When you keep your boat in Eel Pond, you definitely have an advantage over other folks when it comes to fishing the islands, especially with the kind of wind we have been having recently. You can stay in Woods Hole or even scoot down one side of the Elizabeths or the other, staying in the lee.
I wish I could give you more of a report, but one angler I know who fishes there a great deal told me he has been concentrating on lobstering (?), while Capt. Mike Hogan reported that there were small bass on top as he passed through Woods Hole on his recent tautog trip.
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 aren’t great numbers of large fish, but the consistently successful anglers have certain areas scoped out that produce during limited stretches of the tide. The reality is the closer we get to Halloween, the fish are likely to pay a visit to a certain stretch of water for a day or two before moving elsewhere as the begin to feed and get ready for a lengthy trip south or west.
Eels continue to produce more fish than pogies, most likely because they appeal to bass of all sizes while a full grown adult pogy is a tough thing to swallow for many bass below 30-inches. The fishing with snakes has been very tide specific, with spots often producing bass for a brief window and then shutting down completely.
Woods Hole has been the best spot for catching albies from boat and shore this week; but, the reality is that conditions along the islands have made for tough conditions all week long. A scenario from Monday that just might indicate a start to the fall migration as he was in Woods Hole and found large schools of bass and bluefish working peanut bunker right up against the Great Harbor shoreline of Penzance.
Woods Hole has had the most consistent albie action, especially at the end and beginning of each current change, as well as slack tide. Shore anglers fishing the stone jetty have managed to do well with olive or pink Hogy Epoxy Jigs, while boaters have located schools working from Juniper Point across to Nonamesset.
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.