It's that time of year when our local waters are warming, which is nice if you like to swim. If you're a fisherman, however, it means that finding larger striped bass becomes more difficult.
In the springtime, striped bass are coming into our waters from the south, migrating north. During that run, the bass are following bait into warming waters. But now that coastal waters are getting to summer temperatures, the bass are actually backing off, following bait into relatively cooler water.
As a result, says Kevin Blinkoff, of On The Water magazine, the bass movement now tends to be on a smaller pattern. Stripers tend to be moving between inshore and offshore areas depending on tide and time of day.
As we head into the second half of July, fishing at night, or just before daybreak, may be your best bet for finding bigger bass.
Also to keep in mind, water temperatures vary widely around our region. In the summer, upper Buzzards Bay, and Vineyard Sound and Nantucket Sound between the Cape and the islands, tend to hold the warmest water. As a result, it can be difficult to find larger bass in those areas through July and August. The better striper fishing tends to be on the back side of the Cape, from Chatham to Race Point, where cooler ocean water is mixing in. Cape Cod Bay also tends to stay a few degrees cooler than the south side of the Cape, offering better shots at larger bass.
Heading out this weekend? We've got a fishing round-up in the audio posted above, including info on mackerel in Cape Cod Bay causing an uptick of big striper action in the Canal. Give it a listen.