The end of September and early October have seen some of the best fishing in recent memory. At this time of year, we normally plan to focus on topwater tuna. However, given a warmer-than-normal summer, the tuna have been running a bit late. This would normally be a problem—if it weren’t for this year’s incredible false albacore fishing!
Until last week, nearly all of my charters opted to fish the epic albie bite. With most trips producing over a dozen albies a day—and some yielding nearly 30 fish—the choice was a wise one. Buzzards Bay was as consistent a hot spot as anything I’ve seen short of Harker’s Island, North Carolina, in terms of producing huge numbers of albies in the 8- to 13-pound range. Light spinning gear and small metal lures were all that was needed to entice the tiny tuna. In addition to the albies, big stripers, bluefish and even sea bass were part of the daily catch for most of the boats.
Guides from all over the Cape and Islands were running to the bay on a daily basis. Everyone worked great together, and it made for some super fishing. However, the bite eventually slowed to a point where we needed to find better action for our sports. Several days of cold, windy weather put an end to the amazing albie feeds, but it turned on the tuna action elsewhere.
Over the past 8 to 10 days, the tuna bite east of Chatham has been absolutely off the charts! Although it has not been the best topwater action (which I prefer), the trolling bite has been almost a lock for any boat willing to make the run and put in the effort. On the last 3 trips we have landed a dozen fish from 36″ up to a whopping 325 pounds. The different size classes of fish are mixed together, so you never know what’s going to rise from the depths and crash your trolling spread. Sometimes both big and small tuna will crash the party at the same time, making for some real cockpit chaos!
Squid bars and ballyhoo have been the hot ticket for these Chatham fish. We were able to hook up one of the larger fish on a mega Ron-Z, only to loose it after 20 minutes on 40 pounds of drag.
I’ve been on the water almost non-stop lately, and my schedule shows no sign of slowing down. If you can get on the water—either in your own boat or with one of the great guides the Cape—now is the time. I’m booked solid for this season, but if anyone needs help with locating a good charter captain in the area, feel free to drop me a note and I can recommend the right guide for your particular needs.