The Fish are Acting Normal

Capt. Hap Farrell

When I say the fish are acting normal this means they have us stumped and they do. First, they seem to be settling down in the deep water off the shoals. Then they show up on top of Billingsgate Shoals as well as being in the deep water. Now, they are on the shoals but will not take any of the lure systems we throw at them and when you do get one on it is an undersize fish for the most part. A few are keepers but not many. The rigs stopped working in the deep water but now they are. However, jigging still works better, sometimes. No wonder I'm going bald.

There is some good news for those who like bluefish. They are out in the deep water and will take the rigs and swimming plugs. Plus, on a full day trip I had I went in by the cell phone tower on the Eastham shore on the flood of the tide and hooked up on a dozen bluefish on single hootchies. So, there are some bluefish in there also. We have also taken a few small bluefish while jigging on top of Billingsgate Shoals. I'm hoping this is a vanguard of more fish to come. The bluefish is our staple in the charter industry. They provide us with a hard fighting game fish for our angler to take on.

Something I've noticed about the smaller boats fishing around the charter boats when we gather in an area that is holding fish. We fish our lures, whether jigging or trolling plugs, or even trolling the umbrella rigs from 250 feet to 300 feet behind our boats. This is the optimum distance to do well while using the different types of tackle. I've had a number of these small boats go across my stern anywhere from 100 to 150 feet behind my boat, almost taking my lines. Even crossing in front of the boats so we'd either have to slow down which fouls our rigs or we'll get their lines in our propeller. If you need to work from one side of the pack of boats to the other, work your way through by finding slots between boats and slowly move out. Just like you do when moving through traffic on the highway. Also, steaming through boats as they fish is not the best idea. You should move out and around the fleet staying well away from other boats if you are leaving. If you want to change areas, running hard to that spot will put down fish that other boats may be heading for.

What is going to happen next week? More confusion on where the fish will show up next I suppose. Really, I figure the smaller stripers will remain on the shoals with some keepers mixed in. Jigging will be the best methods to use. The larger stripers will stay out in the deeper water up towards the Path staying 45 to 55 feet of water. More and more bluefish will mix in especially the larger size. I'm hoping more bluefish move in off the Eastham shore and up by the Path in the shallower water. Then all the areas will be covered.

This last Tuesday I had Paul Lake, his daughter Meghan, and a friend of hers, CJ. Paul and his daughter were out with me last season and we did fairly well. This was no different. We jigged the south edge of Billingsgate Shoals, and landed 5 nice stripers. The one thing different we did this season was to use some of my very light action jigging rods for much more action.

If you'd like to get out to do some of this good fishing call me at 508-240-8267.

Fish Species: Bass & Bluefish
Bait Used: N/A
Tackle Used: Jigging, Umbrella Rigs
Method Used: Trolling
Water Depth: 21 ft.
Water Temperature: 68 Degrees
Wind Direction: WSW
Wind Speed: 5 Knots
Megham, Paul & CJ
Megham, Paul & CJ

Meghan Lake
Meghan Lake

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About The Author: Captain Hap Farrell

Company: Stunmai II Charters

Area Reporting: Cape Cod Bay - Rock Harbor, Orleans

Bio: Captain Hap Farrell has been fishing the waters of Cape Cod Bay for 27 years. His intimate knowledge of the Bay and all it's idiosyncrasies guarantees that your day on the water will be an enjoyable one. Whether a novice angler, or a seasoned pro, the captain and crew of the Stunmai II will do what it takes to get you "tight" on a big striped bass or bluefish!

Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Captain Hap Farrell