With Saturday the only good weather day for boating this weekend, I would double down with a painfully early departure, especially if you want to stay in close. Here are the plays I would make for all the usual haunts around the Cape.
Thank you all!
Capt. Mike Hogan
Publisher, Salty Cape
Owner, Hogy Lure Company
I have two possible plays:
1) Get to the Elizabeth Islands for sunrise. Yes, that means a 3:something alarm setting…. But we are talking big fish here. I would start at whichever location is closer, Quicks Hole or Woods Hole and troll skirted jigs with the tide just like this. Once the action stopped or the sun go a little higher, I would shift gears and start looking for bird action with some ultra light tackle outfits. I filmed this short report on Tuesday with Capt. Shaun Ruge and the Islands were loaded, I mean LOADED with birds and bait and zillions of small stripers. However, we noticed in particular there were large bass working on small silvery bait. We watched a boat live lining bunker pull up a huge fish. The fish were finicky in Quicks, the only things in my arsenal that consistently produced on top water was a 7” Hogy Sand Eel rigged with a 6/0 Swim-bait hook and a 40 gram olive Epoxy jig. I could not fool any bigger fish though. I would have similar size and color baits ready rigged. Lastly, after that teetered out, I would shift to PLAN C, which would be to jig up some sea bass on some humps you find on your GPS plotter near the Elizabeth Islands or drift for fluke in deeper water where some decent fluke are sure to be found.
Elizabeth Islands Video Report – June 23
How To: Rigging Sand Eels
How To: Trolling Skirted Swimming Jig in the Holes
How to: Trolling Tube and Worm in Woods Hole
Where To: Woods Hole
Where To: Quick’s Hole
Where To: Robinson’s Hole
Where To: Lucas Shoal
2) If you can run a little further, my play would be to hit Wasque early as close to sunrise as possible. I never like fishing east winds at Wasque (or anywhere else for that matter) but Saturday is your day seeing that Sunday kicks up to 15 to 20 with gusts to 30knots from the SE. If wire line is on you agenda, my intel is telling me chartreuse and white parachute jigs with red pork rinds at Tom’s Shoal but I would save that for PLAN B. If you’re able to pull off a 3-something alarm, My PLAN A would be to throw big soft-baits in the skinny rips around and behind Wasque and Mutton shoals. Around this time of year, there is often a lady crab push that blows through this area and big bass go wild when this happens. If this phenomenon does indeed happen, I recommend 7” and 10” soft plastics rigged weedless in amber or pink (you can probably guess my brand!). But even if there’s no lady crabs, Wasque is awesome. Try all the rips and move around. Weedless soft baits can avoid weeds if this happens (see how I rig weedless at Middle Ground). PLAN C would be to head to Horseshoe Shoal for some great top water action, even through slack tide. We’ve had Salty fan reports of great action in these reports. PLAN D would be to hit some favorite spots for sea bass or fluke. For me coming out of Falmouth Harbor, I would hit the wrecks south of Hedge Fence. (Modified PLAN A: We’ve had some reader reports of bass in the Nantucket rips and Monomoy. I don’t have first hand intel on this but is a very valid bet for Saturday.)
BUZZARDS BAY & WEST END OF THE CANAL
If the West End was on my agenda, I would go early and focus my sunrise bight on trying to produce a big fish on the tube and worm, trolling the edges of the channels with tube and worm. Based on Peros’ report, there’s been some schoolie action so I would have some light tackle outfits rigged with small soft plastics. Lastly, I would be equipped to jig some sea bass in deeper water, also my favorite eating fish. One note I would like to make here is that I often find great bottom fishing action by departing from the “usual areas” and trying any obstruction or depth change on my finder. Often the fish move, especially after a front or wind change and a small tweak can yield big results.
CAPE COD BAY
Reports keep coming in for decent striper reports from all the usual haunts. If you know me, you know that I am an early guy, so I would fish the first 45 to 60 minutes of sunlight in my favorite tube and worm spot, which for me, coming out of Sandwich Boat Ramp, would be Scorton Ledge and trolling toward Sandy Neck. I would then go to might light tackle spinning outfits rigged with sand eel style soft baits and swimming by Billingsgate on my way to The Race. Depending on the action there, work Billingsgate until the action subsided. I would then switch to my jigging outfits to see if I could pull up a larger bass in deeper water. If I was 0 for 3 at this point or wanted MORE! I would keep pushing down the back side looking for fish toward the Golf Balls.
TUNA – SOUTH
Tomorrow is your day. I am conflicted on where to put my bet down. I went out yesterday and fished Gordon’s Gully at sunrise. There have been great reports so I thought I would try it. There was a ton of bait, porpoises and birds. Looked AWESOME! Nothing. Then looped through Inside Fingers. Same exact deal. Nothing. Hit NW corner at The Dump. Nothing. Worked north to The Claw. Same. My buddy who did the inverse trajectory tripped over some fish a little North of the fingers and went 2 for 3 in about 15 minutes time but was over as fast as it came on. Heard a few guys in this area get a fish here and there, but that was it. I later learned that it was OFF THE HOOK at Tuna Ridge and The Gully (not to be confused with Gordon’s Gully).
So back to my Plan– these fish can move around so quickly, it’s hard to call tomorrow’s play as there was very recently phenomenal fishing in the aforementioned spots, compounded with so much bait still in the area. The bluefin bite could pop back just as quickly, but you have to factor the east wind, which would push life west in theory. I would start at Tuna Ridge if that was within your range (S. of Block Island, SW a few miles of Coxes) If you’re running out of the eastern part of the Cape, I would start at Gordon’s Gully for early morning bite where there’s a 2 degree brake and uber life and punch straight across to the Claw and start trolling SW.
TUNA – EAST
The stick boaters have been doing OK. That’s about all I know. If east was on my personal agenda, I would feel much better about it if I knew more than what I know now. I would start a recon starting at Crab Ledge to BC to the Sword rigged with casting, jigging and trolling gear. Plan B would be to try and find some cod for the table at the Figs. Would LOVE a confirmed “good” tuna report we can post from EAST.
P.S. Take a kid fishing next chance you get!