Occasional schools of bonito and albies have shown inside the Hole, but Nobska, typically an area that sees a good push of funnies at this time of year, has yet to turn on in any significant and/or consistent way. Eels and pogies, both live and chunk, are clearly your best bet if you are seeking bass in the 20 pound and up range.
Striper fishing down the islands has been consistent, with a number of 27 to 32 inch bass caught this week. There have been schools of small bass around, but they have been sporadic; Penikese has had a mix of both bass and blues, but the quality of the fishing has been varying widely from day-to-day, despite the presence of large schools of small bait.
The huge amount of small bait is also producing some really good action on schoolie bass, especially on the turn of the tide and the tail end, as well. These fish can be very fussy at times when they are tuned into the peanut bunker, sand eels, and other small stuff.
There is no lack of small bass around the islands, with the change in currents at Robinson’s and Quick’s producing some non-stop action this week.
There is no problem finding the fish around Woods Hole, with the largest flock of terns I have seen in years working over small bluefish around Nonamesset and another concentration between Little Harbor and Nobska. There are still a few boats chunking around Felix Ledge and other spots in Quick’s Hole, as well as drifting eels both there in Robinson’s on an incoming tide.
As I have witnessed myself, live eels have definitely been the way to go if you want to increase your odds of catching a sizeable bass around the islands. Phil Stanton sent me photos of three bass between 16 and 30-pounds that 11-year-old Matty Bruffee caught tossing snakes thereabouts during the day earlier this week.
I was beginning to sound like a broken record talking about live eels and bigger stripers around the islands, but folks who are committed to this method of fishing have been consistently catching at least a couple of nice bass per trip.
The seven-inch Original Hogy in bone continues to be my go to lure in Woods Hole for spin anglers, with a smaller Skinny in bone on a jighead is my choice when the fish are very fussy and strictly focused on baby squid. So far, the word has not gotten to the fish about the bone spook style plugs that are simply dynamite, but there are plenty of choices that work, along with smaller white pencil poppers and Smack-it poppers.
The arrival, or perhaps I should say “the spawning,” of baby squid has really produced some good early morning action this week in Woods Hole; small, white bunny squid flies on a fast sink line really worked during the stronger parts of the current, but the bass really loved the lobster pot foam poppers we used as the tide lessened.
Whether drift or cast, live eels are a good way to go at the moment if your target is larger bass along the islands and in Woods Hole. Most anglers who have had success are opting for fishing in the dark. The few people who seem to be catching a fish or two of size consistently have been traveling farther down the islands.