As with all things fishy, it’s hard to exactly know what is going on in the bay, but things have definitely slowed down this week in most of the hotspots. My buddy Capt. Warren Marshall and fellow Cape Cod Flyrodder club member Henry Godin put 77 miles on the boat Tuesday and managed two schoolies in around Barnstable; they pretty much hit every other spot that had been producing well, including Provincetown, Brewster, and the shoals.
The commercials were crying on Monday and apparently things weren’t going much better today up at the Cape’s tip; there is bait around, but the theory is the boat pressure and rising water temperatures have caused the bass to move into deeper water out beyond the state limits. I am in favor of the former, as well as the school has most likely been thinned quite a bit given all the fish that have been killed by both recreational and commercial anglers over the last months and weeks.
Billingsgate is holding mainly smaller fish, said Elise Costa, and bluefish are starting to show as well. There are also bluefish up close in towards Wellfleet and they are pretty good sized and willing to take topwater plugs.
As I mentioned, Barnstable has some schoolies around, but the fish are very spooky with all the boats running and gunning for them. They are feeding on sand eels of varying sizes and some of the best and most relaxing fishing has been up around the creeks and marshes; topwater plugs, particularly small pencil poppers and walk-the-dog types, work well as the fish get used to all the soft plastics thrown at them, and fly fishermen do well with popping bugs, Gurglers, and Crease flies.
Inside the harbor, there is a pick of bass up to the mid-30-inch class for folks livelining mackerel, trolling the tube-and-worm, dragging umbrella rigs or jigging parachutes. The general pattern has been occasional spurts of activity with long stretches of nothing.
All of the boats around Scorton Ledge have pushed the fish out or put them in a foul mood, but there are whispers of bass taking orange or red tubes off of Sandy Neck. A 46-pound bass was caught from the beach in this area as well, with fresh mackerel or seaworms excellent choices for bait. In fact, Jeff Clabault told a story of a shore angler who was working the sand towards Beach Point, came across an injured mackerel, cast it back out, and landed himself a 36-inch bass.
Overall, it just might be time to rethink what you have been doing in the bay and be flexible enough to check out new water is your old haunt is dry.