This Memorial Day weekend promises to be a busy one in the Big Ditch with lots of activity being reported this week.
Bruce Miller at Canal Bait & Tackle in Sagamore reported that the largest bass he has weighed in this week was 26-pounds as of Thursday, although there is a wide variety of sizes right now. There are good numbers of schoolies and fish to low to mid-30-inch range at the east end, with, obviously, some larger ones mixed in based on the striper mentioned above. There are mackerel off the east entrance to the Canal, and when they move into the land cut, some sizeable fish from Cape Cod Bay are following them in. If plug fishing is your preference, then big white or mackerel spooks/swimmers, like the new Canal Bait Ripper, and pencil poppers that are on the larger size, including Canal Specials, have been the ticket. Green mackerel is always a solid bet, but Jeff Miller mentioned that with some really big macks around that have backs with an almost dark blue tinge, blue mack is also working best at times. The water temperatures are still cold, so most of the fish caught on plugs have been taken by folks who understand that the key is to move your offering more slowly and deliberately, as opposed to the higher speed shaking that is often associated with pencils.
The Millers explained that plenty of fish have been caught on paddletail soft plastics; there are many choices out there, but generally the Canal crew opts for Savage Sand Eels or Gag’s Whip-it Fish. You can’t go wrong with mackerel patterns, but white produced the largest bass so far this season from in front of the Maritime Academy. Again, these fish are often hanging deep due to the water temps.
Jeff Clabault from Forestdale Bait and Tackle on Route 130 spoke to an angler who fished the Bell Road area yesterday and he mentioned that about one in four anglers managed to catch a legal bass, albeit nothing particularly huge. Once again, paddle tail soft plastic jigs were extremely effective.
Along with the mackerel in the Canal, there are still some herring around, as well as increasing numbers of squid being reported, perhaps explaining why white colored plugs and soft plastics have been most productive at times.