A good push of bigger bass settled into the west entrance to the Canal over last weekend and there were a good number of bass between 25 and 35-pounds caught on topwater lures, both by boaters working the west entrance and shore anglers fishing from Mashnee to Hog Islands. There are still good numbers of fish on top from Stony Point Dike to the Maritime Academy, most in the 24 to 32-inch range, but early morning and again in the evening are your best times for larger fish.
Mike Thomas weighed in a 50-pound striper for a boater who was casting a black over silver paddletail around the edges of the Canal up towards the Maritime Academy. The Onset rip is holding some big fish, both for anglers livelining mackerel and using two to four-ounce paddletails.
The castle area is holding some four to five-pound bluefish and light tackle anglers tossing SP Minnows, soft plastics, and small bucktail jigs are catching bass up to the 25-pound class in open water from Stony Point Dike to Bird Island and Cleveland Ledge.
Shore anglers working protected waters from Phinney’s Harbor to Megansett are catching mainly small schoolies, but if you can access spots where rocky shoreline drops off into open water, there are bigger fish to be had using metal lips, large soft plastics, and darters.
Boaters have the advantage of being able to cast towards rocky areas around the necks, where swimmers and black or darker colored Hogy’s are excellent choice from dusk to dawn.
The black sea bass bite is all some folks want to talk about, with the waters from Cleveland Ledge to Bird Island and from Wing’s Neck to Scraggy Neck filled with big “knotheads” as Elise Costa from The Powderhorn in Hyannis calls them. Shy away from bait if you want to catch BSB, particularly larger ones, as you will be inundated with scup that are excellent at ripping strips of squid off hooks. Instead, use a bucktail jig such as a chartreuse Spro tipped with a sweetener and fished alone or use the same jig at the bottom of a rig that features a number of flies or feathers attached to dropper loops up above.