The Fishing News

with Steve Junker

Each week during saltwater fishing season Steve Junker checks in with the folks at On the Water magazine and others to find out who's catching what where around the Cape and Islands—and how they're doing it.  

For a detailed weekly Fishing Forecast, check out On the Water.

Earlier seasons of The Fishing News are available on our archives page.

The Fishing News is made possible in part with support from Arey's Pond Boat Yard on Pleasant Bay in Orleans.



Fishing News
3:09 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Big Bass, Tautog, (Even Trout!).... Fall Fishing Offers Much to Anticipate

Tautog are fish to make dentists smile and give the rest of us the creeps - they have eerily human teeth. This tog evidently has been taking good care of its teeth, maybe even whitening.

Large striped bass pushing through our waters, big-as-a-horse bluefish (well, almost...), those bottom-dwelling brutes called tautog... summer may be over, but the fall offers plenty of great fishing to look forward to.

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Fishing News
3:24 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Why Fishermen Love (and Hate) Fishing with Eels

Credit Clinton & Charles Robertson / flickr

A live eel can be the very best thing to put on the end of your line, if you're searching for a big late-season striped bass. But it can also make your life miserable.

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Fishing News
3:16 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

A Few Words in Praise of Snapper Blues


They are not rod-bending behemoths, they are not chrome-plated speedsters. That is, they are not glamour fish like stripers and albies. Snapper blues? They're... well, they're just fun to catch. And they're good eating too.

Think of all the things that make fall a special time of year - you have tomatoes, cucumbers, low humidity, empty beaches - and you have snapper blues. So nice. 

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Fishing News
11:16 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Anglers Rejoice: Albies Here, There, and (Seems Like) Darn Near Everywhere

This year false albacore have shown up in great numbers, creating feverish excitement among local fishermen.
Credit On The Water/

When false albacore feed, they "erupt" from the water in a violent tumult, members of the school leaping full-body from the water. The sight incites within the fisherman a corresponding frenzy, a heart-palpitating desperate urgency to race to the blitz, to cast and pray and cast again.

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The Fishing News
7:30 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Assessment of the Striped Bass Population Likely to Result in Tightened Regulations

Credit Jenny Junker

If you fish, then you have surely noticed: there just aren't as many striped bass around as there were eight or ten years ago. And the most recent stock assessment by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission confirms this fact. While it asserts that overfishing is not yet occurring, the science indicates that the spawning biomass of striped bass has been steadily declining and is now approaching a critical level.

What's to be done? To protect striped bass, regulators are considering cutting back on the recreational allowance. The three approaches under consideration are 1) a 25% cutback in the 2015 harvest, or: 2) a "3-year plan" that calls only for a 17% cut the first year and no cuts the following 2 years, or 3) a 3-year plan calling for a 7% cut each year for 3 consecutive years starting in 2015. Within these 3 approaches, "specific options to be considered include bag, size, slot and trophy size limits for the recreational fishery and quota reductions for the commercial fishery."

What does that mean for the recreational angler? In Massachusetts, the current limit is two bass per day with a 28-inch minimum. It seems likely that this limit will be reduced, perhaps to one bass at 28-inches, or one bass at 32-inches.

The good news is that striped bass are considered one of the better managed species in the fishery. Because they spawn in inshore waters, scientists have been able to amass good data on their habitats and spawning stock. And this proposed intervention seems to be coming enough in advance to head-off a major stock collapse like what was seen in the 1980s, when keeper-sized bass became scarce along the Massachusetts coast. 

As the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission weighs its options, it is seeking public input. Two public hearings are being held in our region, both on Tuesday, September 2nd. Here the location details:

September 2 at 10 AM
Nantucket Community Room
4 Fairgrounds Road
Nantucket, Massachusetts

September 2 at 6 PMMassachusetts Maritime AcademyAdmiral’s Hall, 101 Academy DriveBuzzards Bay, Massachusetts  

Written public comment will be accepted until 5:00 PM (EST) on September 30, 2014 and should be forwarded to Mike Waine, ASMFC, 1050 N. Highland St., Suite 200 A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; 703.842.0741 (FAX) or

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The Fishing News
1:13 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

3 Bonito Hotspots Lure Anglers South of the Cape

The sandy shoal known as Hedge Fence, just north of Oak Bluffs, is a popular spot to fish bonito.

"Have you heard about bonito? Are they here yet?"

That's the refrain passing between fishermen as August enters its final weeks. Bonito are a passion for many anglers, and they only arrive at this time of the season.

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The Fishing News
7:30 am
Fri August 15, 2014

A Monster Fish Just Took Your Bait and All Your Line. Whoa! What Was It? Here Are a Few Suspects.

Angler Tyler Contento recently landed this Spiny Butterfly Ray while shark fishing from a beach in New Jersey. It measured more than 7 feet across. Spiny Butterfly Rays are found in Cape Cod waters, but are landed only infrequently. This ray was safely released after the photo.
Credit Tyler Contento / Facebook

Everyone who’s ever gone fishing knows the anguish of losing a fish - and there are many ways to lose a fish. But perhaps the most mysterious way is getting spooled. 

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Fishing News
7:35 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Catching Tuna on Light Tackle: South of the Vineyard the Bite is On

Credit Tom Puchner / fickr

Fishing for tuna doesn't always mean a trip to Stellwagen Bank and lashing yourself to the fighting chair to do battle with a 600-lb fish. South of Martha's Vineyard the action is very good this season for smaller bluefin, in the 40-lb range, from 40-to-45".  I spoke with Kevin Blinkoff, of On The Water Magazine, about a recent trip to target these "football" bluefin. Heading 10 to 15 miles south of the Vineyard, the crew was fishing in depths of about 140 feet.

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Fishing News
7:28 am
Fri August 1, 2014

How to Make the Most of Fishing While on Your Vacation

This guy knows where to head for great local fishing action.
Credit Denise Pichirallo / flickr

  Lucky you, you're in this beautiful part of the world for a few precious days or weeks of vacation. And you've got an itch to go fishing. Maybe you want to get the whole family involved (great idea!). You've got just one question: "Where do I start?"

Kevin Blinkoff, editor of On The Water magazine, says it's a question he hears a lot. So he's got a high-level-bullet list of suggestions to get you where you want to go. That is, catching fish while enjoying your vacation.

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The Fishing News
6:18 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Use Your Smartphone to Weigh a Striped Bass, and Other Innovations for Fishing

Okay, I know that's not a striped bass. But it's the picture provided by the company that makes the Measure It FishScale. They sell the device, you supply the striper.

The pressures of constant innovation extend even to the timeless pleasure of fishing.  

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