With warmer water on many of the shoals, folks have turned their attention to either fishing for fluke or they have elected to make longer runs to Wasque or Monomoy where the bass fishing is still very good.
Middle Ground has been the victim of the double whammy: warmer water and just a mass of boats, making for even spookier fish. Most folks I have spoken to told me that fish are feeding on sand eels primarily, with brief moments where some squid show up for no rhyme or reason. Epoxy Jigs and Sand Eel Jigs provide the opportunity to not only perhaps catch a bass, but a fluke or two as well as a sea bass.
Halfway, Hedge Fence, and Succonesset are producing more fluke than bass, with the average fluke significantly bigger this year; 20 to 22-inch fish aren’t unusual. Nobska is another area holding a mix of sea bass and fluke.
Even Horseshoe Shoal, known as a top summertime location for bluefish, isn’t really producing that many choppers as opposed to flatfish with choppers. In the deeper water off the Shoe and around Wreck Shoal, there are still good numbers of sea bass.
Paul Newmier fished the waters out in front of Bass River earlier this week and managed three nice fish over the 17-inch recreational limit in about 45-minutes of fishing.
Lee Boisvert at Riverview Bait & Tackle in Yarmouth has heard much better reports from anglers fishing for fluke in the waters outside the rivers from Yarmouth to Harwich, with sea bass and scup still being caught in good numbers around the tire reef as well as the artificial reef off of Harwich comprised of debris from the old high school.
Within the last week or so, I have noticed an increase in terns working over small bait and mainly small bass from Nobska to Waquoit Bay, but other than the occasional small school of bluefish, things have been slow on the choppers.
Jeff Clabault from Forestdale Bait & Tackle on Route 130 speaks to plenty of shore anglers who fish the beaches from South Cape to Dowses and other than Oregon Beach, where a fish here or there has been caught, the news on bluefish has been very disappointing.
On the other hand, Jeff did have some good news on the shore bass front, with three legal bass caught this week from the entrance channel to Popponesset Bay. One was caught on an eel and another on a plug, with the third caught on a live herring by a member of the local Wampanoag tribe. Jeff emphasized that these weren’t monsters, but any shore caught legal bass is good news.
Along with tossing pencil poppers in the wee hours of the morning and again at dusk, your best bet for catching stripers at Menauhant Beach; Sandy Beach and the Popponesset spit; Loop, Riley’s, and Cross St. in Cotuit; Dowses in Osterville; Craigville; West Dennis Beach; Red River; and Harding’s Beach is to fish cut bait such as mackerel, squid, or pogies. If you prefer to fish rocky structure, then tossing a live eel at night on an incoming tide, and that might mean spending all night doing it, can be effective due the cooling water.