Given the reports from this week and the fact that Buzzards Bay holds numerous traditional, early season spots, I feel comfortable in asserting that you could probably find schoolies and even a few just legal fish pretty much in any upper Bay backwater from Wareham to New Bedford and Monument Beach to Sippewissett.
Mike Thomas said that the first legal bass he heard of were caught up near his shop in the Agawam River; the pair of brothers who succeeded in picking up a couple of bass between 29 and 32-inches had made the switch to topwater plugs and even some larger soft plastics as opposed to the smaller leadhead and paddletail/curly tail grub combinations that work so well on schoolies.
From the mouth of the Weweantic all the way up to the Route 6 bridge and beyond, there are good numbers of bass. One angler who Mike knows has done well around the mouth with mainly smaller schoolies using Daiwa SP Minnows and surface plugs, while John Waring told Jim Young that he managed numerous fish from 12 to 30-inches up inside the river. Tom Coots noted that guys who work at his shop, including son A.J., Jake Dionne, and Bull MacKinnon have had great success by the bridge using paddletail plastics.
Tom himself has had a number of very good days up inside Buttermilk Bay, an area that warms up very quickly because it is shallow and has a mainly dark, muddy bottom. Again, small paddle tail plastics worked very well for Tom, while Buttermilk is traditionally a good spot for flyrodding since it is pretty well protected from the wind.
Last Sunday, Jeff Clabault accompanied his son, Ben, who was interested in doing some shellfishing around Monument Beach. Jeff, on the other hand, was more interested in trying his luck with stripers and said that he was rewarded with some fun action with schoolies up to 20-odd inches.
Apparently, there are good numbers of schoolies up around Shell Point in Onset, which is another area that provide some cover from what can be tough early season winds.
Not many boaters have their craft in the water, and even if they did, the wind has been tough over the last couple of weeks. That said, kayakers have been out in many locales; Mark Tenerowicz found a school of smaller bass up inside his home waters of Mattapoisett this week and provided a photo of one such fish.
The Neat Lady out of Onset has started its scup trips, with the opening on Monday, and they reported that after a relatively slow start, a good proportion of those on board limited out on nice size fish. They also caught a couple of tautog, which was good to hear since there is no longer a spring commercial season to get reports and most recreational fishermen have found the wind to be a bit much on most days and there has been a fair amount of rain around as well to start the season.