Striped bass fishing remains very good, with charter boats and party fishing boats all reporting excellent catches almost every day. The fish remain solidly camped from the twin hills behind Long Point all the way around the Race and down to the Race Point Station. The fish are getting bigger, too, with bass in the 30-inch to 40-inch bracket now dominating the catch totals.
My fear was that the full moon, which often stimulates bass to move on to other areas, would change things. But that didn’t happen.
Bluefish, however, continue to be elusive in a here-today-gone-tomorrow mode. Still, the area south of the Pamet to Billingsgate Shoals seems to be holding bluefish consistently.
For those who fish offshore for cod, a sudden and radical rule change has come from National Marine Fisheries. They are closing cod fishing south and east of Cape Cod entirely for two weeks. When fishing reopens, the minimum fish size will go from 21 to 22 inches and the bag limit will be reduced from 10 fish per day per angler to five. Time will tell where we’ll go from here.
Things have cooled off for the small bluefin tuna that were around recently, but the giants are cooperating, and catches are good up in Stellwagen Bank these days.
The fin whales have mostly disappeared from the Race, but with as much food as we currently have in the water, I have little doubt they will be back.
And now a rant on two issues.
The squidders from Boston are now here fishing every night. We have large numbers of squid in our harbor at this time, as we usually do, so these folks are here to harvest squid to bring back to Boston. The issue I have about this has to do with safety. I see four guys with a generator and a big light piled into a 14-foot boat with very little freeboard, and I wonder why the same Coast Guard boat that checks every pleasure craft during the day for safety protocols isn’t going out there at night to see if these boats are up to speed with safety equipment and load limits. It certainly doesn’t look like they are from what I can see, but a quick inspection would put that question to rest.
We had negative full moon tides last week, and from my boat I saw people walking their dogs again on the clam grants in the West End. And it wasn’t just dogs: someone was actually riding a horse over the grant. It’s time to start putting pressure on our select board to at least post signs telling people to keep their pets away from these shellfish beds. These are areas where we are growing food for human consumption.
Come on, people. Think about the effect your pets have on the clam grants before you walk them there or set them loose for a run.