After a slow down late last week and even into Saturday, with some people arguing that it was the result of a drop in the water temperature, on Sunday and right through this week the action from Long Point to the Race and down the backside to the Golf Ball is hot again.
That said, the reality is there is a wide range in the sizes of the bass; no matter what some captains may be advertising about big bass as if they are just there for the taking, you are going to work for larger fish in the area. Part of it is there is so much bait that it is hard to target the big bass, but there is also the fact that the smaller fish are quicker to the lure, hands down.
Last Saturday, fishing with Jared Woods and Spencer Wierwille, we used four ounce olive Epoxy Jigs to get down through the bait and caught some bigger bass. We saw no surface activity at all – other than a Minke whale right off our bow!
s pencil poppers, spooks, and poppers, especially in white and mackerel.
Speaking of mackerel, there are still plenty of boats livelining them and Jim Young at Eastman’s Sport & Tackle in Falmouth told me that Ray Gagnon fished Provincetown recently. They livelined mackerel and picked up two bass of 19 and 24-inches, respectively – as well as a 38-pounder.
It appears that the schools of sizeable bass that were feeding on herring and mackerel from the Brewster to Wellfleet in open water have settled in either up around the tip of the Cape or onto the Brewster Flats. The word is that the fish on the flats are very spooky during the day, probably because there are so many boats hounding them. That makes for windows of opportunity from dusk to dawn for folks using Finnish-style swimmers such as Daiwa SP Minnows, Cotton Cordell’s, and Bombers, while working a walk-the-dog plug slowly and deliberately is another option. Larger soft plastics such as the Hogy ten-inch original in darker colors at night and bubblegum or bone at first light will take some big fish since the bass become less wary under the cover of darkness and feed heavily early in the morning before settling into deeper water. Many flats regulars target the last two hours of the drop and the beginning of the incoming.
Billingsgate has been a great option this week, with schools of bass slurping sand eels on top, especially during the last two hours of the drop. The charter boats have ben content to drag wire and either jig with parachutes or use white or green umbrella rigs around the northside of the shoals, said Paul Newmier at Blackbeard’s in Eastham.
The shallows to the east and west of Barnstable Harbor are filled with small schoolies and it’s been hard for flyrodders and light tackle anglers to get to anything over 24-inches and there are bigger fish around; I can tell you that from Monday afternoon when there were bass everywhere on the incoming tide. There are also plenty of small fish in the channel itself, with most boaters opting for livelining mackerel to target anything larger. Other options include vertical jigging with Hogy Pro Tail Paddles.
Scorton Creek has been one area where a few larger bass have been caught on fresh mackerel chunks around high water and Jeff Miller at Canal Bait & Tackle in Sagamore knows that boaters are starting to tube-and-worm and deep diving swimming plugs from the parking lot to the Fingers, as well as Scorton Ledge. If you opt for swimmers, Jeff recommended mackerel patterns.