The word from multiple sources is that the bite turned on in Cape Cod Bay today. If you were thinking that was around the Sandwich beaches and Scorton Ledge, you would be wrong, however.
Jeff Miller at Canal Bait & Tackle in Sagamore said that boats fishing in deeper water, say 80 to 100 feet in the middle of the bay, did much better, especially on eels. These were big fish and they were hungry.
Mike Thomas at M & D’s in Wareham heard that guys who went out farther did better, most getting their 15-fish limit while those that stayed in close picked up, on average, five or six bass. He didn’t know exactly where the first group was fishing, but his report certainly gibes with what Jeff told me.
An angler who chartered one of the Rock Harbor fleet came in to ask Paul Newmier at Blackbeard’s in Eastham to freeze some fish for him and reported that they were into fish pretty much within minutes of leaving the harbor. The drop off around the Brewster flats was holding fish, but once it became crowded with recremercial boats, they headed to the north edge of Billingsgate and got into some nice bass there.
While Paul said that a number of the boats were doing well trolling Hootchies, Jeff Miller advised that tube-and-worm fishing has been really killing it; in fact, he said that he sold out of worms before he sold out of eels. The waters just east of Sesuit down towards Brewster have been fishing very well, apparently.
I did hear some reports from flyrodders and light tackle folks who fished up on the flats themselves; there were good numbers of fish, but you had to be there when they turned on to be successful. Otherwise, the bass were just on the move, making it extremely difficult to get them to look at anything with the intent to eat. It’s interesting to note that Paul spoke about Hootchies since at this time of year, it is not uncommon to see squid up on the flats chasing your fly or soft plastic.
The shallows around Barnstable Harbor remains a schoolie heaven, but the water is warming there as well, particularly with the conditions this week, and it becoming more important to target tides and times of day when the water is cooler and more likely to encourage bass to come up onto the flats to feed. Some of the best overall action will be around the channel, again because of the colder, deeper water; that doesn’t mean that there won’t be some topwater activity, particularly on the later stages of the outgoing tide and incoming water. Folks who fish this area regularly, however, are aware that bouncing and jigging soft plastics on jigheads will produce most consistently.
Down off the east end of the Canal, there is just a pile of mackerel feeding on baby squid, “about the size of your thumbnail,” said Jeff Miller, as well as baby herring. There wasn’t much bothering the macks today, but that could change – soon.