Unlike the past when jigging wire was pretty much the norm around the shoals from Halfway to Succonesset, many of the local charterboats have shifted to using lighter casting tackle with shell squids and other soft plastics, encouraging their “sports” to snap them smartly. The key has been to sit on a point or section of the rip where the white water is working best and stem the tide, keeping the lures in the strike zones.
Middle Ground had quite a few boats this morning, and since the best areas are limited in size, there can be some jockeying for position, but many of the small boats simply move up and down the rip tossing poppers and other surface lures, along with soft plastics, as they look to settle in to a prime area.
The weed at certain stages of each tide has been a real challenge at times, which is where weedless presentations with soft plastics will give you an advantage, especially if you remember to avoid rigging with all kinds of metal hardware.
We had some success with larger squid flies in purple-and-orange this morning and had some bigger fish hit them, but trout sets proved to be a problem.
Jim Young at Eastman’s Sport & Tackle in Falmouth said that some bass in the 20-pound class were jigged up off of Nobska, with the rocks under the lighthouse the best locale for shore anglers using plugs, with a mix of schoolies and an occasional larger fish moving in under the cover of darkness, making surface swimmers at night and pencil poppers and spooks at first light a good choice. This area is also begging for a Slappy Blamber 13-inch Hogy worked deep on a Barbarian Jig Head.
The awful weather on Monday along with the unusually cold air (48 degrees at six this morning) had slowed the beach fishing from many of the sand beaches in Falmouth, with some schoolies up inside. That said, Jim said one of the problems in determining how the beach fishing is remains simple: there aren’t many people going.
From Popponesset to Dowses, that definitely hasn’t been as much of a problem; Jeff Clabault from Forestdale Bait & Tackle on Route 130 fished the Poppy spit earlier this week and found a decent number of anglers tossing plugs on the way to the point. He saw one 30-inch class bass mixed in with some schoolies, but bluefish were noticeably absent. He knows that mini-bass have been the main catch down South Cape Beach, with bluefish almost non-existent.
Reports of better bluefishing from the beach and boat down Cotuit and Osterville way are relative; the nasty weather that started last weekend and ran through Tuesday slowed things way down, but Jeff was counting on some more sun and a shift to southerly winds to brings back to the way it was at the end of last week, when Oregon Beach had a good push of blues for shore anglers and boaters were picking up them on plugs in greater numbers.
Jeff said all of the Cotuit beaches from Oregon to Cross Street, and up inside the Three Bays as well, have been holding good numbers of small bass that will take plugs and plastics, but the latter is a better choice since they make for a cleaner catch-and-release of schoolies. Flyrodders are also having fun with poppers and other surface flies.
There are also increasing numbers of scup inside Popponesset and Cotuit, making for some fun for the kids and adults who know how good eating they are.
Andy Little at The Powderhorn emphasized that there are some big stripers being caught from the shore between Cotuit and Hyannis, but low light conditions with bigger plugs has been key.
Andy added that some of the local charterboats and recreational folks have been dragging wire around Bishop and Clerks with some degree of success; although there isn’t much in the way of squid to talk about, imitating this favorite bass bait is key when choosing what you troll. Some success with topwater plugs has also been reported, as well as soft plastics that are known to imitate squid in terms of coloration and action.
Black sea bass continues to be very good, albeit with the average fish smaller than in Buzzards Bay, but getting your limit has been no problem using pink or chartreuse bucktail jigs or metals. Using squid will only invite a swarm of scup to the waters around your boat.
Mac Fields at Riverview Bait & Tackle in Yarmouth offered up some good news on fluke fishing as a local charterboat captain came in and said they did well on the summer flatties. They also have very good action on BSB and fluke, with the tire reef doing exactly what it was supposed to do.
From the beaches, a mix of schoolies and legal fish are being caught on shallow running plugs like the Daiwa SP Minnows and paddletail soft plastics, as well as poppers. The bluefish action has been spotty at best around West Dennis Beach and any of the popular