Fall is in the air around the island. The end of September – our “Second Summer” - means a couple of things to Nantucket anglers. First off was the end of fluke season yesterday (September 29). Hope some of you were able to stock the freezer.
The next thing that marks the beginning of fall is the opening day of “family” or recreational scallop season October 1. Don’t forget to get your button and know the regulations. Fill out the application and head down to the town offices at the police department to get started. There are size regulations and restrictions on day and total harvest so know your limits before you go. Remember to have your dive flag if you’re diving or snorkeling. Of course the weather may impede our scalloping plans this weekend, but that will make the harvest all the sweeter.
There are lots of local resources who can share with you how, when, and where to harvest scallops. If you’re new to scalloping, the best thing would be to make friends with someone who knows what they’re doing. Maybe they’ll show you a spot to start. Tidal Creeks has everything you need to outfit yourself for a day of scalloping. They may even have the firepit going; the perfect spot to share a fishing story or two.
Since it’s the beginning of October, we’re also coming up on the last week of the Nantucket Inshore Classic. It’s been a great tournament with lots of participation this year, especially by young anglers in the junior division. There is still time to get on the board, but the wind and weather may reduce the number of days available to cast a line.
Unusual for this late in September is the elusive grand slam of bluefish, stiped bass, false albacore, and bonito. The bonito are usually already gone by now, but a few lonely bonito still make it possible – a fish of a thousand casts in October.
There are plenty of good days to come for stripers. There are still a lot of albies around. The bluefish are good too, big ones have been caught this past week. Tuna fishing is still strong. The weather has moved things around but they’re still here. We’ll be fishing for tuna well through November. We may need to work a little harder for them, but they’re around. We’ll be out cod fishing in November too. That’s another good fish to help load the freezer before the long winter.
Right now we’ve got tons of baitfish flushing through which will liven things up and keep our target fish around. You may have seen the huge school of bunker around Great Point the other day in the recent video by Ray Decosta of Albacore. They will surely keep the bigger sportfish around a little longer.
As we drag out our season because we don’t want to get off the water, we’ll switch up what we fish for to stretch the season out. I’m hoping to keep my boat in the water as long as possible. Having locally caught fluke or cod from the freezer in February makes it all worth it.
Thanks to our clients for a great season and to all the other anglers sharing stories on the water. As the season wanes the fishing doesn’t. This may be our last article, but we aren’t done fishing for the season. We’ll see you on the water!