You have a few basic options when it comes to the best locations for spring striped bass fishing in Buzzards Bay.
1. West End of the Canal
This is where all the action tends to be and is often the first true HOT SPOT of the season. Schoolies obviously show up first but big fish show up a week or so after. And when I say big fish, I mean some very big fish. I remember a couple of years ago, Jeff Fortin was casting our Hogy Pro Tails to breaking fish in the canal and hooked into this massive 64lb. fish, which he landed. Check out the video below.
When you get to the West end of the canal, you have a few options when approaching fish.
Make Long Drifts and Blind Cast
There are times when this area is just loaded with fish and you’ll notice that they congregate in certain areas. In this situation, I like to set up a drift pattern where I know I’ll be drifting through the areas of peak action and simply blind cast as I roll through. I’ll have one angler casting a topwater plug, one angler casting a paddle tail and if I have a third, I’ll have them cast a slider, which will fish midway in the water column between a weighted softbait and a popper.
In the video below, we demonstrate the above mentioned method.
Run/Walk and Gun
Sometimes the schools are more isolated and approaching the schools is the best way to catch the fish. For starters, I prefer the slowest approach possible. Stripers are easily spooked by too many boats zipping around, which just ruins it for everyone. When approaching the fish, be sure to get up wind, if possible, but more importantly, get in front of the moving school. You want the stripers to be swimming toward your lure. Avoid retrieving from behind the fish, as this will spook the fish for sure. It’s completely unnatural for a baitfish to swim its way into a predator.
2. Running the Coast Lines
In general, running the coastlines of Buzzard’s Bay in May is a great way to find fish. On the Cape side, rocky points, such as those by Quissett and Seal Rocks, will often hold fish, sometimes-bigger fish. On greasy calm mornings, a top water popper can produce early large fish at sunrise. On the mainland side, shallow areas such as by the Wareham river, inside Onset Bay and Bird Island can hold fish. Be sure to look out into open water for birds working as schools of fish will slowly move their way up Buzzard’s Bay on the way to the canal.
There are numerous rock piles in about 20 to 25-feet of water throughout Buzzard’s Bay. By early May, each of these rock piles hold Tautog and by the second half of May, each of these piles hold big scup and sea bass. Anchor over almost any structure in Buzzard’s Bay and expect some hot ground fish action.
In the video below, the Salty Cape crew heads out to catch early spring Tautog in Buzzards Bay.
Sea bass, too!