Put whatever you have heard about the bay and all the recremercials catching their limit into your fiction box; Mike Thomas from M & D’s in Wareham said that probably one in 50 of them are catching their 15 fish. The rest are picking at fish, with most in the low 20-pound class, with the largest fish Mike heard of this week tipping the scales at just over 38-pounds. Going through seven to eight pounds of eels a night isn’t uncommon, Mike added, as you have to pick through plenty of small bass; that can’t be good news because that probably means more gut-hooked, dead fish. Mike also explained that most folks are switching from eels to tubes when the fish stop taking snakes and then switch back again when the tube action drops off.
Jeff Miller at Canal Bait & Tackle in Sagamore advised that if you are fishing tubes that you carry a good assortment of tubes; at the moment, mustard honey and orange appear to be working best, so if you go out with just red, you could find yourself missing the bite. At night, a good number of anglers are fishing in tight to the Sandwich creeks down to Sandy Neck, but some are also concentrating more around Scorton Ledge.
There is typically a spurt of activity before false dawn, but once the sun is up, the fish are moving into deeper water around the Fingers and even farther into the bay.
Jeff added that there is an incredible amount of mackerel around the a few anglers are gathering some and running them into the water from Sesuit to Corporation Beach, but you have as good a chance at having small bass harass them as you do connecting with a striper that can handle a big bait.
Corporation Beach was mentioned by a number of people as an area where folks are picking up some good-sized bass on the tube-and-worm and Lee Boisvert from Riverview Bait & Tackle on Route 28 in South Yarmouth told me they are employing the same rig around Chapin’s, Barnstable Harbor, and Sandy Neck. Barnstable is holding mainly smaller bass, but a few larger ones have been caught by folks bouncing sand eel imitations on the bottom on incoming water, especially if it falls before first light.
The Rock Harbor fleet has typically been taking a left and dragging tubes around the Brewster flats, concentrating on the areas where the shallow water slides off into the deeper edge. Too many boats can make the bass skittish in this area, but the better captains are managing to add to their early morning tally up off the north edge of Billingsgate; trolling umbrella rigs and Hootchies, as well as a bit of jigging nylon hair jigs, has been effective at times.
Your best bet for bluefish is to troll from Sunken Meadow up to the Path; Hootchies are a Cape Cod Bay favorite and with some schools of squid around, they can be the top choice.
Jeff Clabault from Forestdale Bait & Tackle in Sagamore on Route 130 spoke to a couple of anglers who caught some bass up around the Sandwich creeks from shore; one caught bass up to 26.5-inches around the entrance to Scorton Creek on cut bait, while the other found some good-sized schoolies well up inside the creek. Walking the beaches and tossing plugs or flies has also been productive, especially in the early morning.