RE:What up with Boston Harbor?
If I knew the actual migratory patterns, I would be a MUCH better fisherman!
Interestingly, I used to do much better at the North River mouth when the water was cloudy than when it was gin clear--I always figured that the fish had a little more confidence in sneaking up on my big chartreuse flies.
As for the "offshore" stripers--the amount of bait out there is just incredible, and I have always suspected that the larger fish that migrate around the tip of the Cape (as opposed to inshore and through the canal) hang out on the Bank because it has all this bait and frequently warms up faster than inshore--don't ask me why, I would have figured the opposite.
As for where they go when the big schools of blues and bft show up, I'm sure many come due east inshore to where there is plenty of food, and I'm sure many head up to Maine as well depending on factors such as water temps, traditional migratory routes, food sources etc.
I used to fish Maine at lot in the early 90's, but not enough to say for certain that there was a big push of larger fish later in the season that coincided with the arrival of tuna in MA. I did get my bigger bass in August though up there...
However, I have noticed in MA that once people start laying into good-sized tuna on the Bank in the middle/end of June, depending on the year, I have started to get into bigger groups of big bass closer inshore. Last year it happened right before July Fourth--multiple "big fish" days, all loaded with sea lice. Also coincided with big pushes of medium sized blues too.
It makes sense to me, but i'm sure it is heavily dependent on water temps and the amount of prevelant bait inshore. Last year we had all those pogies and tinker mackerel throughout much of the summer--if we don't have a similar food source this year, then chances are those fish would head up north where big mackerel and pollock can feed them right through September.
I will be interesting to see what happens...