The summer’s hot fishing continues, with incredible catches of a variety of fish coming into Provincetown every day for the last week.
Every once in a while, a charter or party-boat captain has a trip that is over the top in every way and, trust me, trips like that are remembered for a very long time.
Capt. Russ Zawaduk of the charter boat Lisa Zee had one of those trips last week. After catching big bluefish and keeper-size striped bass, they came upon a school of small “football” bluefin tuna, so they put a squid bar out and trolled it. A beautiful 49-inch tuna took one of the squid and they landed it, completing a perfect trifecta of bass, bluefish, and a bluefin tuna.
I’m sure his passengers will never forget that epic trip with Capt. Russ. Capt. Rich Wood of the Beth Ann also got into some action last week and landed a small tuna.
The giant bluefin are here on Stellwagen Bank, and catches were very good last week. But what’s up with seeing these small tuna around Provincetown this year?
No one knows. But we do have an extraordinarily high number of sand eels this year, which perhaps explains it. Whatever it is, we hope it continues. These small noncommercial-size tuna bring a whole new dimension to charter boat fishing out of Provincetown.
These fish have been going back and forth between Stellwagen Bank and Peaked Hill Bar. If you want to try your hand at catching one of them, you’re going to need a spinning reel that has a capacity of at least 300 yards of 60-pound braid to handle these very strong and fast fighters. If you’re trolling, again, your bigger reels and heavier rods are needed here. Squid bars seem to be working well. For the spinning reel efforts, big poppers or jigs seem to be the ticket.
Striped bass have so far (knock on wood) not done their July thing and become scarce and finicky as to when they eat. I believe the lack of protracted heat waves with 90-degree-plus days has been the reason.
Both air and water temperatures have remained relatively low and stable for July, and the long-range forecast has no significant heat waves in it all the way to the end of the month. Let’s hope.
Bluefish remain elusive. We see them in the morning but not in the afternoon, and then vice versa, and some days we don’t see them at all. The backside ocean beaches by the Mission Bell to Head of the Meadow seem to be the most consistent place for them.
Whale watching has been fantastic both from boats and from land. Fin whales seem settled into the Race for now, and there are a lot of humpbacks up on Stellwagen Bank, feeding actively. If we can get just another month of all this, it will be a supreme blessing for our waterfront businesses.