The fishery from Old Harbor to Sandy Neck is where you will find plenty of boats, some of them fishing in only ten feet of water off the beaches. The pattern is eels at night or at first light, followed by a change to the tube-and-worm during the day. Jeff Miller reported that red tubes have been flying out of the shop, with orange another hot color. Once the pressure in on due to a veritable fleet moving back and forth over the fish, they have been dropping off into deeper water, especially around the Fingers. There are some really big fish in the mix, with the best Jeff weighed in tipping the scale at 49-pounds.
Jeff said the fish are keyed in on squid right now and shore anglers are doing well on lures such as Magic Swimmers, Canal Perfect Swimmers, and Danny plugs, with white the best color. He added that some folks are trolling Magic Swimmers and picking up some good-sized bass.
There have been a good number of boats around Barnstable; some are jigging, some are dragging tubes, and others are employing umbrella rigs. The morning bite has been best, particularly when it coincides with an incoming tide. East Bar and the surrounding flats are holding fish, but they have had lockjaw on many tides. One flyrodder who managed a single fish from this area said that dragging a big Clouser through the sand was the only way to coax a bass into hitting. There are a ton of sand eels on the flats and going with something different, say a longer soft plastic than the predominant size of the bait that is around, has been drawing some impressive takes on the shallows.
The Brewster Flats are holding a mix of bass and bluefish, with some of the biggest choppers of the season up in the shallows feeding on squid. The bass have been schooling up and feeding on the incoming tide, but unfortunately some boats that are inappropriate for this area, particularly during the early stages of the rising water, have been digging up the bottom when they get stuck on a bar. Folks employing spinning tackle have found soft plastics, particularly in white, a good choice.
Although Billingsgate has been slower lately, with a few bass up around the north edge and some big blues as well, boats working the edge of the flats and the corresponding dropoffs have been picking up bass on the tube-and-worm on a more regular basis.