The word from Bruce Miller is that the Canal has been fishing best on the afternoon tides, with Magic Swimmers and Canal Perfect Swimmers in white and translucent white effective plugs. The west tide has pulled some mackerel and whiting into the land cut and most of the regulars are fishing between High Bank and the herring run on the Boston side and Split Rock and as far west as Keene Street on the Cape side.
At this time of year, herring fry dropping out of their nursery ponds typically drive a great deal of the action in the Canal, with the key being enough rain to get them to head downriver. Sometimes the bass will feed on the small herring, but another scenario is mackerel moving into the Big Ditch to feed on these small baitfish, whereupon the bass end up on snacking on them. There have been some small surface feeds around the east end at first light when mackerel push in, but generally things have been more consistent mid-Canal. If topwater is the only way you fish, then yellow, white, and mackerel pencil poppers are a must.
Bouncing metal jigs such as Crippled Herrings is another productive mid-August technique, and some folks are still fishing eels at night around the bridges.
Mike Thomas added that spots more to the west have been holding bass, with SP Minnows and Gibbs’ Polaris in greenish colors favored at the moment. Mike likes the Polaris because it can be fished slower than a pencil and allowed to hang in the current, coaxing lazier bass to take a swing at the plug.
Starting next Friday, the early morning east turn is very close to sunrise, with the full moon the day before, so there is a very good chance that stronger currents will draw the bait and bass into the east end through the weekend.
The fluke bite around Portagee Hole has been producing fish up the 20+-inch class, with sand eels the top producing bait.