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.


S. Junker

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. 

Last week brought the opening of commercial fishing season for striped bass in Massachusetts. That's good news for people who don't fish, or who may not know a fisherman.

NOAA chart 13237

The tidal rips in Vineyard Sound and Nantucket Sound are channeling plenty of bait, offering anglers good access to a variety of fish, including keeper-size striped bass, bluefish, and abundant bottom fish.

New Insights Into the Migration of Striped Bass

Jun 17, 2016
Providence Public Library /

A study of reports of the striped bass spring migration from recent years suggests the fish don't necessarily follow a coast-hugging route north, as previously believed.  

Jimmy Fee, of On The Water magazine, which collects catch reports along the East Coast, says it seems increasingly likely that large numbers of the fish are moving farther offshore as they come north.

Daren Eilert /

Do you really think it's a coincidence that Father's Day falls in the middle of the season for some of the best fishing around the Cape and Islands? If you're wondering what to do to celebrate this coming weekend, consider planning a fishing trip for Dad. Here are some things to keep in mind, to make it a success.

The past few weeks have seen a couple of news stories about local fishermen having boats impounded for fishing out of season, or beyond limits.

In mid-May a man in Mattapoisett was found to have more than 150 illegally caught black sea bass in a hidden compartment in his boat.  And last week, in Wareham, police seized a boat with more than 200 black sea bass over the limit. Both fishermen face criminal charges.

This past Saturday the fishing excitement centered around the season opening for black sea bass. The population of sea bass has appeared to be growing increasingly strong over the last couple of years, and fishermen - many of them just getting their boats into the water - turned out in numbers to enjoy a beautiful early season day.

J. Junker

After the mild winter, when schoolie bass started showing up off Martha's Vineyard in April it seemed promising of an early start to the fishing season. But the bigger stripers have taken their time following their younger kin, and now the season finds us just about exactly where we usually are: looking for bigger fish to arrive in Cape Cod waters with the end of May.

William Warby / flickr / CC BY 2.0

As we head into the last weekend of September, local anglers are looking toward the fall run, when fish migrating southward will pass through our waters. The question every year is: will the fall run be a good one?

Judging by how this season has set-up, there's reason to believe this fall could bring great fishing. / CC BY-SA 2.5

Off the tip of Cape Cod right now there’s plenty of excitement over bluefin tuna. Anglers looking for a thrill have been going for bluefin not with old-school fighting chairs and broomstick rods, but with spinning tackle, something like you would use for striped bass, beefed up just a little.

Kevin Blinkoff /

False albacore – or albies – are built for speed. They surface here briefly, then disappear, then re-surface way over there. So why would you go fishing for them from a kayak?

For the thrill and the challenge, obviously.

Public Herald / flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

There is some wildly good fishing going on now, mostly thanks to the abundance of bait in the water – especially all that peanut bunker. We’re seeing albies on the south side, bluefish in Buzzards Bay, and striped bass in Cape Cod Bay and the Canal. And some spectacular blitzes are popping up, especially for false albacore.

Wikimedia commons

If you walk down by the water right now along almost any dock or jetty, it's likely you’ll see schools of tiny fish swimming around. Seems like they’re everywhere this time of year. As a category, they're called baitfish, and they have a big impact on our late-summer fishing.

Eric Heupel / flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Late August, the striper and bluefish bite has dwindled, the bonito are a rumor, the funny fish have not yet arrived... what's an inshore angler to do?

How about this: enjoy an evening going for blue crabs.

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.