The fact that there are still good numbers of albies running up and down the Big Ditch is a pleasant surprise; Jeff Miller at Canal Bait & Tackle in Sagamore spoke to one angler who picked up a couple earlier this week while casting from the bulkhead at the east end and boaters fishing for bass outside the east entrance have even witnessed them buzzing around schools of small bait.
That said, A.J. Coots at Red Top in Buzzards Bay emphasized that the typical pattern for albies is to run into the Canal during the latter stages of the east current before reversing course and following the west tide out of the land cut. Bell Road has always been a good albie locale, but there are numerous spots from the railroad bridge to the Bourne Bridge where you can cast without worrying about rocks or trees grabbing your lure.
Bass fishing in the Canal is mainly a small fish affair, with schoolies pushing bait from one end to the other. Bucktail and paddletail jigs are very effective right now and it is possible to have plenty of fun by matching your equipment to the predominant size of the fish. Metals such as the Deadly Dick, Crippled Herring, Kastmasters, and Hopkins can also be rigged with single hooks, making for easier release than a treble.
Of course, there are some larger stripers around, but the key is getting down to where they are holding and when they are feeding, which is at night. In other words, as Jeff explained, that means being on the bottom; two-ounce jigs won’t cut it, with many of the regulars using bucktails or paddletails in the four to six ounce range. Effective night colors include dark green, black, black and red, as well as black and purple, also known as blurple. Some folks are also using live eels to target sizeable bass around slack tide, especially between the bridges.
With the water still warm and well within the range that bass prefer, folks are still talking about the possibility of one more run through the Ditch once any of the schools of larger fish north of the Cape begin to move.