It had to happen at some point, but the Canal has definitely slowed when it comes to big bass. That doesn’t mean, however, that big fish aren’t around; it simply means that things are back to normal, which means fishing rather than just catching.
Jeff Miller at Canal Bait & Tackle in Sagamore said that some quality bass have been caught this week, especially around the west end, including a 34-pounder for Dick Cook. Jeff said the schools of mackerel are thinning out, but there are massive amounts of peanut bunker and folks have been picking up any larger fish on white lures, such as a traditional bucktail that Dick prefers, as well as smaller pencil poppers, Polaris’s, and paddle tail/jighead combinations.
Mike Thomas at M & D’s emphasized that while there aren’t as many mackerel around, there are enough to create a decent topwater at times in the early morning. Yesterday, one angler he knows picked up a half dozen bigger bass on a green mackerel pencil popper around the west end, while folks fishing rubber were also using the same color. At this point in the season, timing is even more important and some of the best fishing is happening before first light; the fog this week is another low light scenario where you can catch right through the day.
Unlike the bass, whose level of activity is often determined by tide/current, wind, and light level, there have been good numbers of albies running into the land cut all day, noted Jacob Dionne at Red Top in Buzzards Bay. Typically, the funny fish show up inside the west end at the tail end of the west current and the turn to the east, causing them to move all the way through the Big Ditch at times, ending at the east end. Jacob has been using Hogy Epoxy Jigs, with olive and bone his favorite colors.
Casting for albies is a challenge under any circumstances, but the Canal presents even more obstacles to overcome. Then again, Jeff Miller told me about one angler who had never even caught a single Fat Albert and he managed three in one trip to the Big Ditch.
Jeff also said that even though folks have been trying to catch tautog, he hasn’t heard of anyone doing so just yet. And that includes around the Maritime Academy where some of the best tog fishing can be had from shore.