If Cape Cod Bay is good, then things are really starting to pick up in the sounds on everything from stripers to sea bass.
After what I experienced with Capt. Mike Hogan and Matt Rissell yesterday at Middle Ground, I would be willing to say that you have a very good chance of finding bass on any of the shoals from Halfway to Succonesset. Many of the fish there are from the 2011-year class, in the 28 to mid-30-inch class, really healthy and classic looking. It was fun to see Mike working the classic bubblegum 10-inch Original Hogy with his own magic, but I certainly would carry amber and bone as well; an assortment of 7-inch Original’s is also always on my boat.
Topwater plugs are also a blast when it comes to fishing for bass on the shoals this time of year as they are typically on squid and very aggressive; I like pencil poppers in white, red head/white, and pink, but spooks in white or bone are effective as well as classic poppers such as Creek Chub’s in white or banana.
In the waters more to the east such as Bishop’s or Collier’s, the striper bite is just starting to get started, reported Andy Little at The Powderhorn in Hyannis; there are some smaller bass being caught around the former on plugs and soft plastics, but most of the charterboats are concentrating on the great sea bass fishing.
As an example of how good the sea bass action is, Bob Lewis went out of Frank Torbey earlier this week and they limited out with no problem on 20+-inch sea bass off of Cotuit on jigs; Jim Young spoke to some of the customers who have been fishing on the Patriot Party Boats and charterboats out of Falmouth Harbor and they said they have managed their five fish sea limit in 20-minutes before turning their attention to big scup.
Using artificials will help you keep away from the hordes of scup that often accompany the sea bass, with Jim Young’s custom tied rig that allows you to use a bucktail or metal jig for weight on the bottom with a pair of nylon hair dressed hooks on dropper loops above particularly popular.
Lee Boisvert from Riverview said that the sea bass and scup fishing around the tire reef off Harwich is very good, with some schools of mackerel around as well, which is something new this season.
As far as striped bass goes, most of the bass being caught from the shoreline along Nantucket Sound have been on the small size; Jeff Clabault has been hitting the beaches between South Cape Beach and Cotuit and reported mainly schoolies for folks tossing artificials and even bait dunkers have been dealing with small bass. Jeff advised that if you are fishing around anywhere around Popponesset or Cotuit, and I’m sure it’s the same in Falmouth, if you don’t find any stripers, just move somewhere else nearby and the odds are that you will.
The beaches and backwaters from Cotuit to Osterville have been producing small bass, noted Andy Little, with the bluefish bite really quiet.
Apparently, the occasional blue has been caught around Oregon Beach by Wampanoag anglers using herring, but plug fishermen have had a tough go of it, reported Jeff Clabault at Forestdale Bait & Tackle on Route 130.
Things are so slow that a friend of Mike Thomas who fishes for bluefish off the southside has managed only 50-pounds on his best day so far this year.
Lee Boisvert advised that folks fishing from the open beaches down off Yarmouth, Dennis, and Harwich haven’t been doing any better than those who have been finding schoolies up inside Bass River and the assortment of rivers and bays to the east. White plugs, including poppers, have been working, with the vast majority of regulars avoiding the use of bait since there are so many sublegal stripers around.