In The News
“All you need to do is secure lodging for Sunday night if necessary,” said Todd MacGregor, benefit committee member and captain of the charter boat, MacAtac, out of Fairhaven. “And it’s not just a striper tournament. Several charter captains and many private boat owners have donated their boats for the benefit and there will be awards for all kinds of species, including most fish, biggest fish, etc. Some of the parties are even going offshore.”
“It’s for a good cause,” said Capt. MacGregor. “And it’s not expensive if you think about it. You get a day of fishing on a charter boat (or private boat) and meals at the Flying Bridge. The benefit is held in Falmouth every other year and in 2001 we raised just over $25,000. We have 100 anglers registered already and we hope to top $40,000 this year.”
My brother, Tony, and I were aboard the charter boat, MacAtac out of Fairhaven with Captain Todd MacGregor on Monday evening. We were participating in one of the Division of Marine Fisheries’ striped bass tagging operations lead by Drew Kolek, senior marine fisheries biologist, and John Boardman, fisheries supervisor.
MacGregor is a captain, talented and experienced beyond his years. He knows what spots to fish and at what times to fish the rising and falling tides at those spots. He prefers to fish for stripers the traditional way by trolling and fishing the rips. He’s fished Buzzards Bay and the islands since he was a teenager and learned a lot of techniques from his father, Bob — a charter captain out of Falmouth on the Hop To It.
By midnight we had caught, tagged and released 34 stripers from about 5 to 30 pounds. Only a handful spit the hook, and a 40-pounder was lost at the boat. A fun and productive night.
The Islands have been good for stripers this week, with Quicks’s Hole and Devil’s Bridge off Gay Head two of the best bets. Trolling Gibbs’ deep-diving Danny plugs at night on wire line is still producing some big fish, as evidenced by Peter Thornton of Dartmouth’s 45-pound, 7-ounce bass, caught on a Danny plug off Gay Head aboard the charter boat MacAtac, with Captain Todd MacGregor. The fish was weighed-in Thursday morning at Dockside Bait and Tackle.
Charter Captain Todd MacGregor of the MacAtac out of Fairhaven recently field tested Gibbs’ new Banana trolling swimmer with stellar results.
“The new Banana swimmer worked awesome,” he said. “We took 14 keeper-sized bass between 12-37 pounds and a bunch of big blues. We also dropped another big fish after a long run. The fish hit the blue, brown and white plugs with occasional hookups, but they just hammered the green and yellow Banana plug and it took me five minutes to unhook each fish. They really wanted to eat this color with the bright moon.”
But it was Whittemore’s 47-pound striped bass that proved the day’s meatiest catch. Whittemore hooked the fish aboard the MacAtac, which set sail shortly after midnight, according to Capt. Todd MacGregor of Fairhaven. With one more weigh-in left, the friendly fish fight isn’t over yet. “There’s a lot of good fishermen,” MacGregor said.
“They (stripers) seem to be changing their migration pattern,” says Capt. Todd MacGregor. “In the fall, an average day would be 25 to 30 fish, but now it’s considered a real good day. We know the population is healthy because of the numbers of fish in the spring, but they’re just not coming back through in the same numbers during the fall.”