Buzzards Bay and Elizabeth Islands Fishing Reports

Capt. Dave’s Buzzards’ Bay + Elizabeth Islands Fishing Report- September 30, 2022

Buzzards Bay Fishing Report

I realize that when it comes to striper fishing, for many folks it’s all about size, plain and simple, but it was cool to hear from Christian Giardini, owner of Falmouth Bait & Tackle, who really enjoyed getting into an evening blitz of schoolies from outside of Onset earlier this week. Small, single hook rigged – with barbs crushed down – are the way to go when the fish are running on the small side, but don’t be surprised if a larger bass or two muscles its way in, testing your light tackle and knot tying skills.

striped bass
Riptide Charters finding some quality bass earlier this week.

Connor Swartz at Red Top in Buzzards said there are bass moving into the Canal from the west entrance on the east tide and the out again on the west, but at the moment these are mostly smaller bass; over the next couple of weeks, however, bigger bass should start to migrate through and down Buzzards Bay – that is, unless they make a run for it out the east end and through Cape Cod Bay, around Provincetown, and down the backside. Pay attention to wind direction because it will often impact the bait movement, with the stripers right on their tails. Connor added that there were some larger bass hanging farther down the west entrance, more towards Wareham, but those fish seem to have already pushed on to the next phase of their migration west, producing some good action on big stripers from Fairhaven to New Bedford, along with some big blues. 

Shore anglers should take advantage of any legal access they have over the next couple of weeks as there is still plenty of small bait, especially peanut bunker along with a smattering of bay anchovies and silversides; the Monument Beach area and Monk’s Park hold bass well into October, as do Red Brook Harbor, Megansett, and the North Falmouth/West Falmouth area. Unweighted soft plastics like the Hogy seven-inch Original is one of my favorite fall lures; while the light (bone) during the day and dark (black) at night mantra has proven itself over the years, I never go without some amber versions since they work so well day or night. 

Christian Giardini at Falmouth Bait & Tackle told me a couple of divers who work on the shellfish grants along the Falmouth shoreline told him that they have encountered schools of bonito – and Christian emphasized that they know what these fish look like. There are still some albies being picked at from North Falmouth/Old Silver Beach down Megansett and West Falmouth, although their whereabouts changes as often as what color Hogy Epoxy Jig they prefer on any given day. That said, don’t leave home with EJ’s in silverside, rainbait, and anchovy!

Looking to stretches of western B-Bay, Mark Tenerowicz said he has been having good success on surface feeding fish in open water using the white Hogy Charter Grade popper; the key has been finding the bait balls as the bass and blues are moving from one to another on a regular basis. Targeting shore structure with topwaters hasn’t been especially productive; in those case, Mark has been switching to jointed lipless swimmers/sliders/crankbaits.

The Elizabeths Islands Fishing Report

The albie bite today was absolutely incredible today as the northeast wind and colder air/water temperatures got the funnies really chewing. There was the usual cluster of boats from Lackey’s to Tarpaulin and around French Watering Place, but a little searching can have you into your own schools of albies and bass, oftentimes with them pinning the bait right up against the shoreline. Tuesday Mark Roberts and I found bass right in the rocks on the Buzzards Bay side and he picked at them with a peanut bunker fly on a full sink line, while the following day the foursome on board managed a boat slam, including albies, bass, and blues, all on the Anchovy Hogy Epoxy Jig and the Albie Crack Hogy Charter Grade Popper.

A big albie caught by @chiptheripp8 on Instagram.

Yesterday, I got an albie lesson from master fly angler and custom tyer Scott Hamilton, who was in town to speak and give a tying demonstration for the Cape Cod Flyrodders. Bob Lewis, who has fished with Capt. Hamilton numerous times in West Palm Beach for albies, mahi, blackfin tuna, jacks, and grouper, arranged the presentation and joined us on the boat. Suffice it to say, when someone catches three albies in a 20 minute span on a popper that he created and tops it off with one on a three-weight – yes, you read that correctly – that he landed within five minutes, you have to admit that you are in the presence of greatness. After watching Scott catch those three fish while a popper designed by a now deceased Cape fly angler produced no interest and then a baitfish pattern crafted by another flyrodder who still resides on our fair peninsula produced only a boil or refusal, Bob went to Scott’s fly box, put on one of his poppers, and was hooked up within a couple of casts. At one point, Bob had an albie hit his fly six times before making a connection, and while he was hooked up, he managed to get out his phone to take a picture of Scott with a nice bass on his Eat Me Fly and then get back to successfully landing his fish. From what I heard, other folks have been doing well all week down the islands on false albacore, using a variety of soft plastics in white, pink, and amber as well as an assortment of casting jigs, with the Hogy Epoxy Jig still the top dog despite attempts by others to pirate the idea. 

I know that albie mania is in full force, but nothing says fall to me than boiling bass and screaming birds, just as Gerry Fine and I found last Sunday along the islands; there were surface feeds all along the Buzzards Bay side from Robinson’s to Cuttyhunk, with albies in the mix as well and so many black sea bass that kept grabbing our Hogy Epoxy Jigs that we thought they might be auditioning for the part of funny fish. Albie Crack, Anchovy, Olive, and Silverside patterns all worked well. Gerry also reported that there were fish attacking shoals of baitfish – what he believes are peanut bunker – between the Hole and Nobska Point; I found scattered schools of albies there from the boat, as well as plenty of bass, but it was great to hear that shore anglers are getting into the mix as well. Speaking of which: boaters please give the shorebound crew a break and stay well off where their casts are reaching. I have seen some boats right up against the stone pier and even the dock nearby when they can pretty much go anywhere they want and fish.

 Capt. Dave’s Buzzards’ Bay + Elizabeth Islands Fishing Report- September 23, 2022

The Fall Run is Underway!

It’s a magical time on Cape Cod right now. The fall run is in full swing, and the options for anglers are endless. Jump into an older video highlighting the excitement of the fall run here on Cape Cod!

Buzzards Bay Fishing Report

One of the advantages of the Cape shoreline facing the bay is that even with winds blowing out of the northeast, you can tuck into some of the harbors and bays; on the other hand, with the forecast for west and northwest directions, it’s going to be pretty nasty even inside, which is too bad since the fishing for bass, blues, and albies has been pretty darn good this week.

PSA please don’t let your ballons fly away! 

In fact, Christian Giardini at Falmouth Bait & Tackle reported that there had been a good albie bite off of North Falmouth and up towards Wing’s Neck, while some folks told him that they have been catching Spanish mackerel mixed in with albies and bluefish around West Falmouth. Some of the Spanish have been good-sized and Christian said they might be king mackerel, but not having seen any photos so he can make a positive ID, he couldn’t say for sure what they were.

There are plenty of bass moving in and out of the Canal land cut on the tide, with larger fish being caught by folks trolling deep diving swimming plugs; at the moment, it almost seems like some of these schools of fish are moving down Buzzards Bay once move out of the Canal and follow the bait, with good action reported from spots like Phinney’s Harbor, Meganset, Wild Harbor, and between West Falmouth and Penzance Point. In many cases, this hasn’t been prolonged action, sometimes lasting only a tide or two as these fish are clearly in the early stages of their migration, but these early morning or evening topwater events can be fantastic; switching over to soft plastics or swimmers at night can keep you in the game, especially if you are a shorebound angler who can’t reach the breaking fish that boaters can. 

Mark Tenerowicz hit a number of spots in western Buzzards Bay in his kayak this week, with a particularly great day on Wednesday as he visited Fairhaven in hopes of finding some of the big bluefish that he has been catching on Hogy Charter Grade Poppers between his home waters of Mattapoisett over to Westport. What he found, along with the blues, were some really nice schoolie bass and ultimately an albie that crushed a soft plastic. Overall, Mark said the amount of bait everywhere is off the charts and he is hopeful that things will only get better. 

The water temperatures are clearly on the drop and the tautog are clearly happy, with shops like Red Top in Buzzards Bay carrying green crabs, but A.J. Coots told me this morning that they got a bushel in last week and still had some left over from that bunch as of this AM. As he said, the weather has been pretty crappy this week so not many people have managed to get out, but once things settle, the tog bite should be happening.

The Elizabeths Islands Fishing Report

No question that our local archipelago is coming alive, with everything from bass to blues to albies. Matt Rissell told me that on Monday morning he caught a number of slot sized bass on spook style plugs in the Hole, but by late morning, when Davis Yetman and I visited there, they had morphed into albies for the most part. I tried an early morning visit on Wednesday, but despite a ton of bait, we had no love on bass, but did manage a big, gnarly bluefish on a bone Hogy Dog Walker

A good tip came courtesy of Ken Shwartz who ran into albies down the islands that had bait pinned right up against the shoreline, but they weren’t ripping it up in open water like they often do. In this case, they were frothing right in among the rocks and at other times just cruising and feeding – for over two hours!

Riptide Charters had some great days albie fishing this week!

My buddy Gerry Fine texted me later on to say they he enjoyed a Nantucket Sleigh Ride in his kayak as he has been watching massive schools of bait near his home in the Hole and elected to give plugging a go. Some big bass had the bait, which I suspect was peanut bunker, pinned up against a seawall and just erupted on Gerry’s topwater plug, one of which hit right as he was getting to lift it out of the water, pulling the kayak right around and giving him a nice soaking. 

Later on, Wednesday produced a tautog on a small unweighted soft plastic tossed right into the shoreline where a school of small bass was making a ruckus; we managed a hook up on a couple of schoolies and picked up another big bluefish on a Hogy Epoxy Jig, but after fooling around with finicky, sipping albies, the guys hit it big when they erupted later on and managed three hook ups on epoxies, including silverside, olive, and bay anchovy colorations between 3/8 and 5/8-ounces. Frank and Mike got theirs to the boat, but Pete hooked what was clearly a bigger fish that ultimately parted the leader with its tail as he reported feeling some strong raps on the line before losing the fish. 

But what really amazed me was when a school of albies blew up and I saw a black sea bass coming rocketing out as if it were auditioning to be a funny fish or it was caught in the melee and took to the air to escape; to make things better, the fourth member of our crew Paul, cast into the fish and ended up hooking – you guessed it – a black sea bass. 

Amy Wrightson at The Sports Port in Hyannis and Osterville also sent in some photos and a report from “Customers Clark and Natalie who had an incredible day out by the Elizabeth Island and Falmouth with false albacore, striped bass, big bluefish, and big seabass (but that one had to go back since they are out of season.”

Capt. Dave’s Buzzards’ Bay + Elizabeth Islands Fishing Report- September 16, 2022

Finicky Albies

Reports of finicky albies on Cape Cod have been abundant this year. In this video, Capt. Mike shares a deadly technique to fool these finicky fish!

Buzzards Bay Fishing Report

Definitely plenty of action in Buzzards Bay; the question is where it is today and going to be tomorrow.

Capt. Terry Nugent of Riptide Charters has been hot on the albie bite!

There are still good numbers of smaller bass and some large bluefish moving in and out of the west entrance of the Canal, generally feeding on peanut bunker as well as some silversides. Phinney’s Harbor has been active in the early morning and again the evening, and it’s the same story from the Maritime Academy to Wing’s Neck.I also got a report of albies off Wing’s Neck from Ken Swartz earlier this week and he had a good story about a kayaker who was out fishing for bass and landed his first two albies – using 30-pound leaders! He was expecting to catch some bass – which he did –  and was surprised to encounter the funny fish – and Ken was good enough to record the event and sent along the video. Ken also managed some albies and really enjoyed the peace and quiet with nobody else around. 

By the way, the young man was using a black over silver Hogy Epoxy Jig, a great reminder that folks have good results with both bass and blues, as well as hardtails. 

There have been reports of scattered albies all along the Cape shoreline, including Megansett, Old Silver Beach, West Falmouth, and the old Cape Codder; a few Spanish mackerel have also been caught, along with some chub mackerel. 

The word from Christian Giardini at Falmouth Bait & Tackle is that there has been a good striped bass bite around North Falmouth, especially in the morning, on plug, with some slot fish in the mix. 

Mark Tenerowicz called with a couple of reports, the first concerning big bluefish around Mattapoisett and then this morning he found really big feeds of schoolie bass and big bluefish down Fairhaven way. In both cases he was using Hogy Charter Grade Poppers – what Capt. Mike calls the white color, but I refer to as cloudy – but on the first trip he managed to call up the blues, which this plug is really good at due to the sound its internal rattles make. 

The Elizabeths Islands Fishing Report

I joked with Mike about his cursing the eels I have been using this season as once again one of my local archipelago trips came up empty with Mr. Wiggly. We managed the obligatory sea bass, but other than a few taps, only had one real hook up. It’s interesting to watch freshwater anglers, especially those that fish for bass, struggle with the circle hook since it is so hard to break the habit of rearing back and trying to blast the hook home, something that you do with so many of the artificial rigs and lures used in sweetwater. What really proved that Mike has put the whammy on me is that towards the end of the trip – which started at 4:30 AM and featured cloudy weather throughout – was that we finally found fish on one of the corners of Nashawena – and they climbed all over the Hogy Charter Grade Poppers

There is a ton of peanut bunker around the islands and scattered schools of albies up and down both sides, but as Christian Giardini at Falmouth Bait & Tackle said, the key has been bypassing the hordes that descend on a location with obvious schools and find your own, with some decent schools from Quick’s to Cuttyhunk. 

After my eel failure, as we ran our way back to Falmouth Harbor as some nasty storms followed, we ran into some good schools of albies blowing up in Woods Hole, but a bolt of lightning convinced me that it was time to go.

Capt. Dave’s Buzzards’ Bay + Elizabeth Islands Fishing Report- September 9, 2022

Filmed Recently!

In this video, Capt. Mike walks through everything you need to know when fishing for false albacore.

Buzzards Bay Fishing Report

I received a call this morning from Mark Tenerowicz, a dedicated kayak angler who travels far and wide to find fish; in this case, he was in Megansett and ran into some schools of albies, but hadn’t gotten any on the line by the time he left his message. He did pick up some nice stripers up inside Squeteague on topwater plugs, but they were pretty fussy. He said that even what he calls “trolling with his feet” didn’t produce on the soft plastics that always serve him well.

Apparently, the West Falmouth area had some good action yesterday; Evan Eastman at Eastman’s Sport & Tackle in Falmouth heard from some folks who got into them, as well as schools of smaller bluefish. Word is that the funny fish also showing up in good numbers around Wareham Bay and Marion, but as of yet, other than some scattered rumors, the west entrance to the Canal and the Big Ditch have been quiet so far this season.

On the other hand, the waters of the west entrance and from Phinney’s Harbor to Quissett have been loaded with bass, mostly schoolies, but early mornings and dusk have seen some larger fish caught on big topwater plugs fished tight to the rocks, particularly around high tide. 

Bottom Fishing Report

With recreational black sea bass season closed as of last Sunday, September 4, more folks targeting bottom fish will be looking for tautog which have started moving inshore. The recreational limit from August 1 to October 14 is three fish per person with a 16-inch minimum length and the bag limit increases on October 15 to five fish, with the same size limit. There are still good numbers of scup around, but expect to be covered up by small sea bass if you go.

The Elizabeths Islands Fishing Report

Although I have been enjoying some decent fly rod and light tackle action in the Hole and on the Buzzards Bay side of our local archipelago, and according to Phil Stanton, the number of larger bass being caught on live eels and plugs has slowed recently. Of course, that might be the result of all of the boats buzzing around right over their heads as albie mania is in full swing. Connor Swartz went through the Hole last weekend and ran right into the fleet of boats drifting off of the sound side of Nonamesset. I can’t imagine how anyone could even get a cast into breaking fish with everyone so close, but I guess there’s company in crowds.

Evan Eastman at Eastman’s Sport & Tackle in Falmouth acknowledged that there were far fewer boats around this week, even around the islands; he picked up three albies fishing off of Falmouth and eventually ended up the aforementioned corner of Nonamesset, where they picked up another. He also spied about a half dozen boats down Lackey’s Bay and assumed that they might have been on fish as well. 

In speaking with Ken Swartz, who spend a good amount of time fishing for funny fish around the islands, he offered up a scenario from last weekend that contained a piece of wisdom that more people should heed. He was in Tarpaulin Cove, a spot that has really attracted lots of boats chasing albies over the last several years, and when things died down, everybody else sped off for who knows where. But Ken and his buddies hung out and a little while later were rewarded with really nice schools of breaking little tunny that were more than willing to eat. If you don’t get what I mean, I’ll sum it up in one word: patience. Even if the bonito, albies, or whatever seem to have disappeared, odds are that the bait they were feeding on, typically peanut bunker and bay anchovies which are notoriously poor swimmers and hang in tight schools for protection, will still be around and available for another feeding frenzy. 

Playing the tides and familiarizing yourself with the numerous edges and drop-offs where funny fish can trap bait and how they move with the tides will pay off, as will cruising past the hordes to find your own fish.

Capt. Dave’s Buzzards’ Bay + Elizabeth Islands Fishing Report- September 2, 2022

Filmed Last Week!

In this video, Capt Mike is joined by Capt. Rob Lowell of Cape Cod Offshore Charters as they target deepwater bluefin tuna on Hogy Charter Grade Poppers.

Buzzards Bay Fishing Report

Jeff Hopwood at Maco’s in Buzzards Bay and Monument Beach is incredibly adept at keeping multiple balls in the air at one time without dropping a one, but he still took the time to send me a report: “Loads of bait in and around the Buzzards Bay harbors and folks are getting their limits on fluke by fishing around the bait schools. Look for the cormorants and drift around where they are fishing. 14-18 feet is the sweet spot. Folks are finding albies on the Wareham/Marion side of the Stony Point Dike. Also, The tog bite is just starting; the tail end of the outgoing tide when the cooler water is coming out of the Canal from Cape Cod Bay has been best.”

There are also plenty of smaller bass around the west entrance; the outgoing tide has seen the most prolonged activity with flocks of birds and surface feeding stripers everywhere; it would be pointless to suggest any location, but I can say that my experience has shown that after the hubbub settles down and folks stop chasing breaking fish, the bass are still around, often milling and swirling on the Mashnee Flats or among the myriad rocky locations from Bourne to Falmouth. Spin anglers know the fun of tossing topwater plugs – hopefully rigged for clean, simple release when fishing around schoolies that will need to be set free – a majority of Cape saltwater flyrodders are used to fishing subsurface with sinking lines. If you’re one of them, this is a great time to try a floating line with some sort of a surface fly, whether it is a Gurgler, popper, or even a Crease Fly

Gorilla Tactics Sportfishing tagged this albie as part of a scientific study going on by the ASGA.

Along with schools of small bluefish racing up and down just out of reach of shore anglers, Connor Swartz at Red Top in Buzzards Bay said that there have been smaller schools of albies working pretty much every day in the North Falmouth/West Falmouth area; silver Hogy Epoxy Jigs and white soft plastics have been working best for his dad, who likes to target funny fish. 

With all of the small bait around, the albie action should only get better as the water cools and hopefully we get some good funny fish weather – you know, rough and windy to get them to chew with abandon.

The Elizabeths Islands Fishing Report

Schools of bass definitely keep appearing and then disappearing in the Hole, perhaps a sign that the push of fish down Buzzards Bay has already started; I have encountered smaller, most likely resident schoolies on a regular basis recently, but any larger bass around the islands have been caught at night or during the day with live eels. Evan Eastman at Eastman’s Sport & Tackle in Falmouth reported that Phil Stanton continues to pick up, on average, a half dozen quality fish on his daylight eeling trips. Phil is a big proponent of fishing high tide around the rocks when the larger bass are typically more inclined to be on the hunt for a meal even when the sun shines. 

As the water cools and more fish hopefully more migratory fish begin to move down Buzzards Bay, the plugging action should also pick up; metal lip swimmers are popular among the few folks who adhere to this classic style of fishing, but if I had to pick one artificial lure to use in the fall it would be large soft plastics, such as the Hogy 10-inch Original in bone or bubblegum during the day and black at night. I still have a stash of the super-sized 14 and 18-inch Hogy’s that I plan on using this fall if I get some time to fish on my own. Phil also told me that one of his young angler friends has been picking up some Atlantic chub mackerel around our local archipelago. These members of the tuna and mackerel family are sometimes confused with albies due to coloration and markings, but they are generally much smaller and easier to catch. Frigate mackerel and bullet mackerel are two other members of this clan that are sometimes confused with little tunny, with the former most closely resembling their larger cousins.

Capt. Terry Nugent of Riptide Charters has been finding lots of albies this season.

With all of the small bait around the islands, I am a little surprised to have not heard of many reports of blitzing schoolies and small bluefish, but in reality all everyone seems interested in right now is albies. I would add bonito, but their absence so far this season has been particularly disappointing. 

Evan said that earlier this week on one of his albie gambits, he ended up at Lackey’s Bay where he found some small schools of fish and a number of boats trying to get at them with no success. He offered up a suggestion to one boat about using caution around all of the rocks where they were fishing and he was surprised to hear that they were relying on their GPS to identify the position of the rocks. In point of fact, all charts often identify a sticky spot with the term “foul” and they do not give exact positions of individual rocks and ledges. This can lead to lower unit and hull damage when someone assumes that they are clear of prop eaters when in fact they sometimes fall outside of what is indicated on electronics and paper charts. Only experience can teach you where it is safe to go at different stages of the tide and failure to heed this advice is never a good thing, but especially during funny fish season when people so often seem to lose their minds. 

Speaking of which, I saw some schools of albies in Woods Hole today, but any breaks or bird activity resulted in a half dozen or so boats surrounding it, with no hook ups resulting. It was the same thing off Nobska and from Nonamesset to Job’s Neck. Generally speaking, the albies have been really picky so far, with only foul weather and rough seas really turning them on and getting them in a happy place.

The Hogy Epoxy Jig continues to be deadly for albies this season
{@the_quabbin_angler on Instagram}

Christian Giardini at Falmouth Bait & Tackle said that some folks who frequent his shop take the smart route and just pass on by any fleets of boat harassing a school of albies and they have managed to find some decent action on more cooperative fish. Tarpaulin Cove and Quick’s Hole are popular areas if the albie season really gets going, but they also draw crowds. Personally, some of my best days have been on the Buzzards Bay side of the islands, including in the evening when everyone has gone home.


Capt. Dave’s Buzzards’ Bay + Elizabeth Islands Fishing Report- August 26, 2022

Filmed Last Week!

In this video, Capt. Mike is joined by renowned angler Eric Harrison as they target bluefin tuna on Hogy Sand Eel Jigs.

Buzzards Bay Fishing Report

Once again, there is a ton of life in B-Bay, from schoolies to mid-sized slot fish up around the west entrance to the Canal, both around Onset and the pilings, up inside Monument Beach and on the Mashnee Flats, from Wing’s Neck to Stony Point Dike and Wareham – well, you get the idea. According to the folks at Maco’s in Buzzards Bay and Monument Beach, topwater plugs like small spooks and poppers will work in the magic false dawn period. The one issue that you should be prepared for is that in most cases these bass are feeding on really small peanut bunker, sand eels, and silversides and are, therefore, highly selective once the sun is up. Small soft plastic paddles like the Hogy Pro Tail Paddles and even the Hogy Slow Tail are good options, with pearl or the bunker option a good place to start, but sometimes there is so much of the real thing that going with a color like chartreuse will draw more attention. Another great option is the smaller Hogy Epoxy Jigs, which can be cast or dropped below the surface fray where any larger fish may be lurking.

Kayak Albie
Jack Pinard of Hogy Lure Company got out on the kayak and was chasing albie feeds earlier this week.

Evan Eastman at Eastman’s Sport & Tackle in Falmouth offered up a great story about a father and son team who came into his shop asking for advice about what to use while fishing around Megansett; Evan’s suggestion of a small, pearl paddletail did the trick as the son managed a legal sized bass and some smaller fish as well, all of which were released. 

A number of folks have mentioned to me that they have seen good sized schools actively feeding in the early morning and again in the evening in spots such as Old Silver Beach, West Falmouth, and between the old Cape Codder and Racing Beach as they were taking a walk or even driving along the shoreline and then spotting birds and breaking fish. They could have been funny fish for sure, but odds are that they were part of what seems like a big push of bass down the bay or even schools of small bluefish. Mark Tenerowicz has been giving it heck out towards Fairhaven and Westport, but has been dealing with frustrating schools of finicky small stripers, with some bluefish mixed in.

But while these species aren’t that uncommon at this point in the season in B-Bay, what Matt Anderson, owner of Kiwi Signs in Bourne, caught on Thursday morning certainly was. Matt has been so busy that he hasn’t had much, if any, time to fish, but he managed to get out and was prepared with not only a rod set up for albies, but also one for plugging for bass or blues. What he caught, however, was certainly not expected at all: a 25-pound cobia. After sharing the photo of his catch with Evan, Matt added that there were other cobia with this one, but his fish was clearly the largest. Cobia are typically a fish you will encounter from the mid-Atlantic states down through Florida and in the Gulf of Mexico; they are great sport fish, often caught by sight fishing when they are cruising on the surface, and they are delicious as well. 

I can say without any qualms that there isn’t anybody that I could be happier for than Matt, who is not only a good angler, but the best boat graphics person I know – but then again, I am biased since he did my boat.

The Elizabeths Islands Fishing Report

I couldn’t have asked for a better morning on Wednesday as I was joined by Ruth Anderson and Michael Beebe; it was still overcast in the Hole, but as the false dawn broke, there was life everywhere. Terns and gulls were first on the scene, picking at schools of peanut bunker and bay anchovies, but soon there were happy bass everywhere. Some of these fish were clearly in the 30+ inch range, with Ruth managing a lower slot fish that absolutely blasted the small soft plastic she was throwing on one of my ultralight outfits. Once again, similar to my story from last week, this fished ripped off a substantial amount of eight-pound test and ended up in a rock pile; this story, however, had a happier ending as we maneuvered about, opened the bail to give the fish slack, and eventually it cleared into open water where we were able to land it. 

A good portion of the rest of our morning was spent marveling at – and catching – bass that were just boiling on small bait, at times offering up the illusion that they were albies. Michael did well with the fly rod using small white patterns and we even got a good laugh at a couple of spunky pre-schoolies that took swipes at the Gurgler that he was tossing into the rocky Nonamesset shoreline, as well as a shallow spot where the bass were herding the bait up against the shoreline.And there were albies around, as a number of boat were working small schools around the Buzzards Bay entrance to the Hole and along Hadley’s Harbor, but the one hook up we saw jumped clear of the water, far more typical of a bluefish than a false albacore.

Gorilla Tactics Sportfishing found lots of willing to eat albies earlier this week.

The word from Christian Giardini at Falmouth Bait & Tackle is that a handful of hardcore funny fish hunters have been working down the Elizabeths and encountering some decent feeds of albies, picking up multiple fish on a variety of Hogy Epoxy Jigs and soft plastics. Although I still like to be on the water early before the sun is up when getting a funny fish trip started, Christian emphasized that the mid-morning bite has been pretty darn good. 

Gerry Fine, who resides on the shores of Little Harbor, said there have been schools of fish busting up the waters in this area and on Thursday he was out kayaking off of Nobska Beach, where he was surrounded by bait and birds and some kind of larger fish that he couldn’t identify definitively– nor catch, since he didn’t have a rod with him. The next couple of weeks should see an uptick in bass and bluefish action along our local archipelago, both on the B-Bay and Vineyard Sound sides; the water is starting to cool a bit and there is just an ever increasing amount of small bait. 

Personally, I intend to take some time off after Labor Day from guiding to toss metal lip swimmers, big tandem rigged Hogy’s, and some oversized flat wings I have been working on – all the while avoiding eye contact with the flotillas of albie obsessives that are sure to pop up anywhere there are – as Jim Young laughingly says – “slashing fish.”

Capt. Dave’s Buzzards’ Bay + Elizabeth Islands Fishing Report- August 19, 2022

Check out the all new CLEAR Hogy Charter Grade Poppers.

Buzzards Bay Fishing Report

Morgan Hopwood at Maco’s in Buzzards Bay and Monument Beach was pinch hitting for his dad, Jeff, having been, as of Thursday, out three of the last four mornings. His original goal was to fish for fluke, but what he discovered were smaller sea bass paving the lower part of the water column from the Maritime Academy all the way down to Wing’s Neck; at times, the BSB were also feeding on top, especially around the latter. There were so many sea bass that it was literally impossible to get a jig down to the bottom without hooking up. The one area where Morgan has been having success catching fluke on a regular basis has been in shallow water inside Phinney’s Harbor; he was talking about water in the eight to ten foot range, where he has regularly caught fish in the high teen to low 20-inch range regularly, along with a good number of shorts. Morgan’s favorite rig is a jig on the bottom tipped with a Gulp! Grub, especially a chartreuse one, with a smaller hook tied up above as a teaser with a four-inch Gulp! Swimming Mullet in pink/white, pink, or chartreuse.

First albie of the season aboard Gorilla Tactics Sportfishing.

There is a ton of small bait and an incredible number of birds working from the Maritime Academy down to Wing’s Neck and beyond, Morgan said, and he has been using smaller spook style plugs with good results. Even though he was doing well with one particular color, he emphasized that the key is most likely the lighter colored belly, which other plugs have as well.  I fished that area on Sunday and Tuesday and we did well on a variety of soft plastics, including the small Hogy Pro Tail, as well as spooks and a variety of small fly patterns, including my buddy Capt. Warren Marshall’s Blue Slammer that he ties for funny fish. Tuesday, we were throwing small unweighted soft plastics on eight-pound test, ultralight outfits when Frank Mainville hooked up with a bigger fish that ran out a lot of line and went around a lobster pot warp; we managed to get it free, but the line must have been weakened and it popped just as I suggested that Frank try and put a little more pressure on the fish. He got a good look at it and said it was the largest bass he had ever hooked; so much for my advice! We did also pick up a 29-inch bass amongst all of the fat schoolies that were slurping peanut bunker. 

What was most interesting to me was a surface water temperature reading of 63-degrees up around the Maritime Academy on Tuesday, clearly a push of colder water on the west tide from Cape Cod Bay; otherwise, most of the water was in the low 70-range. I know over the last month that there have been reports of slugs of colder water in Cape Cod Bay and Buzzards Bay that have significantly impacted fish movement and feeding; perhaps more attention needs to be paid to these shifts, similar to the way offshore anglers use temperature maps to locate temperature breaks. We also found an impressive surface feed up inside Wareham on Sunday; early on there were bass in the area, but then the water erupted with blues of all sizes that kept us busy with the fly rod. As my friend Gerry Fine said, “I don’t know why so many people look down on bluefish.” Amen to that. 

I know that Capt. Mike has referred to bluefish as “my partners” in the soft plastic business and Buzzards Bay is filled with his executive board, but what got him all jazzed up last Sunday was what he believes was a school of albies working bait around Wood Neck Beach; of course, he was on the beach and had no way of confirming his observation that he was looking at funny fish, but I am convinced that with all the albies that have showed up this week, there is a very good chance that he was looking at the real thing. 

Finally, an interesting note from Morgan Hopwood, who said that he spoke to someone earlier this week who said he believes he saw albies breaking in the Wing’s Neck area. While at this point in the season, that is definitely a possibility, Morgan told me that sometimes black sea will come to the surface and push water in a similar way to albies or bonito, making for some false ID.

The Elizabeths Islands Fishing Report

 I have little doubt that the Nobska Point fleet will be in full force this weekend once the albie word gets out and Phil Stanton told me he saw a number of boats sporting rods tipped with Hogy Epoxy Jigs, a good sign that the funny fish reconnaissance is in full swing. Phil saw what he believes was a school of albies working the Buzzards Bay side of Naushon earlier this week; they were moving quickly, stopping every so often and feeding in the explosive way that we most often associate with funny fish. But adhering to the belief that you can never be sure unless you hook one, Phil acknowledged that they could have been small bass or even bluefish.

Amande Grueter submitted this photo of an early season albie.

On Monday, Phil fished with his friend Matt, tossing eels in all of his usual spots from Naushon to Cuttyhunk and back again with nothing to show for their efforts; the following day, they tried some other locations, especially around Nashawena, and picked up a couple of over slot fish and a solitary schoolie, noting that his totals on an average trip have dropped a bit to 3 to 5 nice fish. Overall, there has been a lack of numbers all August long, with very little in the way of actively feeding bass or bluefish, and Phil also said that the number of boats fishing along our local archipelago has been way down.

But that should change real quick now that it’s ALBIE SEASON!

Capt. Dave’s Buzzards’ Bay + Elizabeth Islands Fishing Report- August 12, 2022

Take a look into Capt. Mike’s inshore fishing tackle, featuring the Hogy Mesh Crate Storage System.

Buzzards Bay Fishing Report

When I hear that the peanut bunker are starting to show in big numbers throughout the bay, I can’t help thinking about the incredible fishing we enjoyed in the fall last year. 

Of course, I have become more and more convinced that what was once the highlight of the season, the legendary “fall run” is no more or, to try and put it more optimistically, an event that just might be starting earlier and earlier and not lasting as long, either. Well, Bruce Miller at Canal Bait and Tackle in Sagamore reported that once the wind died down earlier this week, one of his regulars went out and found bass feeding throughout the west entrance to the Canal, including outside Onset, from Hog Island to Mashnee, and around Phinney’s Harbor. He was trolling umbrella rigs – white, of course – and tubes and there were enough slot size fish in the mix to make things interesting. This activity took place in the evening right through the fall of darkness, but day time should see increasing activity as well, making upper Buzzards Bay the second area where you can reasonably anticipate catching stripers. 

Sure enough, I heard from Jeff Hopwood from Maco’s in Buzzards Bay and Monument Beach that the day before he had returned to the Vineyard – where he had just finished a little vacation time – to gather up his boat as he wisely decided against beating himself up on Monday and took the ferry home since work beckoned.  The most important part of the story – along with Jeff’s good sense and seamanship – was that as he made the turn at Wing’s Neck Tuesday morning, there were birds working and fish breaking, clearly feeding on peanuts. Jeff didn’t have a rod with him, but he believes this was a mix of bass and blues – although he did admit that he was kind of hoping that they might have been bonito or even false albacore. Speaking of which, there have been no reports of funny fish in B-Bay yet, but if the bait is thick enough to produce a good surface feed the second week of August, a little drop in water temperature and they could show on the next tide change. 

Mark Tenerowicz, after spending some vacation time up in Maine chasing smallmouth and pike, returned to the salty scene and filed this report: “Went out in Fairhaven on my first day back from chasing smallies and pike in the northwoods. Was planning to run out to Ram Island to scout for birds and blues on the flats but just off the launch on Sconticut Neck there was a roving band of decent sized schoolies feeding on top. They were up and down, but when up they put on a good show. Not sure what the bait was.  Water was cooler than I expected.” Translucent amber has been the top producing color when it comes to soft plastics, Mark added, and he looks forward to putting a few in front of some albies or even bonito in the next month or so.

The fluke bite remains solid, with the kayak crew picking up some nice fish working under the schools of pogies from Monument Beach to Megansett. 

The Elizabeths Islands Fishing Report

I can offer up my own report from Tuesday and it isn’t promising. After the storm blew through on Tuesday night and with a wind shift and slightly cooler water temperatures – I crossed my fingers – and in anticipation of some good white water crashing the shoreline and overcast conditions and drizzle in the morning, I had high hopes that there might be a few bass holding in the rocks and invited my good friend Capt. Warren Marshall along to sling eels. In actuality, Warren should have stayed in bed since after five hours of tossing Mr. Wiggly, all he had to show for his efforts was one big seabass and a sore shoulder. We did get an eel chopped up just on the edge of the rip that forms up on the sound side of Robinson’s on an incoming tide, but that was a highlight. We even tried tossing a Hogy Charter Grade Popper as the tide slacked in Woods Hole, something that has worked every time I have tried it this year, but other than one half-hearted swirl, it was nothing doing. 

There is some small bait around, although it wasn’t as thick down the islands as it has been elsewhere – yet. We did see some small groupings of terns picking here and there, but hopefully a bit of a cold snap will get some funny fish moving around to give those poor birds something to really get excited about

Capt. Dave’s Buzzards’ Bay + Elizabeth Islands Fishing Report- August 5, 2022

Filmed Last Week

Despite being in the “Dog Days” of summer, Capt. Mike found some hot and heavy topwater bluefish action at Hedgefence.

Buzzards Bay Fishing Report

The most consistent bite in the bay has been on small bluefish harassing both small bait and the pogy schools that are still present around Monument Beach, Pocasset, Megansett, North Falmouth, and Quissett, as well as from Wareham to New Bedford. There are mainly schoolies under the pogies, but there are a handful of hardcores who continue to shadow these schools from dusk to dawn, working spooks, big paddletails, and jointed swimmers in hopes of finding something larger. Fluke fishing remains a solid option off of Wing’s Neck, the Mashnee Flats, and the edges of the Canal; apparently, the ratio of legal fish to throwbacks is better than many of the typical hotspots in the sounds. Too many folks associate summer flatties with sand bottom, but they really congregate on irregular, broken bottom of gravel, shells, and the like. I haven’t heard of any snapper blues showing yet, but they make an excellent bait for big fluke and Jeff Hopwood from Maco’s in Buzzards Bay and Monument Beach is also a fan of big baits such as pogy fillets.

No word on any bonito or other funny fish in B-Bay yet, with folks in particular hoping for a good mackerel season – kings and Spanish, that is.

The Elizabeths Islands Fishing Report

 The reality is that the good old days of summer along the islands is apparently long gone, but there are still some quality fish to be had if you put in your time and work the entire stretch from Naushon to Cuttyhunk. Phil Stanton said they have been managing between five and eight nice bass on eels, but it has been a hunt, with no one area holding multiple fish for the most part. 

The challenge right now is two fold from what I can tell. First, the stock of resident fish has been severely depleted, from schoolies to the cows that once made our local archipelago such a legendary striper haunt. Second, the water is incredibly warm, with folks like Phil saying that they have never seen it like this and I wonder what that means for the lobsters, crabs, and other crustaceans that attract big fish on a more consistent basis than people realize. Sure, stripers will take eels and they typically will not pass up a chum slick-and-chunk pogy buffet, but when you think about it, these are “artificial” opportunities that anglers create, as opposed to what Mother Nature provides as a regular source of protein amongst the boulders and reefs.  If there was ever a time to concentrate on high water, which typically brings even a slight change in water temperatures, this season would be it. Combine incoming water with the wee, wee hours of the morning – that means at least an hour before first light – or again after dusk will at least move fish in tight if you prefer to cast to shoreline structure. And while I wince at the thought of wire line, jigging is a sound option in the dog days of summer, as is dragging tubes on lead core if you like to fish the close in contours or stainless if you are fishing the deeper channels in the holes. 

On my last trip to Woods Hole, there were still some small bass willing to take topwater plugs and flies, but these were really early morning trips and very tide specific. I did see terns working the shoreline between the entrance to Hadley’s and Sheep’s Pen in one direction and Timmy’s Point in the other, a stretch that often produces the first bones of the season in this area.

Capt. Dave’s Buzzards’ Bay + Elizabeth Islands Fishing Report- July 29, 2022

Buzzards Bay Fishing Report

Pogies are the number one baitfish driving any bass or bluefish action in Buzzards Bay, said A.J. Coots at Red Top in B-Bay, but unlike the spring and early summer, there aren’t the numbers of huge fish on them; instead, as some of the folks who work in the shop told him, they are generally finding school bass in the 20 to 26-inch range following the pogies, with the occasional slot sized fish in the mix. High water temperatures might be why there are mainly smaller fish around since they typically are more tolerant of warm water, with bigger bass tending to drop deep in the water column in the height of summer, preferring to cool their bellies on the bottom and expend less energy. 

Jeff Hopwood at Maco’s in Buzzards Bay and Monument Beach said that even with all of this heat, stripers are still being caught up inside Onset, Buttermilk Bay, and the rivers over Wareham Way. Of course, he went on to say, your best option is to fish these areas from dusk to dawn as opposed to the middle of the day when the waters are like a sauna and bait typically outfishes lures when fish are lazy. If you are strictly a user of artificial options, take note of how freshwater bass anglers change over to lures that can be worked with a slower cadence and deeper in the water column when the mercury rises. If your preference is topwater plugging, go low light and plugs such as the Hogy Dog Walker which create wakes and other sure signs of a struggling, easy target baitfish, along with sonic cues. 

Ground Fishing Report

With sea bass of any real size – meaning legal – having moved into deeper water and out of the range of most small boat operators who in year’s past didn’t want to run that far because of inconvenience, but this year they also have the issue of higher fuel prices to consider. The scup fishing, however, remains strong, albeit with fewer dinner plate sized fish in the mix, and the fluke bite has definitely been better this season, both around the Mashnee Flats and the deeper edges of the Canal.

The Elizabeths Islands Fishing Report

It was another discouraging trip on Tuesday as flyrodder Jon Kolb joined me for what I hoped would be better conditions with early morning tides drawing colder – or at least cooler – water in from Buzzards Bay and through the Holes in the island. Unfortunately, what I found was 75-degree water in Woods Hole and nothing lower than 71 all the way down to Cuttyhunk. Now, I believe that most boat electronic units register water temps close to the surface as opposed to closer to the bottom, but I can’t remember conditions being like this throughout our local archipelago at any point in season’s past. Along with the steam bath, the only signs of life Jon and I saw were some terns on the Buzzards Bay side of the islands working over what appeared to be small bluefish or perhaps a few schoolies, but they wouldn’t stay up long and we weren’t set up for deep dredging – a technique I am not a fan of with a fly rod anyway – the deeper water where these fish were popping up.

Matt T. found plenty of striped bass while kayak fishing earlier this week.

When I managed to get Phil Stanton on the phone yesterday, he was out seabassing with some friends in the Hole and he agreed that other than in spots such as Hadley’s, he hasn’t seen water temperatures like this around the islands – well, he said, perhaps never. Phil is a big fan of fishing around high water and said they have managed to pick up a few better fish on eels, but I heard that even the boats that jig wire down around Cuttyhunk and Quick’s have been struggling. When Jon and I were out, we had a dying swell creating beautiful white water shoreward and I kept thinking that slinging snakes might have been rewarded, but there was no way I was going in to play tag with my rocky friends given the limitations of distance that hampers the long wand, even in the hands of folks like distance champion Steve Rajeff.

Over at Eastman’s Sport & Tackle in Falmouth, Evan Eastman said that eel sales have slowed, a pretty good sign that casting around the Elizabeths is off since most folks prefer Mr. Wiggly to plugs, plastics, or flies if they are tossing line rather than dragging it. I have a few eels still swimming around in my backyard tank and if I can get the motivation, I may sneak out super early this weekend and give them their “freedom” before hustling home to help out with the houseful of hounds we have on hand – and, yes, I used to teach English and still love alliteration!

Capt. Dave’s Buzzards’ Bay + Elizabeth Islands Fishing Report- July 22, 2022

Latest Video

In our latest video, Capt. Mike Hogan heads offshore targeting bluefin tuna on spinning gear using a combination of the Hogy Harness Jigs and Hogy Charter Grade Sliders.

Buzzards Bay Fishing Report

The word from Jeff Hopwood at Maco’s in Buzzards Bay and Monument Beach is that the fluke fishing has been really solid so far this season, with fish being caught in the shallower waters around the Mashnee Flats and on the edges of the Canal and off Wings Neck, with the deeper water generally holding larger fish. If you are looking for larger sea bass in upper Buzzards Bay, you are out of luck, with mostly smaller fish around; look for deeper water if you just. Have to enjoy a nice BSB dinner, but at this time of year, the best fishing is a long run down Buzzards Bay and over into Vineyard Sound. 

Jeff added that there are definitely bluefish around the west entrance to the Canal and around the Mashnee Flats down to West Falmouth, while the striper fishing in Onset, Buttermilk Bay, and Wareham River is still good; in fact, Jeff said last Saturday the Cohasset Narrows Bridge over the entrance to Buttermilk Bay was filled with people. 

Kayak angler Mark Tenerowicz chimed in with a report from his home port of Mattapoisett and also sent me a video of bluefish hitting topwater plugs that looked more like bluefin exploding on his lures: “Have found medium to large blues on the flats between Mattapoisett Neck and Ram Island on juvenile sand eels. No stripers to be found in Fairhaven or Mattapoisett.   Went to east branch of the Westport and had fun with schoolies on Mike’s new colors of the Hogy Charter Grade Popper. Inner harbor temperatures around here are “bathwateresque”.

The Elizabeths Islands Fishing Report

Unlike on land, sometimes it’s a real challenge to decide when deciding where to file a report since one body of water spills into another and there aren’t such specific boundaries and that is especially the case when one creates their own as I do in these reports. Anyway, the reason I mention this is Evan Eastman at Eastman’s Sport & Tackle in Falmouth told me of a guy who has been doing well trolling bunker spoons in the channel into Woods Hole from Nobska to Little Harbor and beyond. He showed Evan a photo of a 50+-inch fish he caught using this method and he has caught a number of other big fish as well. Now, this piqued my interested, of course, since bunker spoons have always been a perfect example of what I call a “specialized, localized lure;” for years, Eastman’s carried bunker spoons and all they did was gather dust. In talking to Phil Stanton about his fishing around the islands this week, I mentioned Evan’s news and he immediately mentioned how bunker spoons are a Long Island mainstay and he has a collection of them that he has tried over the years around the Cape with very little to show. 

Up at Canal Bait and Tackle in Sagamore, Bruce Miller has always been an advocate of bunker spoons, which some sharpies use up in Cape Cod Bay when the fish are on mackerel in the spring and early summer. These lures require heavy rods that can stand up to the strain they put on the line and the folks I know who use them typically employ outrigger rod holders that go in the gunwale rod holders and extend the rod out away from the boat perpendicularly. This spaces the bunker spoons farther away from each other since them make a wide, erratic swimming motion that can lead to tangles if they are run too close to each other. But they have never caught on around the sounds and truly this is the first time I have heard of a report of fish being caught on them around these parts in over 30 years of scribbling fishing columns. 

On the other hand, the tube-and-worm is a popular local archipelago technique and one that Capt. Mike tried on Wednesday during this week’s Salty Cape film session: “We decided to take some time off from the incredible offshore action and take a sniff around Vineyard Sound. We trolled tube and worm in a handful of places down along the Elizabeth Islands all the way to Nashawena. The water was dirty, I think from the strong moon tides. We picked up a lot of weed and a couple of gorilla bluefish.”

Hogy Surface Pencils are perfect bluefish plugs. The single hook makes for easy releases.

Speaking of gorilla bluefish, on Monday I fished with George Noonan, his niece Britney, and her husband Kyle and amongst all of the bass we caught on Hogy Charter Grade Poppers and bubblegum 7-inch Hogy Originals, Kyle hooked up with one of those big, gnarly bluefish that we often catch while casting eels along the islands. I saw this fish hit the soft plastic and then come back for what remained, something that my good friend Laurie Thwaites calls “nubbing;” she gets a kick out of using the remnants of a Hogy soft plastic and seeing how many fish – usually bluefish – that she can catch on one. In this case, Kyle’s blue refused to give up and finally cut through the 20-pound fluoro leader we were using, but not before a number of impressive jumps and a clear side shot that showed its all of its girth and gnarliness. 

Now, despite the wind this week, Phil went out  with his friend Matt on the same day Mike was out there; Phil has put away the jigging outfits for the season and turned to slinging eels and they managed five nice bass up to the high 30-inch range. Despite the warmth and high sunshine, the wind made for rough conditions and that kind of white water is perfect for slinging snakes.

Capt. Dave’s Buzzards’ Bay + Elizabeth Islands Fishing Report- July 15th, 2022

Latest Video

The schoolie size bluefin tuna bite off of Cape Cod has been one of the best we’ve seen in years! Here’s a look into our latest video, trolling for bluefin tuna just east of Chatham!

Buzzards Bay Fishing Report

Jeff Hopwood from Maco’s in Buzzards Bay and
Monument Beach and his son took advantage of the latter stages of a
recent first light west tide around the west entrance to the Canal and
had a blast tossing big white/bone colored spooks at slot sized and
above bass. Jeff mentioned that it has been a long time since he has

fished surface options and it was cool to experience once again how fun
this can be.
Additionally, Jeff pointed out that once the tide went east, they
continued to enjoy solid surface action, but not from fish that were on
top. Instead, they were drawing fish up with their plugs in water that
showed no signs of feeding; if you’ve never had a big fish blow up on a
popper or spook with no warning, then you haven’t lived.
Jeff said these fish were feeding on squid, but there are also the
remnants of the push of early season big bass shadowing the schools of
pogies throughout the bay, especially the upper stretches from
Monument Beach and Red Brook Harbor over to Wareham, Marion,
and beyond. First light and dusk plugging the rocks, both along the
shoreline as well as the reefs and boulder fields in open water, is key to
getting the attention of the resident fish that hold around this structure
in the summer.

Big bass caught aboard Gorilla Tactics Sportfishing.

The schoolie bite remains strong up inside Buttermilk Bay, with an
occasional slot fish taken on bait from the bridge that oversees the
entrance to this area. It’s the same story for both boat and shore
anglers throughout the bay, but this is a low light fishery at the
Schools of bluefish continue to pop up throughout the bay, but while
many folks only associate them with surface blitzes in open water, they
also orient themselves to shoreline structure, making for some exciting
topwater plugging target practice.
While the black sea bass bite has slowed, with mainly smaller fish
around as the largest fish have moved out into deeper water, the scup
bite remains strong with plenty of quality fish around, Jeff said. Of
course, this time of year, looking to do some ground fishing turn to
fluke and Jeff and others have had little trouble catching their limits,
mainly on fish in the 18 to 20-inch range although he did hear of a 28-
inch fish, which is huge. Jeff has been enjoying most of his success in
deeper water along the Canal edges, but he has spoken to folks who
have been doing well in spots as shallow as 16 feet or so.

The Elizabeths Islands Fishing Report

In an attempt to target a larger striper – or perhaps
even more than one – given the tales of success from folks who have
been regularly tossing live eels along our local archipelago, Evan
Eastman from Eastman’s Sport & Tackle in Falmouth took a pail of
snakes to French Water Place after work recently. He was marking fish,
but got no love as he worked tight to the rocky shoreline in this area.
Now, I suspect that the individuals that Evan mentioned have been
fishing at night or perhaps well before sun up, but they also may have
many more years of isolating stretches where the water is perhaps
cooler and deeper at certain stages of the tide, a key to catching fish
consistently along the islands.
When I first started fishing the islands with Bill Nealon, we often
dragged tubes with the tide in areas you would never think of in Woods
Hole and you can watch Capt. Mike employ the same rig in one of his
videos during the dog days of summer and he and Capt. Nat Chalkley
pick up some nice fish. In fact, I was guiding a fly rodder that morning
and we did fine targeting smaller fish pushing baby squid, but what I
witnessed from Mike proved the benefits of getting deep when water
temperatures spike if daytime fishing is your preferred option.

Capt. Dave’s Buzzards’ Bay + Elizabeth Islands Fishing Report- July 8th, 2022

Coming Soon…

Here’s a sneak peek into Capt. Mike’s latest offshore tuna trip. Stay tuned for the full length version!

Buzzards Bay Fishing Report

A good number of the bigger bass that had been
shadowing the pogy schools throughout upper Buzzards Bay have
apparently moved into and through the Canal as the plug and livelining
activity has slowed said Connor Swartz at Red Top in Buzzards Bay; that
doesn’t mean there aren’t fish around, but you’re going to have to
work for them. There is nothing more rewarding that fishing around the
myriad pieces of rocky shoreline in these waters and drawing surface
action from bass of any kind, but especially bigger fish; be advised,
however, that with the water warming, this is becoming an early
morning activity as opposed to the spring when you can go pretty much
any time of day.

Snapshot Charters with a beautiful bass caught on a Hogy Popper.

Drifting chunks, again at night or really early in the morning, is again
effective this time of year, with some folks using the tube-and-worm to
target fish that are holding deeper in the water column.

There are schools of bluefish spread throughout the bay, making for
great topwater action and they can be found throughout the day, which
is good news for folks who cringe at the thought of getting up early
enough to be on the water at first light.
The sea bass bite has definitely moved into deeper water, especially if
you are looking for sizeable fish, while the fluke action on the Mashnee
Flats has improved this season.

The Elizabeths Islands Fishing Report

Around Woods Hole, the fishing for bigger bass has
been solid, noted Evan Eastman at Eastman’s Sport & Tackle in
Falmouth, with jigging wire or drifting live bait deep the way to go.
There are smaller fish on top for light tackle and fly rod anglers and
they have been feeding mainly on baby squid, which means small,
lighter colored soft plastics are effective. That said, around slack tide,
we had some fun topwater action this week using the Hogy Charter
Grade Poppers around the ledges and rock piles.
Evan added that he is selling more live eels, usually a sign of what folks
who fish the Elizabeths are doing, but I would suspect that if jigging is
working in the Hole, that approach might be an even better choice
along our local archipelago, along with the tube-and-worm.
There has been some good topwater activity in the early morning and
again in the evening, especially in Robinson’s and Quick’s, with some
chunking activity as well.
What should be interesting, as Phil Stanton pointed out, is whether the
incredible numbers of bass that are being caught in the vicinity of the
Hole continues as the water warms. Are these fish part of the migration
that are lingering in our local waters because of all the bait and soon to
head elsewhere, leaving us with only resident bass? Or has the
declining population of bass from Naushon to Cuttyhunk somehow
been replenished? Stay tuned.

Capt. Dave’s Buzzards’ Bay + Elizabeth Islands Fishing Report- July 1st, 2022

Trolling for Blues

Skipping plugs across the surface isn’t the only way to target bluefish here on Cape Cod. Sometimes the blues aren’t willing to hit a topwater plug, that’s where trolling for them can come into play.

Buzzards Bay Fishing Report

I continue to get word from a variety of sources like
Evan Eastman at Eastman’s Sport & Tackle in Falmouth that boat
anglers continue to pick up some bigger bass that are following the
schools of pogies that can be found up inside areas like Quissett, Red
Brook Harbor, and Monument Beach. Of course, livelining is tough to
beat, but these fish ae also being targeting with big topwater plugs.
It’s the same story from Wareham west; Mark Tenerowicz said that
guys livelining out his way around Mattapoisett have been picking up
bass in the 30 to 40+-inch range with some big bluefish ruining their
baits at times.

Gator bluefish caught aboard Riptide Charters.









Warming waters typically means slower day time activity as we get into
summer, so early risers will do better if they prefer to use topwater
plugs or soft plastics around the myriad pieces of rocky structure that
characterize the Buzzards Bay fishery.
The black sea bass fishing remains steady, but you are better off looking
for them – especially larger ones – in deeper water and the same is true
if your goal is catching numbers of larger scup.
And the fluke bite around the Mashnee Flats continues to get a good
amount of attention, with Evan hearing from a number of folks who are
seeing a far better ratio of legal to throwbacks than those boaters
fishing for summer flatties in the sounds

The Elizabeths Islands Fishing Report

Woods Hole is holding steady with both a live bait and
a jigging scenario at the moment; there is still some good topwater
activity with mainly smaller bass chasing baby squid, but these fish can
be pretty finicky. Swinging small white soft plastics like the Hogy Slow
Tail is one option, but at times you have to go the unweighted direction
to keep a plastic closer to the surface without any real retrieve of any
kind. That makes this fishery a lot of fun for flyrodders, but be advised
that you either have to be able to throw a long line and get the right

angle if you are going to fish it by yourself or have someone else run
the boat.

Big bass remain can be found anywhere around the islands. Gorilla Tactics Sportfishing showing his clients a good time!















Evan Eastman at Eastman’s Sport & Tackle in Falmouth has been selling
lots of eels, with some folks dropping them down on fish in Woods Hole
while others have been casting them along the islands with varying
degrees of success.
A recurring theme has been people encountering surface feeding bass
at all times of the day around our local archipelago, some of the schools
comprised of fish in the 30+-inch range. Understanding and timing the
turn of the current/tide is often key to targeting this activity, with more
and more bluefish on the scene as summer warms the water, but they
are super fun on light tackle and surface plugs – as long as they have
single tail hooks. The Hogy Pencil Popper and Squid Plug both make
great baits for blues and they work really well on bass as well. Many
folks associate bluefish as being super easy to catch, but I can tell you
that at times you have to keep switching colors until you get things
dialed in.
You will also encounter more people trolling the tube-and-worm,
fishing the deeper edges where the cooler water is.

Capt. Dave’s Buzzards’ Bay + Elizabeth Islands Fishing Report- June 24th, 2022

 Jigging for Black Seabass

In this video Capt. Mike Hogan shows us one of his favorite ways for targeting BSB here on Cape Cod, using the Hogy Squinnow Jig with a Hogy Teaser Assist Hook.

Buzzards Bay Fishing Report

I had a nice talk with Jeff Hopwood from Maco’s in Buzzards Bay
and. Monument Beach earlier this week and he said the fishing remains steady in
Buzzards Bay, especially when it comes to black sea bass. He hosted former Bruin
defenseman Hal Gil and his fishing obsessed young son, who managed to start the
day by rapidly outfishing everyone. Jeff was a little surprised to find that the BSB
were tough to come by in some of his favorite shallow water spots, along with a
tough scup bite; moving around towards deeper water helped and although they
didn’t catch any monsters, they managed a good pick of legal and slightly above
fish. They also caught some fluke and Jeff admitted that the bite was better on
flatties in shallower water closer in on the Mashnee Flats as opposed to the
deeper edges around the Canal.

Gorilla Tactics Sportfishing breaking on the fly rod on some large stripers.

The sea bass bite is also very strong around the deeper edges of Cleveland Ledge.
Jeff added that there are still some slot sized stripers being caught in spots such
as Buttermilk Bay, where one young angler managed a 30-in fish while his parents
were enjoying dinner right next door. Monument Beach, Red Brook Harbor, and
West Falmouth are all spots still worth checking out, especially around the pogy
schools that are definitely the primary forage for big fish this season. The
Mashnee Flats are also a good spot for targeting stripers.
Still a good number of schoolies in the mix, making for good fishing for flyrodders
and light tackle anglers; the kayak crew in particular is having a ball in the
numerous protected bodies of water that dot the upper Buzzards Bay shoreline,
as well as down Falmouth way.
Connor Swartz at Red Top in Buzzards Bay advised that while folks are still picking
at some bigger fish from Wareham over to New Bedford, again using big spooks
and livelining pogies, there are bluefish – and some really big bluefish – that are
driving bait anglers crazy as they just ruin prime bass baits.

The Elizabeths Islands Fishing Report

It was definitely a transition day for Gerry Fine and I on Thursday
as Woods Hole was filled with small schoolies absolutely going crazy on baby
squid, making for a perfect fly rod scenario. The fish were active on both tides,
with terns all over the place.

John Burns dropping Hogy Flutter Pitch Jigs for keeper BSB.

The only real challenge was the wind, which made

getting a proper presentation tough without sticking a fly in your head. The spin
anglers were picking at some fish as well, although I did see a number of them
having trouble getting bit since they were definitely retrieving their lures way too
fast, as if they were targeting bluefish.
Evan Eastman at Eastman’s Sport & Tackle in Falmouth did say that a couple of
hard core Elizabeth regulars, Capt. John Christian and Phil Stanton, came in to pick
up eels, a pretty good sign that casting snakes in on the docket. Prior to this, both
of these stalwarts were either primarily jigging wire or tossing plugs/jigs, which
still remain best bets when targeting big fish as the water starts to warm.

Capt. Dave’s Buzzards’ Bay + Elizabeth Islands Fishing Report- June 17th, 2022

Filmed Last Monday!

In this video, Capt. Mike Hogan heads out to the rips off of Monomoy targeting striped bass.Hogy Poppers in translucent pink and amber color were the ticket to success in imitating the squid these bass were feeding on!

Buzzards Bay Fishing Report

Good sea bass fishing can be had throughout the bay,
whether you choose to join the fleet in well known areas such as
Cleveland Ledge, Bird Island, or Southwest Ledge or prefer to fish areas
that don’t draw such attention. No matter where you fish, remember
that larger baits attract larger fish, especially when it comes to tipping
your jigs with scented soft plastics. Cole Freeman said his favorite
colors are white or bright pink, while rigs that feature dressed hooks
above the jig or other weighted lure can make a difference in terms of
the quality of the fish you catch.

Capt. Eric Stapelfeld of Hairball Charters found some quality fish in the Bay.

The bigger bass that draw so much attention from anglers throwing big
topwater plugs around structure in Wareham Bay and along the rocky
shoreline of Bourne and Falmouth apparently haven’t moved into the
Canal in force; in fact, Jeff Miller at Canal Bait and Tackle in Sagamore
said that there are reports of big fish still being caught to the west
around Fairhaven, New Bedford and Westport.
Along with the stripers, folks are encountering big bluefish in upper
Buzzards Bay, some of them clearly double digit fish as opposed to
smaller fish that people overestimate because blues just fight so darn

The Elizabeths Islands Fishing Report

Woods Hole continues to give up some truly big bass in
the 30 to 40-pound class, mainly on live bait. Dunking scup is a tradition
this time of year in the Hole and all along the Elizabeths for that matter,
but the big fish that Phil Stanton and his fishing partner Matt landed on
Wednesday was taken on a live eel. As Phil explained, they went down
the islands as sort of an experiment, tossing eels in their favorite spots.
They came up empty until their returned to the Hole and on one of
their first casts with an eel fished deep in the water column, Matt
landed a fish in the 30-pound class.
Phil also mentioned the schools of pogies that have been reported
inside Hadley’s Harbor and in areas of quieter water in the Hole, with
some folks opting to liveline them as opposed to scup. I ran into one
angler who said they fished live pogies in the Hole recently and only

managed a single lower slot bass, along with numerous throwbacks. I
guess to each his own, but I don’t know why someone would waste
their time fishing live bait when it became apparent that the vast
majority of fish were too small to keep.

Eric Harrison found plenty of BSB on the Hogy Slowtail.

In fact, I fished the Hole numerous times this week with both flyrodders
and light tackle anglers; at times, the fish made their presence known
chasing squid, while at others we raised fish by swinging small squid
flies and Gurglers, along with pink or amber unweighted Hogy seven-
inch originals and Dogwalkers. We caught mostly schoolies, but
managed a couple of bass that were clearly out of the slot limit.

Capt. Dave’s 6/10/22 Cape Cod Fishing Report: Buzzards’ Bay + Elizabeth Islands

Buzzards Bay Fishing Report

There are still some big bass lurking around the pieces of structure in Wareham,
noted Connor Swartz from Red Top in Buzzards Bay, but you are going to have to work a bit
harder as they are starting to move and stage for a push into the Canal, most likely. Topwater
plugs are still most popular for daytime fishing, but a few folks continue to do well at night
using big soft plastics, especially unweighted ones.
Fishing around schools of pogies continues to be one of the most popular ways of finding larger
fish, even up inside Phinney’s Harbor, for example; Connor said the fish aren’t necessarily
monsters there, but it is pretty cool to catch slot sized bass up inside a marina. Early morning or
evening/night plugging is an alternative to dealing with finding and catching bait and there are
numerous spots all along the Cape B-Bay shoreline just like Phinney’s.
Bruce Miller at Canal Bait and Tackle in Sagamore said the fish that were holding around Hog
Island and other spots around the west entrance that feature rocky structure and strong
currents have mainly moved into the Canal, but Rory Edwards from Falmouth Bait & Tackle
emphasized that were are still in the midst of the migration and that a new school of fish can
move in on the next tide, as was the case this week when the Mashnee Flats paid host to some
quality stripers.

John Burns caught this good size bass on a small Epoxy jig.

There are plenty of schoolies and bluefish in the five-pound range throughout the bay, but
there is plenty of talk of really big double digit blues feeding on schools of silversides, sand eels
and other small bait.

Ground Fishing:

Black sea bass action continues to be very good, with larger humpheads out in deeper water up
to 80-feet or so, while the spawning females are moving into shallower areas.
As for fluke, there has been no word of any catches just yet.

The Elizabeths Islands Fishing Report

It’s tradition this time of year to target bigger bass all along
our local archipelago using live scup. Evan Eastman from Eastman’s Sport & Tackle in Falmouth
reported that one of his customers reported using a foot long scup at night to catch a bass they
said was 60-inches, with other big fish taken from Robinson’s back to Woods Hole on scup.
While the topwater bite in Woods Hole remains good on everything from poppers like the Hogy
Charter Grade in amber or Albie Crack (yellow/white) to spooks such as Hogy Dog Walker,
remember that generally surface plugs often work best on the slower stages of the current; I
know many folks who switch over to subsurface swimmers when the water is really working,
while I have discovered that the larger, heavier Hogy Slider does a good job of getting down to
where the fish are holding, using structure to help them expend less energy while they wait for
dinner to be swept by.
Of course, when dealing with the force of the currents in the Hole and along the Elizabeths,
jigging wire is a tradition that is tough to beat and Evan advised that it is producing some of the
biggest fish, some in the 40-pound class.

Capt. Eric Stapelfeld of Hairball Charters put his clients on a quick limit of BSB.

On the other hand, Evan is selling more eels and has heard that some quality fish are being
caught in the dark by folks drifting them around the islands.
Given Capt. Mike’s experience with sipping bass on small bait down off Gay Head yesterday, I
suspect that anyone willing to make the run to Cuttyhunk will find a similar scenario. In many
cases, these fish are feeding on krill or perhaps even a crab hatch and can be really tough, but
experience has shown me light tippets on the fly rod with really small shrimp patterns similar to
what are used on bonefish can often make the difference. Spin fishermen would be advised to
go slow and small as well; I haven’t had the chance to fish them in one of these scenarios, but a
Hogy Slow Tail, which produces plenty of action without a lot of forward movement, could be
worth a shot, along with slow dropping small Epoxy Jigs.
Oh, and I shouldn’t forget the schools of big blues on the bay side of the islands. Ken Swartz
said they have been finding really large schools of double digit blues feeding on small baitfish,
including silversides and sand eels. Ken said he hasn’t experienced surface action like this in a
long time, to the point where it can just be fun to toss a hookless plug and watch the fish fall all
over themselves to get at it. Obviously, if you are going to use hooks, make it a single Siwash or
in line with the barb crushed down. Last year, Capt. Mike filmed fishing for blues using the Hogy
Pencil Popper, which is a great topwater plug for both bass and blues; he was at another spot,
but his tips and suggestions will come in handy no matter where you are fishing on surface
feeding blues.
Jack Pinard reported that he and Capt. Mike found schools of pogies on the backside of the
Elizabeths on Monday and managed to troll up a decent bluefish on a Hogy Slider, but what was
really cool was watching a 40+-inch bass on the surface following a school of these striper

 Capt. Dave’s 6/3/22 Cape Cod Fishing Report: Buzzards’ Bay + Elizabeth Islands

Buzzards Bay Fishing Report

Schools of pogies are still hanging around Hog Island and both
livelining and casting big topwater plugs are effective, but Bruce Miller at Canal
Bait and Tackle said that lighter colored paddletail jigs have been working as well.
As with many things in and around the Canal, water temperature plays a large
part in the quality of the fishing and that means keeping tabs on tide/current
Cole at Red Top in Buzzards Bay said that there are still some really big bass
hanging around structure throughout the west entrance; many folks focus their
attention on the Wareham Bay area using big walk-the-dog plugs, but a
concentration of boats in any one area can make the fish uncomfortable and
pretty spooky. We’re often talking about a half dozen large fish working a school
of pogies or other bait and there are a multitude of spots during each tide stage
when they will be feeding.

Capt. Terry Nugent of Riptide Charters putting his clients on big bass using the Hogy Slider.

For example, Jeff Hopwood at Maco’s in Buzzards Bay told me that while he was
looking for sea bass around the Scraggy Neck area, he saw a boat tossing big
spooks into the rocks with good results on some impressive fish. In some cases,
anglers have familiarized themselves with the rhythms of the movements of big
fish around structure and have a plan in mind of when and where to be, while on
the other hand, some folks just bounce around and take a few casts in hopes of
locating some fish. The former clearly requires more time spent on the water aka
experience, but no matter what approach you take, always be prepared for an
explosive strike – but not too reactive. Way too many big fish are lost when
anglers see white water and rip the plug away by jumping the gun, as opposed to
waiting for the weight of the fish on the line to let them know the bass has their
While all the rage is tossing big spooks these days, before I became more
dedicated to tossing flies, I was a big fan of working floating poppers, often

casting them into and around structure and letting them sit before an initial pop
followed by an erratic retrieve. I haven’t had the chance to try one yet, but Capt.
Mike has introduced a new line of extra big Charter Grade Poppers that look to
me to be the right ticket to draw out bigger fish hanging around structure and/or
schools of pogies.

Capt. Mike Hogan with a slot sized bass on the all new Hogy 7inch Popper.

Most of the open water action on stripers consists of schoolies and just enough
slot fish to make things interesting; terns working over baitfish, bass, and often
blues can be rewarding. It’s also a lot more dependable if your time on the water
is limited as opposed to hunting water where there are no visible signs of fish.
And remember that if you are into generally smaller fish, letting a heavier waited
jig drop below the activity is a traditional way of targeting any larger fish that may
be hanging below the fray up on top.
Big bluefish continue to be reported throughout the bay, not necessarily in huge
schools. In fact, some of the largest fish have been caught blindcasting around

Ground Fishing:

Jeff Hopwood confirmed that the black sea bass bite is in full swing; he took a
crew of friends out last weekend and they limited out on quality fish in less than
two hours – and these weren’t really anglers, mind you. BSB are aggressive and
will generally eat anything you drop down once you locate a concentration, but if
you want them big, then go big in terms of the scented plastics that most anglers
tip their bucktail jigs with.
When I asked about tautog, Jeff explained that with so much attention being paid
to sea bass, only a handful of folks are targeting tog for two main reasons. First
off, the recreational limit went to one fish per day starting June 1 and running
through July 31 and most folks aren’t going to be bothered. And secondly, if you
were so determined that you wanted a tautog for your fish chowder and tried
around areas that are now holding acres of sea bass, good luck getting your crabs
down through the latter. And, yes, BSB eat crabs; heck, they eat anything. Jeff’s
recommendation if you must have that tautog is to move in closer to shore where
a combination of shallower water and rocky structure just might do the trick.
Jeff added that the scup fishing is very good, with some real monsters around, like
the 20-inch specimens that he took home for his father-in-law who knows some
good eating when he sees it.

Finally, Evan Eastman from Eastman’s Sport & Tackle in Falmouth said he
encountered a worm hatch last Sunday, but conditions this week haven’t exactly
been optimal for this type of activity. What I found especially interesting about
Evan’s experience is that he wasn’t fly fishing or set up with a casting bubble on

his spinning outfit, which is typically the way a non-fly angler presents one of the
bugs that are used to imitate spawning portions of cinder worms. Instead, he
tossed a small walk-the-dog plug and caught fish.

The Elizabeths Islands Fishing Report

There are certain boats that you become
familiar with if you are a dedicated targeter of fish along our local archipelago,
especially a very few who elect to cast plugs into the ledges and boulder fields
that this area is famous for.
That’s why I found it interesting that I spied a few of these vessels fishing the
shoals this week, but I know I would probably be mistaken if I took this as a sign of
the quality of the fishing in the Hole and down the islands.
In fact, I have heard of some bigger bass being taken on surface plugs in the Hole
this week, including a fish that Phil Stanton sent me a photo of that he estimated
to be in the 30-pound class, and a few boats are turning to jigging wire with mixed
results. June is also a prime month for livelining scup in the Hole.
What I imagine is happening is that the fishing in the sounds is so darn good that
even the most dedicated rock worshipper is at times committing the sacrilege of
falling victim to the siren’s call of the shoals.

Cullen Lundholm of Cape Star Charters showing us that Hogy Poppers are kid friendly!

Capt. Dave’s 5/27/22 Cape Cod Fishing Report: Buzzards’ Bay + Elizabeth Islands

Filmed last Monday!

Stripers have arrived full force in the rips feeding on squid. In this video Capt. Mike shares his favorite technique using Amber Charter Grade Poppers to imitate squid for exciting topwater striper action.

Buzzards Bay Fishing Report

Plenty of action throughout the bay and some great
stories to highlight the incredible variety.
Amy Wrightson from The Sports Port in Hyannis told me that one of her
employees, Ben Sussman, took his kayak over to what she believes was
the Megansett area earlier this week and there were plenty of bluefish
around – as well as some big bass, including a 40+-inch fish that Ben
caught on a topwater plug.
Connor Swartz over at Red Top in Buzzards Bay continued the big bass on plugs
theme, as big walk-the-dogs and pencil poppers have been taking good
numbers of fish in the 20 to 30-pound class, with a few 40’s and even
50’s in the mix. Apparently, this isn’t necessarily a first light bite, but
the key is targeting the pieces of rocky structure throughout the
Wareham Bay area. Schools of pogies are driving this action, so some
folks are opting to liveline as opposed to using artificials.
Mark Tenerowicz has been fishing protected waters close to home from
Mattapoisett to Fairhaven from his kayak where there are have been
plenty of very spooky bass; at times, he has thrown everything at them
with no results. I was wondering if he was fishing on a worm spawn in
the afternoon, but he saw no signs of worms when he was fishing at
that time of day and he saw them acting the same way in the morning
as well. On a more positive note, there are some big bluefish around –
and in this case we are talking about double digit choppers.

Bob from Falmouth released this big bass caught on a 7″ Hogy Charter Grade Popper yesterday afternoon in Buzzard’s bay while “working remotely”.

It sounds a little too easy, but folks have been reporting that there are
terns working over surface feeding fish all over the bay as they work
with the tide, typically chowing down on small bait. Topwater plugs will
work at times, but at others matching the hatch has been pretty
important, both in terms of size and color. While soft plastics, both
weighted and unweighted, often get the nod as the first option folks
reach for, the Hogy Epoxy Jig has proven to be the solution to finicky
fish in open water.

Black Sea Bass Fishing:

With more people concentrating on black sea bass, there isn’t as much
attention being paid to tautog, although the latter are still hanging
around their favorite haunts and shops are selling good numbers of
crabs. No need for bait, though, with BSB as they seem to hit everything
including the kitchen sink. Bucktail jigs tipped with scented soft plastic
grubtails are an excellent choice, but you can’t beat jigging with a
selection from Hogy’s wide assortment of Inshore Jigs for a clean,
simple, and incredibly productive way to catch dinner.
I did hear that the BSB are still in deeper water and haven’t moved into
inshore spots such as the Canal markers and in tight to the Necks; in
fact, Christian Giardini at Falmouth Bait & Tackle said that last Sunday
friends of his went up into Buzzards Bay while he stayed closer to home
in the sounds and he actually found more and larger fish.

The Elizabeths Islands Fishing Report

Somebody asked me the other day about fishing the
Elizabeths and I had to admit that other than Woods Hole, I didn’t hear
much since so many boats have been concentrating on the shoals that
have really lit up.
I did fish the Hole with Bob Lewis on Monday with his daughter,
Caroline, and her boyfriend Colin and had a great topwater trip. On the
turn of the tide and the early stages of the current, there were terns
and swirling fish everywhere that were plenty happy with the Hogy
Charter Grade poppers we were using. As seems to be the case in so
many areas, most of the fish were in the just below to right at the slot
limit, with a few 30+inchers mixed in. Later in the tide, the squid

arrived, making for some great visuals, although they were a bit more
finicky on the plug and a common play as the current picks up is to
switch to vertical jigging or casting bucktails or weighted soft plastics as
the fish drop down in the water column in certain areas and/or use
structure to their advantage throughout the Hole.
As with pretty much everything in life, timing is everything and on
Wednesday I ran back across the sound after a good morning at Middle
Ground, but missed the tide for the topwater bite and the Hole looked
dead. We managed to get a few slaps at our poppers, but none of the
aggressive, hellbent activity we had on Monday.

Capt. Dave’s 5/19/22 Cape Cod Fishing Report: Buzzards’ Bay + Elizabeth Islands

Backwater Stripers

Don’t overlook the backwaters here on Cape Cod!


Buzzards Bay Fishing Report

I spoke to Phil Stanton, a reliable source of info who
typically fishes Woods Hole and the Elizabeths on a daily basis, but his

excitement this week was over what he called the best early season
striper fishing in B-Bay that he has experienced in over 30-years. From
the Weepeckets to the waters on the bay side entrance to the Hole, he
has been enjoying two to three hour trips where folks have been
catching bass one after another. Phil is a big fan of what he calls a
“clown” colored plastic Finnish style minnow swimmer, while others
refer to this pattern as “Wonderbread” or Mother of Pearl, although
the latter is a bit different, but still features splotches of “faded” pink,
yellow, and blue. They also been using bucktail or soft plastic jigs, with
the latter often tipped with a teaser such as a pork rind.
There have been a good number of slot sized fish amongst the
schoolies, but Phil and his guests also caught a couple of bass in the 20-
pound class yesterday.
This spring run is typically driven by concentrations of squid and Phil
added that there have been bass feeding on this food source off the
beaches between West Falmouth and Bourne; in fact, Rich Caruso told
me of a big fish that was caught by a friend off the Black Beach area.
This was a boat fish, but shore anglers who are diligent – and a bit
determined and secretive – have been known to take advantage of the
fewer folks who are determined to protect every piece of shore
property in their area.
Some bigger bass are also being caught amongst all of the schoolies
that can be found in the Cape backwaters that empty into the bay, as
well as the protected waters from Wareham over to Dartmouth. Bass
up to the 40+-inch class are being reported for boat anglers who prefer
the open waters of Buzzards Bay; at times, these fish are following
schools of pogies, but there are also pieces of rocky structure that hold
big bass this time of year. Flyrodders using big pogy/herring patterns or
even oversized Gurglers or poppers get into the action along with spin
or conventional anglers who used big soft plastics, both weighted and
I couldn’t tell you how long folks have been tossing big walk-the-dog
plugs in some inshore locations, but it has become kind of an obsession

from what I can gather. Many lure companies, including Hogy with their
Dog Walker series, make this style of plug and at times the fish can
seem totally locked into one particular model. It could be the
movement of one lure brand or even the sound of the internal weights
that almost all of this plug style feature, but the one constant is the
effectiveness of one color: bone or off white.
No matter your favorite, please replace treble hooks with singles,
especially in line, or limit your rigging to one treble.

Tautog Fishing:

The tautog bite remains solid in the bay, and while many folks associate
this fishery with boats, the reality is that shore folks also manage to
catch their share of tog – or blackfish as they are often called in the
waters from Rhode Island west and south. Green crabs are associated
with togging like – well, you name anything where two items
traditionally go hand and hand. I have heard of some people gathering
fiddler crabs or potting their own green crabs as opposed to buying
them from local tackle shops. That may be, but unless you have the
time, knowledge and techniques down for gathering them on a
consistent basis, letting someone else put in the leg work so you can
pick up a quart or two is a smart play.Tautog are as structure oriented a fish as you can imagine and for the
last decade or so – or at least as far as my failing memory can recall –
many tackle makers have been touting the efficacy of their line of tog
jigs. Fetching up in the sticky environs that these fish love has always
been an annoyance when using traditional tautog rigs, but the unique
design of a good tog jig will help you limit this frustration – but
remember that you still have to tip any one of these leadheads with
some portion of a crab.

Scup Fishing:

The scup bite is picking up, but I haven’t heard anyone speak of the run
of monsters that takes place in May. The word is that there is no
problem catching your limit (30 fish at a 10-inch minimum if you are
fishing from a private boat, but you can bump the bag limit to 50 from a
head or party boat).

Black Sea Bass Fishing:

Of all the inshore groundfish species, however, nothing seems to get
folks jazzed up like black sea bass and the recreational season opens
this Saturday, May 21. This year, the daily recreational limit is four fish
per person with a minimum length of 16-inches – and that number
does not include the long tail filament this species is known for.
Some anglers continue to use bait when fishing for sea bass, but
experience has shown that nothing is more effective than jigs at
targeting the big males, which feature a characteristic bump on their
heads and a dazzling blue or purple coloration during spawning season.
You can add some natural or artificial bait to the jig’s hook and many
sharpies include “feathers” or hooks dressed with nylon crinkle hair and
flash material above the main attraction on their rigs.
Heck, BSB are so accommodating that I have been fooled into believing
I was casting at surface feeding bluefish only to have them hit my
surface plugs. There are also too many examples of folks trolling for
bass and blues, only to have sea bass hit their spoons or plugs. And over
the last decade or so, the biggest BSB I catch each season have been
taken on live eels whose intended targets were big stripers along the Elizabeths.


The Elizabeths Islands Fishing Report

After writing last week about the cold, lifeless water in the Hole, I knew someone was probably going to catch
fish on the next tide and sure enough that was the case as I received
pictorial confirmation of stripers thereabouts.
These early season fish most often target squid around the ledges and
rips that the Hole is famous for, making for some great topwater action
with plugs such as the Hogy Charter Grade poppers, especially in the
clear amber or Albie Crack – or as I call it, yellow.
And although I know that Capt. Mike created his original 7 and 10-inch
soft plastics with versatility in mind and the ability to catch fish in
numerous environs, I still like to imagine that he had the squid run bass
in mind when he created these pink, bone, and amber staples that I
would never be without. Swinging one of these into the face of a rip

and watching a number of bass charge after it to see which one can be
hooked first is one of my favorite visuals ever in fishing.

Capt. Dave’s May 13th, 2022 Cape Cod Fishing Report: Buzzards’ Bay + Elizabeth Islands


Fish are moving in daily! A search won’t take you long to find them… But a heads up, there’s some micro silversides around, so be ready to downsize you leaders and baits to crack the code if they are cranky!

Buzzards Bay Fishing Report

This region continued to produce some good fishing
from shore this week, as much of its shoreline lies in the less of a
northeast blow. Amongst the myriad number of schoolies that continue
to provide solid action for light tackle anglers, there are also increasing
numbers slot sized bass. Many of the reports I gathered suggested that
as good as the action has been around Monument Beach, Red Brook
Harbor, Megansett, West Falmouth, and Sippewissett, the action just
might be better if you venture west of Stony Point Dike if your goal is to
find the first push of larger bass.
The bigger bass in B-Bay are apparently feeding on the schools of
pogies that can be found in pretty much any protected body of water,
including rivers, bays, and harbors.

For example, Capt. Mike offered by this report concerning Ian Conway,
“who snuck out of Sippican Harbor during a brief break in the wind
earlier this week and caught over a half dozen stripers including this
bigger schoolie in about thirty minutes, some on big plugs (Hogy Slider)
and some on a bunker fly using the fly rod.”
There is no doubt in my mind that the getting bass, especially some
with a little more length and girth on them, to whack a surface plug
can’t be beat; poppers can be used, but I suspect that many pluggers
would opt more often for the sexy walk of a big WTD style plug or a
classic wake of a properly retrieved Danny metal lip.
Another option is the use of big, eel style soft plastics; Andy Little from
The Powderhorn in Hyannis said that a couple of his friends went out
Wednesday evening as the winds died down and did very well on larger
plastics in the 10-inch range, with bone and amber very effective colors.
They caught fish well into the dark by boat, fishing mainly in the rivers
and quieter backwaters, but Wareham Bay, Marion, and Mattapoisett
all hold pieces of structure in more open water where big fish can be
targeted with big plastics as well.
Of course, the vast majority of these fish we are seeing at the moment
are migratory and they will be feeding and then moving onto what I like
to call their “resident” waters. That makes May and June good months
to seek out schools of fish in open water throughout Buzzards Bay.
Typically, these schools can be located by finding birds working over
them; over the years, I have encountered bass feeding on a variety of
small baitfish at this time of year, including sand eels and silversides,
and they can be pretty picky at times. Small soft plastics like the Hogy
Pro Tails and Slow Tails are good options, but I also like to rig small eel
style plastics on jigheads when they are on sand eels or even use Hogy
Epoxy Jigs.
The tautog bite remains strong throughout the bay, although you will
find concentrations of boats around the typical tog hotspots such as
Cleveland’s Ledge, Dry Ledge, Southwest Ledge, the old Canal markers,
and any of the necks jutting out from the Cape shoreline. Finding a

steady, reliable source of green crabs has been a challenge at times, so
it’s always a good idea to check in with your favorite shop ahead of
time to see what they have on hand before a scheduled trip.

Buzzard’s Bay Striper Fishing Tip:

As Capt. Mike points out in his video from last week, at this time of year with fish clearly on the move throughout the bay, where they were yesterday might be dead the next if you are looking for them
in open water. In this scenario, it really helps if you know that a
“partner” boat is also on the water in another location and can share
intel and save some running around in trying to locate actively feeding
fish. If that isn’t the case, take into consideration current direction and
how it will impact where fish will most likely be actively feeding.

Conservation Tip:

Using proper catch-and-release techniques will help
increase the odds of a fish’s survival and you can find materials on the
subject through the state Division of Marine Fisheries as well as
organizations such as Keep ‘Em Wet. I have become an ardent advocate
of leaving fish in the water during release and avoiding unnecessary
photos such as people sitting with a fish in their lap or hanging it from a
release tool. If you need to use the former, remember that they are
best used to control a fish in the water while removing a hook, not
yanking it into the boat. Folks who still insist on fishing plugs adorned
with multiple sets of trebles often use them for safety reasons, but by
re-rigging a plug with an inline single or even using just one set of
trebles, you will not only make it easier and less dangerous for you to
let a fish go, but the fish will thank you as well.

The Elizabeths Islands Fishing Report

This report will be short and sweet: I made my first trip
of the year yesterday with my friend Gerry Fine and we checked out
numerous locations, including Woods Hole. On the current direction
that typically brings warmer water temperatures, we couldn’t find any
location where the numbers went above 49-degrees, with no signs of
bait or bass. Hopefully, the warmer weather this weekend will help,
although the latest forecast suggests that things are going to be cloudy,
reducing the impact of warmer air temperatures.

Tog Tip:

Whether from boat or shore, a key to being a successful
tautog angler is to get your offering right onto the structure. When
working from a boat, managing to anchor over prime territory is critical
since this species does not like to roam far from its lair. I have heard of
some folks using those new (er) fangled spot lock trolling motors to
hold position as opposed to anchors. This is obviously a more expensive
technique than anchoring, but anything that would help me from
having to do with anchor lines and anchor retrieval sounds like a good
idea to me.

UPDATE: 5/11/2022

Ian Conway snuck out of Sippican Harbor during a brief break in the wind earlier this week and caught over 1/2dozen stripers including this bigger schoolie in about 30 mins, some on big plugs (Hogy Slider) and some on a bunker fly using the fly rod