Mike Thomas at M & D’s in Wareham was quick to point out that from the Maritime Academy over to Onset and down throughout the west entrance to the Canal, there has been a good big bass bite this week. Boaters are catching bass in the 40-pound class fishing deep with jigs, while “smaller” fish, say up to the 20-pound range, have been caught on big topwater plugs, especially spook styles such as the Doc. There are also large numbers of schoolies and small blues pretty much all along the Cape shoreline of the bay and from Stony Point Dike to Mattapoisett and beyond.
I spoke to my friend and kayak angler Mark Tenerowicz this week and he raved about the fishing inside Mattapoisett. He was catching stripers up to the 30+-inch class on soft plastics, as well as small spooks like the Heddon Zara Spook Jr. There were also some monster bluefish feeding on peanut bunker and other small bait, but he had not seen any albies on the trips he made.
On Wednesday morning, Sue Murphy and Cynthia Dauphin joined me for some fly-fishing lessons in West Falmouth and we were distracted by schoolies feeding on peanut bunker, often in about a foot of water. There were also some swirls that might have been made by a larger bass or two, but I have learned over the years not to judge the size of a fish by the splash it makes.
The stretch from West Falmouth to Old Silver Beach continues to the one most often mentioned when it comes to albies, but overall the action on funny fish has been sporadic, with early mornings typically producing whatever activity there is that day.
Jill Lockhart from Red Top in Buzzards Bay told me that there have been random schools of albies inside Phinney’s Harbor, as well as around the west entrance to the Canal, especially around Onset up to the Maritime Academy.
For shore anglers, the waters from Mashnee to Hog Islands are the best bet for locating bigger bass, especially in the early morning on plugs and eels, with the same combination, particularly metal lip swimmers, effective at night.
Mike Thomas added that the tautog bite is picking up in a big way, but you are going to have to pick through a good number of fish between 15 and 15 ½-inch to get your current three fish limit of tog over the 16-inch minimum; on October 15, the bag limit bumps up to five fish. The biggest white chinner he has weighed in was around 8-pounds, but there should be some larger fish moving in soon.