Cape Cod Bay Fishing Reports


Cape Cod Bay Fishing Report

It might sound tool simple, but before the wind kicked up today, folks were heading up to Scusset and picking up slot-and-above bass on the tube-and-worm, according to Jeff Miller at Canal Bait and Tackle in Sagamore. Word is that there are some pogies hanging outside the east end of the Canal, but it doesn’t seem like there is any real interest in livelining, perhaps because folks can’t sell bass for the remainder of the year. There had also been decent t & w action from Sandwich to just shy of Barnstable, but again, the last couple of days have kept pretty much everyone in port.

Big bluefish caught aboard Riptide Charters.

 Even more impressive has been the shore action from Sandwich beaches and all along Sandy Neck, said Andy Little at The Powderhorn in Hyannis; night fishing with dark colored needlefish and both plastic and metal lip swimmers has produced plenty of nice schoolies and even some slot fish, while up inside Barnstable Harbor folks using the same type of plugs, worked really nice and slow at night, has working well on some larger bass. It’s a great time to be a dedicated shore angler with the beaches and flats from Yarmouth to Orleans pretty much void of any other anglers as so many people are chasing albies elsewhere. The lack of people doesn’t mean there is a lack of fish, but the upcoming blow will probably dirty up the water; that said, once things settle and the water clears up, there just could be a whole lot of bass chowing down in preparation for their trips to the Hudson and the Chesapeake. 

If one can get out tomorrow and perhaps even early Saturday morning, I would suspect that there should be some exciting topwater action on bass, with sand eel color soft plastics hard to beat when the water is kind of rough, as opposed to topwater plugs which get jounced around in the job, making a solid connection difficult. Weighting soft plastics is a smart move as well in those types of conditions, with the Hogy Pro Tail and Hogy Slow Tail excellent choices if they fish are chowing on small bait such as peanut bunker and sand eels, as is typically the case at this point in the fall, while the smaller Hogy Pro Tail Paddles will allow you to target any larger fish hanging below the fray up top. The bluefishing seems to have slowed in the bay, although Mac Fields from Riverview Bait & Tackle in South Yarmouth said a 15-pound bluefish was caught this week in Barnstable. Fish of that size are often caught on chunk bait, with pogies and mackerel good choices, along with squid. 

Stellwagen is still the place to go for larger tuna, although since the commercial season is closed at the moment, meaning that you will typically only find recreational anglers chasing bluefin. Although he couldn’t say exactly where it was occurring, Connor Swartz from Red Top in Buzzards Bay heard of one angler who has been picking at football tuna. Obviously, he is keeping where he is finding them to himself, but it isn’t unusual for them to show up around Plymouth, especially if a northeast wind pins the bait to that area.

Outer Cape Fishing Report

With Capt. Scott Hamilton in town to do a presentation for the Cape Cod Flyrodders about fishing for albies – and plenty of other species – down in his home waters of West Palm Beach, where his reputation of putting his folks on fish is unmatched, Bob Lewis took him to Monomoy to get him into some bass. Now, you have to understand that in Florida, albies do not drive most of the fishing community crazy; in fact, there is a genuine disdain among many for what they consider “trash” fish that are only good for grabbing a lure before a more highly prized – think edible – species such as a blackfin tuna, cobia, mahi, or even a jack – gets to it. Don’t be confused by the appellation “bonita” from a Floridian, assuming they are talking about our Atlantic bonito; this is a common name down there for little tunny or false albacore, which often gets morphed into the derogatory “bonehead.” Scott, however, saw the potential in putting us northerners on the big, aggressive albies that swarm his area and there are plenty of folks, like Bob, who schedule annual trips to pull on these tremendous fish, as well as the other species that Capt. Hamilton knows so well.

striped bass
Gorilla Tactics Sportfishing finding some quality bass in between albie fishing.

So all of that leads up to Scott not being terribly interested in our albies – although he did put on a clinic for me the next day – and so they headed to east to the rips where – sure enough – they came across albies ripping it up off of Monomoy Point. Scott managed to pull out a striper thereabouts, but Bob then took him to a spot more to the southeast where they found plenty of cooperative bass that just loved Scott’s larger chartreuse-and-white Eat Me Fly, a style of tying that can be modified in profile, length, and color to pretty much catch any fish anywhere. 

According to Capt. Caroline Scotti at North Chatham Outfitters, she has been pretty much stapled to the shop and not able to get out and do trips on the Lil’ Jaz, so firsthand news on her part was limited. She did say, though, at this time of year, a lot of the action in the rips is driven by sand eels and other baitfish as opposed to squid, with the copious amounts of peanut bunker driving some really great albie action, along with some bonito mixed in, for those folks who want to feel the burn. While many Cape flyrodders are known for dredging up albies with full sink lines around the rips, often employing the same kind of jigging-and-no casting that they employ with bass, the stretch of the east side of Monomoy from High Bank to the new Southway is renowned for great albie action with surface feeding fish gladly walloping Crease Flies and poppers on floating lines.


The Fall Run is Underway!

It’s a magical time on Cape Cod right now. The fall run is in full swing, and the options for anglers are endless. Jump into an older video highlighting the excitement of the fall run here on Cape Cod!

Cape Cod Bay Fishing Report

With winds gusting to the mid-30’s out of the north/northwest this morning, I can’t imagine there are many boats out in the bay; in fact, it’s going to be interesting to see what things look like post blow. 

According to Bruce Miller at Canal Bait and Tackle in Sagamore, there had been a good bite on bigger bass from Scusset to Sandy Neck. In this case, however, the fish weren’t feeding on pogies, but at times they were chasing chub mackerel, a species that many folks have been calling baby bonito. According to the science, these fish will grow up to 22-inches, but in this case Bruce said they have been generally running six to nine inches, with a few up to a foot in length. While some anglers have been jigging them up and livelining, Bruce advised that the tube-and-worm was working really well, along with the Rapala X-Rap Deep Divers. In addition, Bruce said that on sunny days orange tubes had been working best, with a switch over to motor oil variations on cloudy days. 

Beach anglers had also been picking at some slot sized bass from in front of the Sandwich creeks as well as down Sandy Neck way, while Andy Little continues to report that there are good numbers of schoolies up inside Barnstable Harbor, with some larger fish being taken on plugs and plastics under the cover of darkness. Amy Wrightson from The Sports Port in Hyannis and Osterville added that one of her regulars managed to get into some legal bass fished chunk mackerel outside Barnstable. 

The word from Sarge Bloom at Riverview Bait & Tackle in South Yarmouth is that a good number of the guys up in Cape Cod Bay have been concentrating on the bluefin bite while it’s happening, but there are still some boaters fishing bass up around Billingsgate, especially on the troll, while up around Provincetown livelining mackerel has been most productive, with news that it isn’t as difficult to find them at the moment as a combination dropping water temperatures and winds mainly out of some sort of northerly-ish direction moving the schools inshore.

Outer Cape Fishing Report

Let’s start with the adventures of Capt. Mike and the rest of the Salty Cape film and fishing crew, courtesy of Jack Pinard of Hogy Lure Company:
“Due to the constant change in forecast, we left the dock armed with a wide variety of gear. Everything from offshore tuna to inshore albies. The main goal was to head off of Nauset in search of tuna, as a few captains we had been networking with reported a good topwater bite the past couple of days. As we were making our way east we stumbled upon a couple of boats bottom fishing around some lobster pots off Bass River. We opted to make a quick stop just to see if we could mark some good bottom or stacks of fish. Using both the Garmin Live Scope and the traditional chirp sonar, we found massive schools of scup cruising the bottom. The Garmin Live Scope is truly amazing as it allowed us to not only mark the schools of scup, but see exactly which direction they were swimming and how quick they were moving. After getting our dinner for the night, we made our way towards Nauset in search of tuna. Of course, the forecast changed yet again, and the conditions were much rougher than expected; not only that, but we found no tuna. We made the decision to work our way back and see if we could get on an albie bite. We made it as far as Monomoy before we stopped and started marking a ton of fish cruising mid water column. Using the ½-ounce Hogy Heavy Minnow in shrimp, we jigged through mostly untouched until we hooked up on a few nice slot size bass. It didn’t seem like these fish were feeding that aggressively, rather just stemming the tide. After that bite slowed we headed back to the barn, not before stopping to cast at a random albie school. I hooked up briefly using the Hogy Heavy Minnow before breaking the fish off – the downside of a 12-pound leader.”

Slot size bass
Capt. Mike with a slot size bass that fell for the 1/2oz shrimp color Hogy Heavy Minnow.

Credit to Capt. Mike for searching out tuna that will make an interesting filming tutorial as opposed to heading directly to the Regal Sword where it seems like bluefin are almost a guarantee. Capt. Caroline Scotti from North Chatham Outfitters does what any good charter captain does, on the other hand, and heads for the fish, going 10 for 12 on an earlier trip this week. There were mediums and giants in the mix, but they couldn’t find any bluefin that fit in the small category, so they left with their one allowable medium under their charterboat permit. Caroline, like so many other folks, have become huge fans of the 8-ounce Hogy Sand Eel Jig, with all colors working really well. 

Although she is focused on tuna, Capt. Scotti said that the bass have definitely moved back into the rips, especially on the east side of Monomoy and there are incredible numbers of albies as well. Mix in some big bluefish and bonito and you have all the makings of a New England Grand Slam. From what she had has heard, it is mainly a sand eel bite. 

There is also some really good albie action in the white water up around the Southway and the jig bite continues in force from Chatham Inlet up to Nauset, with fish on top closer in during first light before they drop out into deeper water. 

I missed out last week by not contacting Charlie Richmond who did well out east, but I will offer it up now to give you an idea of what is possible thereabouts at this time of year: “Never received a request for a report last week, but did have a big day off Chatham with Ken Cirillo & Dave Rose; old news now! To summarize, we had 33+ bass, most in the “slot”, but 6+ between 35-to 40″-great morning.”


Finicky Albies

Reports of finicky albies on Cape Cod have been abundant this year. In this video, Capt. Mike shares a deadly technique to fool these finicky fish!

Cape Cod Bay Fishing Report

This week – besides all of the albie craziness going on – the biggest news around a number of Cape locations has been the abundance of really big bluefish. I’m talking about 30 to 36-inch choppers on average, with a number from the mid-teen pounds and up. Bruce Miller at Canal Bait and Tackle in Sagamore said that from the east entrance of the Canal down to Sandy Neck, both boat and shore anglers have been enjoying themselves with the strength and antics of these fish. People wax poetic about stripers, but in all honesty, bass – especially big bass – are wimps compared to a blue. 

For the trolling crew, if you are going to target blues, then old school lures such as the Hootchie or a deep diving swimmer are excellent choices, but the reality is that folks dragging line from Old Harbor down to Barnstable are most often targeting bass and a good amount of the time they are using the tube-and-worm. Fortunately, the tube is relatively protected from a bluefish’s chomp because it is rigged with wire connecting the swivel at the head to the hook at the tail end; it is made of heavier gauge surgical tubing that can survive an encounter with a blue; and since blues attack their prey from behind, the hook on a tube is perfectly positioned well away from the leader and line. Add the fact that tubes use single hooks, which anyone who has fished for bluefish knows, makes it much easier to release a fish that is following your fingers with its yellow eyes, just waiting for you to make a mistake.

Nice size albie caught by @Rockpylefishing on Instagram.

Typically, folks associate topwater lures when casting for blues because it is just so much fun watching them chase and pounce on a plug, to the point where some nuts – and I am looking at myself – remove all the hooks just to see how long a bluefish will hold onto a lure before letting it go. The visuals are also spectacular since when a blue is hell bent on catching something, it won’t give up, even swiping at a plug boatside. There are a number of surface plugs, including the Hogy Surface Pencil, that skip and slide across the water’s surface and just drive bluefish crazy – and, yes, they work well for bass, too, particularly when the fish are feeding on squid. These have two great features: they cast a long way with little effort and have single tail hooks, which as I said earlier makes release a whole lot safer, especially when you bent the barbs down. Oh, and a third, is that since there is only one hook at the tail, you can grab the body of the plug and keep your hands away from a snapping mouth filled with teeth. That said, what I particularly like about the Hogy version is the length of the body; unlike some of these long distance casting plugs, which have relatively short bodies that still can leave your fingers in a perilous position if you’re not careful. These plugs will, as mentioned above, catch bass, but Bruce said that most of the stripers, especially anything of size, are being caught at night from the beaches on the northside from Sandwich to Barnstable on swimming plugs, while pencil poppers and spooks work best around first light. 

The Sandwich creeks are still holding a good number of schoolies and Andy Little at The Powderhorn in Hyannis said there is no lack of small bass up inside Barnstable Harbor, with a consistent early morning topwater bite. Of course, on the dropping tide and the early part of incoming water, it is not uncommon throughout the season to encounter blitzes of bass, mostly on the smaller size, from the shallows or flats from just beyond East Bar and off Chapin’s down to the flats and creeks around Dennis and Brewster, this kind of activity in the fall is often fueled by peanut bunker along with one of the main food sources in Cape Cod Bay, the sand eel. During low water, when it can be impossible to access these inside flats by boats, trolling swimming plugs or throwing weighted soft plastics and smaller topwater plugs can help you target bass that are hanging around the drop-offs along the outside edges of the skinny water. Of course, if you are a wader, these are prime times since they allow you to fish the troughs and sloughs on both sides of low water in search of bigger bass without the fish being spooked by boat noise. And when it comes to smaller bass feeding on peanut bunker in the fall, there isn’t much that is going to bother them. Most importantly, remember this is going to be primarily a catch-and-release scenario, making single hook rigged unweighted soft plastics a great choice, no matter how tempting it might be to use plugs festooned with trebles. In addition, as tempting as it might be to rip a fish in and then toss it back haphazardly so you can catch another one before the action stops, please take time to properly release every bass, preferably keeping it in the water as you remove the single hook you have crushed the barb on. 

Billingsgate will still be holding bass and blues, advised Mac Fields at Riverview Bait & Tackle in South Yarmouth, but with gusty winds out of the northwest this week, not as many boats were out this week to provide details; the tube-and-worm or deep diving swimmers have been best over the last month or so, whether you are looking for bass or even bluefish over by Wellfleet up off of Truro.

Outer Cape Fishing Report

The false albacore action has been pretty steady for about the last two weeks in the waters around Monomoy, especially in the rips that extend into Nantucket Sound, around the point, and up the east side towards the lighthouse, noted Capt. Carolina Scotti, operator of the Lil’ Jax and part of the crew at North Chatham Outfitters. The striper action has slowed a bit, with the rips to the east and southeast holding more fish, which are now generally feeding on sand eels. On the other hand, there is a good jig bite up off of Nauset; at times they have been close to the beach in shallower water, but at the moment they have been hanging in deeper water. Any topwater action has been either in the early morning or again at dusk. 

Now that the Canal has garnered all of the attention when it comes to fishing for bigger bass from shore, no doubt the folks who continue to fish the outer beaches must be pretty happy because you don’t hear much about what has apparently been a pretty good season on the backside. A Canal regular told me he heard that last week there was a good bite up at Newcomb Hollow – or was it Cahoon Hollow? I can’t remember, but no doubt needlefish or slim profile swimmers, along with sand eel imitations, factored in to the nocturnal catches. Spots like Coast Guard Beach and Nauset Light Beach are popular with casual anglers because you can park and fish topwater plugs or bait right there in the morning, but more serious regulars trudge through the sand either north or south with eels or plugs, looking to fish the most productive sloughs and holes at night, which even recently have seen some bass in the 40+-inch range caught.


Filmed Recently!

In this video, Capt. Mike walks through everything you need to know when fishing for false albacore.

Cape Cod Bay Fishing Report

The most interesting story concerning fishing in the bay came courtesy of Connor Swartz at Red Top in Buzzards Bay. Apparently, friends of A.J. Coots, son of Red Top owner Tom Coots, spent a long night (dusk to 2 AM) fishing one of the beaches in Sandwich and the managed 173 bass using needlefish and custom wooden metal lip swimmers. There were a number of schoolies in the mix, but a number of nice slot fish and even a few above that.

Capt. Mike putting the new Hogy Protail Fly to use on some finicky albies.

My nephew Frank was out last weekend confirmed what Andy Little at The Powderhorn had told me about Barnstable: lots of schoolies and good topwater action. Frank had good numbers of small bass whacking at his small bone colored spook and later on he went outside and ran from Sandy Neck to the east entrance of the Canal. He said there were schools of bluefish on top the entire way and that there were plenty of boats dragging tubes and jigging wire, although he didn’t see any great action. But the coolest part of his trip was running into a pod of dolphin or porpoises – I never know the difference – and he has a great video of them working the area. 

Jeff Miller at Canal Bait and Tackle in Sagamore told me that some guys have managed to sabiki up some mackerel that they have then dropped down on some larger fish, especially around the east entrance. 

Billingsgate is still producing mostly smaller bass on tubes for trollers and soft plastics and topwater plugs for casters, while over off of Wellfleet up to Truro, there are some bass in the wash that you can plug up or throw plastics or flies to with decent success. Bluefish aren’t quite as prevalent as they were a couple of weeks ago, but trolling deep diving swimmers up around the Path is a good way to locate the scattered fish, at which point you can switch over the surface plugs and try to raise them on the surface.

Lots of small bait on the flats and this is the time to enjoy some great fly or light tackle action as bass will go crazy, especially on the drop and then the first part of the incoming water as they trap the bait against the bars.

Outer Cape Fishing Report

With Matt Cody back at school, one of the co-owners of North Chatham Outfitters, Scott Butcher, was good enough to fill me in on what is going on down Cape, including his own experience fishing by boat off the Nauset Beach area. For weeks now, this has been a good concentration of bass in this area, both in deeper water where vertical jigging has been most effective and more recently when schools have moved closer in towards shore, sometimes in only 15 to 18-feet of water. While topwater plugs have been effective in the early morning, during the hours of high sunshine, the fish can be seen holding down in the water column, but they have been tough to catch on soft plastic jigs. Well, when Scott told Fran Keough, a member of the shop’s staff and a veteran outer Cape angler, Fran recommended taking some seaworms along. Sure enough, using bank sinkers and a basic bottom rig, Scott and crew were into fish one after another. The only issue after that was they caught plenty of fish that maxed out at 27-inches and a good number of 40+-inch bass, but finding one between 28 and 34-inches was a real struggle. Scott said these fish were holding just outside an offshore bar, unfortunately putting them outside the range of shore anglers. He did say that sand people working the beaches north and south of the man Nauset parking lot have been catching good numbers of bass on plugs at daybreak and again from dusk on using plastic lipped swimmers and soft plastics, as well as live eels.

Jack Pinard of Hogy Lure Company found some albies on his kayak earlier this week

Down around Monomoy, the bass fishing has slowed a bit, with more fish out around Pollock Rip and even farther east. The occasional larger bass has been taken on plugs or soft plastics, but generally jigging wire or using weighted soft plastic jigs has been the way to go. From what I heard, there is going to be some serious swell from a hurricane that is well to the south and it should be interesting to see what that stirs. 

From the point west, it has been mainly a bluefish bite, although Scott did say that Handkerchief Shoal and the area just to the west of this area has been holding some good schools of albies and a few scattered bonito. The challenge, however, has been avoiding all the bluefish that are feeding in the same area. 

A number of boats heading back to Stage Harbor have reported running into mixed schools of albies, bonito, and bluefish right off Harding’s Beach and spots just to the west, while the Morris Island and dedicated flats folks who concentrate their efforts on North Monomoy have been catching bass on crab, shrimp, and baby flounder flies, often while sight casting to fish, along with sand eel patterns at night or early morning, before they can see their quarry.


Filmed Last Week!

In this video, Capt Mike is joined by Capt. Rob Lowell of Cape Cod Offshore Charters as they target deepwater bluefin tuna on Hogy Charter Grade Poppers.

Cape Cod Bay Fishing Report

 It’s pretty simple if you like to troll for your bass in Cape Cod Bay: it’s tube-and-worm time. Bruce Miller at Canal Bait and Tackle in Sagamore said the bite has been pretty consistent from the east entrance to the Canal over to Scorton Ledge, with orange or motor oil colored tubes preferred by folks who fish these waters. He emphasized that we’re not talking about really big fish, like the ones that dominated the pogy scene earlier this season, but there are enough slot sized fish to make things interesting. 

Over at The Powderhorn in Hyannis, Andy Little noted that along with dragging tubes, it’s pretty common to see charter boats working this area with their outriggers extended to keep Hootchies on the outside of the spread; these are usually targeting bluefish and run at a higher speed than tubes, but unless someone with a marine diesel engine has a trolling valve that allows them to reduce their speed to the preferred level for tubing, then the Hootchies provide a back-up if the fish turn their noses up at the way a tube is working. That’s why the four stroke outboard is a God send for the tubing crowd; back in the days of two strokes, running an outboard at low RPM’s would result in unburned gas/oil mix clogging the plugs and other engine parts, as well as producing hellacious blue smoke – a clear sign of unburned oil.  

A little trick to try with a tube-and-worm outfit is to put the boat in neutral when you mark fish, thereby “feeding” the tube down to them – you can even put the reel in free spool and let out more line – followed by a sudden surge when you put the boat in gear that can draw a strike. This technique can be used with any kind of line, but when working wire, it’s important to have an experienced hand on the rod to avoid kinks and backlashes since paying out wire line usually requires a good amount of forward motion to get the spool moving and keep it moving. If you put the boat in neutral and someone puts a wire line outfit in free spool without enough speed/tension, the resulting bird’s nest can result in a reel that needs a visit to the shop for a new shot of wire. For further information on tube and worm fishing, watch Capt. Mike explain the basics in the video below. 

It’s easy to get lulled into a mindless routine when trolling tubes, especially when fishing over bottom where the depths don’t vary much, but I have always preferred lead core when tubing for a couple of simple reasons: it is much more user friendly when paying out line and if the captain has good communication with his anglers, he can instruct them to “let out another color(s)” to adjust for changes in the depth of the water, thereby keeping your lure in the strike zone. You also don’t want to cheap out when rigging with tubes; ball bearing swivels are a must and that’s why the Hogy Perfect Tube is produced with ball bearing swivels. Many other manufacturers use a traditional barrel or crane swivel, which really don’t reduce twist and are there mainly to give an angler something he or she can tie their leader to. I have seen some people rig with multiple ball bearing swivels or snap swivels to deal with the scourge of twist in the line. 

If you’re headed for Billingsgate, then be advised that tubes are the best way to target larger fish in the area; there has been some topwater activity with plugs in the early morning, especially if false dawn coincides with slack water and a tide change. Using sand eel imitation jigs and weighted soft plastics are very effective at higher stages of the tide if the fish are hanging deeper in the water column.

striped bass
Bass fishing should only improve as we transition into fall. {@wycegoesfishing on Instagram}

Ian Field at Blackbeard’s in Eastham and Harwich said that there are mainly bluefish being caught on the troll from Wellfleet to Truro; deep diving swimmers are popular and it always pays to have a couple of rods rigged with topwater plugs if the bluefish show on the surface. Just remember that if you do find some surface feeding fish, you will want to get your trolling lines in rather than letting them drop to the bottom, where they can become snagged or even get tangled in your motor’s lower unit. Andy Little said there has been a really good topwater bite in the morning around Barnstable Harbor; we’re not talking about big fish, but big numbers of schoolies.

Meanwhile, the shore folks are enjoying some solid morning topwater action around Sandy Neck, while changing to soft plastics and plastic lip swimmers at night – or even chunk bait – is the way to go.

Outer Cape Fishing Report

Despite the disappointment of not finding massive schools of albies, Matt Cody from North Chatham Outfitters said that the bass fishing has been really good, both in the rips and north all the way up to the Southway and on to Nauset Inlet. The size of the average fish has improved, with more over slot fish around Bearses and Pollock Rip, where the topwater bite on plugs such as the Hogy Charter Grade Popper and Hogy Dogwalker has returned to the level of what it was back in June. Soft plastics are also working really well and folks who prefer to cast are happy to be consistently catching some of the bigger fish that a couple of weeks ago seemed to be solely available to wire line jiggers. Matt said that up around Nauset, there has been some solid topwater action in the early morning, but once that quiets down, you can use metal jigs such as the Hogy Sand Eel Jig or soft plastics like Hogy Pro Tail Paddles and Hogy Pro Tail Eels to get down deeper where the fish hold during the heat of the day. 

Typically, when the rips start to see more surface activity, it’s an indicator that there is squid around, but on Monday, Gerry Fine picked up a good number of bass up to the high 30/low 40-inch class using a sinking line and an olive/white Clouser that Capt. Warren Marshall ties to imitate sand eels. The fish were aggressively feeding on the surface, but at the stage of the current we were fishing, even a 350-grain line and a weighted fly is going to hang pretty high in the water column. The highlight of our trip was when Gerry hooked what we thought was another bass, but after a moment of wallowing, this fish took off like a jet and gave my friend a good look at his backing. It proved to be a bonito and it was caught as the tide was starting to slack. And, yes, it was caught on the same Clouser we were using for bass.

Albies aren’t the only hard tails swimming around. Gorilla Tactics Sportfishing finding bonito mixed in with the albies.

Bob Lewis fished Monomoy on his own last Saturday and had a good trip, ultimately moving out to Pollock Rip after being squeezed out of Stonehorse. He said the bass were on the smaller side, with one around 30-inches and the rest between 22 and 26-inches; Bob added that these fish were feeding on squid. 

Ian Field at Blackbeard’s in Eastham and Harwich was all jazzed up about the backside beach fishing when I spoke with him; he said that from Orleans up through Truro, folks are catching bass from the low end of the slot on up. He emphasized that there really aren’t any small fish in the mix and they are taking everything from topwater plugs like big spooks in the early morning to live eels and plastic Finnish style swimmers at night. A variety of soft plastics are also working well, whether fished unweighted in tight or with a jighead or a weighted swimbait hook to get it out to the slough between the bars. 

Matt Cody was also very positive about the beach fishing, to the point where it sounded like it was a bit reminiscent of the glory days; we’re not talking about 30 and 40-pounders, but the bite has been really consistent on eels and darker colored Finnish style swimming plugs at night. The backside is perhaps the only area of the Cape where needlefish are a go-to lure, but Matt said there are some pencil poppers that can be fished very slowly like a needle and produce a killer wake that fish can’t resist. And while there are a number of long cast plastic swimmers being made today, but I can still remember Tony Stetzko telling me how some of his clients would immediately wade right out, only to have Tony tell them to look behind them at the bass that were swimming in the area where they had just charged through. Sand eels are a huge part of what drives the beach fishing on the outer Cape and they reside in the shallow, wet sand area where bass often root them out.


Filmed Last Week!

In this video, Capt. Mike is joined by renowned angler Eric Harrison as they target bluefin tuna on Hogy Sand Eel Jigs

Cape Cod Bay Fishing Report

The bay is a pretty good place to start when it comes to what is going to be a common theme in all of the reports this week: there is a lot of life showing all around the Cape and islands, perhaps a sign that we are starting to see the early stages of bass migrating from points north. I spoke to my friend Barney Keezell today and his take on Boston Harbor is that things are starting to slow a bit and perhaps these are some of the fish on the move. 

In any case, Bruce Miller at Canal Bait and Tackle in Sagamore reported that the tube-and-worm action has definitely picked up from Old Harbor in Sandwich down to Scorton Ledge, while Amy Wrightson at the Sports Port in Hyannis said that tubes are producing some slot sized bass from the one can outside Barnstable Harbor up to the Fingers. Perhaps it is because of the mainly sandy bottom in the bay, interspersed with patches of weedy/sea grassy bottom, but orange or what Bruce calls “the motor oil color” tubes often out produce red or black.

Epoxy Bass
Gorilla Tactics Sportfishing dropping Hogy Epoxy Jigs down to hungry slot size fish.

Over at The Powderhorn in Hyannis, Andy Little noted that a number of charter boats from Barnstable, Sandwich, and even Sesuit will drag Hootchies off the Sandy Neck parking lot and come up a mixed bag of bass and bluefish; in some cases, you will see them dragging these classic squid imitations on their outriggers while they said up an inside spread of tubes. I’ve never understood this since these two lure types typically are trolled at different speeds, but I am no expert on trolling the bay, so as the old saying goes, “When visiting a strange place, do as the locals do.”

Around the bayside of the outer Cape, Ian Field from Blackbeard’s in Eastham and Harwich said there is still good bluefish action from Wellfleet up to Truro, with trollers using deep diving plugs such as the Rapala X-Rap, with beach fishermen opting for black, black/purple, or mackerel colored swimmers or spooks at night and sand eel or bone colored plugs during the daytime. Billingsgate is fishing OK on tubes or swimmers, but there are far more schoolies than slot or larger bass there at the moment. 

Up inside Barnstable, there has been some solid light tackle and fly rod action as the sand eel schools are really thick this year and the bass bite should only get better as September approaches, while Lee Boisvert from Riverview Bait & Tackle in South Yarmouth expects the bass activity up on the flats as well as the drop offs into deeper water to really pick up over the next several weeks as the hordes of sand eels are joined by peanut bunker and other small bait. Dedicated sight anglers will continue to focus on larger fish working crabs as well as bait fish, but I do enjoy those times when there are fish breaking everywhere as the tight is dropping and they are able to trap the bait against the bars, accompanied by flocks of terns and gulls, particularly laughing gulls whose distinctive cries always mean fall to me.

Outer Cape Fishing Report

Matt Cody from North Chatham Outfitters had the scoop on the biggest news around Monomoy, as someone who has been fishing this area for decades told him that on Wednesday there were more albies than he has ever seen from the point up the east side. The feeds were incredible and at times every boat in the area was hooked up. As far as bass in the rips go, Matt said there is definitely a better bite around Bearses and Pollock Rip, as well as spots farther out to the east, as things have switched over to more of a June feel than the midsummer period. There has been a return to squid activity this week, making topwater plugs like the Hogy Charter Grade Poppers and unweighted soft plastics like the Hogy Originals in bubblegum, bone, and amber excellent choices.

Capt. Diogo Albie
Capt. Diogo of Gorilla Tactics Sportfishing getting in on the early season albie action!

The bluefish action has been consistent from the point to spots west, but there are some bass around, but they are generally on the smaller side

From Pochet up to Nauset Inlet, the sand eel action has shifted to deeper water, between 60 and 90 feet as opposed to the 30 to 60 foot range previously. The Hogy Sand Eel Jig continues to prove its effectiveness in all its available colors, but remember to change the weight you are using based on the depth where you are fishing. 

Shore anglers continue to find good action around Nauset on eels and dark colored swimming plugs, while up around Truro a good number of the regulars are fishing live eels, but Matt added that big unweighted soft plastics – something that Hogy built its reputation on – have outfished needlefish and shallow running Finnish style swimmers from Bomber, RedFin, and Yo-zuri.

Over at Blackbeard’s in Eastham and Harwich, Ian Field said the ocean side beaches are definitely fishing better, most likely as a result of colder water temperatures combined with an abundance of bait, particularly sand eels. Head of the Meadow in particular has been fishing well, with slot sized fish in good numbers, along with some much larger bass in the mix. They have been selling lots of eels to the beach crew, with a good number of darker colored plugs as well. 


Check out the all new CLEAR Hogy Charter Grade Poppers.

Cape Cod Bay Fishing Report

Although this doesn’t technically count as a CC Bay report, when I was fishing the end of the west current out by the Maritime Academy on Tuesday, we had water temperatures as low as 63-degrees, which certainly indicates there is colder water out in the bay. According to Bruce Miller at Canal Bait and Tackle in Sagamore, there has been a decent tube-and-worm bite shaping up from the east entrance of the Canal down to Old Harbor and this is the time of year when the tube should also start producing quality fish around Scorton Ledge.

Striped bass
Big bass remain in the bay, like this one caught aboard Gorilla Tactics Sportfishing.

Of course, the big word this week concerns the disappearance of the huge pogy school up off Manomet and White Cliffs; I heard from at least a half dozen people who said they went out earlier this week and it was dead. It’s hard to believe that the number of pogies that people were talking about simply vanished and Bruce is convinced that the larger mass of fish broke up and there are smaller concentrations that pushed well up into Plymouth Harbor and other inshore locations farther north. Without the fleet to mark where the fish are, there is a bit more work involved in searching out bait and bass, something that many folks aren’t willing to do. Easy fish are great, but consistent results require effort and knowledge of where to look for baitfish based on wind direction and water temperature changes. 

The shore bite remains steady from the beaches around Sandwich, but it is mainly a bait bite during the daytime, with swimming plugs best after dark. There are also more schoolies up inside the creeks and on the shallows in front of Sandy Neck and up inside Barnstable. Early morning tide changes continue to produce the best topwater action from Barnstable to Chapin’s, as well as the deeper water outside the flats from Dennis to Brewster. 

Billingsgate is holding mostly schoolies with the occasional slot fish, as well as some bluefish; tubes and deeper running swimming plugs are what the trolling crew are using, with sand eel imitation soft plastics the way to go if you prefer to cast. The 5/8 and 7/8-ounce Hogy Epoxy Jigs in olive or silver are effective in the variety of depths in this area; they can be cast and swum right back to the boat as well as vertical jigged when the current is slower and the fish are hanging in deeper water.

From Wellfleet to Truro, there are still schools of bluefish, mainly on the smaller side as the larger fish seem to have moved across the bay towards the Canal. Ian Field from Blackbeard’s in Eastham and Harwich said that the bigger bluefish, along with the occasional bass, have been caught in the deeper water edges, while folks tossing topwater plugs up inside Wellfleet and along the shoreline have been raising bluefish and some smaller bass, especially before first light; with colder water starting to be reported in areas where high daytime temperatures had pushed fish into deeper water, more bass are starting to feed in the shallows even well after sun up. 

Outer Cape Fishing Report

The word from Matt Cody at North Chatham Outfitters is that the rips are still fishing OK, but any larger fish have been caught out in the rips to the east, while there is a good sand eel bite in deeper water off  the Southway up to Nauset Inlet. Folks are picking up smaller bass right up through the slot fishing jigs in water around 60-feet, while wire line jigging has produced larger fish in the 40+-range in depths around 30-feet, which sounds counterintuitive, but it is what it is. Matt said there are also some big bluefish on the shoals south and west of the point.

The shore bite has been good the last week or so up around Eastham, Matt noted, with swimming plugs like the Bomber and the Yo-zuri LC Minnow top choices among the sand people; best daytime colors include white/pearl or pink, while blurple (black/purple) is the top producer at night. Needlefish, both custom wood and plastic selections from Super Strike, are a tradition on the outer Cape beaches, especially as you get to the beaches from Wellfleet to Provincetown. 

Over at Blackbeard’s in Eastham and Harwich, folks are reporting some bass and bluefish around Coast Guard Beach and Nauset Light; eel imitation soft plastics, such as the Hogy Pro Tail Eel, are a good place to start, with darker colors at night and lighter variations from first light all the way through the daytime hours. Any larger fish from this area have generally come on live eels and needlefish plugs, with topwater plugs accounting for mainly bluefish from false dawn to early morning.

striped bass
Dual big bass make for a fun outing! Gorilla Tactics Sportfishing finding schools of big fish on large bait.

I had an interesting conversation with Connor Swartz at Red Top in Buzzards Bay; he said he has moved away from fishing the Canal to working the Nauset area with a buddy of his at night. They have been doing well with the black/blue 247 needle, but he admitted that this fishery has proved to be a bit more basic to figure out for someone who is just getting into fishing the outer Cape, while the beaches farther up towards Wellfleet and Truro is a whole other matter. One of the biggest challenges thereabouts is the amount of ground you have to cover on foot to get to the most productive spots, while around Nauset they have been able to pick up fish right in front of the parking lot, as well as after a short walk in either direction. 

There is a ton of small bait in the backwaters such as around Morris Island and Stage Harbor, as well as in the outer beach areas such as Nauset Marsh and Town Cove, and this is a good sign for folks who are familiar with the albie bite that shapes up from Monomoy Point up to Chatham. At the moment, however, there have been no signs of albies and only a handful of bonito have been caught.


Take a look into Capt. Mike’s inshore fishing tackle, featuring the Hogy Mesh Crate Storage System.

Cape Cod Bay Fishing Report

 Cape Cod Bay is definitely one of three areas on the Cape where striped bass can be caught on a consistent basis at the moment – and that doesn’t just mean harassing all of those fish following the pogy schools from Manomet to Boston. That said, if you aren’t into live bait fishing or having to deal with the crowds of boats in those waters, Bruce Miller at Canal Bait and Tackle in Sagamore emphasized that trollers working the tube-and-worm or swimming plugs such as the X-Rap Deep have been catching some bigger fish. 

Amy Wrightson from the Sports Port in Hyannis said that this fishing has been garnering so much attention that one of her younger crew at the shop took his kayak up that way and managed to see whales and what A.J. Coots from Red Top in Buzzards Bay had described to me was the larger school of pogies he has ever seen, probably four or five acres of fish from the top to the bottom of the water column. Oh, and this kayaker caught a number of big bass, some of which must have pulled him around pretty good.

striped bass
There are still big fish to be had, just have to put in the time.

In fact, A.J. Coots at Red Top in Buzzards Bay was working on spooling up some reels with wire, probably the most common method used on the Cape to get deep in the water column where bigger fish often hold. While it is common to troll tubes on lead core, not as many folks resort to wire, probably because getting wire to flow off the spool is more challenging to do than using parachute or regular bucktail jigs due to a tube’s decreased weight and increased water resistance. While I knew at least one charter captain who carried outfits with different lengths of wire and lead core, for the average angler, it is kind of nice to have one outfit that you can fish at different levels of the water column and that is where a conventional outfit spooled up with braid and the use of a the Hogy In-Line Trolling Weight can be really effective. By varying the weight you are using, the length of leader, and the speed of the boat, you can effectively fish a variety of depths and that same outfit can be used to vertically jig, bottom fish, and even cast jigs (metal or weighted soft plastic) or heavy plugs in a pinch if you use a light enough reel. Bruce added that tubes, especially orange or motor oil, continue to produce bass up to the lower end of the slot around Billingsgate while during the lower stages of the tide it isn’t uncommon to find bass, mainly schoolies, up on top feeding on sand eels, making lighter weight Hogy Epoxy Jigs and Hogy Sand Eels and seven-inch Hogy Originals effective options, as well as small spooks and pencil poppers.

There are still bluefish being caught around the Path, said Ian Field at Blackbeard’s in Eastham, but bass fishing has slowed both from boat and shore. The sand people would be better served bait fishing at the moment, with eels at night and chunks during the day. Swimming plugs, especially the slimmer profile Finnish style are effective over the sand bottom in this area, while Hootchies are a popular item throughout the bay, especially when there are squid around. The same lure and technique options should be effective for Barnstable starting this weekend and running through next week, well before first light high water and turn to outgoing making plugging the marshes and shoreline an option, especially with cooler weather – and hopefully – cooler water predicted this weekend, while you will still have the bottom part of the outgoing tide when you can experience nice topwater action with spooks and small sand eel plastic imitations, while flyrodders have all kinds of sand eel patterns to choose from. Next week, there will be false dawn turns to outgoing, which often see rising fish as soon as you leave Blish Point. Andy Little at The Powderhorn in Hyannis expecting things to break open there with the return to fall weather right around the corner. That should also liven up the beach fishing, although Bruce did hear from one angler fishing the Sandwich area who picked up some small slot size fish on chunk mackerel and the word is that these same size fish are being caught on tubes in the Scorton Ledge area.

Outer Cape Fishing Report

This is area number three when it comes to bass potential, with Matt Cody at North Chatham Outfitters noting that there has generally been a line – a hazy one that can change from day-to-day – of bass in the rips to the north and east of the point and bluefish south and west around Point, Rodgers, Handkerchief, and Shovelful Shoals. The farther north and east you go, it is more likely that you will find bigger fish – well above the slot – feeding on squid, but overall folks are reporting that the fish are feeding on sand eels in most areas. Although there have been reports of small squid in some areas, Matt recommended carrying soft plastics in the seven-inch range like the Hogy Originals when you find fish on squid and bigger, brighter flies for the fly rod crew. He also added that these larger fish are also liking the Hogy Dog Walker, both in amber and white, along with Hogy Charter Grade Poppers. 

Of course, trolling the rips can be no less effective, whether stemming and dropping squid flies or soft plastics back into the white water on lead core line or trolling wire and parachutes; Amy Wrightson at the Sports Port in Hyannis said that one of her regular customers has been doing well trolling swimming plugs, both deep divers and ones that fish a little shallower and can be cast as well as dragged behind the boat.

Up around the stretch of water in the 30 to 60-foot range off of what Matt and the other locals call Shark Cove, which is south of the Southway (which I had no idea is what this new breach is called after knowing the old Southway that was well down on South Monomoy before it closed up), on up to the entrance to Chatham Harbor, there is a solid sand eel jig bite, perfect for the Hogy Sand Eel Jig. Since these fish are spread out of such a large area, there are fewer boats and at times fish will come up on top the closer you get to the shoreline. If you’re new to this area, be advised that the heave of the swell can get pretty big and you definitely don’t want to get near where it breaks on the sand. I used the Southway myself a couple of times recently to avoid the nastiness at the mouth of Stage Harbor with a heavy southwest wind and dropping tide and was shocked at what I said to Matt was “like a ghost town” around Morris Island with one house on the cliff ready to fall into the ocean and remnants of trees and shrubs littering the shoreline. It always amazes me how dynamic the flow of current and sand is on the outer Cape, especially when driven by a good storm. Of course, these structure changes can result in better fishing in some areas and given the number of flyrodders and light tackle anglers I saw fishing the deep water close to the south facing shore of the island, it apparently is very popular with both locals and visitors alike – and Matt added that fishing a live eel at night is a good bet if a larger bass is your goal.

Eels are also working up at Nauset Beach, but Matt said one of the shop staff at North Chatham Outfitters has been picking at fish up into the slot on plugs at night as well. Needlefish are an outer Cape staple among the dedicated pluggers who still do well all the way up the backside, with soft plastics and shallow running swimmers, which I most often call Finnish style after the original member of its clan, the Rapala. 

Up off Coast Guard Beach and Nauset Light, some smaller bass and bluefish continue to be caught on the morning tides, said Ian Field at Blackbeard’s in Eastham and Harwich, especially on topwater plugs and chunk baits. One of the saddest things is the lack of tackle shops from Wellfleet to Provincetown, making reliable news tough to get, but maybe the sand people who roam the classic beaches in this stretch at night like it that way. And I do know they catch fish, but work hard for them and deserve a lot of credit for their devotion to plug making and plug fishing. As for daytime plugging from the beaches, by most accounts there have been occasional charges of bluefish up around Race Point.


Filmed Last Week

Despite being in the “Dog Days” of summer, Capt. Mike found some hot and heavy topwater bluefish action at Hedgefence.

Cape Cod Bay Fishing Report

Interesting week in Cape Cod Bay as there are still remnants of the cold water that moved in last week, with some larger bass taken from shore in the Sandwich area – that is until a group of large seals showed up off of Scorton Creek and Town Neck, said Bruce Miller at Canal Bait and Tackle in Sagamore. This is strictly a night fishery, with eelskin plugs and even allowing sinking poppers and plugs like the Hogy Slider to get down and then allowing them to swing in the current before starting a very slow retrieve. 

Andy Little at The Powderhorn in Hyannis reported that on Thursday there was a good topwater bite in Barnstable Harbor, with a good number of slot size fish in the mix. Typically, spook style plugs such as the Hogy Dog Walker are really effective, especially bone or white varieties. If the fish aren’t showing, then you can’t go wrong with the Hogy Sand Eel soft plastic rigged on a jighead or a weighted swimbait hook, with the weight determined by the water depth you are fishing. If you have a higher tide in the earliest part of the morning, you can fish up on the shallows using unweighted plastics or even waking plugs like the Dog Walker and then shift over to the drop-offs as the tide moves towards low water. Andy added that this time of year, there are usually some bigger bass caught on plugs up inside Barnstable by shore anglers, but the sand flies and greenheads are so bad that even the hardcores are passing at the moment. The flats are still holding bass down around Brewster, but the larger fish are definitely keyed in on crabs and shrimp, with sand eel patterns still producing for flyrodders in the channels between the bars either side of low water. 

Gorilla Tactics Sportfishing with one of many bluefish from a trip earlier this week.

Bruce said that Billingsgate is producing a lot of smaller bass with the occasional slot fish; the tube-and-worm has been especially productive – if you can get worms that is. Orange or motor oil have been the best colors. He added that the Fingers have been surprisingly quiet for this time of year and if there are any fish being caught by folks trolling tubes from off of Scorton to Barnstable, they are keeping it quiet. The challenge with getting seaworms is that the diggers up in Maine right now are getting better prices for picking blueberries than scratching on the flats, Andy explained. 

The word from Ian Field at Blackbeard’s in Eastham is that there are mainly bluefish being caught by boaters trolling Hootchies and swimmers from Wellfleet to Provincetown. Oh, and if you don’t mind playing bumper boats while fishing, the snag-and-drop pogy bite remains the hottest game in town from Manomet and north to Boston; Bruce emphasized that the larger fish are in closer to shore amongst the rocks, with smaller fish outside. Trolling outside the fray with deep diving swimmers such as the Rapala X Raps and even the tube-and-worm is also producing some quality stripers.

Outer Cape Fishing Report

Colder water and plenty of bait has kept the rips fishing really well this last week, with the vast majority of bass in the slot along with enough 40+-inch fish to keep things interesting. The ride to Chatham isn’t what I prefer to make, but it’s what you do if you want to get folks into fish, but at least I can trailer and avoid the bumps heading across the sound from port to the west. 

Capt. Warren Marshall of Outcast Charters had an amazing trip on Monday, but things didn’t work out exactly as he thought they would. Upon arriving at a spot north and east of the point – where Matt Cody at North Chatham Outfitters has said the fishing has been best and getting most of the attention – Warren started to rig up sand eel pattern Clouser’s behind casting jigs, anticipating that the fish would be chewing on sand eels as they were on a fly rod trip last Saturday. He rigged one rod with an amber Hogy Charter Grade Popper and had one angler fish it during the slower water before the rip go going, thinking that they might raise a wayward bluefish, but that first cast produced an explosion of white water and started a non-stop topwater bite that had everyone tired of catching fish after only three hours or so. I was nearby and elected to experiment with the pink and translucent white Charter Grade Poppers and we fish on all morning long, as well as picking up a few on the fly rod using squid flies. Tuesday, I again went with poppers, but other than a couple of half-hearted swirls, the fish wouldn’t commit, so the light bulb finally went off and I re-rigged the rods I had set up with Hogy Originals, switching to Hogy Sand Eel soft plastics rigged on fairly light jigheads. It was game on as we swung these highly imitative lures into the rip, as well as picking up some nice fish on sand eel flies. 

On Wednesday, Warren and his older son David tried topwater plugs with no results before switching over to the fly rod and Clouser’s, picking up a good number of fish up to 34.5-inches. Michael Beebe and I had good success with the long wand as well, with a full/fast sink line keeping the fly away from the shearwaters that continue to plague the area, although they often looked down into the water and watched the fly drop. On the way back in, we checked out Bearses and it too was alive, with fish popping on small bait as it most likely was being swept from rip to rip. Sometimes most of the surface activity was in the flat water between the rip lines and then right along and in the white water. At times, bass of all sizes were visible milling around until they found the bait and started making a ruckus. We hooked up once on a small squid fly, with my thought being that given the aggressive feeding that they might be feeding on juvenile squid, but Matt Cody advised me later that he has seen this type of activity when the bass in the rips are chowing on small sand eels. 

Amanda Grueter caught some gator bluefish on Hogy Epoxy Jigs.

Speaking of sand eels and stripers, Matt said that he went out after work earlier this week and found a good bite in about 30-feet of water off of Chatham. He was using diamond jigs, but I suspect that the Hogy Sand Eel Jig would have worked its magic, along with the Hogy Epoxy Jig in a heavier weight. Matt said he wasn’t really vertical jigging, but casting light jigs in the half to three quarter ounce range, but he did tell me that one of the keys, which his friend turned him onto, is getting the jig right on the bottom and working it right there, when the fish are picky. And I almost forgot: Matt spoke to a boater who was dragging an umbrella rig around Rodgers Shoal when he caught four fish that sure sounded like bonito, but he let them go. Given that bones are in out on Nantucket, it would be no shock if these were funny fish. In fact, I have typically caught my first – and the largest – bonito of the season out at Monomoy while tossing pencil poppers or spooks when trying to raise bluefish around the time of slack water. 

There hasn’t been much to report from the backside beaches, other than mainly bluefish up around Coast Guard and Nauset Light on topwater plugs in the morning and a few bass on bait, both chunk mackerel and squid, as well as live eels, at night, said Ian Field at Blackbeard’s in Eastham. The water up inside Nauset Marsh has gotten really warm, making an incoming current towards high water critical, along with low light conditions, if you are working inside the marsh, while the inlet is a good bet as well. Surface plugs will raise fish, but subsurface presentation with weighted soft plastics is more consistently productive. Some good bluefish activity was reported from the beaches up around Provincetown, along with some stripers being caught from Race Point down around to Truro and Wellfleet on needlefish, Finnish-style swimmers, and eels. If you seek bass, prepare to fish in the dark.


Cape Cod Bay Fishing Report

While keeping track of tides and current is critical to success on a given day at a specific spot, sometimes it is even more important to keep track of what the water temperatures and movements are throughout a larger area, thereby be able to predict or determine where fish and bait are or perhaps will be moving. 

That has been the case this week in the bay, according to Bruce Miller at Canal Bait and Tackle in Sagamore. Yesterday, I heard that some photos of bigger fish taken in the Canal were popping up on social media and Bruce advised that these fish were part of a wave that moved west to east in the bay, following baitfish – in this case mostly whiting with some mackerel mixed in as well – that were impacted by a slug of 60-degree water. What that meant was a slowdown, at least on Wednesday and Thurday, in the solid action around Billingsgate while things picked up towards the east. Odds are that since the fish in the land cut came in on the west current, they might have been available for folks fishing before first light from the Sandwich creeks to the east entrance. What doesn’t seem to be in question is that once the Canal current turned east, those fish followed the bait out of the Big Ditch and folks trolling the tube-and-worm did well from Sandwich to Barnstable. I had presumed that the fish pictured on the web were part of the biomass of big bass that have been chowing on pogies around Scusset and White Horse Beach, but as mentioned above, Bruce emphasized that this wasn’t a north to south movement and then into the Canal, but east to west in pursuit of mainly whiting. 

Jack Pinard of Hogy Lures found some fish in the bay willing to eat a Hogy Slowtail.

It should be surprise that the tube-and-worm has been producing large bass at this point in the season, with warmer, sunnier days the norm that drive the fish deeper in the water column and make them more inclined to hit tubes for two reasons: the scent attraction of a nice juicy worm and the slower trolling speed and movements of a tube. Many shops were waiting for the arrival of more seaworms as the availability of this bait staple is dependent on what is going on up in Maine with the tides and moons and how they impact the ability of the diggers to get out on the flats. Some folks will argue that the plastic seaworm or bloodworm imitations that come impregnated with scent work just as well as the real thing, but generally speaking the tubing sharpies that I know typically carry a couple of packages only as backups in case the bite is hot and they run out of bait. Bruce Miller once told me some folks use eelskins or really small whole eels, while pork rind or skinny soft plastic are another alternative – at least in desperation. According to Mike O’Harra at Riverview Bait & Tackle in South Yarmouth, fluorescent orange has been the hot color in the bay, but I would never think of going tubing without a couple of red/wine or black ones as well. 

The other option that folks have been using on the troll in the bay when they want no part of jigging wire is the use of swimming plugs, whether they are one of the longer billed deep divers or even one of those multi-jointed swimmers that most folks associate with casting. The latter won’t work as deeply in the water column, but you can use lead core line and slower trolling speeds to get down to where the fish are holding. There have been some big bluefish also caught on the troll from Billingsgate up through the Path and even off of Herring Cove and Race Point; Mike O’Harra said that along with the good fishing on bass between 30 and 40-inches, they managed a couple of blues in the 12-pound class on a recent trip. He mentioned that red, pink, or white jigs have been popular lately, perhaps because those are good squid imitating colors and folks like Bruce Miller said there have some concentrations of squid in the bay. 

Casting up inside spots such as Barnstable Harbor or along the edges of the shallows from Chapin’s to Rock Harbor is definitely a low light activity; a few dedicated pluggers use needlefish or shallow running or even floating Finnish style swimmers at night and they are joined by a handful of flyrodders who have a solid handle on the tides, shoreline and bars/sloughs if they are wade fishing around the northside, but for the inexperienced, then false dawn is a safer, wiser choice, with sand eel/eel profile soft plastics or white/bone or olive over white spook style surface plugs effective early morning or daytime options. 

Ian Field from Blackbeard’s in Eastham said that high tides will draw bluefish and bass close to the bayside beaches from Eastham to Truro, especially when they coincide with early, early morning right through false dawn. At that time, topwater plugs are a good option, with weighted or unweighted sand eel imitations, Finnish style swimmers, or even live eels better dusk to dawn options. If you prefer to chunk bait, mackerel is always a good option, with squid perhaps an even better option as they are a major target for fish at this in the season and venture into really shallow water. In fact, when wade fishing the Brewster Flats, I have on numerous occasions have had squid all over the sand eel or even silverside imitations I use.

Outer Cape Fishing Report

Matt Cody from North Chatham Outfitters said that the bass fishing remains pretty consistent around the rips, with those north and east of the point producing more and better quality fish than those in the sound like Handkerchief and Shovelful. The latter, along with the Point, are more likely to have action with bluefish and there are still schools of smaller bluefish from the Point back to Stage Harbor on the west side. Fluke fishing has been receiving more attention on the shoals and there is some decent sea bass fishing in the deeper water south of Little Ground Shoal and the east side of Nantucket. At least the fog had lifted towards the end of this week, making it more comfortable and less stressful moving between the rips, Matt added. Radar is a wonderful tool, but my experience is that far too many boaters use it as an excuse for running around in conditions where they are putting other boats in harm’s way.

There has also been no word of fish moving from the shoals to the deeper water off Chatham and Nauset, where they typically go on a sand eel bite, making vertical jigging with Epoxy Jigs and Sand Eel Jigs the way to go. 

The flats and backwaters along the outer Cape are still producing some bass, especially towards the openings where colder water from out east can flush in during incoming tide. Ian Field from Blackbeard’s advised fishing from dusk to dawn on either side of high tide, with soft plastic sand eel and eel imitations a good choice, with some topwater action in the early morning. Some bass are also being caught from Coast Guard Beach on chunk baits, while Nauset is a good area to swim eels at night, even in this warmer weather.


Latest Video

In our latest video, Capt. Mike Hogan heads offshore targeting bluefin tuna on spinning gear using a combination of the Hogy Harness Jigs and Hogy Charter Grade Sliders.

Cape Cod Bay Fishing Report

While more than enough attention has been paid to the snag-and-drop bite happening up around the Plymouth area, the reality is that there is some good fishing to be had away from the pogy schools. 

Beth Johnson with a thick bunker fed bass.

Up inside Barnstable Harbor, the action has been mainly on schoolies, with a decent topwater bite early in the morning on small spooks and other topwater plugs, although sand eel imitation soft plastics are generally tough to beat if the fish are feeding on these thin profile baitfish. Rigged on a weighted swimbait hook or jighead, letting your soft plastic drop deeper in the water column is perhaps the best approach to finding any larger fish hanging deeper in the water column if you prefer casting artificials. Trollers, on the other hand, have turned to the venerable tube-and-worm and jigging wire as the water warms, especially in this nasty heat wave we are experiencing, said Andy Little at The Powderhorn in Hyannis. Both techniques have been working up around Billingsgate and in the deeper water between the east entrance to the Canal and Barnstable. Trolling for bluefish is also very popular this time of year and over the years nothing has proven more effective on blues when trolling than a class of lures generically called Hootchies; not only are these effective, but with their single Siwash hook, they make for easier release than the multiple treble rigged swimmers that many folks use. 

Another popular option for getting deeper in the water column if you prefer trolling with braided line outfits is the Rapala X Rap Magnum, especially the seven-inch or 40 model. That said, I assume you could also fish these on lead core or perhaps even wire. Jeff Miller at Canal Bait and Tackle in Sagamore noted that this lure has been working for folks working outside of the pogy schools in the Plymouth and north stretch; this lure comes in a number of color options, with many folks reaching first for the one that is intended to match a pogy or menhaden, and while this would seem logical, sometimes something a little different can make the difference. I can’t say for certain how many people have caught on to the effectiveness of the Hogy Slider, especially the larger and heavier models, fished on braid or lead core, as a deep swimming option, but switching from trebles to in line single rigging does not impact their action and makes them a great choice for both bass and blues, both in terms of catching and cleaner, easier releases. 

Obviously, the live bait bite is, as mentioned, most consistent from Plymouth up to Boston Harbor, although Jeff mentioned that a number of “recremercials” came into his shop earlier this week and were complaining about the lack of really big fish. It has always seemed amazing to me that so many fishermen can be so braindead as to not realize that a fleet of boats working over a school of bass – or any fish for that matter – concentrated on baitfish like pogies which often hang in an area for a long time will eventually fish that school out. Connor Swartz from Red Top in Buzzards Bay mentioned that while heading out to Stellwagen for tuna, they have passed through some of these schools of pogies and watched as bass were on the surface, actually pushing a wake as they swam; in those scenarios, which most often occur early in the morning or in other lowlight scenarios, topwater plugs have been getting a lot of attention, especially plugs like big spooks, but big soft plastics such as the Hogy 10-inch Original are also good options.

One of the challenges for folks who live to fish live bait but who want nothing to do with the pogy scene is finding mackerel. One angler who did find them about a mile outside of Barnstable turned the macks into a number of bass, including some slot sized fish according to Amy Wrightson at The Sports Port in Hyannis and Osterville. 

For shore anglers working the bayside beaches or wading the flats, the word on the former from Ian Field at Blackbeard’s in Eastham and Harwich is that there has been a good topwater bite on bluefish and bass from Eastham to Provincetown. Bone or white plugs have been top daytime producers, including spooks and pencil poppers, while live eels at night have accounted for some larger fish. Of course, as Ian noted, there are those folks who still prefer to fish chunk bait such as mackerel and squid and they are still picking at mainly bluefish from South Sunken Meadow and the beaches up around Wellfleet.

Outer Cape Fishing Report

Matt Cody at North Chatham Outfitters said that while there had been a push of big bluefish in the rips around Monomoy prior to this week, there have been reports this week of bigger bass returning, including a larger number of overslot fish. Most of the bass are being caught on squid imitations in the rips, but during times of slower current or even slack, both bass and blues have been reported swirling and blowing up on baitfish such as sand eels and what look like small herring. These fish have been tough to target since they are up-and-down so quickly; the only success we have had at times has been either using a fast sink line and a super heavy Half-and-Half sand eel fly on the fly rod or a Hogy Sand Eel Jig, Hogy Sand Eel plastic or  Hogy seven-inch Original on a weighted swimbait hook or jighead. On some occasions, we have opted to wait for a swirl or even a push of several fish and then cast a Hogy right into the action. At times, size of your squid imitations really doesn’t matter, but at others matching length more closely is important, so keep that in mind. 

Gorilla Tactics Sportfishing has been finding plenty of over-size bass willing to play!

One key Matt mentioned is that the larger fish are deeper in the water column, so even when using soft plastics, selecting a jig head or weighted swimbait hook rigging is a good idea. For example, Amy Wrightson at The Sports Port in Hyannis told of two of her employees who fished the Monomoy area recently and caught plenty of fish on white and pink soft plastics. The difference was that the crew using unweighted plastics generally caught smaller fish, while the other group chose to rig their baits on two-ounce jigheads and they fish up to the 40+-inch class. I know of some flyrodders who have also been opting to dredge their squid bugs on super heavy fly lines, letting them sink as deeply as they can. 

As far as the backside beaches go, Matt advised that there has been some sporadic action on larger fish along the beaches from Chatham to Truro at night on live eels and needlefish or Finnish style swimming plugs. These fish have been spread out throughout the area, so locales or regulars who fish this area consistently have been doing OK, while tourist anglers have been confined to some early morning bluefish and schoolie action at Nauset Light and Coast Guard Beaches. In fact, Ian Field at Blackbeard’s said that topwater lures have been working in the early morning around Coast Guard Beach with chunk squid and larger eel imitations a good choice for Nauset Light. Top water plugs have been productive in estuaries such as Salt Pond and Fort Hill, with the key being the times on both sides of high tide, as well as lower light conditions. Up around Race Point, boaters have been catching some bigger bass as well as huge bluefish on sand eel, mackerel, and squid imitations, both trolling and casting.


Latest Video

The schoolie size bluefin tuna bite off of Cape Cod has been one of the best we’ve seen in years! Here’s a look into our latest video, trolling for bluefin tuna just east of Chatham!

Cape Cod Bay Fishing Report

As Jeff Miller at Canal Bait and Tackle in Sagamore said,
“The lure of the month is the weighted snag hook, “ a pretty good sign
of what technique a whole lot of folks are employing in the bay – the
pogy snag-and-drop. Now, while technically the only segment of the
fishing community that can “legally” snag a pogy and then leave it on
the weighted treble to drop below the school, thereby presenting an
injured, struggling baitfish to the waiting bass, the reality is that I am
certain both some of the recreational and charter operations that are
taking advantage of this slaughter are not transferring their baits to
circle hooks as they are required to do. After all, it’s pretty easy to just
say, “Well, I snagged a pogy and then a bass ate it before I had the
chance to switch it over,” just like those folks who fish for bass in the
EEZ and then say, “Well, I was targeting bluefish (or tuna, or whatever)
and I caught a bass.”

Capt. Mike Hogan with fiesty topwater bluefish.

Anyway, don’t think for a minute that livelining pogies is the only way
to catch big fish in the bay right now, Jeff advised. Deep diving
swimming plugs are working really well for boats that are trolling
outside the pogy schools and he added that while some folks are
convinced that the pogy color is the only one to use, the silver version,
which also matches the shad that fish are munching on as well. While I
was in Canal Bait, I saw one guy come in looking for a bunker swimmer
that he had called about three days earlier, when Jeff apparently had
ten in stock but he had sold in the meantime. Supply chain limitations
are still an issue and I highly recommend that if you absolutely need to
have a given lure, that when you find a supply, but it – or better yet,
pick up a couple in case one gets snapped off during a cast or due to a
poor knot or a visit from Mr. Bluefish.
The tube-and-worm is a solid bet to pick up some bass around spots
like Barnstable Harbor and Billingsgate, but it is also a good mid-
summer producer along the shallows between Barnstable and
Brewster. Bruce Miller added that bunker spoons are another option
when fishing around the deeper holes and humps that stretch from just

outside the east entrance to the Canal out to the Fingers and other
spots from Sandwich to Barnstable.
The word from Matt Cardarelli at Riverview Bait & Tackle in South
Yarmouth is that jigging wire is the way to go when targeting larger fish
around Billingsgate, with casters generally picking at smaller bass. He
didn’t hesitate in picking red as the most popular color jig and
remember that unlike the sounds and Monomoy where parachute
styles are the way to go, up in Cape Cod Bay they prefer a basic nylon
hair jig.
In fact, it was one of those that most likely scored the largest bass
weighed in during the Charter Cup, an event the raises money for 15
different charities and that Andy Little from The Powderhorn in Hyannis
has served as weighmaster since its inception. That fish tipped the
scales at just over 17-pounds, a really nice plump fish given the upper
end of the recreational slot is less than 35-inches. Although he couldn’t
say exactly where that fish came from along the northside – and frankly
I wouldn’t want him to – Andy believes it was caught somewhere
between Sesuit and Barnstable.

Colin Ward getting in on the hot tuna bite!

I typically avoid the hue-and-cry that takes place up around
Provincetown when the bass are chewing on sand eels and mackerel,
but I can imagine that scene is even crazier with all of the reports of
school sized tuna from the Race over Peaked Hill and out to
Stellwagen– and, yes, I know I am violating the boundaries of CC Bay,
but plenty of folks who start fishing around Herring Cove, for example,
eventually make it to the point and around the corner. The word is that
if you are looking to tangle with a bluefin on the fly, this is the place to
be, with baitfish patterns from Skok, Puglisi, and others the way to go.
If you prefer spinning tackle, then everything from vertical jigging metal
and soft plastic paddles to tossing topwater plugs has been effective
and remember that Hogy has you covered for any of these techniques,
from an big tuna grade Epoxy Jigs and Sand Eel Jigs to Pro Tail Paddles
and Pro Tail Eels to tuna grade Charter Grade Poppers, Dog Walkers, and

Andy added that the casting bite remains really good, particularly at
first light, around Barnstable with fish feeding on sand eels, for the boat
crew, shore anglers are enjoying topwater activity at false dawn around
the Sandwich creeks and around the flats that you can access safely
during certain stretches of the tide between Barnstable and Brewster. I
mention safety since the height of the tides in the bay is far too often a
surprise to inexperienced anglers who visit the northside and they can
get stranded if they fail to drop back to the shore as the tide rises –
typically about half a foot every 15 minutes or so, but even more so
during moon tides.

Gorilla Tactics Sportfishing finding big bass on the fly rod!

Flats guide and expert Chris Kokorda has been posting photos of really
nice bass that he and his clients have been catching and while it is
tempting to just go with sand eel imitations, especially when you see all
of the tern activity during lower stages of the tide, the reality is that fish
on the flats love crustaceans, from crabs to shrimp.
Finally, Ian Field at Blackbeard’s in Eastham noted that the bass and
bluefish bite has been consistent on the bayside beaches from his neck
of the woods up to Provincetown; plenty of folks prefer to chunk bait
such as mackerel and squid at spots such as South Sunken Meadow, but
early mornings can see some solid topwater action on plugs such as
pencil poppers.

Outer Cape Fishing Report

Matt Cody at North Chatham Outfitters said
that while the bass fishing around Monomoy remains
very good, a lot of people have turned their attention to trolling and
casting for bluefin, especially when they have been reported at Crab
Ledge – and even closer to shore up around the Golf Balls and Peaked
No doubt targeting the white water of the rips is the number one
priority, whether you are tossing plugs, soft plastics, or flies or jigging
wire, but don’t overlook the flat water either between the rip lines or

well off one of them; I fished with Capt. Mike’s sister, Deb, and her
family on Thursday and they did a job raising fish on the amber Hogy
Charter Grade Popper.
Subsurface presentations were also working well for the fly rod boats
that I saw, with most using fast sink lines, whether they were casting-
and-swinging (yay!) or jigging (nay!). A couple of the larger charterboats
were jigging wire with some larger fish coming aboard, while Bob Lewis
noted that he has been using smaller squid flies on his lead core outfits.
I don’t know what it is about all the shearwaters around the waters
surrounding Monomoy, but be advised that they can be a hazard as
they stay really low to the water and glide, making them easy targets
for a bird strike, as happened to Capt. Mike on his return trip from Crab
Ledge this week.

Chip Rich with a nice schoolie bluefin tuna.

Along with the shearwaters, there have been clouds of gulls, including
my favorite laughing versions, and terns around many of the rips,
although the largest concentrations I have encountered have been
north of Bearses and between there and Pollock Channel. There have
been bass and blues popping bait on the surface in these areas for well
over a week and for a couple of days the word from Matt Cody is that
flyrodders were reporting sightings of worms in the area. It’s new to
me, but Matt said this isn’t the first time he has heard of them showing
in these waters.
It only makes sense that with fish swirling and exploding on the surface
that tossing poppers and other surface plugs would be the approach
folks would take – and I have been guilty of this myself the last couple
of trips out east – but we found the seven-inch Original Hogy in
bubblegum rigged unweighted the way to go on sizeable bass and
monster bluefish, along with a secondary approach of small soft plastics
on very light jigheads. Deb Hogan told me that she saw some small
white baitfish fly out of the water before being inhaled, while there are
also schools of big sand eels and – as expected – squid in the area.
Although it was tough seeing anything in the fog, we did find scattered
fish popping on top as we moved north towards Chatham Inlet and

Matt Cody said that the bass have been starting to move north into
deeper, cooler water, which should kickstart the vertical jig sand eel
Up around Nauset Marsh and Salt Pond, there has been a good
topwater bite on bass up to 40+-inches, said Ian Field at Blackbeard’s in
Eastham, with the two hours before and two hours after high tide best.
Folks fishing squid or live eels have been doing well around Long Nook
in Truro as well as the backside beaches around Eastham and Wellfleet.
Sand eel soft plastic imitations are very effective backside beach
producers, along with needlefish at night.



Coming Soon…

Here’s a sneak peek into Capt. Mike’s latest offshore tuna trip. Stay tuned for the full length version!

Cape Cod Bay Fishing Report

The fishing around the pogy schools from Scussett up
to Plymouth and beyond is still getting a lot of attention from
recremercials and even recreational anglers looking for a big fish,
although I still don’t understand catch-and-release live bait fishing. I
guess the thrill is in pulling on a bigger fish, but I sure hope that folks
are carefully releasing these bass and, of course, remembering that
recreationals have to use circle hooks.

Bruce Miller at Canal Bait and Tackle in Sagamore said that trollers are
turning to the tube-and-worm, from around the pogy schools when the
fish go deep after feeding to Barnstable and Billingsgate as well as up
around Provincetown. Orange or red tubes are top producers, but the
motor oil color sometimes gets more attention.
And even though not many people employ them, Bruce advised that
the few sharpies who employ bunker spoons have been doing well from
the Double Humps out to the Fingers.
The topwater bite in the morning around Barnstable Harbor has been
very good, with mainly smaller bass but enough slot sized fish to make
things interesting; Andy Little at The Powderhorn in Hyannis said that
both small light colored topwaters and soft plastics have been working

Amanda Grueter’s niece caught this bluefish on a 7/8oz Hogy Epoxy Jig.

While the fishing around the Sandwich creeks is, again, mainly a small
fish activity, Bruce reported that a few lower end of the slot fish were
caught this week on bait, mainly chunk mackerel.
Bait has also been the key to catching bass and even some bluefish
around South Sunken Meadow Beach, noted Ian Field from
Blackbeard’s in Eastham; both mackerel and squid have been working

Outer Cape Fishing Report

Just too good, if that’s possible. All of
the rips are holding fish, mainly slot sized and I would dare say that it
would be a challenge to find something that these fish won’t eat. Sarah
Perkins and her son Ben and nephew Tom fished there on Thursday and
had a blast watching bass cruising the rip before walloping their Hogy
Squid Plugs and Charter Grade Poppers. We also watched folks jigging
squid flies and soft plastics with good results.
And what was particularly interesting was how the fishing erupted in
the calmer, deeper water between the rips, making for some
impressive surface feeding.

Gorilla Tactics Sportfishing finding plenty of slot-sized bass willing to eat.

To add to that, while we were having a great time with the bass, it was
obvious that a good number of boats had no interest in them, setting
up drifts through the shoals to target fluke, which Matt Cody at North
Chatham Outfitters said are being caught in increasing numbers,
eliminating the need to make the long run to Nantucket.
As I have already suspected, the outer Cape beaches are producing
decent numbers of bass, but only a select few hardcores fish them

often and well. Matt heard that Nauset has been producing fish at night
on eels, while spots to the north from Wellfleet to Provincetown are
popular with the needlefish crew.
Ian Field at Blackbeard’s in Eastham added that the fishing has been
good around the Nauset Marsh, with small topwater plugs and soft
plastics effective in this area.


Soft Plastic Stripers

Throwing big soft plastic baits for striped bass has gained a lot of traction in the past few seasons. The life like action of a big soft plastic is something no plug can replicate. Take a look back to a video filmed a few seasons ago highlighting the effectiveness of the Hogy 10′ Originals for topwater stripers.

Cape Cod Bay Fishing Report

Although livelining or snag-and-drop fishing with pogies
continues to be the big thing from the east entrance to the Canal and
spreading north towards Boston, Bruce Miller at Canal Bait and Tackle
in Sagamore explained that when the bigger fish have gorged on
menhaden, they will often drop into deeper water where some folks
have been using the tube-and-worm with some success. Of course, one
of the interesting questions is where did all those big fish come from
since there is no evidence that they came through the Canal. Bruce
believes that with a lack of mackerel or other large forage out around
Provincetown and in federal waters, the mass of cows moved across
the bay and chow down on one of their favorite sources of protein.
Many of the fish being caught are long-and-lean, like a 51-inch fish that
Bruce weighed in at just over 40-pounds.

Big bass caught aboard Cape Star Charters.













Ian Lumsden at Red Top in Buzzards Bay said the pogy bite has moved
up as far as far as Scituate, with some folks targeting these larger fish
with big topwater plugs like spooks as well as larger swimming plugs.
While this scene has been grabbing lots of attention, there is still some
very good fishing to be had in other parts of the bay.
Andy Little at The Powderhorn in Hyannis reported that there have
been some good topwater action in the early morning on slot size bass
around Barnstable Harbor; white or bone remains the top producing
color. My nephew Frank was up that way earlier this week in the
afternoon for some family time out on west bar and told me that he
encountered surface feeding bass on his way out from Blish Point,
albeit mostly smaller ones.
Billingsgate has also been producing mainly schoolies and a smattering
of slot fish; wire-and-jigs are typically most effective this time of year as
the fish start to sit deeper in the water, but if you prefer casting, then
sand eel profile soft plastics like the Hogy Pro Tail Eel are good options.
Speaking of sand eels, Ian Field over at Blackbeard’s in Eastham said
there has been an “insane” sand eel bite up around Race Point this
week on bass from schoolies to 40+ inch stripers, with squid another
bait the fish are targeting in the area.

Slot-sized fish like this one caught aboard Gorilla Tactics Sportfishing have invaded Cape Cod.











For shore anglers, the Sandwich creeks are a steady bet for flyrodders
and light tackle anglers using sand eel imitations. The flats/shallows
from Barnstable to Brewster continue to feature occasional bursts of
surface activity with smaller bass chowing on sand eels, but your larger
bass are keyed in on crabs right on the bottom.
Ian Field noted that shore anglers are doing well at South Sunken
Meadow, mainly using chunk mackerel or squid, with a few folks
tossing topwater plugs at first light; bone and mackerel have been
popular colors. Finally, the winter flounder bite is starting to slow, admitted Lee
Boisvert at Riverview Bait & Tackle in South Yarmouth; there are still
fish being caught off of Sesuit Harbor, but you are going to have to
work harder and longer to find any numbers of fish. This may be a good
time to try chumming to stir up some action.

Outer Cape Fishing Report

It’s just plain good on the shoals. I
fished there on Wednesday with brothers Joe and John Nolan and we
caught some really nice bass, both on the fly and spin. Pink was the go
to color for us, including the seven-inch Hogy Original on a swimbait
hook and a very simple squid pattern: hackles for tentacles, estaz
grande palmered for the mantle, and a pair of really big eyes. We also
saw fish caught by folks jigging wire and on surface plugs; we were
doing so well on the Hogy soft plastics that I never broke out the
Charter Grade Poppers, but I am confident they would have worked
really well. The fish were definitely feeding on squid, but Matt Cody at
North Chatham Outfitters said that at times on certain shoals, sand eel
imitations have been doing the trick. There are also some really big
bluefish around, although it was kind of cool to see a mix of smaller
blues and schoolies popping on small bait in on the edge of the
shallows as were heading back to Stage Harbor.

John Burns caught this toothy bluefish on The Hogy Charter Grade Surface Plug.














We also saw a good number of people wading the flats from outside
Stage to the cut between North and South Monomoy, as well as a
couple of flats boats on the pole. Although it has not reached the level
of attention that it did at one time, the Monomoy flats are fishing very
well, especially with crab flies.
Along the backside beaches, the best fishing is definitely at night
according to Ian Field from Blackbeard’s in Eastham; some larger fish
have been caught on live eels in the Fort Hill area, but sand eel soft
plastics have been producing a lot of bass of all sizes. Finnish style
swimming plugs are a good early morning alternative, with some
topwater action just before and around first light.

Fluke Fishing Report

Matt added that the inshore fluke bite around the Monomoy shoals is
also picking up; you’re not going to get shots at doormats like they pick
up southeast of Nantucket, but there are increasing numbers of fish in
the 20+-inch range. In fact, I spoke to one commercial fluker who said

he has been picking up around 50 to 60-pounds of selects on his trips
there, while he manages around a half dozen fish of that size if he
fishes the sounds closer to Falmouth.


Catch & Release

Here’s a guide to rigging a Hogy Charter Grade Popper for catching and releasing striped bass. This method minimizes damage done to the fish, ensuring a healthy release!

Cape Cod Bay Fishing Report

If you haven’t heard the news, the commercial fleet parked itself
in the waters between Plymouth and Manomet and, as Bruce Miller at Canal Bait
and Tackle in Sagamore put it, “They were catching all big fish livelining pogies.”
With the general absence of mackerel in the bay, the fish have turned their
attention in a big way to pogies, which are apparently very plentiful, with schools
spread out all over. At least a half dozen folks told me it was an absolute
slaughter, a scene that had one person texting, “We have to end the commercial
fishery in this state!”

Snap Shot Charters with a beautiful bass that fell for the Hogy Charter Grade Slider.

Now, if you elect to liveline pogies as a recreational angler, remember that if you
snag your bait, you must transfer it to a circle hook before putting it in front of a
bass. Commercial – or as I dubbed them many years ago, “recremercials,” since
99% of them are recreational anglers masquerading as commercial fishermen –
can still use the old snag-and-drop, whereby one casts a snag hook – a weighted
treble – into a school of pogies and then reels it with the sole purpose of impaling
a baitfish. At this point, they open the bail on a spinning reel or put their
conventional reel in free spool, allowing the injured pogy to drop in the water
column, making it a perfect target for a waiting cow. I got into an argument with a
DMF representative who said that they were making the commercial sector
exempt from the circle hook requirement because they were “better” anglers, but
I can assure you that the snag-and-drop method has a high rate of post release
mortality and it would be a good step for the Bay State to drop the commercial
exemption, as they did in 2021 for the for hire sector.

Unreel Sportfishing with a daytime broom tail bass.

Frankly, if you prefer to use artificial lures, it would be foolish to try and cast plugs
or plastics anywhere near the pogy dunking activity; when bass turn on to pogies,
they aren’t interested in anything else. I have run across pogy liveliners along the
Elizabeths and could not even get a sniff from a fish while tossing eels, normally a
top big bass producer in their own right.
If you do find a school of pogies with no other boats around harassing them and
there are clear signs that bass are hanging around them, then big surface plugs
are one way to try and entice a bass blow up. Big spooks have become the go to
topwater plug and I can’t imagine that anyone who fishes plugs for stripers hasn’t
heard of their effectiveness. Large jointed swimbaits are another option, while I
have a nice selection of big, heavy Hogy Pro Tail Paddles that I have been wanting
to drop down under a school of pogies that is being shadowed by bass – but I still
can’t bring myself to put away my topwater plugs. I guess it’s like when I started
fly fishing; someone told me that the only way I would gain confidence in the fly

rod if I left my spinning rod home. Sounds like I might have to leave the plug
boxes home one of these days and commit to the paddle.
It’s kind of hard to picture all those big bass swimming across CC Bay from up
around Provincetown where there had been the typical June mackerel and sand
eel bite starting to shape up, That said, I did talk to at least one group of anglers
who said that things were kind of dead up that way, but there are still some
smaller bass and bluefish along the bayside outer Cape beaches and Billingsgate is
primarily producing smaller bass.
Andy Little at The Powderhorn in Hyannis said that Barnstable is holding mainly
schoolies and a few low slot fish, making for good topwater action with small
spooks, while you can’t beat soft plastics like the Hogy Sand Eel when the fish are
keyed in on this bait.

Brian Kelly with a strong release on this chunky bass.

The flats are fishing well, with fly anglers definitely enjoying the advantage of
being able to employ crab flies and other bottom presentations that bass –
especially big bass – find more appealing that ripping soft plastics on the surface,
hoping for a reaction strike, or trying to rig one weighted and get it to look and
fish just right.
The flounder bite remains good as well, with boats heading out of Sesuit, in
particular, enjoying solid catches, noted Lee Boisvert at Riverview Bait & Tackle in
South Yarmouth.

Outer Cape Fishing Report

There are definitely bass being caught from the backside beaches
and some quality fish to boot, but the key is fishing at night, explained Matt Cody
at North Chatham Outfitters. The Nauset area is one stretch that he said is fishing
very well at the moment, with traditional plugs such as needlefish working well.
Up around Provincetown, there are some good schools of bluefish.



Filmed Last Monday!

In this video, Capt. Mike Hogan heads out to the rips off of Monomoy targeting striped bass. Hogy Poppers in translucent pink and amber color were the ticket to success in imitating the squid these bass were feeding on!

Cape Cod Bay Fishing Report

Another interesting week in the bay, with the sand eel
bite happening out around Provincetown, meaning a variety of
techniques including vertical jigging with metal jigs such as the Hogy
Sand Eel Jigs and Epoxy Jig when you are marking schools of fish
holding in deeper waters, as well as casting the same lures along with
soft plastics and topwater plugs when the shoals of these thin baitfish
are being pushed to the surface. Although this area can be a solid way
for flyrodders to catch their personal best, be advised the common
courtesy is lacking, especially among the charter fleet that employ
jigging and drifting sand eels. Typically, you will find boats clustered up
on what they feel is where the only fish are, but in fact over the years I
have had good results hanging out by myself using fast/full sink lines
and larger sand eel imitations, especially weighted ones. I know it is
probably not an option for a lot of folks, but this is one area that I
typically stay away from on weekends and holidays.
Matt Cody at North Chatham Outfitters heard that folks who prefer to
liveline mackerel are struggling to find bait throughout the bay; in fact,
my nephew Frank was fishing Billingsgate last Sunday and they
managed to pick up only a handful of macks – the larger variety that
the smaller fish on the shoals kept banging around with no chance of
getting one down.
Chunking has become far more common given the size of the bass,
including around Barnstable Harbor where Amy Wrightson at The
Sports Port in Hyannis said that regulars who fish this area pretty much
every day that can get out have been encountering mostly slot fish, like
the 28-inch fish that Frank managed to pick up with their one remaining
mackerel just outside Blish Point.
Jeff Miller at Canal Bait and Tackle in Sagamore said that bunker spoons
and deep diving swimming plugs (you can generally tell these by their
longer swim lips) are preferred by trollers working around any small
pods of mackerel they find – and the bait is definitely concentrated in
small areas that wise folks are keeping to themselves.

Out on Billingsgate and throughout the B-Harbor area, small spooks and
pencil poppers are a good choice, but remember most of these are
schoolies and rig your lures accordingly. Personally, soft plastics rigged
in a variety of ways based on the depth of the water you are fishing are
a cleaner alternative – although it is tough to resist those topwater

Capt. Terry Nugent of Rip Tide Charters putting his clients on nice sized bass.

The bayside beaches from Eastham to Truro are producing most of the
fish for the shore crew out east; certain spots have dedicated chunkers
pretty much every day, noted Matt Cody at North Chatham Outfitters,
with mackerel the preferred bait.
Slow twitching unweighted soft plastics, especially translucent amber
and sand eel color sare a good bet for spin anglers who want to fish the
flats, which at the moment are fishing really well. The challenge
becomes when the fish are feeding on crabs and shrimp with their eyes
focused on the bottom; in those cases, especially in low light
conditions, ripping a larger soft plastic in a brighter color such as
bubblegum might draw a reaction strike.
Oh, and if wade anglers are working an area, steer clear with your boat
and keep a very respectful distance. In fact, you might learn something
by watching how they stage up around channels and ambush points,
,waiting for the fish to move with the tides. A Power Pole will help you
hold a position, but an old fashioned alternative is an anchor – quietly
employed of course.

Hogy Tip – I know there is some debate over whether fluorocarbon
leader material is necessary, but if there is one type of fishing where it
can make a difference for sure, it is skinny water on bright days.
Another advantage is that fluoro sinks a bit faster, which helps when
the fish are scrounging dinner. And if you keep getting refusals,
consider using lighter leader materials and even lengthening your
tippet or your entire leader.

Outer Cape Fishing Report

While I was hunkered down in the
basement on Monday with the dogs, waiting for the vicious
thunderstorms passed, Capt. Mike and Jack Pinard “were planning on
an early departure out of Falmouth, but the thunderstorms kept us in
the slip until 7:30. We made our way through the fog to the rips of
Monomoy. The tide was slack once we got there but as soon as it got
moving we were on fish. Capt. Mike was throwing the translucent pink
popper and I was using the amber and it was pretty much a fish on
every cast. The bass were cruising out in the smooth water just in front
of the rip; as soon as you gave the popper a couple pops you were likely
to have a fish swirl behind it. Most of our fish were between 26-34

inches, all caught on Hogy poppers. This bite lasted pretty much all

Capt. Mike Hogan with a nice size bass at the rips of Monomoy.

Matt Cody from North Chatham Outfitters said this early season bite
has been the best in a couple of years. While a week or so ago, you had
to fish a specific rip to find fish, at the moment you would be hard
pressed to find water that isn’t holding fish. Most of the fish are in the
slot, with 80% between 30 and 33-inches. Matt took a fly trip there on
Thursday morning and they couldn’t keep the bass off their orange
squid flies, which they were fishing on full sink lines. Spin anglers are
doing well on pretty much anything squid colored, including pink,
white, orange, and amber; soft plastics and surface plugs are favorites,
but Matt added that the Hogy Slider is a good rip plug, along with your
more traditional Finnish style minnow swimmer.
Along with all of the bass, there are some gator blues in the mix, fish
that are well into the double digit class. As for the backside beaches, Matt C. explained that the fish up around
Provincetown that are feeding on sand eels haven’t really made it
around the corner and down towards the Truro and Wellfleet beaches,
where you are most likely going to encounter fewer seals as opposed to
spots such as Nauset and Coast Guard Beach.

Fluke Fishing Report

With everyone pretty much focused on bass, there isn’t much attention
being paid to fluke close to Monomoy, but folks like Bob Lewis have
discovered that you can pick up some quality fish on the shoals closer
to home as opposed to making the long run to the waters south and
east on Nantucket. We’re not talking about double digit doormats, but I
can tell you that folks fishing the sounds towards Falmouth and
Mashpee would be very happy to have the kind of action folks like Bob
have experienced. While he is generally fishing deeper holes, I
sometimes entertain myself towards the quieter times of the tides
drifting the shoals and picking up fish on the fly.


Cape Cod Bay Fishing Report

Some really big bass are being caught in the bay right now, including fish in the
50-pound class up around Provincetown. Typically, June sees many of these big fish taken on
topwater plugs, especially spooks and poppers, or by folks livelining mackerel; however, the
tube-and-worm accounted for what the anglers said were a pair of 50’s off of Herring Cove
Beach. The sand eel bite in this area also makes for great opportunities for fly rod and light
tackle anglers to hook up with bass beyond the schoolies they might be catching in other
Amy Wrightson at The Sports Port in Hyannis spoke to a couple of her regulars who continue to
pick away at slot fish around Barnstable, typically on mackerel, whether they are small enough
to liveline or by chunking if they are too large for anything other than a monster bass to handle.
Of course, there is no real need to fish bait if you want to enjoy the activity around Barnstable;
Andy Little at The Powderhorn in Hyannis said that plugging for bass up slot size has been very
good, especially at first light.

Jeff Goldshmidt found some bass jigging off of Race Point.

From the deeper water north of Billingsgate to the Fingers, guys trolling bunker spoons have
been doing well on what appear to be concentrations of larger bass feeding on the small
schools of mackerel in the bay, noted Bruce Miller at Canal Bait and Tackle in Sagamore.
To the east, the flats are fishing really well out Brewster way, but it would be kind of nice if the
boat contingent would give the wade guys a break and steer clear of where they are fishing. By
insisting on using boats that are inappropriate for skinny water or even running motors in
shallow water in any type of craft, it’s pretty much a guarantee that the fish are going to get
spooked out. Crab patterns are often the key to getting bit even when there are clouds of sand
eels around; too many times it is tempting to strip baitfish imitations way too quickly and way
too often, while crabbing often proves the virtues of the “no retrieve retrieve,” where
incorporating the right materials to create enticing action as the current moves over them while
they hold on the bottom as opposed to having to create action through forward movement can
be the ticket.
There has been a decent bite on the shallows to the east and west of the entrance to
Barnstable, while Bruce added that there are plenty of smaller fish in the Sandwich creeks.

Outer Cape Fishing Report

Are there bass to be caught along the backside? Plenty of folks would say that
the seals have ruined things, but there are still dedicated shore anglers who fish the night and
early morning tides and catch bass – some pretty nice ones at that. Yeah, there are plenty of
seals around, but there are stretches that can be fished at the moment with needlefish or soft

plastics with no pinnipeds around the hassle you. A lot of shore folks are probably
concentrating on the Provincetown beaches given the reports of good boat action up that way,
but Nauset should be holding fish now that they are showing around Monomoy. Paul Newmier
used to tell me that a jighead/soft plastic combination was tough to beat around the Eastham
beaches at this time of year; the sand eel populations might not be what they used to be, but
imitating these baitfish is always a good way to start on the backside.


Squid Bite

This time of year, Striped bass in Cape Cod Bay are gorging on squid. The Hogy Charter Grade Popper in amber is a perfect offering to to present to these squid hungry bass!

Cape Cod Bay Fishing Report

Amy Wrightson from The Sports Port in Hyannis said that it has
been a challenge finding mackerel, which a lot of boats depend on at this time
since livelining around Barnstable Harbor is popular at this time of year. Folks that are
finding them are obviously catching fish, but they are often spending an
inordinate amount of time looking for bait.
And then they do, advised Bruce Miller at Canal Bait and Tackle in Sagamore, they
are often faced with macks that are just too big for the fish they are feeding them
to. I have seen small bass banging on baitfish that are much too large for them to
eat and it can be pretty frustrating. Of course, Bruce said there is a simple
solution and that it to feed them chunks instead of the whole fish.
There is also the option of using artificials, Bruce continued, and whether you are
around Barnstable or closer to the east entrance of the Canal, that includes
paddletail jigs and deep diving swimming plugs, with bunker spoons a very
effective alternative when bass are on mackerel, but one that not many anglers
Matt Cody from North Chatham Outfitters said that the hot bite of a week or so
ago at Billingsgate has slowed a bit; there are still fish around, including some in
the slot, but the larger fish have scattered. As far as the Provincetown sand eel
bite goes, Matt said it is just starting to happen.
Shore anglers are also enjoying a good topwater bite inside Barnstable, said Andy
Little at The Powderhorn in Hyannis, with early morning a good time to toss
smaller walk-the-dog plugs; an outgoing turn at first light is tough to beat.
Both flyrodders and light tackle anglers continue to find plenty of fish around the
Sandwich creeks; small soft plastics do a great job of imitating the small forage in
the area, while the long wand crew are having success with a multitude of sand
eel and silverside imitations.
On the flats, the bite is very good, but remember while spin anglers often pretty
much limit themselves to sand eel imitations since that is the main forage they
see or use larger soft plastics or even topwater plugs to draw a reaction strike,
flyrodders in the know understand that crab or shrimp patterns are tough to beat.

Outer Cape Fishing Report

Bob Lewis ferried his nephews Hunter and Austin along
with renowned wade fly fishing guide Chris Kokorda out to the flats last Sunday
and they just had an excellent adventure, with plenty of bass on crab flies. Bob
sent me a photo from their trip and quite frankly it really reminded me how much
I miss the peace and quiet of wade fishing; the water was absolutely pristine and
the scene was so serene with no boats filled with anglers wielding rods like they
were going to battle.

While the trio were fishing, Bob had to make sure that he kept from going
aground before it was time to pick them up and he told me that despite all the
action they were enjoying, he didn’t see a fish go by him.
Eventually, Bob ran out to the point and elected to head for Handkerchief, the
one shoal that he believed where the water might be warm enough to hold fish
since it is in the sound, as opposed to east of Monomoy. He started casting a
popper on spinning tackle and had a fish follow and it was the same when he
switched over to the fly rod and a surface bug. Bob surmised that their lack of
interest was due to the slack tide, but there is also the possibility they had been
feeding on the warmer tide coming out of Nantucket Sound and were now
digesting their food before the cold water came flooding in from the open
Matt Cody at North Chatham Outfitters reported that some of their customers
have started fishing the rips around Monomoy, generally with squid imitations,
and have been picking at bass into the slot, while there are plenty of schoolies up
inside Pleasant Bay and the other estuaries in the area. As far as the backside
beaches, Matt said he caught a lone schoolie on a recent trip, but added that it
was most likely a migrating fish as opposed to one of the resident bass that will
hang around these waters throughout the summer and into the fall.


Filmed last Monday!

Stripers have arrived full force in the rips feeding on squid. In this video Capt. Mike shares his favorite technique using Amber Charter Grade Poppers to imitate squid for exciting topwater striper action.

Cape Cod Bay Fishing Report

The bass activity in the bay is definitely improving,
according to Andy Little at The Powderhorn in Hyannis. There aren’t a
ton of mackerel around and they are very large; in fact, the word he got
is that livelining isn’t really working, with the fish most likely to take
chunks. Up inside Barnstable Harbor, there has been very good early
morning topwater activity on walk-the-dog plugs, in particular, while
flyrodders and light tackle anglers are catching plenty of fish on sand
eel imitations. The flats are also fishing quite well; Andy was over by
Chapin’s Beach the early this week and there were birds working hard
over what he assumed were bass, while the shallows down Brewster
way have been good, with mostly school fish, but enough slot and
larger bass to make things interesting.
Amy Wrightson at The Sports Port in Hyannis spoke to a couple of her
customers who keep their boats on the northside and they have been
picking up slot size bass out around the Bell Buoy and along the
channels at the entrance to the harbor.
Finally, Lee Boisvert at Riverview Bait & Tackle in South Yarmouth
confirmed that the flounder bite is still very strong in the bay, with folks
heading out of Sesuit picking up their limit of real nice flatties.

Outer Cape Fishing Report

Fran Keough at North Chatham Outfitters actually said
that the best news he had came from the other end of the Cape, where
he and some friends fished the Wareham area for big bass on plugs.
Otherwise, he said he wouldn’t bother wasting gas to drive up and try
Provincetown or any of the backside beaches, for that matter since the
water is still way too cold. Not many, if any, boats are out working the
backside or the Monomoy rips. Instead, it’s the same story: boaters and
shore anglers working the shallower, warmer water of Pleasant Bay,
with some attention being paid to Stage Harbor and Morris Island.


Cape Cod Bay Stripers

Hogy Sandeel jigs are a perfect sand eel presentation, especially this time of year! Vertical jig them and hold on!

Cape Cod Bay Fishing Report

Things are definitely starting to pick up in the bay, at
least based on the information I was able to gather.
Amy Wrightson from The Sports Port in Hyannis read from a report
from last weekend penned by Morgan, a junior from Barnstable High
School who is just a great, responsible worker, Amy emphasized.
Apparently, some mackerel have shown around the bell buoy off of
Barnstable Harbor and a few slot fish were caught on them. Morgan
clarified that these macks were huge and they weren’t thick, but at
least there was some news about these very important baitfish.
Morgan added that there was some decent schoolie action as well, with
small soft plastics working best.
The word from Evan Eastman at Eastman’s Sport & Tackle in Falmouth
is that he heard from an angler on Wednesday who had just returned
from a very productive trip to the Sandwich creeks. He had caught
upwards of 20 fish on a mackerel topwater plug, with a number of the
fish in the slot. He added that there was a trio of flyrodders who were
catching fish and one of them hooked something that he couldn’t stop.
Now I know that in the past around Trunk River in Falmouth, it was
traditional to live line herring when it was legal and each year someone
would hook up with the world record striper, which turned out to be a
seal. That said, I can’t imagine a seal taking a fly for any reason, so most
likely it was one of the 40+-inch bass that have been reported in the
Canal and in this case already made its way into the bay and the creeks.
Bob Lewis also heard of some bass being taken on the bay flats by
flyrodders; at this time of year, sand eel patterns are often used with
good results as the early arrivals aren’t pressured as they will be as the
season progresses, but these shallows also hold good numbers of crabs

and shrimp and the regulars are noted for creating their own flies to
match these crustaceans as well.

Winter Flounder Fishing:

Finally, the winter flounder fishing remains very good, according to Lee
Boisvert from Riverview Bait & Tackle in South Yarmouth. When I was a
kid, along with seaworms, we also used to fish clam necks for flatties,
but Lee said that as opposed to necks, folks use sea clams that he and
other shops sell. If you’re really a hard core flounder angler, you just
might dig up some mussels to help supplement your supply of worms,
especially with the cost of wigglers always on the increase.

Outer Cape Fishing Report

I spoke to Fran Keough at North Chatham Outfitters and
he advised that with water temperatures on the backside and onto the
shoals between 48 and 49 degrees, it’s going to be a while until the
bass settle into open water. At the moment, people are concentrating
on spots like Pleasant Bay, where the water is warmer and there is
abundant forage. Sometimes people make the mistake of thinking that
backwater fish out that way are mainly holdovers, but Fran noted that
there are plenty of fresh fish around and the action has been pretty
good – at least when the weather is good enough to convince people to
go fishing.
I did ask Fran about shoreline access around Pleasant Bay and he said
that you can get to the water around any of the public landings and as
long as you are in the water and actively fishing, you have the legal
right to be there.

Cape Cod Bay Fishing Tip:

Back in the day, Salt Water Sportsman would have articles
about fishing for winter flounder and I recall one article from, I believe,
Jack Fallon who emphasized the effectiveness of using a chum pot.
Even tackle makers such as Cap’n Bill’s, who were known for their
plugs, used to sell custom chum pots. I haven’t heard anyone mention
chumming for flounder in years, but even if you don’t want to deal with
trying to find a pot and then procuring a chum source such as shellfish,
if you do dig your own bait or have a friend who gives you clams or
mussels in the whole, when you break them up to get hook baits, don’t
forget to send the softer, disposable parts overboard to create a chum

Cape Cod Bay Conservation News:

Even though today’s fisherman does a good job of
keeping abreast of news concerning management of gamefish such as
striped bass, bluefish, and tuna, the reality is that protecting what these
prized species eat just might be as or even more important. The stocks
of Atlantic mackerel are in peril and so far, from what I have read, the
new recovery plan that was instituted hasn’t produced the results that
managers would like and the word is that even finding frozen mackerel
from commercial operations has become a challenge.



Filmed recently in Cape Cod Bay

Hogy Jig Biki and Sandeel jigs getting it done!

Cape Cod Bay Fishing Report

Not much to report from this area as the gale that we
experienced from last weekend through midweek kept sane folks at the
dock or on the trailer. Bruce Miller at Canal Bait and Tackle in Sagamore
told that a sailboat that ventured out the east end last weekend in an
attempt to reach Boston ended up grounded off of Scusset Beach and
the folks on board had to swim to shore. It always amazes me how
many people have no idea what the sea state and wind conditions are
while planning a trip. The sea is a cruel mistress and does not allow for
mistakes, so if you are in doubt, skip the trip and reschedule for
another day.

Matt Cardarelli at Riverview Bait and Tackle in South Yarmouth said the winter flounder bite was very good before the storm and he suspects it will pick right back up this weekend.

As far as stripers go, there hasn’t been much discussed about them; on
the other hand, Bruce and his son Jeff told me that they have been
attempting to pick up frozen mackerel for the shop with very little
success, an indication that the commercial boats are struggling to find
them.. Bruce added that nobody has encountered mackerel in the bay,
no a good sign since at this time of year they typically would have
moved inshore and rounded Provincetown into the bay. Mackerel spark
a big fishery around Barnstable Harbor this month, so if they don’t
show in numbers sufficient to keep liveliners happy, it will be
interesting to see how and what artificials prove to be effective

Cape Cod Bay Fishing Tips:

Since mackerel drive a great deal of the action in the Canal,
where bass move in from the bay in pursuit of mackerel and then make
their way back out, it might be worth considering some of the
lures/plugs that Canal anglers use during these events. That said, I can’t
recall seeing bass pushing mackerel around Barnstable like they do in
the Big Ditch, so subsurface options such as skinnier profile soft
plastics, especially paddletails or subsurface plugs such as the Hogy

Cape Cod Bay Conservation News:

I spoke with Capt. Mike this week and he surprised
to hear the mackerel situation is in dire condition since he has had no
problem in the past finding mackerel on his offshore trips. A 2021
management track stock assessment conducted by the Mid-Atlantic
Marine Fisheries Council has resulted in adjustments to the
management plan, including a November 3, 2021 letter to the states of
Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts that they cut their
recreational catch in half. Hearings were held in January to discuss the
changes in the plan and gather public comment, but from what I
gather, no changes in limits have occurred – yet.


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