Long Weekend Warrior: The Fall run starts this weekend

We’re at that time in the season folks. Thursday afternoon, as I took the skiff out to the mooring for the hundredth time this year, I found myself thinking about how many more times I’d get to do it this season. Our lives get busier in the Fall. Getting out of bed is harder when it’s 46 degrees and pitch black at 6am. Sunday afternoons are easier spent sitting on the couch watching football than tossing or standing in the cold Fall surf casting for stripers, blues or albies.

But I beg you. No, I implore you. Don’t sleep on these next six weeks of fishing. Get out any chance you get. Blow off your obligations. The Fall migration is about to hum to a start like a big old machine. Things are about to blow wide open. You’ll regret it greatly if you put the rods away or winterize the boat while there are still days left on the October calendar. Because right now? Now’s the time to gear up. Now is when the fishing get’s good. This is the playoffs.


The Report

Sometimes it’s best to simplify. We found this out last night.

This week (and really the past two weeks) saw a slowdown in the Canal fishing. As a result, the surrounding areas (East End, Sandy Neck, Scorton) were also slow. There were some decent bites, especially at night, but the fish are not stacked up over there like they were the past few years.

The fish seem to have really spread out across Cape Cod Bay (and to locations North, take a look at the last report for the deets on the 50 pounders caught up there). Billingsgate seems to have picked up quite a bit, with decent fish coming on trolled wire, umbrella rigs and some topwater.

Bluefish have also made an appearance throughout Cape Cod Bay. Great for those of us who like to target these ferocious fighters. Not great for our schools of mackerel. Blues were caught from Scorton Ledge all the way up to Scituate last week, with a particular abundance in the Warrens Cove and Powerplant areas of Plymouth.


Early in the week, we got into a whole mess of smaller fish on top by the East End, White Cliffs, and all the way up the southern shoreline of Plymouth into Warren’s Cove. What was on the menu? Silversides and peanut bunker.

Buzzards Bay is still holding bonito, some King Mackerel, schoolies, and boatloads of small blues. No word yet on Sir Albert, but the bait is loaded up and they should start to trickle in soon.

Thursday night, we took our weekly trip out of Plymouth Harbor and immediately found bird and bass busing bait on the flats and in the channel by Splitting Knife on the outgoing tide. We each got a few decent schoolies on the fly and Captain Bill got a fat one on a small spook plug. These fish were keyed in on small bait but they were hungry.


After the feed dissipated, we attempted to head out of the Bay to search for Blues (Northeast wind generally being a good catalyst for a topwater feed from the YEDs), but we found it way too choppy for the Mal de Mer and had to settle for throwing flies into the rip inside.

It got dark quickly, and we made the move to go in, fully realizing we’d only have a few more of these after-work trips left in the season.

The Plan

The weather looks good for this weekend, with the pick being Sunday. Here’s my plan.

Saturday, we’re getting an East Wind, which may not favor well for a hot bite. But we have an East turn at the canal around dawn, so the “East is Least” mantra may not be in effect here. We’ll look for mackerel either by the Gurnet or at the East End and liveline for any possible big bass by the Canal.


We’ll also check down at Scorton and maybe try and get a few bluefish or a stray bonito. If the macks are missing, we’ll pull around a tube and worm.

If you’re staying around the Plymouth area, the outgoing tide should produce sporadic topwater feeds and maybe even a bluefish or two. Check the Powerplant, in Warrens Cove by Burts, or along the rip line on the North side of Browns Bank. There will be fish here. Hopefully big ones.

Sunday and Monday look like a great day to check Buzzards Bay and areas South. The water is warm and you never know what you’ll find down there.

That’ll do it. Get on that Fall run grind early, folks. Tight lines.

Billy Mitchell

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