This new set of breaking tides has been producing some good numbers of quality fish, but anyone who expects to visit the riprap and have 30 and 40-pounders at his or her feet will be sorely disappointed.
Instead, the anglers who call the Big Ditch their home waters and are, therefore, properly equipped for long distance plugging and bouncing jigs have been catching some big bass.
Bruce Miller at Canal Bait & Tackle in Sagamore said the largest bass he weighed in on Thursday morning was 37-pounds, while he checked in a 45-pounder last Sunday for a regular who was jigging around the bridges.
With Savage Sand Eels scarce in the sizes and weights that Canal anglers want, Bruce and his son, Jeff, have designed the Canal Sandeel, their version of the Savage that is proving to be very effective. In fact, the larger bass mentioned above was taken on one of the mackerel Canal Sandeels.
An early east turning current typically has folks searching out fish on top and the best activity moved from the middle of the Canal down to the east end this week, explained Mike Thomas at M & D’s in Wareham. Mike believes that a school of bass that was hanging around the west entrance outside the land cut has moved in with this set of tides and more could very well follow as they come in on the change to the east current. Once they reach the east end, they should become part of the school or schools of bass that move in and out with the mackerel and other baitfish that come in with the tide.
At the moment, along with mackerel, there is squid around as well as some blueback herring and sea herring.
When it comes to plugs that are working in the Canal right now, Mike advised that folks came into his shop yesterday looking for ghostescent or mackerel Magic Swimmers, while Bruce and Jeff said that yellow pencil poppers, including the Gibbs’ Canal Special, and yellow knock off Magic Swimmers, are working well.
Although it is fully understandable that folks might not want to get involved when they see poaching, which was rampant last year and apparently is continuing this season, the reality is that you can simply call the Environmental Police at 800-632-8075 and give them a description of what you have seen and let them take it from there. It might sound funny, but it really is sad that the area around Pip’s Rip is now often referred to as Poachers’ Point #1 and across the Canal around Murphy’s Beach has been labeled Poachers’ Point #2, now that a number of miscreants have moved there since the authorities are now watching the first locale.
And if you turn a blind eye to the boats that actually move into the land cut to fish on commercial days, then you really can’t complain about them. Apparently, one boat was written up on Monday for fishing around Pip’s Rip, which is a good thing.
On the other hand, a shore angler apparently taking things into his own hands and aiming a cast with a jig at a boat that was returning to the Sandwich Boat Basin on Sunday night is never warranted, especially when the hook on the lure went through the ear of the innocent boater.