The reality is that a vast number of boats are racing right past schools of bass in their haste to get to Provincetown, which is all the rage once again this week. Apparently, the larger schools of fish have been broken up by all the boats working over them, so it’s necessary to concentrate on finding smaller aggregations of fish. Bass have been spread out from Wood End to The Race and down the backside off of Truro – including out in federal waters. There are plenty of mackerel around and small pollock for live-lining, so that’s what is on most folks’ agenda as opposed to vertical jigging, trolling wire, or tossing plugs, as was the case before the commercial season opened.
Some schools of bass have moved down around the cottages and Billingsgate has been hit-or-miss; although the typical pattern is larger fish on the northside and smaller on the south, folks who have made it out early before all the boats show up have encountered massive schools of surface feeding fish, including many in the 30+-inch class. The charter boats are sticking with mainly umbrella rigs and parachutes, with red and white the popular combination.
The Barnstable Harbor channel has increased from about 18 to 23-pounds, apparently the result of an influx of fish that moved through the Canal and into Cape Cod Bay last weekend. There are still good numbers of small mackerel between the bell and depths of 80-feet.
Some folks are trolling tubes around Barnstable, but not many have moved over to Sandy Neck and Scorton Ledge; there are some big fish around, but they are few and far between at this moment. Shore anglers, on the other hand, have been using Finnish-style swimmers such as Yo-zuri Crystal Minnows, MagMinnows, SP Minnows, and others with a fair amount of success on smaller fish around the Sandwich creeks.
The CC Buoy is still holding plenty of mackerel and some sea herring and the wise angler is following the schools of bass that are moving in and out of the east end of the land cut, sometimes livelining and at others dragging bunker spoons when they are in open water.