I very rarely get a chance to fish on weekends, but if I were to go, these are the plays I would look at. My recommendations listed here are based on my experiences this week, feedback from friends and my past experiences for this time of year in years past.
I truly hope these tips help. I’m a boat guy, and I apologize that this is boater’s centric.
Publisher, Salty Cape
Owner and President, Hogy Lures
This Week’s Note:
My weekly routine is such that I fish two mornings a week. So trips, like on Wednesday, I follow reports for fish. We’ll call that an “applied” trip. Others, like today, I’ll come up with an independent theory based on seasonality, tides, and previous couple day’s factors. We’ll call this a “theoretical” trip. (To borrow terms from science.)
Upper Cape Forecast
So Wednesday, Captain Nat Chalkley of Get the Net Charters and I fished Woods Hole chasing reports of some fish-hanging deep on the bottom. An “applied” trip. We only had a short amount of time due to office commitments and sadly, a trip to the dentist for me. Nevertheless, we found the fish that were rumored to be hunkered up in the tide. We were jigging skirted softbaits on leadcore.
We have also heard reports of fish scattered along the Elizabeth Islands. So if Vineyard sound was on my agenda, I would plan on trolling with the tide in Woods Hole, Quicks Hole and Robinson’s Hole, jigging with wire or lead core, dropping back on targets.
L’ Hommedieu has been hot and cold, with a mix of bass and blues. Worth a shot. At least 200’ of wire is recommended. White has been the hot color.
If you’re in the general area, it’s also a good play to trying Middle Ground. It’s often weedy, so bring some weedless options. Here are some tips for Middle Ground if you go.
West End of the Canal and The Canal Forecast
I’m hearing this area has been fishy. Hogy’s own Gene Bourque did well Thursday evening in this area from shore using 7” white soft baits. (I’ll let you guess which brand…) The West End has been fishing well by boat. Some BIG fish, but the dropping tide is the primo tide; so this week early has been the name of the game. For anglers casting, I recommend working the shoreline with medium to large size soft plastics. Trollers will do well jigging with the tide. I do just fine with leadcore here, but anglers often use wire too. If it were me, I’d replicate the technique I used in Woods Hole on Wednesday.
The Canal bite has been HOT, but super early has been the name of the game, many anglers doing well between 2AM and 4AM. I am NOT A CANAL GUY, so I can’t give much personal advice here except to poke into Falmouth Bait and Tackle or Red Top Sporting Goods to find out what they are hitting. Both shops have expert Cape Cod Canal fishermen on their staffs.
Cape Cod Bay Forecast
Despite hearing good reports from Barnstable Harbor, Billingsgate and Provincetown, I decided to troll tube and worms from Scorton Ledge along the beach toward Sandy Neck. For a couple of reasons… (1) Oftentimes when a large push of fish moves through the Canal, some larger fish settle in the area from Scorton Ledge to Sandy Neck. (2) We were catching the tail of the dropping tide and I am a big fan of large tubes close to slack tide. That’s always when I catch big fish. (3) I dropped a 50lb class fish at the side of the boat on this same date last year on the very same tube I was using and it haunts me still. (4) I hadn’t heard any reports from this area and wanted fresh intel for Salty Cape.
Remember what I was saying about “Applied” fishing vs “Theoretical Fishing” ?
Well, I proved this very morning why it is worth listening to good reports and sticking to good intel.
The first reminder of this was from a phone conversation I had with Capt. Dave Peros while I was on the way home from the Sandwich boat ramp. He said his clients were doubled up on small soft-baits and that I should have gone to where he was at Barnstable Harbor. Then, when I got back to the office, Gene, our office manager forwarded me a picture from his friend who SLAMMED multiple big fish in the P-Town area. Now I haven’t heard about Billingsgate yet, but I suspect I’m due for a third insulting report.
In a nutshell, if I were fishing the bay, I would blow by where I “tried” this morning, and follow the good reports to any of the aforementioned locations with your best sand eel imitations.
Outer Cape Forecast
I personally have not heard any first reports from the Outer Cape, so I would be out of turn commenting here. Does anybody out there have any reports for Monomoy?