If you haven’t heard about the in-the-dark eel bite from Town Neck to Sandy Neck, you can count yourself as one of the few striped bass anglers on the Cape who hasn’t. Most shops are suggesting that the vast majority of the eels they have been selling lately are being used by the commercial crowd there, some of whom were busted last Sunday night for stockpiling or front loading or whatever you want to call it. Bottom line is everybody pretty much knows it’s going on and has been since the state reduced commercial days to two; I suppose you have to give credit to the enforcement folks for making a showing, but it’s not a deterrent and won’t do any good since there is good money on each bass’s head.
While it’s easy to call it a day once the sunshine and boats scatter the bass, the fishermen who truly fish hard have been searching for the schools of fish in deeper water from the Fingers to the Path and doing OK.
Shore anglers have been able to get in on the action at night when high water draws them closer in to the beaches from Sandwich to Barnstable; once again eels are best, but some folks are finding action at first light on topwater plugs.
As far as fly fishing and light tackle activity for boaters around Barnstable, first light has seen some good surface action up inside the harbor, while trollers have been fishing the tube-and-worm and umbrella rigs in the outer channel and picking up a good-sized bass here and there. The drop off outside the flats that flank East Bar and the channels and holes on the flats themselves are popular this time of year for anglers who drag unweighted tubes.
Overall, overcast conditions have been producing best during the day around the Brewster Flats and the creeks to the east of Sesuit Harbor; some bigger bluefish are mixed in with the bass, but the fish are really scattering once the sun is up. Spin anglers have had the advantage at times launching larger soft plastics and stickbaits such as Rebel Jumpin’ Minnows, especially when the fish are moving onto the shallows.
There are plenty of bluefish, some of them on the really large size, emphasized Paul Newmier, particularly around Wellfleet and up to the Pamet, as well as around the Path. Billingsgate has a good number of bass, but most of them are sub-legal fish, but charterboats and recreational folks who employ a mix of the tube-and-worm, darker colored parachutes, and umbrella rigs have been scratching up some 30+-inch bass.
With the majority of the mackerel having moved up north and out of the bay, the bluefin that were around Stellwagen close in around Provincetown have moved with the bait.
Some fluke are being caught on the edges of the Barnstable Harbor channel, with sea bass fishing off of Sesuit in deeper water remaining pretty consistent.