Porgy/Sea Bass Report, June 18-21
“We’re about at the tail end of porgy time,” said Capt. Joe Huck of the Helen H. After an explosive early start to the season, the skipper has seen water temps spike dramatically over the last week, with a reading of 67 degrees on Sunday’s run. That rapid warming has definitely taken a toll on the pick of scup. Huck noted that the quality is still definitely there, with most of the porgies coming in of respectable to impressive sizes, but the frequency has slowed to a crawl. He and the other skippers in the fleet are still managing to put a respectable catch together by working harder on the sea bass. They’ve been seeing a pretty good mix of sizes on the sea bass, from throwbacks to jumbos, on every trip. Much as all hands would have liked the porgy fishing to hold together through month’s ends, they realize you just can’t argue with biology. It’s been a very solid run right from the starting gun, and Huck’s taking the slowdown in stride. When I caught him Monday evening, he was preparing to call a few trusted sources to figure out what’s happening and where with the fluke. The porgy grounds have been turning out a handful of incidental; slabs every day, and Huckmeyer’s optimistic that there will be a good showing of fish when the fleet starts targeting them.
The season kicks off with an experimental two-day fluke run that includes a night-one layover at Nantucket Boat Basin. Huck sees the two-day run as a great way to kick off the season: “The two days give us time to cover a lot of ground,” he said. “It’s a great way for us to figure out what’s where right out of the gate.” Pending the outcome of his intel calls, Huck will start laying out a game plan for the two-day venture. He did say he’d likely be dividing the time between grounds off Nantucket and the Vineyard, though any plan is subject to revision once he’s arrived on the grounds. There may be a slot or two left on the two-day excursion; call the office for the full scoop. The first half-day trips will sail this week.
On another note, Capt. Joe Weinberg on the Fish Hawk will launch his striped bass season this coming week. By all accounts, this summer is shaping up to be a good one in the Monomoy Rips, and Weinberg is eager to get a firsthand look later this week. The Fleets’ two six-pack and one five-pack charter boats are available for striped bass charters starting within the next week. If you’d like to get in on some memorable rip fishing, call the office to book your choice date: 508-790-0660.