2014 Cape Cod Canal Fishing Reports

Cape Cod Canal Fishing Report


10/16/14 as reported by Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

The fishing from mid-Canal to the east end has been very good since last Saturday; there are plenty of smaller bass, but enough big ones to keep things interesting. Most of the action occurring later in the morning as opposed to a first light bite.

Bruce Miller said that along with all of the small bait in the Big Ditch, some schools of frigate mackerel, which look like very small albies, have gotten the attention of the bigger fish. Surface plugs, such as yellow pencil poppers, and shallow running swimmers such as blue Magic Swimmers have been productive, with an occasional larger bass pushing its way through the schoolies to get at the plug.

Overall, however, jigs have been most effective at targeting those cows that are perfectly happy to hang deeper in the water column. Both traditional Canal style bucktails and Spro models are effective, while there are numerous combinations of jigheads and soft plastic tails to choose from.

The west end of the Canal is filled with mostly smaller bass, particularly on the east turn.

10/9/14 as reported by Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

Bull MacKinnon reported talking with an angler earlier this week who had caught a huge bass while fishing squid on the bottom; using length and girth as part of a weight estimate formula, they came up with 52-pounds for the impressive fish. The same angler said the night before he had picked up two bass in the high 40-pound range, again on the same bait as the east end has been holding good numbers of squid this season and anyone who knows their striper history is aware that of the bass nickname “squid hounds,” a testament to how much bass enjoy calamari.

There has also been a good topwater bite around the east end in the morning; there is a great deal of bait in the Big Ditch, including butterfish, sea herring, and some peanut bunker. White pencil poppers have been effective in catching the smaller fish that have predominated on top, with anglers using bucktails and jighead/soft plastic combinations to get below the schoolies and pick up bass in the 20-pound class.

At the west end, there have been a few scattered schools of albies running into the land cut and there are also a number of schoolies that provide action before first light, no matter the tide.

9/26/14 as reported by Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

Thursday morning saw a repeat of the good action around the east end of the Canal, particularly around the bulkhead. There were good numbers of smaller bass up to the low-30-inch class caught on surface plugs and those that work just below the surface, such as the Daiwa SP Minnow, with larger fish in the 30-pound class caught on bucktails and Savage Sand Eels.

There is plenty of bait in the Big Ditch, from small butterfish to acres of peanut bunker and smaller adult pogies. It will be interesting to see if the schools of mackerel in the bay are pushed into the land cut by the east/northeast wind, followed by the remaining big bass that only boaters have had shots at.

If so, there could be some excitement as fish in the 40 to 50-pound class can strip a reel no matter how tight the drag or straighten out the hooks on a plug, especially if the current is running hard and a fish is hooked at the end of a long cast. And that includes heavier tackle employed by regular Canal anglers. If you’re one of the unprepared or undergunned, you might as well forget about it.

A few anglers are also sticking with night fishing and picking up some nice fish around the east end over to the Sagamore Bridge on eels and darker colored bucktails.

A few tautog are being caught at the west end, especially around the Maritime Academy, but overall the fall tog season has been spotty.

9/18/14 as reported by Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

Canal – Bruce Miller weighed in a 31-pound bass on Thursday morning that was caught on a Crippled Herring at the east end during the tail end of the east tide; a few bass have been caught during the early stages of the west turn, but then things go quiet. There are good schools of whiting around the east end, making white a top color when choosing an artificial. Along with metal lures, swimmers have been a good choice; if using a Sebile, go with the fast sink models since you have to get your offering down to where the fish are holding.

There are good numbers of bluefish in the Big Ditch, with larger ones at the east end and smaller specimens out west; the blues are concentrating on the schools of anchovies in the land cut, making them more likely to take metal lures.

Pods of albies and bonito have also been roaring into the west end on the tail end of the east tide and then they zip out again once the current goes west.

9/12/14 as reported by Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

The bass fishing was a bit slower in the Ditch today, although there were plenty of vehicles parked along Sandwich Road when I went by this morning at 5 AM. The most consistent fishing remains after dark with jigs and live eels; any morning topwater bite has been short lived and done by the time the sun comes up. There is a great deal of small bait around, including juvenile sea and river herring, small butterfish, peanut bunker, and sand eels, so metal jigs at times have been the way to go; adding a teaser in front of a plug is also productive at this time of year.

More bluefish are also showing in the Canal, particularly around the west end, but they are also wreaking havoc between the bridges where most folks are looking for their bass.

My friend Barney Keezell swore that he saw albies in front of the power plant on Thursday and their presence was confirmed by a number of sources. Usually, they funny fish go into the Canal as far as the railroad bridge, but all the bait has them charging throughout the land cut. Bell Road remains one of the best spots to cast for albies, but expect to have plenty of company.

9/10/14 as reported by Hogy Staff

A few very nice bass (mid 20 to low 30-pound class) taken in recent days by anglers fishing after dark and jigging. Both the west and east end have produced but the time is right for mid canal areas to feature good surface action at slack tide. As the full moon wanes the water should clear, making the fishing easier. Big schools of sub-legal stripers at the entrance of the west end.

9/5/14 as reported by Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

Fishing in the Canal is being driven mainly by small bait, including baby herring, small butterfish, and peanut bunker, which explains why the fishing around the west end has been best with Crippled Herrings and other small metal lures, particularly in the morning.

At night, the fishing between the Mussel Bed and the Cribbin’ has been productive for folks using live eels or bucktail jigs, particularly black ones.

There hasn’t been much of a topwater bite at the moment, but starting around the middle of next week, another set of breaking tides is shaping up and the rats are counting on the mackerel to move back in to feed on the small bait, and the bass should be right on them. At the moment, the mackerel have moved north from Plymouth on up and there is always the chance that a school of fish from Cape Cod Bay will follow them in, but right now, most of the action in the Big Ditch has been on resident fish, with a good number of bass between 15 and 30-pounds.

9/2/14 as reported by Hogy Staff

Fairly slow but that is only a temporary situation with many big stripers hanging just outside the east end. First light has seen good action with fish in the 32” – 36” class showing on top from mid canal to the power plant.

9/2/14 as reported by Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

The fishing really took off in the Canal last Thursday and continued right through Monday. There has been a topwater bite in the morning, but the best action has been in the afternoon on the west tide when it really gets going. The mackerel are still in the Canal chasing the baby herring and the bass are right on the mackerel, calling for larger lures. Between the bridges is still best, with white and mackerel Magic Swimmers still working well.
There had been times recently when the fish have been a bit more fussy when they are on the smaller bait, such as the herring, in which case Crippled Herrings and other metal jigs are working well; I know this is where trying different sized Epoxy Jigs would be a good strategy. As long as there is big bait in the Big Ditch, the bass will stay on it, but if small stuff is the only food in town, then it is time to make the switch and match the hatch. Besides baby herring, there are usually some schools of peanut bunker and baby butterfish that usually drive the action at some point in the fall.

8/29/14 as reported by Hogy Staff

Much slower this week compared to last; night time is best, especially in the east end. Try black Hogy 9” Paddle Tails on 2 – 4oz. Barbarian jig heads.

8/29/14 as reported by Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

There’s not much else to say except the Canal has slowed way down, but that only makes sense given the number of big fish that were caught over the last three weeks and a new school of bass hasn’t set up shop. There was mackerel in the Canal and they were running right by the feet of guys, but no fish were bothering them.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t fish to catch; it just means you have to be jigging well before first light and then looking for breaking fish at false dawn; once the sun is up, the bite has been over. According to Mike Thomas, one in about every fifteen anglers caught fish Thursday morning, with some beautiful 30 to 34-inch, 10-pound examples of the species and an occasional larger fish.

8/21 /14 as reported by Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

Cape Cod Canal Striper ReportsIt appears that the Canal is taking a brief rest after the crazy fishing last week; there are fish to be had, but you have to work harder for them as they are hanging deeper in the water column. The edges of dropoffs and bridge abutments are typically good for this type of fishing; the traditional bucktail and pork rind combination are still effective, especially with black bucktails and red or pink pork rind at night; that said, more folks are turning to heavier versions of the Savage Sand Eel, again in darker colors.

Bruce Miller alsoCape Cod Canal Striped Bass noted that although there are still some mackerel around, the predominant bait is juvenile herring that are pouring out of the Bournedale run, making heavy, four and five-ounce Crippled Herrings good lures to try, as well as other metal jigs.

At the moment, the sections of the Canal between the herring run and the Bourne Bridge have been producing most of the larger bass. Starting on Monday, another set of breaking tides (early morning east turning) combined with a new moon could produce another wave of frenetic action in the Big Ditch.

8/18/14 As Reported By Hogy Staff

More mid Canal craziness over the last few days with hundreds of anglers crowding the banks on both sides. They’re there to take advantage of some excellent striper action as baby herring dump out of the run, which are being chased by mackerel, which are being chased by bass up to 40 pounds. A tip: avoid the crowds by fishing to the east toward the power plant – those big bass move in from Cape Cod Bay with the tide and they HAVE to pass this area, which will be much less crowded.

8/15/14 as reported by Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

The strong bite continued this morning (Friday) in the Canal and most folks are expecting a repeat of yesterday when there were 25-pounders being taken from the herring run all the way to the campground. Sebile Magic Swimmers knockoffs have been flying out the door and some folks have no problem paying full price for the originals in white or perch.
Apparently, there is a post on Facebook of a white cross that someone pounded into the ground around the Cribbin’, apparently as a memorial to all of the bass that have died at the hands of recreational and commercial anglers recently in the Canal. These are all prime breeding fish, critical to the future of striped bass; one example I heard of was a commercial catching five fish that tipped the scales at just under 200-pounds.

8/15/14 As Reported By Hogy Staff

East end continues to be a best bet, especially pre-dawn. The water has finally cleared after the big tides last week and stripers up to 40 pounds have been taken in the East End in the last few days. Not hot and heavy action but definitely worth losing some sleep for the potential of a memorable fish.

8/14/14 as reported by Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

The action in the Big Ditch continued to shine right through Monday morning; Bruce Miller reported weighing in a good number of 40-pound fish taken during the breaking tides in the morning, but added that there has been steady action throughout the day. The middle of the Canal has been best, especially from the herring run to the Cribbin’, as well as Halfway Gate. The east end has also seen some good action around Pip’s Rip.

There is a ton of mackerel in the land cut, Mike Thomas said, and some anglers are taking advantage of how thick they are close to the rip rap by scooping them up and livelining them. Pencil poppers in green, white, or mackerel pattern finishes have been tough to beat when the fish are on top; the Guppy Wacky Mackerel color has been particularly popular. Sebile Magic Swimmers in green or blue mackerel or white have also been effective, as have Daiwa SP Minnows when the fish are cruising slightly subsurface.

If you want to avoid the crowds, there are schoolies and even some larger fish at the west end, as evidenced by a 48-inch bass taken on a Gibbs’ Polaris earlier this week, reported Jeff Clabault.

At the east end of the Canal, sea bass have been biting well along with winter flounder, while at the west end there have been good numbers of scup.

8/7/14 as reported by Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

There is a good morning topwater bite in the Canal, particularly around the east end as there are large schools of mackerel that are driving the action. Once the sun is up, the action dies down quickly, so there is a far more limited number of anglers willing to get up that early to get it on the fishing and that means you will have plenty of room. Pencil poppers in yellow, green, or mackerel are productive, with the Guppy pencils in their special Wacky Mackerel color particularly effective; Sebile Magic Swimmers in mackerel or white are another good option. There are bass well into the 30-pound class being caught, with Jeff Miller weighing in a 39-pounder on Monday for one of the regulars.

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8/11/14 As Reported By Hogy Staff

Much slower than a week ago but also less crowded conditions. After dark fishing in the east end is a best bet; Hogy paddle tails (dark colors for after dark) on 3 and 4-ounce Barbarian jig heads will score at slack tide.

8/7/14 as reported by Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

Some folks are asking where did all the bass go after the all out mayhem from last Thursday through Monday morning; a better question might be how many fish can be taken from a school of bass before it is fished out? There are still bass around, but it the Canal is back to its usual pattern, with a few committed anglers working the late afternoon into the evening last few hours of the east tide. Bucktail jigs (with pink Spro jigs in particular mentioned) and sinking versions of Sebiles have been catching a few fish; other anglers who consistently catch bass have stuck with Daiwa SP Minnows and RedFins worked close to shore rather than heaving out hero casts. There are fluke at the east; if you can get fresh sand eels, you are way ahead of the game.

8/6/14 As Reported By Hogy Staff

It appears that “Bassapalooza” in the canal has come to an end with the school of big fish that inspired utter chaos last week moving on to parts unknown. In their place are many schoolie size fish but the after dark hardcore anglers are still finding a few good ones – a more typical August pattern here.

8/4/14 As Reported By Hogy Staff

After five consecutive days of spectacular action in the canal – the best of the season, by far – things are slowing down a bit but a session there is still time well spent. What is truly remarkable, beyond the fact that the action has been during the daylight hours is that the best fishing has been in full daylight. Stripers are chasing mackerel and baby herring dumping out of the mid canal herring run. Expect the crowded conditions to continue however, at least until the fish move out. Hogy Paddle Tails on jigheads in mackerel color are a sure thing if the fish are showing.

8/1/14 As Reported By Hogy Staff

The word is out: for the first time of this strange season the canal is ON. For the last few days there have been plenty of 20 – 30-pound stripers scattered throughout this popular waterway and the most amazing thing may be that the best action in some cases has been in the middle of the day. Expect crowded conditions this weekend but with 7+ miles of easily accessed waterfront you should be able to find room to cast.

7/30/14 as reported by Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

The best action moved east this morning; there was a really good topwater bite around the tanker cut and the fishing pier, with even more fish caught just subsurface. Sheila Miller weighed in a 28.9-pound bass, but the main body of fish were in the 32 to 36-inch range. Ghostescent/white or mackerel Sebile Magic Swimmers continue to be the best subsurface plug, with loaded Cotton Cordell pencil poppers also effective. Mackerel colored Savage Sand Eels were another good choice. Yellow over white or gold/green over white pencil poppers were the top plugs when the fish were taking topwater lures.

7/28/14 as reported by Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

The afternoon change from the end of the west and the turn to the east has been best, especially around the middle of the Canal. There have been a few fish in the morning, but afternoon/evenings have been best. Slow and fast sink four ounce Magic Swimmers and their knockoffs in blue mackerel or white have been top choices. Pluggers who insist on sticking with pencil poppers have found that gold over white or yellow over white have been the best colors.

7/28/14 as reported by Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

Mike Thomas reported that the action has been great in the Canal; the morning bite has been down the east end while it is centered in the Canal between the herring run and the Cribbin’ on the afternoon tide. Mackerel pattern and white Sebiles and their knockoffs, both Magic Swimmers and Stick Shadds, have been working well. Nighttime jigging action has been solid as well around the bridges with dark colored offerings, particularly black. The quality is there right now, up to 30-pounds, and it would be wise to get there ASAP since with all the activity starting this weekend celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Big Ditch, the fish just might disappear along with the fireworks.


7/24/14 As Reported By Hogy Staff

Still surprisingly slow near the west end of the canal in spite of plenty of small bait in that area. Many of the harbors along the Cape shore of Buzzards Bay (Red Brook, Megansett Harbor, West Falmouth Harbor) still hold plenty of school sized stripers however; kayak anglers fishing at first light are doing well with Hogy 6” Skinnies in bone white and bubblegum. Essential to fish those harbors early or late before the boat traffic is heavy.

7/21/14 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

The weekend was tough during daylight hours with a ton of boat traffic putting the fish down and breaking up any consistent topwater bite, making nighttime the way to go. A number of fish in the 25 to 35-pound class were taken on black jigs, with fast sink Stick Shadds and Tsunami Shads getting to the bottom and picking up fish as well. Black over silver, mackerel, and pogy colored plugs and plastics have been working well as there are sea herring, pogies, and mackerel in the Canal. A 33-pound bass was caught in the morning, and while much of the early action has been between the herring run and the Cribbin’, there has been a good late afternoon bite around the east end.

7/19/14 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

Mike Thomas had reports of anglers catching up to 20 bass along stretches of the mid-Canal on Tuesday; the weights ranged from mid-teens to low 30-pound class. This was a morning bite coinciding with the east turn; prior to that, the bass were there but had a frustrating case of lockjaw as they were focused on whiting. Those folks who unlocked their mouths found that black back/silver sided plugs such as Sebiles and their knockoffs, SP Minnows (Dirty Silver) and Savage Manic Prey’s did the trick.

It’s pretty clear that these fish are staying within the confines of the Canal and there has been good afternoon action when the tide goes west; the same, shallow running plugs are working at this time, but there have also been flurries of surface activity from the Sagamore to the herring run.

Anglers working the bridges have been hooking and occasionally landing some big fish, but a combination of 65-pound braid and a locked down drag has resulted in a good number of straightened hooks on the black jigs that are being used.

Sheila Miller said that along with a 31-pound bass that they weighed in on Tuesday, there are still some nice winter flounder being caught around the bulkhead and other east end locales, as well as sea bass. Mackerel are cruising in and out of the east end, while at night there still remains good squid action under the lights.

7/15/14 As Reported By Hogy Staff

Brief, sporadic action for stripers up to 30 pounds in the East End over the last few days; slack tide/low light conditions best. Top water plugs at slack and Jiggin’ Hogy paddle tails as the tide begins to move are producing.

7/11/14 As Reported By Hogy Staff

Strong full moon tides this weekend should pull bait into the Canal and the bigger bass that were present about 10 days ago should follow. East end locations will be crowded with anglers but the potential for some great action is there.

7/11/14 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

The terrific bite last week pretty much turned off when the remnants of Hurricane Arthur went through on Friday and into Saturday morning; the water became very murky and filled with weed. The vast majority of the bass moved out of the east end and up to Plymouth and the south shore.

The pattern has returned to what it has been most of the season; the small number of better bass are being caught at night on jigs and live eels, particularly from the Cribbin’ out to the east end.

There is still a fair amount of bait in the land cut in the form of squid, sand eels, and juvenile herring, along with some small schools of mackerel.

Friday, the latest set of breaking tides begins and there should be some crowds around looking for a repeat of last week’s topwater action. Although catching fish on pencil poppers is tops for most pluggers, the reality is that Daiwa SP Minnows, Savage Manic Prey swimmers, and Sebiles, both original and knockoffs, catch more fish since they allow an angler to work more of the water column.

7/10/14 As Reported By Hogy Staff

Occasional large bass taken in the East End, fish that move in to chase mackerel. West end and into Buzzards Bay very slow except for a few medium bluefish.

7/5/14 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

There should be some good crowds in the Canal this holiday weekend as the fishing really perked up from the east end to Bourne campground as of Thursday. Early mornings has seen some good topwater action on mackerel pattern pencil poppers, as well as Sebile knockoffs, both mackerel and black over silver and blue over silver since there is a good amount of sea herring in the Big Ditch as well.

Savage Sand Eels continue to work well during the daylight hours, as do SP Minnows and Savage Prey Swimmers, both floaters and sinking models in mackerel and colors that imitate herring.

At night, jigging is producing bass up to the high 40-inch mark and SP Minnows and Savage Prey Swimmers are also working under the cover of darkness.

Bass up the 40-pound class have been taken in the Canal by shore anglers, but some of the best entertainment has been the epithets, rocks, and lures tossed at boaters, mainly commercial anglers, who are brazenly fishing in the land cut since there has been no enforcement. Some of these characters are going up as far as the Sagamore Bridge and then jigging their way out the east end, while others are livelining mackerel they have caught just outside the east end. There have even been reports of boaters interfering with commercial traffic such as barges.

There are still some good winter flounder being caught around the tanker cut and black sea bass have made their way from one end of the Canal to the other.

Since the flow of fish has been from Cape Cod Bay into the Canal as opposed to out of Buzzards Bay, the west end has been a little quiet. That said, with a good amount of bait around, the odds are that some bass will make their way to the waters between Bell Road and the Bourne Bridge on the tail end of the west tide and the turn to the east.

6/27/14 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

The Big Ditch had a good topwater bite this morning around the east end; Guppy pencils in pogy or mackerel were productive plugs. The bass that were caught weren’t huge, but the action was finally consistent for more than a really small window. The west tide seems to be fishing best, drawing in fish from Cape Cod Bay.

There has also been a decent night bite around the east end with eels and chunk mackerel; darker colored jigs are another alternative and those rats who go with bucktails or jigheads and soft plastics when there aren’t fish on top have been catching fish consistently if they use a heavier enough offering to get down to where the fish are holding.

The squid fishing around the east end has also been excellent, with the average size really impressive. The most successful anglers are electing to carry their own light sources, which concentrate the sand eels, silversides, and other small baitfish that the squid feed on.

The west end is very slow, with a few smaller bass around Bell Road and the bridge abutments, but overall the best fishing on both sides, including the Maritime Academy, has been on sea bass. Pink Spro jigs have been effective.

6/19/14 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

The Big Ditch finally turned on last weekend, mainly from mid-Canal to the east; SP Minnows, black bucktail jigs, and dark colored jighead/soft plastic combinations produced four bass in the 30-pound class, with the top at 36.9-pounds, and a number of 20-pound fish. Early morning was the time to fish.

Things had changed a bit by midweek, with a topwater bite at the east end; mackerel moved in from Cape Cod Bay to feed on tiny sand eels and big bass were caught on mackerel pattern plugs. Top fish was a 42-pounder, with a 39-pound fish reported as well. There were also a good number of fish still taken on dark colored jigs and mackerel colored plastics.

6/13/14 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

Cape Cod Canal:

Not yet is the operative word in the Big Ditch as the regulars have their fingers crossed that the breaking tides coinciding with the full moon cycle starting tomorrow will finally bring fish in from Buzzards Bay and produce a topwater bite. Some fish did move in for a brief period this week, but once they reached the Cribbin’, they appeared to hit a wall, perhaps the cold water coming in on a westerly tide, and moved back out. There is also the possibility that this prolonged stretch of easterly winds will push the fish into the east end.

So while they wait for topwater action, the regulars who have stored years of knowledge have been using black bucktails tipped with red/white or pink pork rind to pick at some larger fish at night around the east end. If you prefer your jigs matched with soft plastics, black is also the optimal color. Generally speaking, you want to avoid plastics at the west end, especially in the morning, as there have been some bluefish around; then again, if you have to sacrifice some plastics to get to the bass, that isn’t such a bad thing.

There are sea bass spread through the Canal as well and there is some very good flounder fishing around the east end.

6/5/14 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

There’s not much to say about the Canal other than it has been consistently inconsistent. The problem is certainly not a lack of bait, but other than the occasional flurry, folks have been complaining that it isn’t like the last two seasons; the regulars know, however, that those years were aberrations and now you have to work for your fish.

Most of the larger bass being caught are real racers, averaging about 40-inches and the low 20-pound range, with a good number of schoolies around the west end. There has been some early morning topwater activity, but the best technique has been jigging with soft plastics; since there are bluefish around, getting your bait through the choppers is critical and requires jighead shapes and weights that zip deep into the water column.

5/30/14 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

The Canal definitely did not shape up the way folks were hoping for the holiday weekend; the fishing was OK, but there was not the push of bigger bass that have been staging around the west entrance to the land cut.

Some of the best action was had around the west end, with a few fish in the 15 to 20-pound class caught, along with plenty of schoolies and even some bluefish. This means that you have to select your jigheads and soft plastics to get down quickly before a chopper lops off their tails, rendering them useless. There is still a good amount of squid in the Canal, making white or glow plastics popular.

There was a topwater bite on Tuesday at the west end, with white pencil poppers effective, but again the fish were mainly on the small side. Starting Wednesday around 4:30 in the morning, a set of breaking tides is in order and these are usually associated with the first wave of larger fish moving into the land cut and there is bait around to draw them in, including the aforementioned squid as well as herring, sand eels, and some mackerel around the east end, which have been moving in and out with the tides and could be pushed into the east end by the northeast blow.

5/22/14 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

Some larger bass have been caught in the Canal this week, but they are real racers; bass around 40-inches have been weighed in that just tip the scales at 20-pounds. The fish are spread throughout the Canal, although a good number of anglers insist on hanging out around the herring run area, and there are far more small fish in the 20+-inch class than those that top the legal limit.

As of midweek, there hadn’t been much of a topwater bite, with most successful anglers turning to plugs that work from just below the surface to a couple of feet down; Sebiles and loaded Cotton Cordell pencils have been good choices. One regular reminded me that there are far more fish close to the riprap than a long ways out; he was fishing a chicken scratch SP Minnow and picking up bass while folks around him were tossing bucktails out to the middle of the Big Ditch and coming up with nothing. As he explained, you could see schools of herring swimming in tight to the shore, as well as the stripers right on their tails.

Along with the herring, there is a fair amount of squid, making white plugs a popular choice at times, along with sand eels and a few mackerel at the east end.

Tautog fishing remains good around the Maritime Academy and they have moved through to the east end as well.

5/16/14 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

A couple of just legal bass (28-inches and over) have been reported in the Canal, but the successful anglers have been tight-lipped about locations and lures used. That said, bucktail jigs, jighead/soft plastic combinations, Sebiles and their imitations, and Daiwa SP Minnows are good choices right now with plenty of herring still around in the Big Ditch, but a legal fish was caught on Wednesday on a white pencil popper, with the thought being that the bass have been keyed in on squid before arriving in the Canal and white is a top choice in this situation.

10/10/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

I would be remiss to pick any area of the Big Ditch as the hot spot as it can change from tide-to-tide or even in a matter of a half hour or so. Most reports have had the east end seeing the most consistent action due to the spike mackerel in the area, but when I spoke to Sheila Miller about mid-morning on Wednesday, she said there must have been 40 guys down around Gallo. There has been some surface activity in the morning and on the change of tide during the day, but most of your better daytime bass are being caught deep using heavy jigs, with the 5+-ounce Savage Sand Eel in mackerel a top producer. With both sea herring and juvenile river herring around, metals are also working well at times, including Crippled Herring and Kastmasters, with one angler who caught some low 30-inch class fish around the west end reporting that they had butterfish in their stomachs.

All of that said, Sheila pointed out that the largest fish are still generally being caught on live eels at night, with a 37.6-pounder weighed in on Tuesday.

Jeff Clabault mentioned that over the same dates as this weekend in 2005, a prolonged series of days with northeast winds was followed by epic bass action as sea herring were blown into the east end and the stripers were there to greet them.

The word from A.J. Coots is that there are still sea bass in the Canal as well, with Stan Darmofalski doing well with Sea Striker Jig Fish.

10/3/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

Combine a new moon with early, early morning east turning tides around the west end and you have the potential for the kind of action that Canal regulars long for. Keep in mind that some spike mackerel moved into the east end, and there are also sea herring, butterfish, and young of the year river herring dropping out of the run.

Bruce Miller weighed in a 37-pound bass on Tuesday and explained that most of the largest fish earlier this week came on eels fished at night.

That said, Stan Darmofalski spoke of good action throughout the day in the Big Ditch, with bass in many spots, while others held mainly bluefish. Metal jigs such as Crippled Herrings worked well, as did Savage Sand Eels, with a few fish taken early in the morning on Guppy pencils, especially at the east end, with swimming plugs such as Daiwa SP Minnows taking over in the middle of the day.

9/25/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

I heard from most Canal shops that the action has definitely slowed this week, with very little in the way of topwater action. The main bait appears to be small sea herring, so Crippled Herrings have been working well as have the heavier Gag’s Whip It Fish, with Jeff Miller recommending the blue mackerel color.

With mackerel off the east end of the land cut, there is always the possibility of them moving in on the tail end of the east tide and the turn to the west, making pencil poppers in green, blue, or pink mackerel effective. Gibbs’ Canal Specials continue to produce, with pencils from Guppy and Cape Cod Tackle also popular. Loaded Cotton Cordell pencils give you the option of fishing on top or letting the plug sink and work deeper in the water column, which is effective with the tides at present since the fish aren’t really showing with any regularity or gusto.

There are also some bluefish in the Big Ditch, some of them good sized.

Overall, the action is spread out through the Canal from dawn to dusk, but at night the regulars who are adept at fishing live eels, especially around slack tide and the turn of the current, have been catching fish around the bridge abutments.

9/19/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

I happened to be talking with Bruce Miller at his shop when a regular came in with a nice 33.2-pound bass that he caught on a live eel. This was just one of a number of impressive fish that Bruce checked in earlier this week, with the largest a 41.5-pounder; these larger bass are all coming at night on live eels in holes between the two bridges.

There has been a brief flurry of topwater action at both ends of the Canal, but what the rats are really looking forward to is the breaking tides that start this morning. As September progresses, there can be fish pushing bait on the surface from just before first light into the early morning; if the bait is particularly thick, the action can be epic and last throughout the day, with occasional lulls, especially around slack tide.

Mackerel pattern pencil poppers are especially popular with the plugging crew, but many folks swear by Magic Swimmers, Stick Shadds, and Daiwa SP Minnows.

When the action isn’t on top, Bull MacKinnon recommended getting down deep with traditional bucktail jigs and heavy jighead/soft plastic combinations, with heavily loaded Cotton Cordell pencil poppers a proven producer among those in the know.

9/12/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

The Canal has slowed a bit from the incredible action that started mid-week last week and continued through the weekend, but there are still some good bass to be caught, although you will have to work harder.

The fishing at night has been good from the mid-Canal areas to the east end, with live eels and jigs working best, with Halfway Gate, the Cribbin’, and the Sagamore Bridge abutments good locations.

Savage Sand Eels and Daiwa SP Minnows have been hot lures, with the waters around the railroad bridge producing some good bass in the morning, although the east turn is well after first light at the moment.

The regulars have been following the schools of fish from east to west from day-to-day as they are definitely on the move. The good news is there are good numbers of big fish up along the south shore from Plymouth up to Hull, so if there remains enough bait in the land cut, the fish should move that way rather than just head across the bay and out around Provincetown.

9/4/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

The east end of the Canal was alive on Wednesday morning with all manner of lures working, from pencil poppers to swimmers to bucktail jigs and jigheads matches to soft plastics. The breaking tides (east turning at daybreak) continue through the end of this week and the fishing should remain consistent.

Before things broke out in the morning, most of the action had been on live eels at night from the Sagamore Bridge to the east entrance. Red Top weighed in a 43-pound, 48-inch bass on Tuesday and Bruce Miller said he has checked in fish in the high 20-pound to mid-30-pound class pretty much every day.

The west end has been slow, with a few fish around the railroad bridge at night and some small bass at Bell Road.

8/28/13 As Reported By Todd at Red Top Sporting Goods – http://www.redtoptackle.com/

Canal Epoxy Jig StriperBull, at Red Top Sporting Goods reported a top-shelf morning of fishing in the Cape Cod Canal. He said bass were everywhere, chasing juvenile Squid. Some decent sized fish to 20lbs. He was getting fish on the 60 Gram Bone SI Epoxy Jig. In my short conversation, he offered to show folks how he was fishing them. Ask for Bull.

Kevin Gould from Falmouth Bait and Tackle found the same squid bight and caught this fish on the 115 Gram Epoxy Jig.

8/28/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

Mike Thomas reported that a buddy had his best fishing ever with live eels on Tuesday in the wee hours of the morning, while Bruce Miller added that the stretch from the Cribbin’ down to the herring run is also producing some big fish at night on eels. The largest fish Bruce has weighed in this week was 34-pounds as of midweek.

Jigs matched with soft plastics are the top choice for the morning bite that has been shaping up between the Sagamore Bridge and the east end, with green and blue mackerel imitations favored. Internally weighted shads are a second choice and there are some fish being taken on top on pencil poppers.

Tuesday morning on the turn from west to east current also found bass blitzing around the railroad bridge; the bait was reported to be blueback herring, making metals such as Crippled Herrings and blue mackerel and blue/white plugs the choice of the crowds that gathered thereabouts to have a shot at fish in the 20-pound class.

And as if you need to be reminded, this is Labor Day weekend and you had better get to the Canal early if you want to get a prime spot, as there are plenty of folks expected for the unofficial end of summer.

8/27/13 As Reported By Todd at Falmouth Bait and Tackle – http://www.falmouthbaitandtackle.com/

I popped into Falmouth Bait and Tackle and chatted with Todd for a bit, who is the most knowledgeable person I know in all matters concerning fishing the Canal. I was excited to hear how he did the other night on his stash of ALL NEW 4-ounce SI Epoxy Jig. Unfortunately it stayed in his tackle bag, as there was a wicked top-water bite near the east end of the Canal. Numerous stripers in the 20-pound class were taken on pencil poppers.

8/21/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

The combination of full moon and early morning east turning currents started to produce on Tuesday and the action continued right through Wednesday. The surface action is lasting until the sun is up and then things get quiet until dusk. Mackerel colored pencil poppers are a good choice, especially around the dolphins and from pole 205 to 235, with Sebiles and Daiwa SP Minnows fishing a little more consistently since they can be worked at different levels of the water column when the fish aren’t showing and they want a lure fished at the level where they are holding and heavily loaded Cotton Cordell pencil poppers are also accounting for some good stripers, as are jighead/soft plastic combinations.

By the weekend, the better part of the tides will be occurring in the daylight and the odds are the best fishing will once again switch to nights, with live eels and bucktail jigs the way to go.

The best fishing is at the east end, specifically from the Sagamore Bridge out to the entrance as the bass that are out in the bay during the day move into the land cut, often pushing mackerel ahead of them and there is a good amount squid around the bulkhead as well.

8/15/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

Wednesday marked the twelfth day in a row of solid fishing in the Canal; it’s not as lights out as when it started almost two weeks ago, but there are a solid number of bass being caught each morning. Although the east turning tides are now taking place well after first light, the larger fish don’t seem to care about which way the current is moving before and just as the sun is crossing the horizon as that’s when they are most active. Knock off Magic Swimmers in mackerel paint jobs as well as white or green are working best since they can be fished at various levels of the water column and target larger fish, while pencil poppers have been accounting for mostly smaller bass right on the surface.

Savage Sand Eel lures have the same advantage as the Magic Swimmers as they can fished at various levels of the water column while more traditional bucktails tend to be a deepwater lure. One way of adjusting the sink rate on a bucktail is to tie or select ones with tails that are heavily dressed.

Along with mackerel, there are some good schools of squid around the east end and Kevin Gould recommended fishing Hogy Pro Tail Paddles in amber when you are fishing around squid; amber seven-inch and 10-inch Original Hogy’s also work very well on jigheads and when the squid are close in, nothing beats these same baits fished unweighted on swimbait hooks.

When the current does go east, there are mainly smaller fish in the mix, particularly on top and folks who bike the access roads have been doing best as they can monitor much larger areas for fish. The bass have been spread out throughout the land cut and there has been no consistent batter from day to day so being mobile is an advantage.

Mike Thomas also reported suspicious slashing fish around the Bell Road area the last couple of days; there hadn’t been any catches, but most anglers throwing on them have been using big plugs and if they are albies or bonito, that would make sense. This area is one of the best spots on the Cape for targeting funny fish from shore, and when combined with the currents in the Canal, the run of an albie becomes even more of an adrenaline rush.

8/8/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

The Big Ditch delivered another amazing story on Tuesday. Apparently, an angler was trying for bass during the late afternoon/early evening bite that had been taking place and hooked up with what he thought at first was a shark. But when the fish came flying out of the water with his plug first attached to his mouth, he realized he had hooked up with – a billfish! Now some accounts say it was a sailfish and others a white marlin, but in any case that is simply unbelievable. And this was no small specimen, measuring almost six feet from its lower jaw to tip of its tail. Despite his best efforts, the fish expired and you can see photographic evidence on Cape Cod Tackle, the website of Mike Thomas, the owner of M & D’s in Wareham.

Wednesday marked the fifth day of solid fishing in the Canal for bass, with fish on top in the morning taking mackerel colored plugs; swimmers such as Daiwa SP Minnows, Savage Main Prey Swimmers, and Sebiles were productive, as were pencil poppers. The best action has been from the Sagamore Bridge and points east, which is also where you will find the best fluke bite.


8/1/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

Whatever topwater action there is in the Canal at the moment is happening in the darkness of morning before first light. The larger schools of mackerel moved out late last week, but there are still some around, with butterfish and squid also in the bait smorgasbord. The west end has seen fish on top, albeit mainly smaller bass, but they are hitting jighead/soft plastic combinations, Daiwa SP Minnows, and Sebiles.

Day in and day out during the summer, when fishing the Big Ditch between the popular “breaking tides,” there are two methods that produce most of the fish: jigging and casting live eels. The stretch of the north side from the Cribbin’ to High Bank is a very popular for eel users, with some good holes down around the east end as well. Following the rips as they form up from mid-Canal out to the east end is a Canal tradition, but you are talking about picking at bass rather than all out blitz action. The skating rink to Halfway Gate is a good stretch for jigging on the southside.

Fluke fishing remains steady in the land cut; if you have sand eels, then you are in luck as these are top baits for summer flounder in the Canal. If you can’t get them, then working slender profile metals, both with and without a squid strip, is an alternative and you have the chance of picking up some bass, especially around Pip’s Rip.

7/25/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

The Canal went off on Tuesday morning in the dark on the dying west tide and at least one regular said it was the best action all season as the fish were spread throughout the Big Ditch down as far as Halfway Gate. Good numbers of bass in the mid-30 to 40+ inch class were caught on plugs featuring a mackerel theme, especially Sebile Magic Swimmers and Stick Shadds in their Perch color that sports dark wavy lines that are characteristic of the Atlantic mackerel. Mackerel pattern Daiwa SP Minnow and Savage Manic Prey swimmers are also popular, while many rats refuse to throw anything but pencil poppers. In that case, everyone has their favorite including Gibbs’, Guppy, and others, with some folks loading Cotton Cordell’s and painting them to imitate mackerel; the extra weight up to three or four ounces adds casting distance and causes the plug to sink below the smaller bass to where the larger ones often hold during a blitz.

The largest bass that Mike Thomas heard of was 48-pounds and was caught by Pete Bracken who went outside the box and chunked a pogy for his big fish.

By Wednesday, the action had slowed a bit and it should be interesting to see what takes place as the new breaking tides moves towards first light as the mid-week activity pretty much died off once the sun came up.

Prior to this push of fish, any sizeable bass had been caught fishing live eels or jigging around the east end at night and those methods will continue to produce most consistently throughout the summer. Along with knowing how to bounce and roll jigs without hanging up and determining how the rips will set up and where, using the proper weight bucktail or jighead, if you are using soft plastics, is critical based on current speed and depth.

Fluke fishing remains a solid alternative around the east end from the fishing pier over to Pip’s Rip, with fresh sand eels the top bait.

7/18/13 As Reported By Capt. Dave Peros – http://www.captdaveperos.com/

With the plugging slowing down as the preferred east turning tides moved towards mid-morning this week, the solid action that started late last week and continued through early this week slowed down. Sebile Magic Swimmers in mackerel, white, and red head/white body worked very well as schools of big mackerel and squid moved in and drove the action. Guppy pencils have become very popular for anglers who prefer to throw this traditional Canal style plug, but Gibbs’ mackerel colored pencils in green, blue, or pink are still very popular.  Red Top weighed in a pair of 46-pounders from the Big Ditch during the height of the action. At the moment, if there are any fish showing on top, the action pretty much slows once the sun is up, with an occasional push towards dusk, with the east end holding mainly smaller bass, and folks drifting or bottom fishing sand eels have been picking at fish around Pip’s Rip.

Jigging and tossing live eels around the east end at night has been the preferred method of targeting larger bass that are holding on the bottom this week. Bucktail jigs, especially the green/white Spro in weights up to five ounces tipped with red pork rind, are working well, but over the last several years paddle tail and stickbait style soft plastics fished on heavy jigheads have really caught on. Dark colors, including black, green, and deep red, are most popular, with various shades of silver effective as well. The Hogy Tinker Mac Thumper Tails are proving to be an effective color as well.

Fluke are once again being good in good numbers around the east end of the Canal, with folks rolling sand eels on the bottom. These are some of the nicest summer flatties you will find, with the average fish between 18 and 24-inches.

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