This week the Canal has had two dominant scenarios as far as bass go: smaller fish on top in the morning, while larger stripers have been caught by folks jigging on the bottom or fishing live eels at night. Many of the Canal regulars are concentrating on the waters around the west end, but midweek there were some quality fish caught on jigs around the Mussel Bed.
The percentage of the commercial bass quota that has been filled has barely budged the last two weeks and remains around 85%, a pretty good sign that nobody has been getting out to the deeper water between the rips and Chatham and Nauset Inlets.
If the winds keep up as they have recently, the best bet for boaters is to concentrate on the multitude of protected waters along the southside where there are still good numbers of schoolies and enough larger fish to keep things interesting.
Earlier in the week, there were still decent numbers of albies being caught in Woods Hole, as well as small bass and bluefish. The water temperature in the Hole was 62.8-degrees on Wednesday, certainly still within the range that will still have albies hanging around, as long as there is enough bait.
There are still fish to be caught; the problem, however, as it has been pretty much everywhere around these parts, has been the wind. Steve saw albies busting off the Steamship earlier this week and a bonito was caught inside Edgartown yesterday, and with the water still plenty warm and tons of peanut bunker and silversides around, the funny fish should stick around for a while.
The tautog bite was steadily improving, with most serious toggers having little trouble picking up their limit of five fish 16-inches or larger fish, with the bag limit jumping up from three on October 15.
There is no lack of small bass up inside the Sandwich creeks and around Barnstable Harbor. Folks fishing eels and plugs such as needlefish around the beachfront and along Sandy Neck are still picking up the occasional larger bass; there are continued reports of pockets of big fish up around Plymouth and hopes are they will start to move towards the Canal.
There have been numerous reports of big schools of albies off of Stage Harbor, but they apparently have copped an attitude more often than not, perhaps because they were feeding on very small bait. Smaller bass are still around in the estuaries, and the tautog bite is picking up around Bishop and Clerks, Collier’s, and Point Gammon to Squaw Island.
Apparently, the live eel and jig bite at night has been productive around the west end, with schoolies on top around first light, while the waters around the east end have been filled with small bass. Soft plastic paddletails, whether the thinner sand eel style or the broader shad type, have been working.