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.
Cape Cod Canal
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.
The larger bass most often caught by those jigging bucktails or lead head/soft plastic combinations. The largest fish that Bruce Miller at Canal Bait and Tackle in Sagamore saw this week was 41 pounds and came from Aptucxet, with a 40-pound bass was caught around the Maritime Academy as well.
With all of the peanut bunker in the Canal, some of the mackerel and juvenile bonito have moved back into the east end, mixing with some squid in the land cut. Round the west end, the bass being caught are mainly schoolies that are feeding on peanut bunker, making small metal lures such as Kastmasters, Crippled Herrings, and Heavy Metal Jigs good options.
There aren’t any blitzes of big fish that too many people associate with the Canal; instead, the regulars who put in their time are picking at larger fish, which at this time means between 20 and 30-pounds.
Things are far more typical of what the Big Ditch is known for rather than all out, all day blitzing fish. Night fishing has definitely been producing larger bass more consistently. most of the regulars fishing at night have been concentrating on the waters from the railroad bridge down to the Sagamore, with the bridge abutment areas popular, as well as the Cribbin’.
A few quality fish are being caught at night on live eels and jigs, especially between the bridges. The new moon is this Sunday, September 9, and the folks are hoping that some improved tides will coax the bait and bass that moved out into Cape Cod Bay back into the land cut.
Simply put, the Canal is back to being the Canal; that means folks who work hard and understand how the currents and rips set up are catching fish and the folks who have gotten used to it being easy are complaining.
Of course, what everyone is waiting for the set of breaking tides that could get things kicked back into high gear starting tomorrow morning; Mike Thomas at M & D’s with the full moon and a 2:50 east turn, there is a chance things will pick up, but Sunday is really the start of the first light change that many regulars prefer.
Enough people are willing to put up with the insanity of folks lining both sides of the Ditch, five feet apart, because that’s where the fish are. We’re talking about numerous 30 to 40-pound bass being caught and kept to be sold or to stroke one’s ego.