduce. 

As a result, we had almost no squid for bait last year.  Being three miles off this year has helped our fishery, but when the state closed the squid fishery a week from Sunday, the results were unprecedented. Literally, catch rates doubles in a day.  For the reader, this seems like a dramatic overstatement. But for those of us running charter boats and keeping track of our daily catches, we saw 8-12 fish days go to 25-30 fish days, overnight.

We did not just see an increase in activity for a day or two, our fishery has remained very, very good as a result and this goes back to the fact that there is more bait in the water.  Interestingly, all of this started on the west end of the Island. The rest of our fishery did not evolve until the flood of bait pushed through.  The old timers have always told us that it takes squid 7-10 days to flush through our whole ecosystem and push through to the east side of the Island.

Low and behold, one week after they closed the squid fishery, the rips to the east turned on…  On a local level, we need to work together to push the squid fleet further off-shore. This is because we have witnessed, dramatically, how they effect our fishery.

Ok, now onto the fish report.  As I’ve eluded to, fishing continues to be very good.  Striped Bass fishing has peaked.  The beach fisherman are still having good numbers on the south shore, but most of these fish are coming at night.  We have only heard one report from the east side of the Island in the last couple of days, but it was a good one. This time of year, there is a lot of water moving up the east side of the island and the drop off makes for a healthy channel for Bass to move up and down.

The rips to the west are slowing up by the day, while the rips to the east have finally picked up. They are not fantastic, but Corey’s client did land a 44” fish. Great Point may be our best bass fishery these days, as the west tide coincides with the early light…  and we know the bass love the west tide in early July at Great Point!

Bluefish continue to push into our waters but are not holding in the rips like we are used to. Perhaps this is because bass are still prevelant and pushing them out.  Blues are still more common in flat water like Dionis and on the East Side of the Island.  The south shore is also very consistent and even though it is a long run for most boaters, it should not be overlooked.

The fluke fishing from the east side of the Island is honestly as good as we can remember. This is a fishery that a lot of people do not take advantage of on the island. But man is it fun! Bring fresh squid (or bluefish belly), some weight and a jig and hold on… Maybe it’s not that easy, but stop by Bill Fisher Tackle and we’ll get you going if you haven’t done it before.  Go enjoy our fishery cause it’s really fun right now!

Lastly, Bobby DeCosta, who has fished these waters his whole life, landed a 442 lb Mako this week. For those of you that don’t know, Bobby is one of the fishiest people we know and that is the biggest Shark he has every caught. It was HUGE! Congrats to the crew on the Albacore.  Thinking of offshore, the bait has all set up, but we still have not seen a consistent Tuna bite. Sharking is very good, but our offshore repot is just mediocre for now, we hope this changes this week.

Written By

Cam Gammill

In 2009, Cam started in Nantucket real estate and quickly established himself as one of the top brokers on the Island.