Cape Cod Fishing Report – June 19, 2024

As a follow up to my thoughts from yesterday about the benefits of adding deep jigging presentations to my usual topwater or upper water column cast-and-retrieve approach, I was talking with Bob Lewis yesterday about his last trip on Sunday to Monomoy.

Even though the focus that day was catching fish on topwater plugs with multi treble hooks as part of a catch-and-release research project Bob has been helping out on for the last two years, as they were drifting from rip to rip, following the bass that was “wearing” a data gathering device, Bob kept an eye on his sonar. What he told me was that in the deeper water between the shoal areas, he marked a lot of what he believes were nice stripers holding on the bottom.

When they are tethered to a bass that is typically pulling out a lot of braided line from a reel in free spool, there is no active fishing during that time, which can last between 20 to 30 minutes.

For that reason, Bob was not able to drop down a metal jig like the Hogy Sand Eel Jig, Slow Tail Jig, Protail Paddle, or even one of the new Protail Swimbait Eels, Slappy Eels, or a Hogy Original on a jighead of sufficient weight to get down to the depth where you have marked fish holding.

Although the same term – jigging – is used when describing this style of fishing as when talking about the traditional practice of “snapping” wire line and the pig-and-jig behind a boat that is moving in gear, it should not be confused with vertical jigging which is typically done on a drifting boat.

One similarity does apply however: there are different rhythms and cadences that just seem to catch more fish. And some people are better at producing action that produces fish.


Not only does the Playbook go over tackle and technique, but there is also a section on how to use your electronics to read the bottom and mark fish, allowing for a targeted approach as opposed to just blindly moving along, hoping for a fish to come along.


Unlike the Chatham area, which according to Jeff Miller from Canal Bait and Tackle in Sagamore was slow on the first day of bass selling season, there are a lot of stripers in the White Cliffs/Cedarville area in deeper water, he said.

Two years ago, this area saw a ton of boats livelining pogies for bass, but some anglers did well fishing artificials on the outskirts of the menhaden schools.

Flyrodders even got into the action using big flies like Beasts and Sedotti Slammers, while paddletail jigs such as the Hogy Protail and even large swimmers and jointed glide baits/sliders worked at times.

Jeff has continued to sell lots of seaworms as well as tubes, with the Hogy Perfect Tube a good seller in the shop. Back in the day, serious tube-and-worm anglers would spend a good while working on the bend in these lures to get them to swim with the kind of spiral motion they desired. I remember Capt. Bruce Cranshaw of the Falmouth charterboat Sea Dog explaining how they used to wind a tube around a coffee can or other size of tin can to help conform properly.

The advantage of the Perfect Tube is that Capt. Mike has managed to develop a method of repeating the proper bend so that his will swim correctly right out of the package.

According to Jeff, not only are the Hogy tubes popular with boat anglers, but kayak folks have really taken to Hogy’s design with the pedal versions of these watercraft perfect for tubing due to their ability to move at the correct speed.

Bruce Miller noted that while a lot of boaters have been running all over Cape Cod Bay looking for schools of mackerel or pogies, there have been a good number of big fish caught in the parking lot area around Sandy Neck. He said that some of these larger bass moved out into the bay from up inside Barnstable Harbor as they sought cooler water and larger bait.


One of the challenges facing any angler is the willingness to try something different if the pattern and techniques that have paid off in the past aren’t getting it done.

The concept of the “breaking tides” is something that has been ingrained in the minds of many Canal anglers. A predawn/first light dying west/turning east current became almost a religious belief as a combination that produced good results in the Big Ditch with big bass pushing bait ahead of them. Sometimes, the fish would hold in some stretch or even specific pole area, giving anglers sustained shots with topwater plugs, in particular.

But one important element that drives these frenzies is missing right now, according to Bruce Miller from Canal Bait and Tackle in Sagamore – and that’s big bait. I’m not sure anyone has an answer for what is going on with mackerel anywhere around the Cape, never mind a specific seven mile stretch of water, but Bruce emphasized that so far this year, there have been no significant numbers of macks in the land cut. The east end has harbored some small schools at times, including last week, but the last couple of days has people saying that they have seen a good number of mackerel – which in the end ups being 10 or so fish when truth be told.

The other thing to remember is that the Canal current runs in two directions, and although past history may have you sticking with a certain tide routine, finding the bait can is critical. For example, Jeff Miller noted that there are some schools of pogies around the west entrance to the Canal and from Wareham Bay west.

Boaters have been picking up some of these bass on deep diving swimmers that are similar in design to the Hogy Charter Grade Swimmer, with green or blue mackerel working around Mashnee Island and over to Stony Point Dike.

The significance of this to the Canal is that on the later part of the east current, even if this stage occurs in the middle of the night, some bass will have moved in, perhaps up as far as the Bourne Bridge, and then start moving back towards Buzzards Bay.

No matter if you are trolling swimmers in the west entrance or working paddletails in the land cut, techniques that are geared to getting down to where bass are holding, white has been the preferred color.


Certainly no lack of news on the striper front prior to these sustained blows, so it will be interesting to see what shapes up as thing settle a bit.

Mark Tenerowicz was still concentrating his fishing in shallow water areas from Mattapoisett and heading west. His last trip yesterday produced some small bass and bluefish, along with a larger blue that fell for a white soft plastic. Mark also noted that the concentrations of terns have disappeared, perhaps a sign that the concentrations of really small bait have been broken up.

The word from Connor Swartz at Red Top in Buzzards Bay is that things have been a little slow. Some slot sized fish have been picked up around the schools of pogies that have been holding in deeper water – around 40+ feet – in the bay.

Some schools of larger bluefish have been reported in the open bay as well; calm days allow for locating them finning on the surface, with big surface plugs rigged with a single Siwash tail hook the way to go.

That said, there has been a recent push of pogies into shallow, protected areas where livelining has produced some larger bass in the 40+ inch class. From what I gather, the game of locating the bait is a big part of the challenge.

But even with all of the striper and bluefish news, a good number of anglers are more excited about the solid start to the fluke season. B Bay might not produce the number of doormats as the Nantucket Shoals, but there are plenty of opportunities for summer flatties in the 20+ inch category. Most often you will find the larger fish on dropoffs, including the edge of the Canal and around the Mashnee Flats where they dropoff into the old Canal channel.