It’s hard to imagine, but on Thursday morning when I asked Jeff Miller at Canal Bait & Tackle in Sagamore how the Big Ditch was fishing, he said it was better than the crazy stretch that had last year – which most folks said was the best they ever experienced. Well, the numbers certainly bare that out, with his dad, Bruce, weighed in nine fish over 40-pounds that morning alone. Jeff explained that the big fish that were hanging off of the Vineyard and in Buzzards Bay followed some schools of pogies into the land cut and then found plenty of mackerel, setting off an incredible bite.
Yellow pencil poppers have apparently been very effective on fish on top, while Magic Swimmers, SP Minnows, and sand eel/paddletail soft plastics – all of your typical Canal hardware – have been working.
Unlike past weeks when the best action was focused around the east end – particularly Pole 20 – Jeff said that there have been plenty of fish caught throughout the Ditch.
Mike Thomas at M & D’s told me that they didn’t weigh in a fish under 35-pounds this morning and people are being, as he said, “ruthless” when it comes to high grading and poaching.
There is a story out there of a well-known angler/casting instructor who had a fish in his cooler and then hooked and landed another large fish – at which point he kept it out of the water while posing for photos with folks before throwing it back in “stone cold dead,” as Mike put it.
Unfortunately, not only are the people from shore breaking the law, but with the “recremercial” boat fleet desperate to catch any fish they can sell, they have been coming well into the land cut, particularly around the east end. The result has been lines of the shore crowd being cut off and you can pretty much imagine what their response will be as these stinkpot miscreants are well within casting range.
It doesn’t seem that the Army Corps cares about this activity as there have been no reports of one of their boats patrolling the east end, while boaters at the west end have to be a bit more careful since the administration building and all of their patrol craft are located across from Bell Road.
Whether these fish stick around for a prolonged period after the breaking tides/new moon phase wanes is anyone’s guess, but as Mike said: they either will move through into Cape Cod Bay or get wiped out in the Canal.
One very positive note is that with the fish spread out throughout the seven miles of the land cut, you can pretty much find plenty of room to fish without any crowds.