What an exciting week this has been, though things were deceptively slow at the start. Fishing was pretty good for striped bass even though water temperatures have been skyrocketing lately. In the harbor, temperatures have been hovering around 72 to 74 degrees. In the bay, it’s up to 68 to 71 degrees, which makes beachgoers very happy. But striped bass get rather lethargic when it gets that warm.
We found some cooler water — about 65 degrees — down the back side by the ranger station. The bass bite was far better there than in the bay, though a lot of slot-size fish were taken. Trollers had a good week, as they were able to catch fish when the currents were weak and bait fishing got bad.
Let’s not forget, however, that there are other fish in the sea. We had a major bluefish blitz this week. They seem to be everywhere. Great catches have been reported from Billingsgate Shoals all the way up to the Pamet. A lot of fish showed up along the outer beaches as well, from Long Point to Wood End, and they were solid from the Bathhouse to the Race.
But what made for the real excitement was still to come. We were fishing for and catching bluefish a little past Long Point when a few seals showed up. They were hungry. They started grabbing bluefish that were hooked and being reeled in, so I decided to leave the area to find fish elsewhere — a spot with no seals nearby, I hoped.
Suddenly, a massive explosion erupted on the surface as a school of medium-size bluefin tuna appeared, pursuing the bluefish. We all sat and watched the show, and my mate, Tammy Rabbett, began taking video of the scene. It included 100-pound tuna jumping clear out of the water, and bluefish jumping, too, both of them flying a good five feet above the surface, the blues trying to get away, the tuna trying to get dinner. All of us on board were in complete awe watching this incredible display of power and speed.
When Tammy posted the predator-prey interaction online, her video went viral. Even WBZ in Boston picked it up — they put it on their evening news. You can see the entire video on YouTube at this link: youtube.com/watch?v=57hr0HOZd6A. Now, my talented mate, who is also an extraordinary home-care nurse, can add videographer to her résumé.
Whales are still present in big numbers on the southwest corner of Stellwagen Bank and have been putting on a show for whale watchers with active feeding and breaching. Tuna fishing has been hot and cold at Peaked Hill and on Stellwagen Bank. I haven’t seen any giants come into Provincetown yet.
The annual Fourth of July fireworks show in the harbor was an odd one, as the fog muted the colors, especially at the beginning of the show. The rainy weather kept the numbers of people watching down significantly, too. All in all, it made for a quiet Independence Day on the waterfront.