Mike Monte reports from Nantucket that the bunker schools which had been holding stripers and blues there for weeks finally moved out during recent storms. — though not before a surfcaster beached a 22-pound bluefish.
Monte noted that it’s been his experience that those late big blues move out into the Atlantic after leaving Nantucket, rather than over to the Jersey Shore as the stripers do on their migration to the south.
That 22-pounder was probably stuffed with bunkers as blues are prone to do when forage is abundant. When I was trailering my first “big” boat, a Mako 19, to Cape Cod over half a century ago, I decided to make the run to Nantucket on a calm day — and arrived in a bluefish blitz on big sand eels. Those blues could be caught on anything, but I wanted sport and cast the biggest Stan Gibbs Pencil Popper at them. It was immediately engulfed by a 15-pound blue that still had several of those long sand eels in its throat and no room in its stomach that was so distended I could see every sand eel within. Talk about greed!
Rough waters have posed a problem this week for striper anglers, and even Chuck Many had to work at overcoming conditions on his Tyman from Highlands:
“Hadn’t been out in a few days, but had high expectations with all the good reports as we rounded the hook yesterday morning. Conditions were significantly worse than I expected, but went down the beach a bit hoping to run into that crazy bite. Didn’t happen for us, so worked our way into a little deeper water and decided to drift some eels in the hard northeast. First drift, absolutely crushed by Dogfish. 2nd drift, not many dogfish, but only 2 bass hits and landed zero. Ugh! Wind backed off just a bit, so decided to pull the eels to keep them a bit higher in the water column. Decent action with Bass to 48 pounds. After the morning ass whoopin decided to run to more protected water and chase those little fish. Fun stuff, but will always take one big girl over those. any day.”
No reports today, but the Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands headed to the ocean yesterday morning after having scored there with stripers the previous two trips, but the fish weren’t biting. A long ride ended up producing another great catch.
A small craft advisory is up through Thursday afternoon. The forecast is for west winds at 20-25 knots.