Fishing is settling into a typical summer pattern. Water temperatures have been up and down all season, but last week they were in the mid 60s to low 70s, which is what we expect in late July.
The striped bass seem to have settled in to the area from Long Point to Race Point and around the cottages at Beach Point. The Long Point bar has an enormous number of very small bass (10 to 14 inches), providing for fun fishing with light tackle. These schoolies have been pushing baitfish to the surface, which has attracted terns and gulls looking for an easy meal.
Once you go around the corner towards Wood End, the bass get bigger. We are still not seeing any really large fish; most seem to be 26 to 32 inches.
Stripers usually get rather scarce in late July and August as the water temperature rises, but bluefish can fill the void nicely. More consistent bluefish catches have been reported by all the charter boats from the Pamet to the ocean side off the water tower. Some very big bluefish, as large as 15 pounds, have been caught. We are hoping to have a significant bluefish presence this summer, as the last few years have been underwhelming.
I am hearing reports of black sea bass in the harbor, which I need to check out. With ocean water temperatures on the rise globally due to climate change, these very tasty critters, who are normally south of us, will probably migrate north into our waters eventually. Time will tell.
There is still no real presence of finback whales in the Race as we have come to expect at this time of year. But whales do what whales do and it’s a big ocean out there, so there is probably no explanation other than a random choice to eat somewhere else. Mackerel have been gone for a few weeks now and are staying north of us, along the southern edge of Stellwagen Bank. Tuna fishing is starting to gain traction: a 100-inch fish was brought in last week from Stellwagen Bank.
Following Tropical Storm Elsa, we were fishing at Race Point on the Cee-Jay. I noticed a strange bird sitting on my railing; a closer look revealed it was a baby northern saw-whet owl. It was tiny and it looked scared.
It sat there for a while, then took off clumsily and landed on the bridge close to me. My guess was that the fierce winds of the day before had blown it out of its nest and it was lost. I tried to capture it to bring it to Wild Care in Eastham for rehabilitation. But it flew away and crash landed hard in the water. We netted it and placed it in a bucket, hoping to get it some help. The crash landing took a toll, however, and it died in the bucket on the way in. Very sad, indeed.