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.

 

AP photo

Wait, you're going to catch a fish and throw it back? For non-fishermen, it's counterintuitive.

Kevin Bryant

If you're looking for a "best bet" for Father's Day fishing, Black Sea Bass might be your winning pick. The fish are around in good numbers and seem to be extending their range northward in recent years. 

Black Sea Bass are a bottom fish. You want to look for them where there is bottom structure such as rockpiles, wrecks, ledges, or dropoffs. They are a schooling fish, so where you find one, you're likely to find more. They do like squid - a good set-up is to bait a weighted hook or jig with a piece of squid. 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/

For thousands of years smoking fish was a go-to method for food preservation. So now we have refrigeration and flash-freezing - but something in your ancestral genes still calls out for that smoky flavor, right? (Think bacon.) Smoking your catch in the backyard is not difficult to do, and it can add new color to the flavor palette of your summer. Here's what you need to know to get started.

At its most basic, hot-smoking is just slow-cooking with heat while infusing the fish with great smoky flavor. 

robposse / flickr

As we turn the corner into June, opportunities for surfcasting along Cape Cod and the Islands really pick up. Warming water temperatures draw striped bass close to shore to feed. But don't wait too long. By early/mid summer - as water temperatures continue to rise - those bigger bass will back off to deeper and cooler water.

Jason Arnold / jasonarnoldphoto.com

Still waiting on those big striped bass to make their way to our waters? You're not alone. Reports indicate that they are coming northward and could be here any day. In the meantime, the great squid season, together with the delayed arrival of large stripers, has opened a window for excellent bluefish action - something worth taking advantage of.

Taro Taylor / flickr

With the cool spring and water temperatures slow to rise, it's no surprise that the fishing around Cape Cod and the Islands is off to a slow start this year. Immature striped bass - know as schoolies - arrived back in our waters in the first week of May, but the larger stripers have yet to make a significant appearance.  Kevin Blinkoff, editor at On The Water magazine, says there are indications that those larger striped bass - 15 to 20 lbs - are finishing spawning in the Chesapeake Bay Hudson River and are moving our way, to show up here in another week or two.  Memorial Day weekend seems, right now, like a pretty good bet for their arrival.

Tom Gill / flickr

The final week in September brings the finish of the Fishing News on WCAI - but saltwater fishing continues in our region, as "the fall run" funnels southward-migrating striped bass along our coast through October. Big bluefish are in abundance as well.

Tautog fishing will keep up until the end of November. And then?

Al_HikesAZ / flickr

The fall round of trout stocking in state ponds gets underway at the end of September. Trout raised at Sandwich Fish Hatchery will be stocked into ponds around our area. The trout make fun catching and nice eating. Kevin Blinkoff, of On The Water magazine, says heading to the ponds is a great activity for a quick  after-work fish, or for enjoying the fall foliage while fishing.

Steve Junker and Kevin Blinkoff discuss trout fishing tactics in the audio posted above.

Public Herald / flickr

The saltwater fishing season approaches its finish with a nice bit of symmetry. Just as springtime offers the spectacle of fishermen awaiting the arrival of large striped bass, September brings the same. Fishermen across the Cape and Islands are anticipating The Fall Run, when those large bass which passed through earlier in the year on their northward migration should now return, this time heading south.

Tonya Lane Rucker / flickr / CC2.0

The scientific name for the Atlantic blue crab is Callinectes sapidus. Translated from Latin, that means 'beautiful savory swimmer.'  We live at the northern end of the range of blue crabs - and they are a delicacy worth getting out and hunting for.

In Massachusetts, no permit is needed to go for blue crabs by handlining or dipnetting.  There are, however, a few rules:

Colin Gordon / flickr

From Cape Cod up through the Boston area, bigger bluefish have not shown up in-shore in substantial numbers this year. Kevin Blinkoff, editor of On The Water magazine, says the fish probably found enough to eat offshore, and just never made their way to the Coast. There's no real concern about bluefish population numbers - especially as big schools of juvenile bluefish, also known as "snappers"- are now making their seasonal appearance in abundance.

Freshwater and Marine Image Bank, University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections

    

"Hast seen bonito?"

Mid-August is here, bringing symptoms of Bonito Fever to anglers across the Cape and Islands. The fast-swimming member of the tuna family arrives from the south at this time of year, and its appearance is eagerly awaited by many fishermen. Already, reports of bonito catches are coming from the Hooter and the Bonito Bar, two locations south of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard known for early bonito bite.

Steve Junker / WCAI

When the water gets warm, it's time to target big striped bass down low. One of the most effective pieces of tackle for this is the tube - a curious piece of gear resembling a short length of surgical tubing. This week on The Fishing News, Captain Phil Stanton details how to fish the tube.

"Fishing the Tube," a conversation with Steve Junker and Captain Phil Stanton, is posted in the audio above.

SomeDriftwood / flickr / CC2.0

You find periwinkles in almost every rocky nook of our tidal coastline: small snail-like creatures clinging onto boulders, lining tide pools. Pluck one off and roll it in your palm for a few seconds, then watch as the periwinkle pokes out from its shell as if to get its bearings.

Periwinkles - the common species is littorina littorea - also make good eating, and they are an often overlooking shellfishing resource.

Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk

Fluke are a flatfish. They're also known as Summer Flounder. As the waters warm around the Cape and Islands, it's a great moment to go for fluke, and Jimmy Fee of On The Water magazine shares tips in this week's Fishing News.

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