The fact that many regulars were saying that Tuesday was the best day of fishing in the Big Ditch this year tells you all you need to know, since Monday and Wednesday were pretty darn good as well. The fish have been from one end to the other and they key has been staying up with the bait movement.
What has been driving the activity is the presence of smaller mackerel that have entered the Canal from both ends, looking to feed on all of the small bait that is around, including peanut bunker, baby herring, silversides, and sand eels.
There has been little to none of the fussiness that the bass can exhibit when they are on small bait since it is the mackerel that has their attention. Mackerel pattern plugs have been very effective during the topwater action, but many folks have pointed out that there are so many bass in the land cut that it is almost a challenge to find out what they won’t take.
The bass have been on top in the morning and again in the evening and it seems that what the tide is at dawn and dusk isn’t as important as the water moving. Some folks go with Savage Sand Eels or bucktails even when the fish are taking plugs, with the former able to be swum up in the water column as well bounced on the bottom. Metals such as Crippled Herrings or larger, heavier Epoxy Jigs work well when the fish are pushing bait deeper in the water column.