Mike Thomas from M & D’s in Wareham acknowledged that things have slowed down in Buzzards Bay from earlier this week when a school of big bass moved into the waters from Cleveland Ledge to Bird Island and from Stony Point Dike all the way up to the west entrance of the Canal. I fished that area on Wednesday morning and we basically had to work structure to find smaller bass on the fly; all our attempts to locate schools of feeding fish in open water came up empty and other than some terns picking off sand eels on the Mashnee Flats, the birds seemed to be taking a break as well.
Mike added that he is actually seeing more and better quality bass up to the low 30-inch class up inside the rivers right now, with early morning and dusk the best time to fish the Weweantic and Agawam. Spook style plugs such as the Rebel Jumpin’ Minnow and the reintroduced, re-designed Yo-zuri Hydro Pencil in bone have been top choices. I can’t tell you how excited I am about the Hydro Pencil news; if they work even close to as well as they did years ago, that means I won’t have to go looking for Mike Hogan’s secret stash that he keeps hidden from me in his office.
Some of the bluefish that have been around the mouth of the Weweantic have also moved up inside, perhaps seeking out some of the schools of pogies that are still around. There are sporadic pods of blues throughout the upper bay and up inside Marion and Mattapoisett where Mark Tenerowicz told me he caught some big choppers while fishing from his kayak.
The tautog bite has been slow overall; there were quite a few boats around Cleveland Ledge this week as well as around Scraggy Neck and Southwest Ledge. Crabs have been the only way to go since any other baits such as worms or clams have been engulfed by black sea bass and scup. Sea bass season opens on Saturday and there should be plenty of folks out there searching for their limit of five fish at a 15-inch minimum. Remember: bait may catch more fish, but the sharpies looking for larger fish typically use bucktail jigs, especially those made by Spro, with some type of trailer. Hogy Epoxy Jigs proved to be very effective for me last year on sea bass, along with Squinnows, Sand Eels, and Heavy Metal Jigs.