Current Waters: What Is That Thing?

Capt. Carl Bois •

What can I say about fishing in August. Get out there while you can!

Striped bass fishing is definitely showing its August doldrums right now. The good news is that the weather we have predicted for this weekend is going to mix things up. Hopefully this little bit of weather will help liven things up.

The blue fishing is great right now with bigger fish. In addition to the blues, albies and bonito are around to keep us entertained as we head to the end of August.

Fluke fishing has also been great. It’s hard to believe this is our last weekend of August. We are about to have an incredible fall fishery. Fall is always epic but it’s too short so get out there while you can.

It’s been a rollercoaster on the leaderboard the past week or so for the August Blues Tournament. With one week left to go, it still seems like anyone’s tournament! Some fun competition came into play when former Patriots linebacker, Tedy Bruschi, got involved in the beach division and took the lead from Noah Karberg. As of this writing, Arthur Wullschleger is now in the lead for the triple strike prize (beach division) with Tedy in 2nd, but it’s still up for grabs! With so many divisions and prizes up for grabs, there is still something for everyone. Mark your calendar for the tournament awards ceremony which will be held at Cisco Brewers on September 1st at 4 m. sharp for those registered in the tournament. You can still register!

Early Thursday morning on a charter, we came across an unusual boat off of Great Round Shoal channel off Nantucket. Turns out, it was Saildrone #1074, an unmanned science vehicle that uses solar and wind power to perform long-range autonomous data collection missions. Saildrones have been used around the world for various scientific missions. Some include hurricane tracking, Alaskan fisheries, California coastal surveys, and white sharks surveys. Some have even been used in the Great Lakes for fisheries work. Their website has great info about many of their “missions” and links to articles and scientific papers using their tech.. The saildrone we found was #1074 and wasn’t linked to any particular mission on their website.

                                            Saildrone #1074

In June of this year, Saildrone deployed a record 12 vehicles into the Tropical Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, supporting National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) research to advance hurricane forecasting. However, these drones are all far south of the one we found. We reached out to Saildrone to find out more about the mission of this particular vehicle. Saildrone people got back to us right away about this exciting new mission. Boat #1074 was actually one of two on this mission and being recovered this week. And while we can’t release the information yet, stay tuned for more information next week about this cool project in the waters off of Nantucket.

Meanwhile, you likely saw that there were dolphins in Polpis Harbor and then stranded in the Creeks yesterday with a third dolphin on Coatue. The first thing to note if you see such a stranding, besides alerting authorities, is to keep away. Animals that are beached or caught outside their typical habitat are stressed. They do not need to be approached unnecessarily. These were three Common Dolphins (Delphinus delphis), the most abundant cetacean in the world, with a global population of about six million. Even so, they are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. The common dolphin is a regular inhabitant of North Atlantic waters and subsists primarily on fish including mackerel and squid.

So why are they in the harbor? They probably followed some food and just haven’t made their way out yet. It’s not common for them to be in the harbor but not unheard of. Of course, marine biologists would prefer to see dolphins and other marine mammals in open water for their health and well-being, rather than within the often-busy waters of protected coves and harbors. They may or may not make it out of the harbor, but let’s let mother nature take its course.

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