Over the past couple of years, Cape Cod Bay has seen an influx of juvenile Atlantic Bontio during the late summer. The fish range in size from 4″-12″ and on most occasions they’re everywhere. I mean, literally everywhere. When they’re feeding, it looks like a machine gun is shooting the water. It’s awesome, but leaving a little left on the table…
By that, I mean when will their older, more mature brothers/sisters join in the action? It’s well known the Bontio fishery around Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard is well established. The Bonito’s get to 24″-30″ and are EXCELLENT table fare. Guys will go to crazy lengths to get them not only on spinning gear, but fly gear as well.
I’m going to go out on a limb, and suggest that within the next 2-3 years, we will see those larger Bonito’s inhabit Cape Cod Bay along with their juvenile counterparts. There have been a couple mature ones caught, but I’m talking about a reliable fishery for them in Cape Cod Bay. The immense amount of silversides and peanut bunker that have been moving into the bay have certainly added to the reasons why they’re there. I also think water temperature is playing a factor as well.
Regardless, if I’m correct, this will provide an entirely new fishery for the Cape Cod Bay region and bring a ton of fun. Typically, during the time of year that they move in, the Striped Bass fishing tends to die off due to the warming of the water and the Striped Bass move further offshore and into a nightly feeding pattern.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed and check back in a couple years!
To say the least….
It took awhile for the bigger fish to show up. End of May/beginning of June was much slower than anticpated. Was it the cooler spring? Lack of bait? Who knows…
We had lots of small fish, providing a ton of fun for our guest, but it took some effort to weed through the small ones to get to the bigger ones for them to bring home for the dinner table.
However, past couple weeks have been very good, with Striped Bass ranging from 34″-48″ being caught trolling, drifting bait, as well as top water casting.
Hopefully, this bite continues on!
I bet anyone $100 that in 11 days, we we will have keeper Striped Bass on the bay side.
Comment on IG,FB, or below, and I will disocunt the trip by the amount we bet (only till May 15th).
One of the most important aspects of boating is safety. Whether it’s myself and a few buddies fishing for an afternoon, or having guests on board, safety is the number one priority. Being a licensed charter fishing boat, the State of Massachusetts requires a number of safety items. I carry more in addition to those requirements; it’s tough for me to justify spending $1,000 for a rod and reel combo, but not extra safety gear. Below is a list of things I carry, some required, some not.
All life jackets onboard are Type I (required by state), with whistle and strobe light attached to them. I carry six adult sized life jackets on board, and three children sized ones that meet the requirements. I do not require my guests to wear life jackets, but children under the age of 12 are required to while the boat is underway.
The boat has 2 VHF radios. One is to always monitor channel 16 and the other is used for talking to my fishing buddies. In addition, there is a handheld in the Ditch Bag.
We carry the full range of commercial classified flares, medical kit, fire extinguishers, throw able flotation device, as well as having extra water stored on the boat. Two bilge pumps are equipped on the boat, one with a float switch and another with a manual switch in the event of water entering the boat below the waterline.
A Category II EPIRB is onboard as well. For whatever reason we would need to activate the EPIRB, it provides an accurate GPS fix to your exact location, broadcasted to the Coast Guard. Additionally, the boat is equipped with an Inflatable Buoyant Apparatus in the event of the boat ever sinking.
The boat is fully compliant with all Coast Guard requirements and I think that’s very important aspect. Our main goal is to have an awesome time on the water, and being prepared for all situations that might arise, helps ensure that goal.
Oh early mornings! Have to be an early morning person. Fortunately, I am, and it’s my most favorite time of the day. Particularly, that grey light time, where the day is just getting started, but the sun isn’t just up yet. It’s so quiet and peaceful. It gives me time to mentally prep for the day, and take everything in. The birds are just starting to chirp and the air is a bit cool, compared to the 85-degree day we just had previously.
Alarm goes off typically around 4:00 AM, depending on what time my trips are. Usually, I like to depart the dock around 5:30-6:00 AM. I’ll make a cup of coffee and mix up some breakfast. I’m a big breakfast guy, so will make a plate of bacon to start, then bring some hard boiled eggs for later on in the morning.
After getting all the rods and gear in the truck, I’ll head over to Dry Dock Marine where the boat is stored on a trailer. The folks over there are awesome and can help you with boat storage, trailer repairs, and maintenance. Once I grab the boat, I head down to the boat ramp in Barnstable Harbor. I’ll load all the gear in the boat, launch it, and park the truck.
Once I go over the engine and ensure everything is good, I’ll fire the boat up and head over to the loading dock back in the harbor. Typically, I like to leave 25-30 minutes prior to when guests arrive to get everything settled. If I have some rods to redo, I’ll do that then. If not, I’ll walk over to the other charter captains and have some coffee and discuss game plans.
After the guests arrive, we go over all the safety aspects of the trip, what to expect, and what the game plan is for the game. Next, we’ll head out and catch some fish! The most common trip is the four-hour CCBO offers. So, we’ll catch some fish, have a great time, bring a couple keeper Striped Bass home for dinner and back to the dock around 10:00 AM (assuming we left at 6:00 AM).
Pretty regularly, I’ll have two trips a day, and will schedule the next one at 11:00 or 11:30 AM depending on what works best for my guests. In between trips, I’ll re-rig gear, wash down the boat, and maybe grab some lunch if I haven’t brought any.
Once the guests arrive, we’ll leave the dock, after repeating the safety aspects, what to expect, and game plan for the day is. Again, we’ll go out and catch some fish!
If it’s another four-hour trip I have, we’ll be back at the dock around 3:00-3:30 PM. Once everyone is off the boat and takes all their belongings, the day is almost over. If it’s a beautiful afternoon, I’ll head back out and go for a swim and relax for an hour or so.
Finally, I’ll pull the boat out of the water around 4:00-5:00 PM and head back to Dry Dock. I’ll wash the boat down with soap and clean her up and put all the gear back in the truck.
Around, 5:45-6:00 PM, I’ll head back home and fix up something for dinner. It’s an amazing day; something I am so greatful for being able to do daily.
Bedtime by 8:30-9:00 PM; the days are long and the nights are short, but it’s something I wouldn’t trade for anything else. On top of fishing and entertaining guests, I’m fielding calls and emails for potential trips throughout the day. Sometimes, it can get quite chaotic, but that is the life I live; and life I love.