Buzzards Bay Fishing Reports
REPORTS CLOSED FOR 2014. SEE YOU SPRING 2015!
10/16/14 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
The general thought among anglers is that as bass move into the east end of the Canal, many of them will eventually make it through the land cut and out into Buzzards Bay. Spots such as the Maritime Academy, Onset, Phinney’s Harbor, Red Brook Harbor, and Megansett are areas where both boaters and shore anglers can enjoy some great topwater action. Of course, the quality of the fishing and how long it lasts will be determined by how much bait any migrating bass can search out. Since most of the bait is on the small side, including peanut bunker, sand eels, and silversides, matching the hatch with small soft plastics is the way to go if you are a spin angler, with fly fishermen, in particular, really doing well on the smaller fish that predominate as the season begins to wind down.
Right now, with the larger fish holding at the east end, it’s anyone’s guess as to whether the larger body of bass will move back into Cape Cod Bay and past Provincetown and down the backside or move through the Canal and down B-Bay. If the latter occurs, then plugging and eeling around Mashnee Island, as well as any of the rocky points between Bourne and Falmouth, could be worth the effort.
Tautog fishing remains good around Cleveland Ledge, Southwest Ledge, the old Canal markers, and Bird Island; with the commercial season closed, that means that recreational folks will have a better shot at coming up with their share of white chinners.
10/09/14 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
Mike Thomas said the Monument Beach area has been holding a good number of mid-20-inch fish that are putting on early morning topwater feeds, and there have been schoolies, especially on the beginning of the east turn, from the Maritime Academy to Onset, as well as from Widow’s Cove to the end of Stony Point Dike.
The edges of the Hog Island Channel has produced some bigger bass on chunks and eels; some folks theorize that the larger bass in the Canal move through after following schools of bait to the west end and then hold from the pilings to Mashnee Island as they digest their most recent meals.
There is a huge advantage to spending significant time around the west entrance at this time of year as some schools of larger bass continue down the bay after feeding heavily as part of their migration. With schools of pogies still around Wareham and Marion, big topwater plugs, both metal-lip swimmers and poppers, are effective; one of my favorite artificials to use when working around menhaden is the Double Wide. With its extra mass and great action it perfectly resembles an injured pogy, even with limited forward movement from reeling. Just twitch it and then pick up the slack is all it takes.
Both shore and boat anglers target the rocky structure of the Cape shoreline with eels and plugs, with high tide a good time to start, especially at dawn and dusk.
A limited number of schools of albies have been reported from Bourne to West Falmouth, although they have been very particular at times, with a changeover to soft plastics from metals and other jigs often producing more action. There have also been blues in the mix, and while that can make for plenty of chopped off baits, if plastics produce even one albies, that can make it worthwhile to a funny fish angler.
There are still some schools of peanut bunker around, as well as sand eels, sea herring, and silversides.
9/26/14 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
The west entrance has had some very good schoolie activity around Onset, Monument Beach, and Stony Point Dike, particularly in the morning or evening. There are also a good number of folks drifting chunk baits from Grey Gables to the pilings and on to Hog Island and Mashnee Island, but the fishing has generally been a pick. Most boaters are counting on some schools of fish to move through the Canal and down the bay in the next several weeks.
Mike Thomas said the peanut bunker and adult pogies are thick in the rivers in Wareham, with big bluefish chowing on the big stuff behind his shop right into the night. But to begin a refrain that you will find familiar, there have been no bass on all that bait.
As far as albies go, not many boats have been getting out and it appears that most of the funny fish have moved to points west in the bay, starting with Marion and continuing on to Rhode Island.
Fluke fishing season ends next Tuesday, but not many people have been bothering with them recently. A few tog are being pulled from the structure around Bird Island, Cleveland Ledge, and Southwest Ledge, but it hasn’t been a banner season in 2014.
9/18/14 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
Buzzards Bay – I saw an incredible amount of life in the bay yesterday afternoon; from Cleveland Light and over into Wareham Bay and towards the Mashnee Flats, there have been terns and small gulls working over bait balls of bay anchovies. I am more used to seeing the rust colored bait hanging together in tight schools for protection out around Montauk and North Carolina, but they were easily located yesterday, with good-sized schools of albies ripping through them.
Although it was windy and choppy where I was, conditions I like when targeting albies, they were extremely tough to coax to the hookl. At one point, an interloper dressed as a bluefish crashed the party and when we landed it, its maw was filled with one-inch bay anchovies. We downsized and tried all kinds of colors, but could not get tight despite having the lure in the wheelhouse on many occasions.
Up around Onset and Buttermilk Bay, there are still some nice schoolies and they have been particularly enamored with Hogy Skinny’s. You can’t go wrong with bubblegum or white. And, they have been particularly active in the early morning and again at dusk.
9/12/14 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
Boaters are going with chunk baits and live eels are Stony Point, but instead of bass, they have to deal with dogfish and brown sharks, Mike Thomas said.
There are some good schools of smaller bass around Onset and Buttermilk Bay, as well as inside Monument Beach and around Wareham Bay. Some bluefish are also in the mix, as well as isolated schools of albies.
The most consistent funny fish action has been from Old Silver Beach to Quissett, with a few schools of bonito still around. Although the albie action has been fueled by the huge number of peanut bunker that are pouring out of the backwaters this year, remember that bones prefer silversides and the coloration and shape of these baitfish is significantly different from baby pogies.
The tautog bite has been slow to shape up in Buzzards Bay, with most boaters concentrating around Bird Island and Cleveland Ledge.
9/10/14 As Reported By Hogy Staff
Fall patterns beginning to emerge here with all the harbors loaded with snapper blues and a few schoolies. Occasional blitzes of small blues and small/medium stripers near Bird Island and off the end of Stoney Point Dike. Albies will be found on the Bay side of Quicks Hole.
9/4/14 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
Most casters have been focusing on albies and bonito, similar to what is happening along the southside. The best action has been reported from West Falmouth to Old Silver Beach, although some schools are also buzzing around the west entrance of the Canal. Schools of funny fish mixed in with bluefish have also been active inside Phinney’s Harbor and Red Brook Harbor.
There have been good numbers of schoolies working from first light right through dusk around Onset, Buttermilk Bay, Stony Point Dike, and Wareham Harbor, including up inside the Agawam. An early morning incoming tide is a particularly good combination, with the entrance to Onset and the weed patches between there and the Maritime Academy a great spot for flyrodders and light tackle anglers to target bass and blues, along with the occasional school of albies.
Small bluefish continue to provide a good topwater bite around Wareham, especially around Sippican Neck and Bird Island.
Occasional schools of bigger bass also begin to make their way out of the west entrance of the Canal at this time of year, making tossing a live eel around Hog Island, Mashnee Island, the pilings, and Stony Point Dike something to consider for both boaters and shore anglers. Given the amount of bait, there is always the chance of a repeat of the off-the-charts action on surface feeding cows if a large school of bait moves out the west end of the Ditch and the bass follow and stick around to feed heavily.
9/2/14 As Reported By Hogy Staff
Bonito and false albacore fishing has been GREAT the last few days with many schools of both species reported from off Old Silver to West Falmouth and even a few around the west end of the canal. Standard Issue epoxy jigs in olive (5/8 and 7/8oz size) have scored consistently but bone, green and black/silver have done some damage too. Plus, some very large stripers are hanging around Mashnee during the west tide.
8/29/14 As Reported By Hogy Staff
Still a few nice stripers to be had near the west end of the canal, probably part of the push of big fish that chased mackerel out of the canal a few days ago. Try the channel along Stoney Point Dike and near Hog Island. A few confirmed catches of bonito off West Falmouth and Quisett Harbor yesterday.
8/29/14 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
Despite rumors of a school of Spanish mackerel off West Falmouth, Capt. Warren Marshall made the run from there down to the waters off the old Cape Codder and had to go bottom fishing to catch anything at all.
Tons of bait in the area, especially what appear to be sardines or perhaps juvenile sea herring, but there aren’t any bonito or albies around to bother them. Mike Thomas said some albies have been reported down Fairhaven and New Bedford way, but they haven’t moved east to the Marion/Wareham area.
There are three to five-pound bluefish around Bird Island, the Stone estate, and Wareham Bay, but no bass to speak of.
8/21/14 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
Anglers fishing the bay should be keeping a close eye on what is going in the Canal, suggested Mike Thomas. Last weekend, a large number of mackerel moved out of the land cut and out into the west entrance, with schools of big bass on their tails, providing good action for boaters and shore anglers fishing around the Maritime Academy, Onset, and Monument Beach. At the moment, most of these stripers are down around Westport, Mike advised, but pushes through the bay should continue to occur in the coming weeks.
There are still schoolies in the coves around Onset and the west entrance, mixed in with larger bass, with some really nice topwater activity in the morning and again in the evening.
Schools of three to five-pound bluefish are thick around the Castle in Wareham and from the Mashnee Flats down to West Falmouth, but fluke and sea bass are either hard to come by or just too small to keep. On the other hand, big scup are still plentiful.
8/18/14 As Reported By Hogy Staff
Improved fluke fishing is the best news in the Bay. The canal side edge of Mashnee Flats is a good bet; drifting in 15 – 20 feet of water and bouncing a small jig sweetened with squid, fresh sand eels (if you can find them) or a mummichog will produce. Scattered schools of small bluefish will be found along the north side of the Elizabeths. Very few striper reports from this area in the last few days.
8/15/14 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
Generally pretty quiet but with good amount of small bait beginning to show in many locations keep an eye out for birds working over schoolie size bass and small bluefish. The area just outside the west end of the canal (Onset side) has had some good surface action just about every evening this week. Some of the fish are definitely bigger than schoolie size! Spanish mackerel and a few bonito were caught in the last few days in the western end of the Bay.
8/14/14 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
There has been a push of larger bass around Mashnee Island for shore and boat anglers, with live eels and chunk baits working well. The same is holding true off the end of Stony Point Dike and the entrance to Onset has been another spot to go with chunk pogies and mackerel. Live eels are hard to beat around the entrance to Buttermilk Bay and the tube-and-worm is a mainstay for trollers who work the edges of the Canal.
Schoolie action continues to be consistent from the Maritime Academy over to Onset and in many of the bays and harbors from Bourne to Falmouth; mornings have seen the best action, with a few larger fish taken at night from the beaches between West Falmouth and Sippewissett on plugs.
Fluke fishing remains very tough, with far more throwbacks than legal fish. Sea bass are also on the small side, but scup fishing remains very good. Mike Thomas also reported that the headboat the Lady K out of Onset reported catching Spanish mackerel, kingfish (a southern cousin of the whiting), and triggerfish this week.
8/11/14 As Reported By Hogy Staff
Calm seas and huge tides with the full moon make for challenging fishing here at this time. Decent surface action for schoolies and small bluefish from Stoney Point Dike to Bird Island but heavy boat traffic makes very early or sunset sight fishing the best option. Still some excellent bottom fishing for jumbo scup and the occasional legal size sea bass from Wings Neck to Quisett.
8/7/14 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
Most anglers are reporting a surprising lack of bluefish in the west entrance to the Canal and along the Cape shoreline of the bay. Larger bass have also been scarce, with a few caught on the tube-and-worm from the Maritime Academy down to Onset during the day and on live eels drifted at night.
The vast number of sizeable fluke have moved into deep water out around Cleveland Ledge, with four and five-pound fish not that uncommon. There are plenty of big scup around, to the point where some folks are calling them a nuisance, while the sea bass in the upper stretches of the bay are small.
8/6/14 As Reported By Hogy Staff
More schoolies here too. Bluefishing continues to be quite good along the north side of Naushon and the bottom fishing for scup and the occasional keeper size fluke is excellent from a half mile or so off West Falmouth all the way down to Woods Hole.
8/4/14 As Reported By Hogy Staff
The big fish in the canal have not moved all the way through and into Buzzards Bay, at least not yet. There are more schoolies in the harbors along the bay side of the Cape and a few schools of medium sized bluefish have been showing around the Weepeckets and along the north shore of Naushon. Fluke fishing in the deep water a mile or so north of the entrance to Quicks Hole has been reasonably productive.
8/1/14 As Reported By Hogy Staff
Still on the slow side for stripers, with the exception of the harbors on the north side and down to the mouth of Westport River where a few schools of menhaden are keeping the bass around. Fluke fishing on Mashnee Flats and off West Falmouth is improving but the vast majority of the fish are sub-legal size.
7/30/14 As Reported By Hogy Staff
Black sea bass can still be found in the area of Cleveland Ledge but they have moved off the ledge into adjacent deeper water, mixed with some jumbo scup. Canal action for big stripers is still spotty but improving, not only in the east end (most consistent area this season) but also in and just outside the west end. The channel edge outside the Maritime Academy is a good bet, as is the mouth of Buttermilk Bay.
7/28/14 As Reported By Hogy Staff
Some very nice stripers taken over the last few days in the east end of the canal at first light, probably part of a substantial school of fish moving in and out from Cape Cod Bay. Celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Canal over the next two days will make parking problematic anywhere near the west end. Black sea bass and jumbo scup continue to be taken at Cleveland Ledge.
7/25/14 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
While most of the larger bass in the Canal appear to have come from Cape Cod Bay originally, there are reports of big fish out around Fairhaven and Marion, where they are following the schools of pogies. Rigged eels have been working well and one that has been scraped blue after a few fish is a popular item, so take that into consideration when selecting your soft plastic colors.
There has been some good action on bass in the 30-inch class up inside Onset and from the entrance to Onset to the Maritime Academy over the grass patches, as well as the coves running down to Stony Point Dike.
There have been reports of bass pushing bait between Mashnee and Hog Island; they are mainly schoolies with an occasional larger fish caught on chunk pogies or scup. Up closer to the Maritime Academy, trolling tubes is a reliable means of picking up a bass or two along the edges of the Canal.
Fluke fishing remains good out by Cleveland Ledge; Mike Thomas weighed in one fish over seven-pounds and the same angler had two over five.
7/23/14 As Reported By Hogy Staff
Buzzards Bay/Cape Cod Canal Entrance: Some schools of big menhaden are keeping big stripers and bluefish interested in the harbors along the north shore of Buzzards Bay. East end of the canal continues to hold lots of bait with big stripers below; first light is best.
7/21/14 As Reported By Hogy Staff
Nice push of fish in the Canal in the last few days with stripers in the 20 – 30lb. class taken in the east end, probably pushed in with the northeast wind. First light is best. Lots of small bait showing in the west end with more schoolies showing every day, a few larger fish too.
7/19/14 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
Some of the best fishing for bass in the bay is happening to the west around the pogy schools from Marion to New Bedford; the snag-and-drop technique is very effective whereby you use a weighted snag hook, drag it through a school of pogies, and once you snag one, you just let it drop right there. The weight gets the pogy down to where the fish are holding and the snag hook has it struggling, making it especially vulnerable.
If you prefer to use artificial offerings, pencil poppers worked aggressively are an excellent place to start; yellow, pogy, and white are good colors. We’re talking about shaking your rod and really getting the head of the plug to walk. Next on the list of topwaters would be spook-style plugs; their walk-the-dog action comes naturally to the plug’s design and there are a number of custom plug makers who produce wooden spooks that have a nice big profile similar to a struggling pogy.
In fact, there are a number of successful fly fishing guides who use hookless, spook style musky plugs to tease up big bass both around schools of pogies and rocky structure such as boulder fields and reefs. From there, it’s up to the flyrodder to put the bug in the wheelhouse and give it life – or the illusion of a baitfish struggling to stay alive, to be more accurate.
Early morning, well before first light is definitely critical at this time of year as the water is warmer and the bass tend to laze in deeper, cooler water once the sun is well up. For that reason, folks have been doing OK jigging wire on the edges of dropoffs, such as along the edges of the Canal and south of Bird Island.
Folks livelining scup and pogies in deeper water have still been picking at some bass between Hog and Mashnee Islands and in the deeper water off of Wing’s Neck, Scraggy Neck, and Nye’s Neck, but those that are successful are using three weigh rigs with sufficient weight to get their baits down on top of the fish since the bass are less likely to make the effort to move up to the surface to grab even the most tasty treat. For folks who are not interested in using a cast net to get pogies or looking for scup, they can use eels, but once again getting them deep has been key.
That said, anglers who target high water around the rocky Cape shoreline when the sun is down increase their odds of catching bass with live or whole, fresh dead bait; big wooden swimmers such as Danny’s, pikies, and Atom-styles also work well when they are put right into and around the edges of the rocks, but remember to adjust the speed of your retrieve to keep the plug from getting hung up.
Black, Blamber, and other darker colored Hogy’s are a great alternative to plugs and you can swim them really easily around rocks and boulders in surprisingly shallow water. Experiment with retrieve speed, from slower than slow, to a twitch-and-tumble, and even a fast, straight approach.
There are still good numbers of smaller fish inside the coves from Stony Point Dike up to the entrance to Onset; concentrate on weed patches, as well as where they transition to light bottom. Small soft plastics, Zara Spooks and other small spook style plugs, the smallest of pencil poppers and cup mouthed poppers, and flies that feature feathers that undulate in the current work really well. Many of these coves feature rocky structure in shallow water and harbor larger bass than you would imagine.
7/19/14 As Reported By Captain Nat Chalkley of Get The Net Charters
Some nice bass taken along the Elizabeth Islands. SI perftect tubes and pogies are the top baits. Here’s a few nice fish from last 24 hrs. Nice job Nat!
7/17/14 As Reported By Hogy Staff
A few schools of menhaden moving toward the west end of the Canal with big bass in pursuit but overall the striper bite in the Bay continues to be slow. Good fluking along the edges of Mashnee Flats.
7/15/14 As Reported By Hogy Staff
Good bottom fishing for fluke, sea bass, scup and tautog continues from Cleveland Ledge to Scraggy Neck. Best striper fishing is from the mouth of the Westport River to Marion with a few big schools of menhaden in the north side harbors – big stripers beneath, also some large blues. West end of the Canal still slow but good numbers of schoolies at the mouth of Buttermilk Bay.
7/11/14 As Reported By Hogy Staff
Still on the slow side but a few big bass taken in recent days in both Robinson’s and Quicks Holes on chunk baits fished deep. Very good black sea bass fishing continues off Scraggy Neck and some good sized fluke taken on the Canal channel side of Mashnee Flats.
7/11/14 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
The best news in the bay concerns the improving fluke fishing; with the winds howling earlier this week, most boaters stayed inside and found some nice fish on the Mashnee Flats, along Stony Point Dike, and up around Onset.
The sea bass fishing is definitely on the wane, but the scup bite remains strong, albeit with the average smaller than earlier in the season. Some of the best sea bass fishing has been south of Bird Island and in the deeper water down towards Marion and Mattapoisett.
The bluefish bite remains slower than usual, with some small schools outside of Phinney’s Harbor and Wood End Beach; they aren’t there consistently, but it seems that incoming water early in the morning has been best.
Shore anglers have been struggling to catch anything other than very small schoolies, and on some days, they’re lucky to find even those. As is the case with boat anglers, who are doing best fishing bait, such as drifting scup around the west entrance to the Canal, including the Hog Island and Mashnee Island stretch; chunking pogies outside of Onset; and tossing live pogies and eels into the rocks from Wing’s Neck to Quissett, shore anglers would do well to consider using eels or chunk pogies/mackerel at night.
7/5/14 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
The word from Mike Thomas is that there are good numbers of bluefish from Stony Point Dike over to the castle in Wareham; Marion and Mattapoisett are filled with pogies and blues are right on their tails –literally, Mike said he got a load of fresh pogies from his friend and they were all missing all or parts of their caudal fins.
Bass fishing is slow, with the most success for anglers trolling the tube-and-worm or jigging wire (based on the depth of water they are fishing) on the edges of the Canal; be advised that fishing in the Canal (inside the buoys) is prohibited and authorities do enforce these regulations around the west entrance to the land cut. Spots to try include up by the Maritime Academy, along the dolphins, from Hog Island to Mashnee Island and from Phinney’s Harbor over to Wing’s Neck.
Livelining scup is still working, but it hasn’t been producing the number and quality of fish it has in past years, but the edges of Mashnee Island and the corner into Phinney’s Harbor have been holding fish on the incoming tide.
Early, early morning and night tides have been best around the rocks, with eels, large soft plastics, and metal-lipped swimming plugs working well.
Casters and fly anglers have been finding good numbers of schoolies in the early mornings along Stony Point Dike up through Onset; there is certainly no lack of bait, most of it on the small side. Sand eels, silversides, and what some folks are calling small sea herring.
Sea bass fishing is starting to slow as the larger fish move into deeper water, but fluke fishing is improving in the triangle from the end of Stony Point Dike over to Bird Island and out to Cleveland Ledge. There has been some good fishing also reported inside Phinney’s Harbor and the deeper water surrounding the Mashnee Flats; unfortunately, some of the best areas fall inside the Canal.
6/27/14 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
Although there are good numbers of pogies around Wareham, Mattapoisett, and Marion, the word from Mike Thomas is that bass mainly in the mid-20-inch class are harassing them. There are still schoolies up inside Onset and around the Maritime Academy, especially during early incoming tides.
One technique that continues to work is pitching live pogies in among the rocks around Wing’s Neck and Scraggy Neck; a 30-pounder was taken on a live eel this week at the former location.
The key word is inconsistency in the stretch from Hog Island to Mashnee Island; some excellent tides that should see fish have been absolutely devoid of activity in the upper water column. The key is to get down where the bass are holding; boaters jigging wire have been doing better than even those livelining scup, a proven winner in past years.
Around Bird Island, the sea bass fishing is still solid, with some of the best action for anglers employing an unusual twist; trolling Rat-L-Traps and other small swimming plugs in about 20 feet of water. There are also good numbers of scup being caught and fluke fishing is picking up in the deep holes between Stony Point Dike and Bird Island.
6/19/14 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
Schools of pogies are still available from Wareham to Marion and folks who are netting them are still catching some big bass by casting these baitfish right into the rocks; Wing’s Neck has been one spot mentioned that has been fishing well, but in reality pogies would be a good choice if live bait is how you to prefer to fish anywhere along the rocky shoreline of Buzzards Bay, including the entrances to Phinney’s Harbor and West Falmouth Harbor, as well as inside Red Brook Harbor.
Livelining pogies produces plenty of fish, but requires the find them and then throw a cast net to procure them; for that reason, more anglers are going with drifting chunks of pogies, especially in areas such as the Onset Rip that have quite a bit of current or along Mashnee and Hog Islands. Live scup are easier to find and catch that pogies and work particularly well at this time of year.
Plugs and soft plastics have been working in similar areas, but generally on smaller bass.
Shore anglers have been finding some impressive bass inside the many harbors in the area, particularly after dark; first light has also been productive, but once the world wakes up and boat traffic begins, the fish have become tough to locate and convince to eat.
Bluefish have also started to show around upper Buzzards Bay, especially around Wareham.
The sea bass bite continues to be solid around Wing’s Neck, Southwest Ledge, and Cleveland Ledge, with big scup still around as well.
6/13/14 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
Mike Thomas reported that a school of bass moved through the west entrance to the Canal and into the land cut; they were chasing small (about five inches) tinker mackerel and eventually made their way back out. Although they were generally smaller fish, there were some bigger ones up to the 37-38-inch range taken on jigs. This has been the pattern in this section of the west entrance as schools of fish will pop up here and there, but it hasn’t been consistent and timing has been everything. There are good numbers of schoolies hanging out in all of the coves in the area, but some larger fish have been caught as well on stickbaits, soft plastics, and flies.
Folks who have been able to get live pogies and toss them into the rocks from Wing’s Neck to Scraggy Neck have been catching some really nice bass; as an alternative, 14-inch Hogy’s have also been working. Livelining scup is another productive technique employed by boat regulars fishing the Onset Rip and around Mashnee and Hog Islands.
Inside most of the harbors that dot the Cape Buzzards Bay shoreline, there have been good numbers of schoolies around, but I received a report from an angler who happened up a school of big bass around Pocasset that were just finning around and wouldn’t eat. Sometimes racing a big Hogy on the outside of the school will draw a reaction strike in these situations.
The rivers in Wareham have pretty much dried up when it comes to bass, although there are some schools of bluefish showing in Wareham Bay.
There are still some weakfish being caught from Marion out to Cleveland Ledge and the sea bass bite continues to be solid, with greater numbers of large fish than they are seeing in the sounds.
6/5/14 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
I received an interesting report on Wednesday afternoon that the Lady K, a head boat out of Onset, ran into a school of weakfish, many of them in the seven to nine-pound range. There have been scattered reports of squeteague from Popponesset and other southside locales, but not as many as last year. This is the first really good report, with these fish most likely caught on squid. If you are targeting them inshore, consider casting bubblegum soft plastics as your top technique.
There are bass being caught around the west entrance; I know of one 34-inch fish caught on an early morning tide in one of the many coves that dot the shoreline from Wareham to Onset and there have been good numbers of small fish as well. The Weweantic continues to produce legal bass for casters and folks trolling the tube-and-worm.
A body of larger bass is holding in western Buzzards Bay from Marion on over to Westport as they are feeding on schools of pogies and have no reason to leave this abundant source of bait. Thirty-pound fish aren’t uncommon on artificial offerings, even with the real thing around.
The black sea bass fishing has picked up recently, with quality fish finally moving into the waters around Bird Island, Cleveland Ledge, and Southwest Ledge.
5/30/14 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
As I suggested last week, there were some big bass taken around the west entrance to the Canal, including a 45-pounder. Live scup usually produce some of these fish and there are reports of pogies in and around Monument Beach and Red Brook Harbor that have been successfully livelined in the rocky shoreline of the necks in the upper bay.
Shore and boat anglers also caught some bigger fish on topwater plugs and Hogy’s, particularly bubblegum ones, both inside Phinney’s Harbor around the Old Canal and on other side of the dike around Mashnee and Hog Islands.
The bass bite also remains strong up inside Buttermilk Bay and Onset, with some larger fish in the 30+-inch class starting to move in to join the innumerable schoolies in the area. Matching silversides, mummichogs, and sand eels is key when selecting your soft plastic or fly, with stickbaits such as Rapala Skitterwalks, Rebel Jumpin’ Minnows, Heddon Zara Spooks, and MirrOlures good choices along with more traditional smaller pencil poppers.
The Agawam and Weweantic Rivers over in Wareham are also still fishing well, with good topwater bites experienced as far up as the Narrows over the holiday weekend. The latter is also a popular spot for trolling the tube-and-worm.
There has finally been some topwater activity out in the bay, with terns working over smaller fish from West Falmouth to Quissett; there are bigger bass deeper in the water column as proven by the pair of 40-inch bass that a local picked up jigging wire in an area where he found some birds working.
Scup fishing remains incredibly good with sea bass slower than it is in the sounds, but still quite good. Some fluke are also being caught, especially in the deeper holes between Stony Point Dike and Bird Island.
5/22/14 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
The best fishing in the bay remains for scup, sea bass, and tautog; the scup in particular are running huge, with a 21-inch fish that was just shy of five pounds weighed in this week. One of the challenges in fishing for sea bass is getting through all of the scup. The tautog bite has picked up around Cleveland Ledge and Bird Island, while shore anglers are picking up good numbers of fish up around the Wareham Narrows, including several over the 16-inch limit.
Shore anglers continue to produce bass in greater numbers than boaters, mainly because there are more of them in action than folks in stinkpots. Buttermilk Bay continues to fish well, with flyrodders using a variety of small baitfish patterns in olive/white or yellow/white while spin anglers have been successful with small soft plastics. Topwater walk-the-dog plugs such as the Rebel Jumpin’ Minnow are effective, but they also do plenty of damage to small fish with their multiple trebles.
There is a lot of squid up inside Onset and while many anglers are loading up on them for bait or food, other folks see their presence as an attraction for bass and are fishing pink or bone soft plastics, even at night.
I wouldn’t be surprised if some big fish are taken by anglers working the shoreline between Hogy Island and Mashnee Island at night this weekend; that said, everything seems to be about a week to ten days behind schedule. With good early morning tides moving up the bay and into the Canal, there is a very good chance that schools of bass will either move into this area to stage or the fish that have already done so will move into the Canal to get in on all the bait there.
Boaters are awaiting the first real push of bass through the bay; there is plenty of bait in the form of sand eels, silversides, and herring, but for some reason any fish that are out in the bay have been sulking in the depths. Anglers trolling plugs, particularly lipless designs that run shallower, have taken a few bass and they are focusing around rocky shoreline structure. The one thing for sure is that this spring has been tough so far and has separated the men from the boys as the easy fishing with birds giving away the presence of big schools of surface feeding bass just hasn’t happened.
In many cases, that means targeting rocky shoreline structure from Wing’s Neck down to Quissett, where methodically working these areas with Hogy’s or topwater plugs is often a productive technique. Keep in mind which way the current is running and make your casts into areas where fish will use the structure to provide an ambush point and don’t be in a hurry to rip your lure away from the rocks. For that reason, soft plastics are an excellent choice because they can be dead drifted and retain a fish attracting motion, with an occasional twitch added in.
Fishing for big scup remains excellent and sea bass fishing is picking up as well; there are still good numbers of tautog being caught from boat and shore, with the Wareham Narrows a good spot for the latter.
5/16/14 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
If you are looking for boat action on striped bass out in the bay proper, the reports have been disappointing with no real surface activity to speak of and just a few fish taken out around Bird Island by an angler trolling Magic Swimmers.
The level of activity in the rivers, harbors, and bays, however, has been another story. While they aren’t monsters, some bass in the 30-inch class have been caught in the Agawam and Weweantic Rivers on plugs, jigs, and plastics, with plenty of schoolies mixed in. Onset and Buttermilk Bay have also had reliable reports on schoolie activity with fish up to about 26-inches caught on the fly.
A worm hatch was reported in West Falmouth and this area has had some good fishing overall. As with many areas right now, consistency from day-to-day seems to be the issue with a warm, sunny day here and there mixed in with cloudy, overcast conditions and winds out of an easterly quadrant.
The best news concerning the bay has been the outstanding monster scup fishing and the improving tautog bite. There have been plenty of tautog taken between Mashnee Island and Wing’s Neck, as opposed to the usual hotspots more to the west. They are also being caught by shore anglers in the Narrows in Wareham and the ratio of legal fish (16-inches or above) has been pretty good, with boaters catching a number of five to eight-pound fish.
An 18.25-inch, 4.2-pound scup was weighed in at M & D’s in Wareham and the captain of the Neat Lady out of Onset has been reporting that schools of scup have been racing here and there, pursued by large fish, big bass perhaps, that are registering as huge marks on his sonar.
Black sea bass fishing opens up on May 17 and the recreational limit is eight fish at a minimum of 14-inches per fish.
10/10/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
Almost like a mirror image from this spring, weakfish have showed up in decent numbers in stretches of the lower bay. There were reports of schools of pogies out in the bay from North Falmouth to Sippewissett and one would have expected there to be bass and blues, as well as weakfish, under them, but the folks who caught the squeteague reported they were not working the schools of menhaden.
Tautog fishing remains OK out around Bird Island and around dropoffs and edges from Stony Point Dike down to Cleveland Ledge, but it really hasn’t turned on in a big way, as the fish have been tough to locate. There are still some sea bass in the mix as well, but the smaller bait stealers have been a nuisance for anglers looking for bigger tog.
Bass fishing remains slow from the west entrance all the way to outside Woods Hole for boaters, with a few bluefish reported up towards Wareham and moving west. Your best bet to catch a larger fish would be to fish chunk pogies and/or keep your ears tuned into what is going on at the west end of the Canal as the fish move out into open water, perhaps providing an opportunity fishery that can vanish in a tide or two, never mind a day or two.
In years past, it was not uncommon to run into good numbers of schoolies inside protected waters such as Phinney’s Harbor, Red Brook Harbor, Megansett, or West Falmouth Harbor, but that kind of activity is predicated on whether these areas are holding bait. The entrance to Buttermilk Bay and Onset also hold some late season schoolie activity.
10/3/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
The disappointing fall continues in upper Buzzards Bay, with most of the larger bass already picked through. Anglers looking for bigger fish have been focusing on chunking pogies, if they can get them, with a few folks still livelining scup or trolling the tube-and-worm. It pays to concentrate on the edges of the Canal closer to the Maritime Academy in hopes of picking up some of the fish leaving the land cut and it isn’t uncommon to encounter topwater action in the early morning around Onset, Widow’s Cove, and towards Mashnee Island, as well as any of the necks down to West Falmouth. Phinney’s Harbor is another great fall spot, with schools of bait producing both at first light and at dusk. And if you’re a boater, there is nothing like a daytime cruise along the shoreline in October as you just may encounter a blitz of fish that will provide memories to get you through a long winter.
Sea bass fishing has definitely slowed for larger fish, with more tautog in the mix from the end of Stony Point Dike down to Cleveland Ledge. There are still pockets of large scup, but generally the average size is much smaller.
9/25/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
There hasn’t been as much to report about the bay as Mike Thomas had expected with the larger schools of bass that were in the Canal and moved through with the last set of good tides just haven’t been around the west entrance and beyond. Mike suspects that those bass have moved on down to the Elizabeths and should be providing better action around Nashawena and Cuttyhunk. Livelining scup and trolling tubes is your best bet around Hog Island and Mashnee Island at this time of year, with eels and big wooden swimming plugs effective at night.
Good numbers of schoolies continue to provide solid action for flyrodders and light tackle anglers around the entrance to Buttermilk Bay, inside Onset, and the coves from the entrance to Onset on down along Stony Point Dike. Phinney’s Harbor is another good small fish spot, as well as inside Red Brook Harbor and West Falmouth. Anglers who consistently plug or throw large Hogy’s into the rocks at Wing’s Neck, Scraggy Neck, and Nye’s Neck.
Sea bass are running on the small side, with larger fish moving into deeper water, while tautog fishing is improving daily.
9/19/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
There are some stripers being caught in Buzzards Bay, but Mike Thomas said it hasn’t turned on like he expected with so many good fish in the Canal that start to move through the land cut and out into the bay as part of their migration to the south. What has been working is jigging along the edges of the Canal around the west entrance, particularly from Hog Island to Mashnee Island and from Stony Point Dike on out.
Steve Drake called and told me that he and his wife did pretty well last weekend drifting scup through their favorite west entrance holes; they also caught some really nice sea bass as well as what sounds like some whiting and banded rudderfish. There are also some jacks being caught throughout the bay.
Up inside Onset and over around Buttermilk Bay, there are good numbers of schoolie bass that are feeding on small bait such as silversides and baby herring. This is a great time to be a shore fisherman in Buzzards Bay as there is always the chance to get into some big bass that move into the harbors and bays to chow down before moving on.
Tautog fishing is really picking up, but you will have to cull through plenty of small sea bass to come up with your bag limit of legal fish.
It is getting pretty late and the water temperatures are dropping, but folks are still hoping to get some albie action; so far, there have been no confirmed catches of them.
9/12/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
It’s the same story as last week: small scup and sea bass, with folks hoping that bigger bass moving through the Canal will stop and feed out in the bay before moving south. There are some tautog showing up as well, but that is just starting as the water cools.
I got a funny report from Mark Tenerowicz, who has fished Hogy’s with me for years and done very well. He was trolling plastics around Megansett and Squeteague Harbor from his kayak and had some massive blow-ups on them, as well as plenty of havoc wreaked by snapper bluefish. He sent me a photo of the carnage that just cracked me up.
The next day, Mark went over into Monument Beach and trolled Hogy’s in among the rocks and found some willing schoolies. Although I prefer to cast them among the boulders and white water, both techniques have proven very effective on incoming water when combined with the hours from dusk to dawn.
9/4/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
More large bass are starting to be taken along the edges of the Canal as fish are moving through the land cut and taking tubes, Hootchies, and umbrella rigs. One shop reported selling out of all their Hootchies with fish generally in 25 to 30-feet of water, making lead core a necessity to get down to where they are holding.
Folks chunking pogies are doing OK around the Onset rip, while the holes between Mashnee and Hog Islands are producing fish in the 20-pound class for folks drifting scup and eels.
Early mornings and nights should also see more sizeable bass taking plugs, eels, and soft plastics anywhere from Hog Island to Mashnee, with plenty of schoolies being caught up inside Onset, Buttermilk Bay, and the grass patches from the Maritime Academy down towards Widow’s Cove. Small soft plastics work well for spin anglers while silverside and sand eel patterns are tops for flyrodders.
Mike Thomas reported that there are still a ton of sea bass around, but the ratio of throwbacks to legal fish is about 10 to 1, with a few tautog also being caught. Cleveland Ledge continues to be a good spot to bottom fish.
The last anyone heard of bonito or albies was about two weeks ago anywhere in the bay and folks are beginning to wonder if they are going to show this season in any appreciable numbers. Andy Little did hear of some albies down Rhode Island way so there is still hope.
8/28/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
With a school of bass apparently having moving through the Canal from east to west last weekend and out into the bay, it should be interesting to see if the activity picks up on bass this weekend. A couple of years ago, there was great fishing in the west entrance from Hog to Mashnee Islands during and just after Labor Day weekend, some of the best I have ever experienced, and they were all over 10-inch Original Hogy’s, particularly the bone and bubblegum colors. They also took topwater plugs willingly and they were feeding on young-of-the-year herring, from what I would guess, but there also might have been some schools of pogies in the mix. There has been talk that the fall run has already started, and if that is the case, the key will be whether there is enough bait to hold the bass around; otherwise, they could be gone in a tide or two.
Fluke fishing remains solid from the Stone Castle out to Bird Island and Cleveland Ledge, with snapper blues accounting for limits of three to four-pound fish, with the occasional doormat to seven or eight-pounds. There are a ton of 10-inch black sea bass as well, but there are enough over the 12-inch commercial limit so that those folks are limiting out each day and reports have recreational anglers doing equally well on fish above their 14-inch limit.
There are still good numbers of schoolies up in Bourne and on the flats outside of Onset up to the Maritime Academy, but they concentrate on small bait, making them perfect targets for smaller soft plastics and flies.
Rumors still have a few albies seen around the west entrance, but the next week or so should tell the story of whether the season shapes up as a good one. It is common to cruise from Red Brook Harbor down to Old Silver Beach and West Falmouth along the shoreline, but some years have seen the fish stay out around Cleveland Ledge in deeper water.
8/21/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
There have been no reports of albies or bonito, despite a good amount of small bait, including silversides, mummichogs, and sand eels.
On the other hand, there has been some fairly consistent schoolie activity early mornings and nights for flyrodders and light tackle anglers using small soft plastics, such as the Hogy Skinny Series and Sand Eels. Any combination of high water and low light is the way to go, with some of the best locations such as any of the necks (Wing’s, Scraggy, and Nye’s) only available to residents from shore and by boat. These are mainly resident fish at this time of year, so after catching a fish or two the action will die off. Topwater plugs also work well, especially more subtle stickbaits.
Around Wareham, especially around the Stone Castle and Bird Island, there are fluke in the three to five-pound class that are taking livelined snapper bluefish, while anglers fishing the Mashnee Flats with squid are catching mainly sublegal fish.
8/15/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
With albies reported over in Rhode Island, it was no surprise that I received info about slashing fish at the west entrance to the Canal. There is plenty of bait and the timing is right for them to show anywhere from the Maritime Academy all the way down West Falmouth. Last year was subpar as the algae bloom in the bay, also called “rust stain” because of the color it turns the water, pretty much sucked out the life on the Cape side. It was almost as if an invisible line was drawn dividing Buzzards into two sectors, with the funny fish refusing to cross it. Two seasons was one of the best ever, with huge schools working from inside Wareham Bay and out to Cleveland Ledge, so that’s one stretch I would look closely at as west/northwest winds hopefully push the bait and speedsters this way.
Anglers trolling the tube-and-worm from the Maritime Academy over to Onset have been catching fish, but they’re mainly schoolies in the mid-20-inch class; you have to work extra hard to pick up larger bass, with 15 to 20-pounds about the largest reported recently.
There are holes around Mashnee and Hog Islands where folks are livelining scup and still picking up larger bass, but these spots are tide dependent and they have been anything but reliable. The key is getting your bait right down on the fish because they won’t move any appreciable distance to eat.
Sea bass fishing is very slow when it comes to sizeable fish and the fluke bite has quieted down as well. I did get a report from Paul Neri of sizeable fluke chasing snapper blues on the surface, so that once again is an indication of how effective they can be livelined for doormats.
8/8/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
The cool evenings this week have dropped the water temperatures a bit, resulting in a slowing of the fluke bite as the fish have moved from their usual haunts and are more difficult to locate. It may be that they have vacated the 20 to 25-foot edge that had been productive around Cleveland Ledge and moved to find water that is more to their liking or perhaps the bait has moved.
A pretty good sign of the quality of the scup and sea bass bite is that the skipper and owner of the Onset Chief, a local headboat, has been making the long run down towards Menemsha and Gay Head to find better numbers of quality fish for his clients. With the price of gas, I’m sure he would rather stick around closer to home, but he is doing what he has to.
If any anglers are catching appreciable numbers of bass, they are keeping it quiet. The usual drifts and haunts, such as the Onset rip; Hog Island to Mashnee Island; from the Maritime Academy ship to the entrance to Onset; and the pilings have been quiet for the most part, whether one is using the tube-and-worm or chunk baits such as mackerel and fresh pogies, if you can get them.
8/1/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
Fluke fishing is solid in Buzzards Bay if you are targeting deeper water, especially around Cleveland Ledge in 20 to 25-feet of water. Squid is your typical fluke bait, but if you can get sand eels or mummichogs (chubs), with the latter often combined with a squid strip, then you will have even more consistent action. Livelining snapper blues is also a good way to target doormats, or really big fluke.
Other than schoolies, there aren’t that many bass being caught in the upper reaches of the bay. Woods Hole is filled with schoolies and snapper blues, with folks fishing at night with live scup or eels scratching up a larger bass of two. Trollers have turned from jigging to tube-and-worm fishing, but fishing the main channel is limited to early mornings or late at night due to the summer boat traffic.
The bass bite for folks livelining scup in Quick’s picked up a bit this week, with anglers who depend on fresh pogies for chunking pretty much out of luck as the bait guys who cast net them have found it very difficult to locate them in deeper water and then get a net on them. Tossing live eels around the islands has been most successful in the dark, with larger concentrations of fish down from Quick’s to Cuttyhunk.
7/25/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
Buzzards has been pretty slow for stripers lately; most folks believe it is a lack of bait, both large and small that has things pretty quiet. Mike Thomas told me that the bait man who gets pogies for him has been having difficulty locating them since they are in deep water. That suggests folks who are willing to troll wire or vertical jig would have the best chance of success out around Cleveland Ledge or other areas with structure that are holding scup, since this is a bait that bass seek out when there is little else to feed on.
That said, there are anglers who target near shore structure early and late such as the Wing’s Neck, Scraggy Neck, Nye’s Neck, and West Falmouth area. Live eels are a good choice, but success can be had with topwater plugs such as spooks, surface swimmers including Danny’s and Pikie’s, and soft plastics thrown right in among the rocks.
Bluefish of any size have been tough to target around the Cape side of the bay, but there are some around Bird Island and over towards Marion and Sippican Neck; topwater plugs are the best way to locate any fish.
Fluke fishing is on the upswing, but you are going to have to target deep water, including around Cleveland Ledge, if you want to find legal sized summer flatties. A bucktail jig tipped with squid or scented soft plastics for weight with a bait such as a squid strip, mummichog, or another scented soft plastic presented above the jig off a dropper loop can be productive. Think outside the box for baits as well, with livelining snapper blues or using a fresh pogy fillet another trick when targeting doormats.
Black sea bass have moved into deeper water and are being caught by fluke anglers, with scup just about everywhere and they just love to chow on big squid strips intended for fluke and sea bass, making for another good reason to try an alternative bait.
7/18/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/
It’s a tale of two ends of the bay as the bass fishing at the west entrance of the Canal has gone quiet. Tube-and-worm anglers typically do well at this point of the summer working from the Maritime Academy ship down to the Onset Rip and from the pilings through Mashnee Island and around the corner into Monument Beach, but the water is so warm right now that things are very slow. Even anglers fishing pogies have found things tough.
On the other hand, Mike Thomas reported weighing in more 50-pound fish over the last several days than he normally does all season, with at least one coming from the Elizabeth Islands for an angler who fishes pogies throughout the day. He had 14 fish on one day over the commercial size limit of 34-inches.
While pogies are the choice on the bay side of the islands and inside Quick’s Hole, live eels in the wee hours of the morning have produced quality fish on the Vineyard Sound side.
The sweltering heat might be a negative if you are stuck on land, but it and the concurrent humidity often produce foggy conditions that trigger significant feeding activity in the low light and visibility. Fishing in the heavy fog last Sunday morning, Justin Roy and friend managed 30 nice stripers tossing big spook-style plugs around Cuttyhunk.
Fluke fishing is definitely on the upswing from Stony Point Dike out to Cleveland Ledge, with a a number of four to five pounders in the mix. Squid strips fished on rigs featuring assortments of beads, blades, and teasers/feathers are productive, but dead sticking a jig tipped with a long squid strip or even a pogy fillet will often account for the largest fish of the day.
Sea bass have moved into deeper, cooler water, but there are still plenty of scup around, to the point where anglers seeking other bottom species are calling them nuisances.
The lack of bluefish in upper Buzzards Bay, in particular, and throughout the bay is an interesting development, with one possible explanation being that a lack of bait this spring caused the choppers to move on to northern climes.