Cape Cod Bay Fishing Report – August 16, 2018

There are all kinds of mixed reports coming in from the bay, with some folks stating that there aren’t many large bass around, while others have mentioned small concentrations of bigger fish.

Mike Thomas at M & D’s in Wareham pointed out that Saturday night, the winds are expected to shift to the east/northeast and pick up significantly, which might explain why the few “recremercials” I saw at Eastman’s yesterday were stocking up on eels in anticipation of the some fish moving out of the Canal and stacking up off of Sandwich and Barnstable. One of them reminded me that in past years, the percentage of the quota, which was at 47.6% as of 9:33 AM on August 16 this year, has skyrocketed in August when everyone was catching their quota unlike this year when only a few folks have been doing so consistently.

According to Bruce Miller at Canal Bait and Tackle in Sagamore, some boats are still hanging out off the east entrance to the Canal livelining mackerel; they are picking up some nice fish, but certainly not enough to fill their 15 fish limit.

The same is true around Scorton Ledge, with orange tubes working best at times; that said, red tubes are also a must have. If the eel bite does turn on, then there typically has been a push on amber/motor oil and black tubes.

Around Barnstable Harbor, there are plenty of small bass; Capt. Alex Gottlieb of has fished there a number of times recently and said that the schoolies have been scattered, but active on the incoming tide. Along with the sand eels they typically chow on, Alex said there is a ton of peanut bunker around, with the ¾ ounce Hogy Heavy Minnow Jig in Silverside working really well when the fish are pushing peanuts.

Out around Billingsgate, jigging wire is still producing good numbers of bass between 28 and 33-inches, which make recreational and charter captains content and recremercials frustrated, reported Elise Costa at Powderhorn Outfitters in Hyannis. Remember that if you are new to this area, they use traditional bucktail jigs, with those made by River Fox an excellent choice according to Elise, as opposed to parachutes; red/chartreuse and black/chartreuse are hot colors, with red, black, dark green, and purple are popular, as well as combinations of these colors.

There had been a hot bite from Sesuit to Brewster as schools of pogies moved in to these waters close to shore out to a mile or so, but that action has either died or really slowed recently; of course, pogies are often here today and gone tomorrow, so keep an ear out for whispers or even increasing number of recremercial boats launching out of Sesuit and Barnstable Harbors.

Up off of Wellfleet, I have spoken to a number of families who have gone out with a captain who combines fishing with pulling lobster pots, this is reported to be great fun, especially the lobstering, with most of the fishing consisting of trolling with jigs or umbrella rigs.

There is a vertical jig bite up off of Provincetown, but again, the fish are mainly smaller legal bass, with many boats opting to move over to the backside if the bite is slow or dominated by small fish.