Elizabeth Islands Fishing Report – July 28, 2016

Woods Hole is still filled with plenty of smaller stripers, but there are enough 30+-inch bass around to make it interesting. Bone seven-inch Original Hogy’s have been working really well for me at all stages of the tide; during some hours of each tide, it might seem as if nothing is happening, but having the patience to stick it out and knowledge about where you can move and pick at bass until things really get rolling on the ledges is invaluable. Rebel Jumpin’ Minnows continue to be my top searching plug, followed by smaller Smack-its, Zara Spooks, and Rapala Skitterwalks.

Rhett Wheeler with a healthy fish caught in Woods Hole last night.
Rhett Wheeler with a healthy fish caught in Woods Hole last night.

Most boaters who are having success trolling have switched to either the tube-and-worm or umbrella rigs; be advised that any and all attempts to troll spots in the channels can be a tough proposition given all the summer boat traffic. For that reason, poking around the deeper water off of the ledges, yet not within the marked avenues, is a good idea. Slow and low is important since during the height of the summer, many times the bass are hanging right on the bottom and you have to put your rig within the zone where it is willing to move for it. That’s why pulling the boat out of gear and letting your tubes simply drop back when working a hold or dropoff can induce more hits.

If you’re searching for larger bass along the islands then you appear to have two options: chumming/chunking and livelining pogies or using eels. There is little doubt that the absence of daylight will enhance your fishing and result in more and larger bass. This is true while casting eels, but if you prefer to drift them, then concentrating on the dropoffs into deeper water and watching your depth sounder for signs of bass can help.

Many boats that are successfully using pogies are making the run to upper Buzzards Bay to net the freshest bait they can; it’s more work, but it can really pay off.