After a challenging season thus far this side of the pond I'm looking to make a trip over to the cape at the backend, just a long weekend, my options are really fairly limited now, I could do the weekend after labour day sept 13th to 18th or else I push it into early october, which is probably easier logistically, but is that leaving things a little late, I know that the weather may be a little unpredictable, but after the summer we've had over here that is something I've gotten used to. What would be your choice? (Mine would be both trips but that ain't an option)
Tough call but personally I would opt for Sept from shore, October from boat.
Weather is generally milder, fish are moving SO fast in October and I assume you are fishing from shore. Still much residual summer behavior in September in the expected locations whereas in October the fall exodus can crank it into high gear depending on migratory triggers like storms that year. The majority of fall migration occurs out of the reach of the shore angler but the fish are feeding wildly the whole way.
You will see huge day-long blitzes hundreds of yards from shore all day and that's not a lot of fun for wading anglers while being a heyday for boaters.
They do make landfall once in a while but I prefer having the usual shore fishing options in addition to the occasional landfall of blitzes. For one thing the flats fishing is still great in September and I am typically the only one there unless I call someone and they walk all the way down from the lighthouse.
All that being said if you do end up there in October the morning and evening high tides on the Nantucket Sound shoreline from Stage Hbr to Woods Hole is good, I usually fish the heck out of Stage Inlet then hop the short jetties from Herring River west along Old Wharf Rd, then get in the truck and continue along the shoreline anywhere you see the birds moving west over fish there are always loose packs running the shoreline where the biomass is moving offshore.
BTW - Admiral was saying something about running later this season so worth pinging Rip Ryder on their schedule this year.
Alun, split the difference and come over for the full moon tide, beginning 26 Sept. That is one variable that you can control