As I was speaking with Jeff Miller from Canal Bait & Tackle, a good push of large bass was taking place at the east end, Jeff reported. These fish moved into the east end to feed on the schools of mackerel that they pushed into the land cut. Even there were clear signs of fish crashing bait at times, Jeff explained that there weren’t enough macks around to create an all out surface feed. In fact, Jeff emphasized that the fish were hugging the bottom, making heavily weighted Savage Sand Eels and Gag’s Whip-it Fish in green or blue mackerel top choices.
According to Mike Thomas, there were some nice fish caught early this morning throughout the Canal, but any topwater activity is over once the sun shows over the treetops and then it’s a matter of getting down to the fish. Although most Canal regulars use jigs to fish for bass holding on the bottom, he explained that some of them use loaded Cotton Cordell pencil poppers or the Left Hook Pilgrim, which casts farther than the heavier Raptor model because of its more aerodynamic shape and still sinks just as well, to get down to the fish. Color didn’t seem to matter, Mike added, as he heard of fish caught on a multitude of options.
Hayden Gallagher from Red Top in Buzzards Bay fished the Canal this morning and caught a number of smaller bass, although a 30-inch fish can constitute small in the Big Ditch. He added that some bigger fish are being caught, as they weighed in a 22-pound bass yesterday, as well as a 10.5-pound fluke that was 29-inches long. Hayden echoed the importance of being there early, early if you want to take advantage of the brief window of topwater activity; he has been using a ghost mackerel three-ounce Guppy pencil popper, but accuracy in casting is sometimes more important than color when the fish are only showing on occasion and swirling on bait. The mid-morning turn has produced some good action with jigs, but not many folks are fishing at night, with most of the eels they are selling going to boaters.