If you’re a shore angler who frequents spots along the southside of the Cape, you are counting on some cooler weather and cooler water to kick things into gear since other than some schoolies and the occasional bluefish, the present scenario is pretty dismal.
After a general lack of bluefish for long periods in the sounds, they have finally showed up in stronger numbers, but that hasn’t benefitted the sand and rock people since they have been staying at least a couple of casts beyond what the best fishermen can produce. It’s been particularly frustrating when you can see boat anglers consistently hooking up while you are pleading the that at least one school of fish and its attendant birds will work its way close to shore.
The Popponesset spit, Dowses Beach, Craigville Beach, West Dennis Beach, and Harding’s Beach are open beaches where walking and casting a topwater plug might coax a blue or even a small bass into striking. Still, as Jeff Clabault at Forestdale Bait & Tackle pointed out, there are far more schoolies up inside the numerous bays, harbors, salt rivers, salt ponds, and estuaries that dot the southside that can provide more consistent, and dare I say it, more reliable fishing. These backwaters are choked with small bait and at dawn and dusk, it is quite common to find smaller bass all over the peanut bunker, silversides, baby herring, and other fishy snacks.
Jeff is also hopeful that the next several weeks will see the return of some larger bass and bluefish that either work their way in from the sounds to fatten up, or have been inside all along, but will eventually make their way out of the quiet waters where they have hanging all summer.
There have been some small schools of bonito roaming in the waters between Popponesset and Craigville Beach, but a good number of the bones caught so far this season have been picked out of schools of bluefish. Bob Lewis pointed out that the farther you move away from the shore, the average size of the blues increases, and he has enjoyed some great topwater action from Wreck Shoal to Horseshoe Shoal.
Folks like Paul Caruso had some good days trolling for king mackerel off of Craigville Beach recently, but like so many other funny fish anglers, he has turned his attention to the small schools of albies that have made an appearance.
Andy Little at The Powderhorn told me that there have been schools of albies reported from Waquoit and Popponesset down to Bass River and the activity should increase exponentially given all the bait that Mr. and Mrs. False Albacore will find.