Cape Cod Canal Fishing Report – October 20, 2017

A.J. Coots from Red Top in Buzzards Bay noted that there are a ton of small bass in the Canal, feeding on a combination of peanut bunker and other small bait. They are being caught from one end of the land cut to the other. Small soft plastic and bucktail jigs are excellent choices since they can be removed with less damage to the small bass while treble hook adorned plugs often result in fish getting foul hooked in the eye, gills, or body.

The new moon was Thursday and there are early morning east turn tides starting this weekend, with some folks hoping that this combination will bring in one last push of big fish from up around Boston. That said, I spoke this afternoon to a friend who has been fishing Boston Harbor and the word is that there are mostly smaller bass around; he did add that some big bass reappeared after most folks thought they had migrated out of the area, but then again, these might have been some new fish that moved in from the north shore.

At the moment, Bruce Miller from Canal Bait & Tackle in Sagamore said there are some bigger bass being caught between the bridges, mainly at night on eels and jigs. Although many Canal folks fish soft plastic paddletails and eel-style jigs now, with black, dark green, and black/red popular colors at night, Bruce emphasized that there are still some “rats” who use old school bucktail and “pork rind” combinations and do very well. Again, black/red, all-black, and blurple (black/purple) are excellent choices at night when bucktailing; I singled out “pork rind” since other than folks who still have their own collection of Uncle Josh, there are no more of these strips being produced, with a number of companies, such as Otter and Fat Cow, offering alternatives.

On Wednesday and Thursday, “they had fish on top,” said Jeff Miller, especially around the Sagamore Bridge. Apparently, the last couple of hours of the west tide have seen the most consistent action, either because fish move in from Cape Cod Bay and/or those already in the Canal get fired up by bait moving in with the tide.

Pencil poppers were most effective; with some schools of pogies providing targets for the larger fish, Jeff noted that Gibbs’ pencils in, what else, the pogy color were working well.

To clarify, I thought Jeff was talking about the black back/silver body color that is called “pogy,” but his dad informed me that Gibbs’ now has a color called “bunker” which is a green back/yellow body combination with the characteristic black dots behind the gill area. So I guess you will have to carry both colors if you want to make sure you have the one Jeff was talking about.

Obviously, Gibbs’ and other plug makers have developed color combinations to mimic pogies, bunker, Atlantic menhaden, or whatever you want to call them, but Bruce concluded our pogy conversation by noting that yellow and white pencils and Polaris’s are effective around these baitfish as well. The white also is a good color to have on hand when the bass are chowing on squid.

While last week the albies were all the way down the east end as far as the entrance jetties, this week any funny fish have been around the west end, typically moving up as far as the Bourne Bridge on the east tide and then working their way out as the tide slacks and shifts to the west. Epoxy Jigs, Heavy Metal Jigs, Crippled Herrings, Deadly Dicks, and other metals are not only good selections when targeting albies, but they also work well on bass and they can be outfitted with single hooks and not lose their swimming motion.