The Big Ditch is back to fishing as opposed to just catching, with plenty of small bass around and enough larger fish to keep things interesting.
The largest bass from the Canal that Bruce Miller at Canal Bait & Tackle had weighted in as of midweek was a 34-pounder caught on a paddletail jig. Bucktails and jighead/soft plastic combinations have been effective during the day, especially in white, but the daylight hours have produced far more schoolies than anything else. Bruce recommended switching over to black/red jigs after dark when folks who understand the workings of the land cut have caught a good number of big fish.
Ben Clabault spoke to a friend who is a dedicated Canal angler and he had a good night recently fishing live eels, but when he switched over to jigs, he only managed smaller bass as opposed to the sizeable bass that the snakes produced.
Even though he has been targeting albies a great deal lately, Jacob Dionne from Red Top in Buzzards Bay confirmed that there has been a good early morning topwater bite, say from 6 to 7:30, before everything shuts down. White pencil poppers and spooks have accounted for bass up to 35-pounds, although smaller fish have been the norm.
As mentioned above, Jacob has really gotten into the albie action in the Canal; they have run up as far east as the Cape side entrance jetty once they enter the west end, but Jacob explained that they have been popping up pretty much throughout the length of the land cut. The large schools of peanut bunker and other small bait are just what the doctor ordered for albies and Jacob said that the bone colored Hogy Epoxy Jigs have been working well for him. The 7/8-ounce size provides enough heft to reach the fish most of the time, but Jacob believes that anything from 5/8 to 1.25-ounce will work – as long as the albies are within range. Of course, if you need more distance in a small package, the Hogy Heavy Minnows cast a mile – and they come in bone and other excellent colors.
Before leaving the Canal, it’s important to remember that during the fall, the action can pop up pretty much anywhere during the daytime. That said, it is no secret that an east to west pattern is pretty common as October progresses and the migration builds up more steam.