Sand eels fished on the bottom continue to be the best way of catching any small bass in the area, but early mornings can produce some fish with topwater plugs and swimming plugs or eels would be your choice at night.
For the shore anglers, the story is pretty much the same: decent numbers of small bass mixed in with the occasional small bluefish. In addition, the vertical jig bite a couple of miles out from Nauset Inlet to Chatham Inlet has not materialized in any form close to what it was back several years.
The good news for shore anglers on the backside is that there is far more activity this year, but they have been picking up far more sublegal bass than anything at or over 28-inches. Dunking sand eels is always a productive method of fishing from the sand between Orleans and Provincetown, but early mornings have seen some topwater activity on both bass and blues.
If there has been any steady action on the vertical jigging scene east of Chatham and Nauset Inlets, folks are keeping it very quiet. That said, I think there is no reason to keep it quiet because the fishing has been a pick at best.
Stage Harbor is one body of water where you can be pretty sure of finding pogies and some big bass are caught around the channel. It’s the same story on the beaches from Wellfleet to Provincetown: mainly small bass, with an angler willing to cast all night having the best bet at catching a fish of size.
At least the beaches are seeing some action this season that is worth reporting. Despite all of the complaints about seals, there are still a handful of hardcore regular surf anglers who fish the sand from Wellfleet to Provincetown with plugs and they are doing OK.
Most of the bass caught from the beaches in Orleans and Eastham have been on the smaller size; some folks continue to rely on bait such as sand eels or eels, but there are still committed plug anglers who have been picking at mainly schoolies down around Nauset Inlet
Around Nauset Light and Coast Guard Beaches in Eastham, fresh sand eels have a top choice for the real thing, while Bombers, Red Fins, and SP Minnows, often fished with a Red Gill or fly teaser, have earned their keep among pluggers.