Fly Fishing Off Martha’s Vineyard

by | Jun 18, 2019 | fly fishing Marthas Vineyard | 2 comments

Bob-Lewis-fly-fishingToday I went fishing with Bob Lewis.  Bob is the man who hired me to come speak to Cape Cod Flyrodders last September and also put me on my first false albacore.  He’s become a good friend and now he’s brought me back to Cape Cod again during prime striped bass fishing season.


rick-wilsterman-flyfishingI’ve caught plenty of stripers from growing up here in New England but I’ve never got a big one over 30”.  Bob is confident that this will happen before the end of the week.  Along with us today is another Cape Cod pal of mine, Rick Wilsterman.


bluefish-cape-codAs always we got an early start.  Bob has a new boat and we were in it before 5 AM.  It was barely light out and we had gentle drizzle.  The forecast was for low winds but definitely some rain.  Bob stopped the boat at one of his secret spots only five minutes from the dock to warm up our shoulders.  I landed a quick striper and this squirmy little bluefish on the popper.


wasque-beach-striper-fishingWe didn’t stay long in the harbor.  Bob had big plans for us.  Bob wanted to hit out around Martha’s Vineyard and the rips off Wasque Beach and Chappaquiddick Island.  This is a 40 minute boat ride from Bob’s Marina in Cotuit.  These rips are one of the most famous striped bass fishing locations of all and have held some huge bass over the years.


Marthas-VineyardI was impressed with the current and waves when we arrived.  There were two boats there fishing already bouncing up and down with the waves with their captains attentively maneuvering the anglers through the strong current.  It doesn’t look as sketchy in this photo as it is.  At first I was watching all the havoc but soon noticed some of the anglers were hooked up.


Jeff-Currier-striped-bassBob got us into position.  It didn’t look like good popper water but I tossed the glob of foam anyway and it didn’t take long.  I had five small 23” bass cartwheeling over the top of it before finally hooking up with one.


Rick was hooked up quick as well.  There were fish here.  A ton of them and although the ones jumping on the fly weren’t 30 inchers, they were solid handsome fish.  Bob worked the rip with his new boat like magic while we reeled in striper after striper.


Its pretty cool to see so many striped bass here.  When I was a kid growing up in Massachusetts in the 60’s and 70’s there were hardly any stripers to catch.  They’d been wiped out.  Better regulations and management for over 30 years now have really made an incredible difference.


jeff-currier-striped-bassWe absolutely tore up the stripers off the rip.  We constantly had fish on.  But my most memorable will be one I spotted while we were moving.  I saw a subtle splash in front of the boat and a fleeing squid.  Then I saw a striper.  He was flopping on the surface swallowing a squid he’d caught.  Without hesitation I took my 9-weight Winston Air and flicked a short 15’ cast and stripped.  The hungry striper nailed my fly and a few minutes later I posed with our largest striper of the day.



I’m not one to leave fish to find fish, nor is Bob or Rick, but at noon we’d been fishing for seven hours already and not only had we landed over 50 stripers, we were hungry.  Bob had more to the day’s itinerary as well that we needed to save time for.  We left the rip and headed to Martha’s Vineyard for big burgers.


marthas-vineyard-fishingWe had lunch at the Seafood Shanty.  Though it was foggy and drizzly we ate outside and enjoyed a local ale each.  It was a well deserved 45 minutes of relaxing.  Then we headed out on the second part of today’s mission.




Last September Bob and I tried to get me my first black sea bass on fly and failed.  That particular day we didn’t get too far offshore but this afternoon we had to cross back from Martha’s Vineyard to mainland and Bob knew of a spot.


The challenge with a fly rod for black sea bass is that they live down deep like all groupers.  Bob definitely questioned how I planned to get a fly there.  If you’ve read my Seychelles blogs or last December’s in French Polynesia then you know it can be done.  Today I used a Scientific Anglers Sonar Sink 30 Cold and one of Bob’s heavy flies called the Ass Whacker and reached bottom in 46 feet.


jeff-currier-sea-bassI added the black sea bass (Centropristis striata) to my species list! In fact, Rick and I caught more than a dozen of the bottom dwelling fish.  While the fight wasn’t much, the challenge of keeping your fly in the zone made this part of the day very very fun.



Believe it or not I added another species to my Atlantic Ocean list as well.  This is the extraordinary looking striped sea robin (Prionotus evolans).  This cute little fish destroyed my Ass Whacker then came to the surface like some sort of miniature character out of a kids cartoon waving insanely large pec fins attempting to scare the boat away.


jeff-currier-sea-robinI was absolutely thrilled with this fish.  Not only because he was a new species for my list, but he’s an amazing looking creature.  As a sort of “fish scientist” I found this to little guy to be incredibly exciting.  I caught yet another at the last spot we fished!


It was a full and productive day out to sea south of Cape Cod.  We caught a ton of great fish and a few amazingly special ones as well.  At 6 PM the rain was heavy and we packed it in.  Its almost the solstice and in a way today’s fishing hours reminded me of my famous Henry’s Fork Marathon.


Cape-Cod-fishingRick and I headed back to his place in Chatham and he treated me to a delicious dinner.  All is good with us.  Tomorrow we meet Vinny at 6 AM sharp to continue the quest for a 30” striper.  I love this tiring schedule!


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


  1. Lance

    That Sea Robin is awesome! Cool eyes.. Another challenging fish for a box drawing!

  2. Vin Foti

    Jeff….what a nice write up. And yes, you’re always welcome on the Cape. Don’t forget to rock that buff — Vinny

Welcome to the Blog of Jeff Currier!

Contact Jeff

I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!