Bluefishing Off Monomoy
David Bailey |
This weekend my friend Ryan and I hit the water to search for the massive Bluefish that have been recently reported. We set out from Saquatucket Harbor at the very civil hour of 11am and set off across a flat, calm Nantucket Sound. As we turned the corner off Monomy we hit what only can be described as a cloud of birds, there were tens of thousands of ducks. They went on for 2 to 3 miles, taking off as we went through the center of the group.
As we made our way along Monomy we saw small groups of birds working and all of the seals resting on the beach. We were at slack tide and everything seemed slow. Halfway along the island we saw the first swirls of lethargic bluefish on the surface and started to cast surface lures; we tried Gibbs, Guppy, Line stretcher and spooks. Even though we cast over the swirls we only encouraged half hearted strikes. We managed only three Blues in an hour of casting, two on a yellow Guppy and one on the Gibbs. That said, they were big fish, all over 10lbs. We chose to move up towards Chatham and marked fish in 20-35 feet of water right outside the cut, again the surface bite was slow so we started to vertical jig with instant results. We tried various sizes of the A series jigs and the 007 size worked best, we also hammered them on the Daddy Mac in the sandeel colors. Every Bluefish we caught was loaded full of sandeels. In the next couple of hours we must have caught 50 Blues, almost all in the 10-16lb range and all spectacularly fat. Ryan managed a few skate and a dogfish or two, a result of leaving the jog on the bottom for a few seconds to long. Sadly, the bass eluded us. Previously the bass were found around the edges of the tightly grouped schools; but the fish this trip were spread out over a large area, with the bigger fish in the deeper water. We filleted the fish on the way back and packed them on ice, they are now in the brine marinade getting ready to be smoked! Bluefish pate anybody?