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.
The Buzzards Bay side of Naushon and the Weepeckets were good to Phil Stanton and his guest as he picked up two bass over 30-pounds trolling parachute jigs on wire, but Phil’s next trip there produced nothing.
Some good news concerning the islands came courtesy of Phil Stanton who believes a new group of larger bass have moved in, including a 34-pounder that a guest of his caught earlier this week while pitching eels in among the rocks.
Some bigger bass have been caught around the islands, but generally the word is these fish have been caught on live bait, particularly pogies, or fresh chunk baits. We have run into small bass working small bait in a number of the rips from Nonamesset to Quick’s, but have yet to see anything particularly impressive.