Although some of the schools of bigger bass moved into the Canal last weekend, there are still a good number left out in the west entrance from Onset to Stony Point, reported Mike Thomas. Pogies are definitely the preferred bait and there are enough schools around from Wareham to Marion and as far as New Bedford that it isn’t hard to gather up your own baits; if you prefer the easy way, then many shops around the Canal keep a good supply of fresh pogies around. Some folks are chunking and others are fishing whole dead baits, rigging them so they swim in a natural, horizontal position; a few are set-up with livewell systems so they can liveline them, but larger stripers are opportunistic and often prefer to have their dinner the easiest, laziest way.
While pogies are tough to beat, there are still enough folks around who swear by scup as an excellent choice in spots where the pogies aren’t prevalent. Setting up a series of drifts based on what your electronics are telling you is typically the method used.
There are still schools of small bass and bluefish, particularly if an east tide coincides with early morning, from the Maritime Academy to Phinney’s Harbor, Red Brook Harbor, Megansett, West Falmouth, and Sippewissett. Smaller soft plastics are good imitators of the silversides, sand eels, and mummichogs that these fish often target.
Live and/or rigged eels have accounted for some large bass for shore anglers working the rocks from Mashnee Island to Hog Island, with first light on a change of tide a productive time. For boaters, big Hogy’s and topwater plugs fished around the numerous rock piles and necks that dot the Cape’s Buzzards Bay shoreline is always worth a try both morning and dusk.
The black sea bass fishing continues to be excellent in the bay; Mike Thomas said that folks who are willing to put in the time and use Spro Jigs tipped with squid or Gulp! Swimming Mullets will help you target larger fish and catch your limit of 20+-inch fish. The Gulp! products have been extremely popular to our south and folks up this way are starting to catch on, both for sea bass and fluke.
Todd Benedict from Falmouth Bait & Tackle was one of a number of folks who reported seeing what he thought were bluefish on top, only to find that what he saw were sea bass. I don’t know if this is typical BSB behavior or something new, but I hope to look into it by calling folks at the National Fisheries’ Service in Woods Hole.