Before I go anyplace else, I need to admit a mea culpa when I suggested that the fish that Maddie Clark caught last week might have been a Spanish mackerel. I ran into an angler today at the Pocasset Post Office whose knowledge and expertise are without question and he explained to me that a king mackerel has a distinctive, sharp dip in the lateral line while a Spanish has a more gradual, meandering drop. At the size that Maddie’s fish was, king mackerel also begin to show the mirror sheen that is characteristic of their species as well as a darkening of the spots on the latter half of its body. He added that it would have been better news if it were a Spanish as they often show up in schools and can stick around, while the king mackerel caught in these parts are typically loners.
While some anglers have been crying about the lack of bass since a good percentage of them moved into the Canal from the bay, ostensibly drawn in by all the bait in the Big Ditch, Mike Thomas at M & D’s in Wareham said the guys who frequent his shop continued to do well today. Livelining pogies has definitely been the most productive method and many of these fish are in deeper, open water as opposed to the stretch from Stony Point Dike to the Maritime Academy.
One of the challenges, Mike admitted, is getting pogies as they are moving around, and that means the sharpies are doing the same, with Monument Beach, Wareham Bay, and Marion locations where these oily baitfish have been located.
Catching schoolies in pretty much every protected water from Phinney’s Harbor to Sippewissett remains a constant, although this time of year your best fishing is going to be on overcast days or early, early in the morning before the boat traffic starts up and again at night.
A few boaters have started to turn to live eels pitched into the rocks surrounding Wing’s, Scraggy, and Nye’s Neck’s, but yellow or white pencil poppers worked aggressively in and among the prop eaters can raise fish from false dawn just after sunrise.
Many anglers targeting black sea bass have reported that the average fish is definitely smaller, and the same is true of scup. At this time of year, the former head for deeper water after spawning.