With Labor Day and the peak summer season now in the rear-view mirror, we can collectively take a deep breath and enjoy the quieter pace of September before we all put our boats away for the winter. Let us hope for some good fall fishing with much smaller crowds on the boats.
Bluefishing is very good right now — and they are big fish. That’s the good news. The bad news is they are camped out in the ocean way down on the backside, between the water tank and the golf ball. (The golf ball is that huge spherical structure on the cliffs of Truro that was used by the military in its distant early warning radar system decades ago. Today it’s still part of an FAA/Air Force joint surveillance system that tracks civilian and military aircraft, according to the National Park Service website.)
The bluefish are all over the Peaked Hill Bar as well as the deeper water on both sides of the bar. There are also schools of good-size striped bass around, but they haven’t been nearly as consistent in presence as the bluefish.
Swimming plugs and diamond jigs have been the ticket for catching these big bluefish, and steel leaders are a must, as their razor-sharp teeth can easily rip through monofilament and braid fishing line.
Commercial fishing for giant bluefin tuna has reopened, and right out of the gate the commercial guys got some giants in the bay just off the Pamet. The bay season for giants is typically a late summer and fall thing, and right on cue the giants have shown up. Noah Santos of Flyer’s Boat Shop took his boys down the backside looking for giant tuna but instead came upon a bunch of schoolie-size tuna feeding on the surface. They caught one.
Whales have mostly disappeared from our immediate vicinity, with the notable exception of a young humpback whale who showed up in, of all places, the mooring field at the West End. We also got another visit from a rather large pod of white-sided dolphins, who hung around most of the day, going back and forth between Long Point and Beach Point. I have seen them cruising around and playing hundreds of times in my career working offshore, and I never get tired of watching.
September can be a magical month for fishing, as the striped bass migration begins and massive schools of them cruise through our area on their way south to the Chesapeake and Delaware bays. The bluefish will hang around until the water chills, and then they start their migration south as well. Tuna fishing for both giants and recreational schoolies peaks in September as well.
The wild card is the weather. September can be summer-like but can also be windy, cold, and wet. We have had an epic summer weatherwise. Here’s hoping it continues.
Now is the time to get out there and enjoy all the beauty and splendor the ocean has to offer, because very soon gray skies and chilly north winds will put an abrupt end to all the fun.