Stage Harbor is one body of water where you can be pretty sure of finding pogies and some big bass are caught around the channel by anglers who snag the baitfish and then either transfer them to a livelining outfit or keep them on the snatch hook and leave them struggling.
Some of them also fill their livewells and run out to the shoals around Monomoy, where they toss out their baits and then drift from rip-to-rip, waiting for a big bass to make a mistake. I haven’t heard that anyone has started drifting eels yet, but I did see a few folks tossing live mackerel and it was no surprise to see them catch fish.
Rob LaBranche at Blackbeard’s in Eastham reported that there has been more activity from the beaches than the recent past. One angler came in to restock his supply of Daiwa SP Minnows and told Rob that he saw another fisherman walking off of Coast Guard Beach with a legal fish in tow, the result of some long hours under the cover of darkness. Daytime hours continue to produce mostly schoolies, whether one is fishing chunk bait such as mackerel; sand eels; or plugs.
It’s the same story on the beaches from Wellfleet to Provincetown: mainly small bass, with an angler willing to cast all night having the best bet at catching a fish of size. Needlefish have traditionally been an outer Cape beach favorite; it makes sense since their profile does mimic a sand eel, but they catch even when there aren’t many of these baitfish around. But that slow waking or drifting drop-and-retrieve has caught numerous big fish over the years.