The fishing for bass from Race Point and down the backside to Truro and even beyond at times has been just incredible, with schools of very large fish feeding on sand eels, squid, and mackerel. Everything from vertical jigging to plugging (especially in the morning and on a falling tide) to livelining mackerel, as well as a few folks who continue to jig wire. Many of the fish being caught are 40+-inches and very fat, which means they will be a perfect target for the commercial fleet on Monday.
Paul Newmier at Blackbeard’s in Eastham said the charter boats out of Wellfleet, Rock Harbor, Sesuit, and Barnstable have been catching a good number of fish, but they have also been dealing with an inordinate number of cancellations despite the excellent angling. A saw a number of boats jigging wire around the north edge of Billingsgate and in the deeper water to the west, but Paul advised that some of the boats moved farther east and found fish inside Jeremy Point and off Sunken Meadow, with spoons such as versions of the old Tony Acetta Pet Spoon and Hootchies working well.
The light tackle casting and fly fishing around Billingsgate has been spotty at best and a group of local fly anglers experienced a very frustrating day on the Brewster Flats yesterday, with only a few schoolies to show for their efforts.
Paul spoke to a kayak angler who typically fishes shallow water up around Wellfleet and he has seen plenty of fish, but they have been very fussy, mainly because they have been feeding on small shrimp.
I fished with Thurman Gordon yesterday and he had a ball with the schoolies inside Barnstable Harbor; it was a great tide and I thought there would be more surface activity, but other than a few fish popping here and there, we did much better drifting Clousers into the small rips that form around Horseshoe Bar and around the numerous islands and flats up inside from Mussel Point to the shellfish grants. I also watched a tin boat angler having great surface activity on a spook that looked like a Rebel Jumpin’ Minnow.
A large group of kayak anglers were working the flats from Mill Creek to Bass Hole yesterday where there were a ton of small bass, as Thurman and I found out as well. Unfortunately, on the incoming tide, the wind had really kicked up out of the west, making it almost impossible to set up a good drift, but we saw plenty of bass then as well. On the way in across East Bar, there were birds working over bass as well.
Jeff Clabault from Forestdale Bait & Tackle on Route 130 reported that a shore angler fishing mackerel chunks around Blish Point at night caught a 38-inch bass among a number of others, but that fish was bested by a 42-incher caught on the same bait from Sandy Neck this week.
There weren’t as many boats livelining mackerel yesterday around B-Harbor, but that may be a matter of it being midweek and folks need to work. The average fish has been on the smaller size, with a good number of 24 to low-30-inch bass up to perhaps an occasional 40+-inch version.
Jeff Miller at Canal Bait & Tackle in Sagamore confirmed that some larger bass are being caught on the tube-and-worm around Scorton Ledge, with the greater ratio of small to large out around the Dump on bunker spoons. Not many folks use this very productive technique, mainly because it requires the correct tackle and understanding of how these lures work, but right now the chrome ones have been productive.
Around the east entrance to the Canal, there are large schools of mackerel, making bait easy to come by for anglers who prefer to liveline.