Things have definitely settled down in the Canal; it’s not that there aren’t bass to be caught, but it’s now a matter of having to work for your fish.
Jeff Miller at Canal Bait explained that the bait, including mackerel, peanut bunker, and baby herring, is not stacked up in any one area, meaning that the bass are moving around as well. There has been a decent bite at night on eels, but there were reports of anglers being skunked last night, without even so much as a touch, in areas that had fish earlier in the week.
Subsurface presentations have definitely been most effective this week, according to A.J. Coots at Red Top in Buzzards Bay, with the fish on the smaller side on average. That said, they weighed in a 42-pounder yesterday and there are videos circulating of a bass that registered over 50-pounds on a Boga Grip.
If you’re looking for Sebile Magic Swimmers or copies that shops such as Canal Bait and M & D’s in Wareham carry, you are out of luck, advised Mike Thomas at the latter shop. Soft plastic paddletails are manufactured by large and small concerns alike, with Savage Sand Eels at the top of the list, but many folks prefer Bill Hurley or Al Gag’s versions. Joe Baggs is also offering a series of jighead/paddletail combinations that he calls Patriot Jigs. There can be no argument that green mackerel and white have been the top two colors no matter what type of lure you are throwing, but Jeff Miller has been getting good reports on the olive color that Joe Baggs produces.
The middle of the Canal, from the high tension lines to the herring run, has been recommended if you are looking for topwater action, or any fish no matter how you are fishing. A.J. said that any surface activity has been well before first light or on days that are overcast and wet; that was the case yesterday morning as the day dawned gray and stormy looking and there was a good bite for a couple of hours around the herring run.
Bluefish have generally been scarce this season, but there are enough around to keep shops in the business of supplying replacement soft plastic bodies.