A Canal regular told me this morning that he saw a number of boats running through the Canal in a hurry from the east end towards the west entrance, but Mike Thomas did not share his belief that there must have been a bite on. Instead, Mike suggested that the boat recremercials have been moving around a great deal because they haven’t been able to locate any substantial schools of sellable bass.
A few recremercials are picking at fish on live eels and pogies from the Onset Rip to Hog Island at night, with most of them reporting that they are only catching a handful of bass over 34-inches. It appears that the stripers that were hanging around Gray Gables and the Maritime Academy have moved into and perhaps through the land cut.
There are still schools of fast moving bluefish from Phinney’s Harbor over to Marion; they are on the small side and there have been some bonito mixed in. Successful funny fish anglers put their time in around areas that harbor bonito and Spanish mackerel, with the stretch from West Falmouth to Old Silver gaining a great deal of attention. Early mornings have definitely been best, although exceedingly calm conditions that can last from first light to mid-morning can make bones more finicky and difficult to catch.
Some small schools of bonito have also been seen around the west entrance to the Canal, as far up as Onset, but their appearances have been brief and fleeting.
Although bonito typically prefer silversides and sand eels, they have been feeding heavily on very small peanut bunker as well.
The level of striper activity should increase around the rocks that mark the many “Necks” along the Cape side of the bay, as well as the many marshes and grassy shorelines up inside Phinney’s Harbor, Megansett, West Falmouth, and other spots, as the water temperatures drop and more and more bait begins to school and move out into open water. Hogy Skinny’s are excellent choices at this time of year as they mimic a variety of baits and stand out enough to get a fish’s attention, even in large schools of bait.
With the black sea season closed, more people will begin to focus on tautog. There have been some caught around Cleveland Ledge, but Mike Thomas at M & D’s in Wareham noted that they are still holding in cooler, deeper water around the Elizabeths and towards Westport and Fairhaven.