As is typical for this time of the year in the bay, there are some new areas where folks are finding fish, while other spots that were hot are starting to dry up.
The north edge of Billingsgate was producing a pick of bass, mainly smaller ones, but the captains out of Sesuit and Rock Harbor were managing to get their limits for their customers. Right now, Paul Newmier explained, the northeast blow last weekend pushed the fish into the corner of the bay near Rock Harbor.
Whether you are fishing Billingsgate or closer in to Eastham and Orleans, a variety of trolling rigs will work and the best option often changes from day to day. Hootchies, which are the precursors to the SI Perfect Squids, have been hot at times, while jigging traditional parachute jigs, particularly the green and white version, is another option. Some boats also resort to umbrella rigs rigged with tube teasers in red, green, or chartreuse. It just seems that the fish on the shoals this year have been hanging on the bottom, with the best option for finding fish up on the top is around slack water, especially around low tide.
Over towards Wellfleet and up around Truro, anglers drifting eels on the edges where deep water meets shallow have been picking up the occasional legal bass. There are also smaller stripers around the beaches in the morning and against in the evening for folks tossing plugs such as Daiwa SP Minnows and pencil poppers, as well as a variety of soft plastics.
The flats from Barnstable to Brewster are holding mostly smaller fish; imitating the vast schools of sand eels is always a good start, but switching things up and presenting a larger soft plastic or an unusual color fly will get a bigger fish’s attention. Fishing early mornings and evenings is also a good idea as the fish have been worked over pretty good and usually settle down in lower light conditions.
Most folks trolling around Barnstable have switched over to the tube-and-worm, with a few boats still jigging wire. Paul Newmier told me that many of the commercial folks went to Barnstable with all the wind, perhaps hoping that some fish have been pushed in there.
On the other hand, Jeff Miller pointed out that dragging green bunker spoons from the Fingers to the Path has been working as some fish are holding in deeper water on the dropping tide and then moving over to waters from Scorton Ledge to parking lot on the incoming water. Live eels at night have been working well in the latter stretch.
The Sandwich creeks again are holding mostly smaller bass, with chunk mackerel producing some larger fish around Sandy Neck.