Peanut bunker are definitely driving the activity around the islands, from schools of albies in Woods Hole all the way to Quick’s on the Vineyard Sound side and schoolie bass that are hanging in the rocks and occasionally making forays into the open where locating them is no problem whatsoever.
Topwater lures and flies are always a fun way to locate these rambunctious bass, but the reality is that offerings such as bone Hogy’s and Zoom Super Flukes will produce more hook-ups for spin anglers while the veritable chartreuse-and-white Clouser is tough to beat for flyrodders. Although it is typically used for targeting larger bass with a big spook called the Doc, the bait-and-switch technique can be used with a hookless Rebel Jumpin’ Minnow for anglers who prefer to spend less time prospecting and more time catching. It’s simply a matter of tossing the plug to determine if there are fish around, at which point you can switch to a subsurface presentation since smaller bass are more willing to give you additional shots even after they attack a plug. Or you can use it the way it was originally intended: to draw out the fish within casting range for a waiting flyrodder.
Last Saturday, Phil Stanton had an excellent trip on big bass; in fact, he described it as being like it was a good while back when you would hook up with one impressive striper using a live eel and have several other large fish chasing another eel cast out in the same direction. Some of these bass were in the 30-pound class, really impressive, thick specimens.
I, however, had no luck on Tuesday as we fished all the way to Nashawena with eels and didn’t have a touch, other than some small blues that slashed up our snakes. I am well aware that it is a foolish man’s hopes to repeat in fishing what someone else has done days before, but the fact that we didn’t get a touch was surprising. Then again, it was a bright sunny day without much moving water and I am going to use that as a reason for our lack of large fish, although we did have some fun around Lackey’s with schoolies.