A good-sized fleet of commercial, recreational, and for hire boats have settled in from Barnstable over to the Town Neck area in Sandwich. The word from Jeff Miller is a crab hatch has taken place recently and that has helped draw the bass in, with numbers up and the average size still quite impressive. Dropping live eels has perhaps been the most productive method, especially from dusk to dawn, but pink or orange tubes have been working as well.
I noticed that many of the charterboats are trolling Hootchies and every boat in the Barnstable Harbor fleet has a full complement of rods rigged with pink/red hootchies this morning. Apparently, there are some bluefish mixed in with the bass, but these classics do work on stripers, no matter what folks think.
The shallows adjacent to the harbor have been inconsistent, said Andy Little. Yesterday was a perfectly calm day and there was bait (sand eels) everywhere, but no fish were apparently bothering in, both during the outgoing and incoming tides when we fished there. Today, there was a stiff wind working against an outgoing tide and there were birds and bass feeding in the waves, but it was tough to get on them east of the harbor.
A few boats were anchored up in the channel livelining mackerel, but they have not been enjoying consistent nor overwhelming action.
There have been some good schools of bass working from outside Sesuit Harbor over to the deeper edges off the Brewster Flats; casters were doing well with soft plastics and flyrodders actually seemed to be enjoying some of the best results. A number of charterboats were jigging up some nice bass and at one point I thought I saw some fish pushing what looked like much larger bait than sand eels. Later on when we fished the flats, squid kept following our flies in the deeper channels, so I wonder if the bass might have been pushing some of them.
Speaking of the flats, early mornings have definitely been fishing best, with the fish very fussy during the daylight hours. Wade anglers in many cases are having much better luck, particularly on the larger fish that are there from time to time. White has been the hot soft plastic color, but swimming plugs have also been effective.
The north edge of Billingsgate has definitely been fishing best; again, there are more bluefish than bass and Hootchies have been the hot lure recently. Some nice size bluefish have also been caught around the Path and up by the cottages.
For shore anglers fishing from Sandy Neck to the Sandwich creeks, live eels at night are your best bet for encountering a larger fish. Chunk mackerel is another bait worth trying, but cloudy, lowlight conditions combined with white or yellow pencil poppers will raise fish at times during these dog days of August.