Rob LaBranche has heard from a number of folks that they saw a pretty good fleet of boats on the last day of commercial bass season about a mile off Coast Guard Beach, a pretty good sign that the vertical jig bite is hot again. There are all kinds of jigs that you can use when targeting bass that are feeding on sand eels, with old school A17 and A27 diamond jigs with green tubes very popular among the recremercial crew, but I won’t leave home without also carrying a selection of Hogy Epoxy Jigs, Heavy Sand Eel Jigs, and Pro Tails, as well as Sand Eel plastics that can be added to any jig for a little more wiggle and attraction. I hate dealing with scents, juices and oils that some manufacturers soak their plastics in, but I know that some anglers believe in them and you can add them to any Hogy plastic if you want.
The beach fishing remains pretty good up around the Wellfleet beaches for bass, although Rob said the schools of pogies have thinned out, making it a bit more of a challenge to find the fish. Boaters have the advantage of being able to run the shoreline in search of menhaden, and having a friend in a boat who is willing to give you a call and lead you to the bait and bass is handy, but isn’t one of the challenges of finding fish doing it on your own based on current, winds, and weather?
Mornings have seen some big bluefish around Race Point, with Rob recommending white or yellow topwater plugs. Again, there are plastic pencil poppers that work, while Super Strike Little Neck poppers cast far and are a great value – and they catch fish. While the black eye model has more versatility, since it sinks and can be used as a swimmer if retrieved correctly as well as providing plenty of noise as a surface lure, the green eye is a floater and generally easier to use for newcomers. The issue is simple: unlike experienced anglers who know enough to flip the bail right when the plug hits the water, or even right before, so that the line is tight and the retrieve can be initiated, those folks new to the game typically fiddle with the handle trying to flip the bail or just react slowly, allowing numerous loose coils of line to slip off the spool, meaning that he or she has to reel in slack before the lure moves, with a sinking lure dropping below the surface as well. That means a good portion of the retrieve is often wasted just getting the plug to work. In addition to the green or black eye Little Necks, there is also a red eye that signifies a more heavily loaded version, something that is nice to have when you need to launch casts way out there.