I took some time Thursday morning to visit the east end of the Canal and witnessed really rough, intimidating seas that made it highly unlikely that any boats made it out to fish, something that has existed this entire week.
That said, prior to the weather issues this week, there had been a good tube-and-worm bite from Town Neck to Scorton Ledge, according to Bruce Miller at Canal Bait and Tackle in Sagamore. So far this season, both red and orange tubes have been most effective.
Generally, this bite has been a daytime activity, although Bruce did say that a number of bass have been caught in the evening on tubes.
A number of tackle shops have reported selling a large supply of eels to striped bass anglers who catch bass for sale, adding that they were told that most of the fish being caught were being taken from dusk to dawn.
There are also a good number of juvenile bonito in the bay and some anglers are jigging them up and using them for bait as opposed to mackerel.
According to Andy Little at The Powderhorn in Hyannis, Barnstable Harbor is producing large numbers of schoolies, but he added that bass up to the 30-pound class continue to be caught with live eels, mackerel and tubes. For shore anglers, the fishing has also been very good, especially up inside the harbor in the early morning and at night on plugs and soft plastics. Kayak anglers also continue to do well fishing the edges of East and West Bars during the dropping tide, often switching to wade fishing at low tide; soft plastics such as the Hogy Skinny series have worked well as the fish continue to feed on sand eels for the most part, but there are also large schools of peanut bunker in the harbor, making a number of fly patterns from basic options such as olive/white and chartreuse/white Deceivers and Clousers to patterns such as Mushmouths, Hoo Flies, Gummy Minnows, a variety of epoxy patterns, and Puglisi Peanut Butter flies/variations.
Andy also said that shore anglers fishing from Sandwich to Brewster have been catching some quality bass using live eels, large soft plastics, and plugs such as Daiwa SP Minnows and similar Finnish-style minnow swimmers, especially at night, while Jeff Clabault from Forestdale Bait & Tackle on Route 130 in Sandwich told me that early morning plugging from the beaches between Town Neck and Spring Hill has resulted in some larger fish, although the water has been very weedy on days where the north/northeast have been strongest. Up inside the Sandwich creeks, there have mainly been schoolies.
Not much in the way to report from Billingsgate, but the few charterboats still working this area continue to scratch up smaller bass using umbrella rigs and tubes.