Jeff Miller at Canal Bait & Tackle in Sagamore made things very clear when I spoke to him on Thursday: “We’re back to catching in the Canal not fishing.” It’s been that good over the last two days, and Jeff added “if you can’t catch a 30-pound bass out of the Canal right now, you might as well just shoot yourself.” The largest fish he weighed in today was 42-pounds and he is convinced that a good number of bass between 30 and 40-pounds are being released. The problem is too many are being killed for no good reason than bragging rights and pins from tournaments that encourage killing big bass.
The best action has generally been between the two bridges and the crowds should pick up significantly once the word gets out, if it hasn’t’ already. Pretty much, the big four in terms of lures have been working best: Sebile Magic Swimmers and Stick Shadds, topwater plugs such as pencils and Polaris-style, Savage Sand Eels, and Daiwa SP Minnows. Of course, the problem is that a run can occur on a “hot” lure, making them virtually impossible to get, as was the case with Magic Swimmers, whether they were Sebiles or copies. White or ghostescent were the hottest colors and I would imagine that it got the point where folks were buying any color they could, stripping off the hardware, and getting handy with spray paint.
Mackerel continue to be plentiful in the Big Ditch, resulting in green or green mackerel plugs flying out of the shop, added Spencer Scaife at Red Top in Buzzards Bay, along with the aforementioned white versions. Green mack, chartreuse, and white have been popular colors when it comes to Savage Sand Eels and other leadhead/plastic combinations that are favored by Canal anglers, such as Al Gag’s and Bill Hurley’s.
Jeff Miller said that he has been selling a good number of yellow and pogy color pencil poppers and Polaris’s, most likely indicating that there are some schools of pogies around, although most everyone is just talking about mackerel. He laughed when he hold me that one of the regulars at his shop, Tony, managed to catch 40 of these baitfish for Jeff – by hand!
Nobody was really talking about eel fishing, but apparently there has been a good night bite for folks who are willing to jig, observed Mike Thomas at M & D’s in Wareham. There are squid in the Canal and that might explain the effectiveness of white plugs, but for jigging pink has been the hot color at night, along with white and sand eel variations.
The soft plastic crowd has been happy that there aren’t any large numbers of bluefish around, but Bruce Miller did check in a really big chopper on Wednesday morning.