The Provincetown waterfront remains quiet, as commercial fishing boats go about their business of lobstering and scalloping, but the rest of the fleet is essentially tied to the dock waiting for phase three to loosen things up at the end of this month.
The shark detection buoys were deployed this week. These are the yellow, can-shaped, unmarked buoys you see in the water; they are not navigational in nature. There are three in our bayside locale. One is at Herring Cove, another at Race Point, and the third is off the Pamet River.
These buoys pick up a ping from sharks who have been tagged with transmitters and alert the appropriate authorities of their presence.
I have last year’s data from the buoys and the information is compelling. The Race Point buoy recorded 1,783 detections, of 43 different sharks, with an 8.5 average daily detection rate. The Herring Cove buoy recorded 371 detections, of 31 different sharks, with a 1.8 average daily detection rate. Coming in last, the Pamet buoy recorded 318 detections of 22 different sharks, with a 1.2 average daily detection rate.
Race Point is unquestionably the hot spot around us on this side.
With over a hundred sharks tagged, and more to come, tracking data should get more comprehensive.
We have not seen many whales around here at all. This week we finally got a look at a rather large finback whale feeding just off Race Point, but it seems the whales have been mostly on the north end of Stellwagen Bank.
Fishing has been disappointingly slow of late. There is a rather large body of mostly small striped bass camped on the south end of Billingsgate Shoals, but the stretch of water from Wood End to Race Point, known for outstanding June striper fishing, has been a dud to date. Fish are few and far between there, and most are short. Reports are that the big 40-inch-plus fish have left the waters of New Jersey in their northern migration, but have not shown up here yet. It is starting to get late. June has been our prime month for striped bass, and with the commercial season about to open up in 10 days, there is genuine concern among both recreational and commercial fishermen.
Bluefish have remained south of us in big numbers.
The flounder fishing off the Pamet in 40 to 50 feet of water, on the other hand, remains very good. I know of fishermen who have been limiting on big fat flounder consistently. It is well worth the time and effort to go after these very tasty fish.
Mackerel have been caught in the Horseshoe Cove and Long Point and occasionally in the inner harbor on the incoming tide.
Something you don’t see every day: a deer was seen swimming in the waters around Long Point. The guess here is coyotes were chasing it and the deer had no choice but to head to the water for safety. Deer are remarkably good swimmers. A few boaters saw it and herded it back to land.
For the deer’s sake, I hope the coyotes were not there waiting.