There are definitely some nice bass and some big bluefish to be had in the bay, but in many spots the issue has been consistency from one day to the next.
For example, Paul Newmier reported that one boater he spoke to did really well on bass up to 40” jigging wire in the deeper water to the north of Billingsgate; the next day, a charter captain out of Rock Harbor came in complaining that all he could find fishing around the shoals was one bluefish.
For boat and shore anglers alike, Sunken Meadow continues to hold some big bluefish and the same is true up inside Wellfleet Harbor, where there are some smaller bass around as well. One lure that many folks have been mentioning is the old Hootchie, which Hogy has updated with its SI Perfect Squid trolling lure. The last time I was on the Brewster Flats, we had numerous squid chasing our flies and small soft plastics and apparently there are good numbers of them still around.
The word from Jeff Clabault is that he heard from someone who was part of a corporate outing that booked a number of boats out of Barnstable Harbor. While some boats got skunked, the ones that elected to troll Hootchies picked up some nice bass, as well as some bluefish. Typically these boats fish from just outside the harbor out the Fingers and over to the Path, with some time around Billingsgate as well. I have seen some of them flying Hootchies off their outriggers while jigging wire, most often because they don’t have a limiting valve that allows them to dial down their diesels slow enough to troll tubes properly.
There are small fish in the shallows east and west of Barnstable, but the combination of high sunshine and warming water has them holding just in deep water and moving in on the coming tide. Early mornings have been best on the flats and up inside the harbor. The Brewster Flats have also been hit-or-miss; there have been some huge bluefish around and the best time for bass seems to be when the turn to incoming coincides with first light.
Although pretty much everyone wants to talk about is the night eel bite from the east end of the Canal down to Sandy Neck, with some boats fishing so close to shore that Bruce Miller told me I probably could reach them with my fly rod, the tube-and-worm is picking up fish around Scorton Ledge over to the Fingers.
There are schoolies in the Sandwich creeks, but folks chunking mackerel or pitching eels at night have been picking up some larger bass along Sandy Neck.