Mike Thomas at M & D’s reported that the upper stretches of the west entrance to the Canal are still producing quality bass, up to the 30-pound class on plugs and jigs. There have been plenty of boats around the Onset area and fishing there requires patience since crowding has been an issue at times.
Spook style plugs in bone or mackerel, whether one prefers Jumpin’ Minnows, Super Spooks, Hydro Pencils, or others, have been top choices, with black/silver combinations effective when there are herring around. The Daiwa SP Minnow is another good choice, especially when the fish are holding just a bit deeper in the water column.
The incoming or east running currents have been best for topwater plugging and once that activity slows down later in the morning, most boaters have been making the switch over to soft plastic jigs, especially the paddle tail style.
The Mashnee Flats continue to produce numerous schoolies and the occasional larger bass for fly and light tackle anglers using assorted sand eel imitations, with the latter favoring weighted and unweighted soft plastics such as the Hogy Skinny series.
Shore anglers are also doing very well on bass up to 30-inches in numerous shore spots, with pencil poppers, spooks, and soft plastics all effective up inside the Wareham rivers; Mike said he knows of several legal-sized bass taken from behind his store, with the average about one such fish for every schoolie.
The black sea bass bite has really picked up, with a good number of boats concentrating around Cleveland Light, but the reality is that the fishing is really good in so many spots around the upper bay that you could have non-stop action and pick up your limit in short order without seeing another boat. Rigs that feature a loop on the bottom to which a chartreuse or pink Spro Jig or Crippled Herring is attached, with one or two dropper loops tipped with a 1/0 or 2/0 bait hook tipped with squid will almost guarantee attention from sea bass and large scup; this rig is so effective that Mike Thomas has been tying them ready made for customers. If you only want sea bass, then lures along are the way to go. Mike said that the average sea bass right now is about 3.5-pounds and there are so many around that he had at least one report of them feeding on the surface like a school of bluefish or bass.