After a very disappointing start to the sixth month, things got real hot hot hot. I mean, we were partying like it was 2015 out there. Big bass showed up all the old reliable spots gorging on huge schools of sand eels, mackerel, and herring. Since then, things have quieted down some. In the place of the more old school structure fishing, cows have resumed their pogie frenzy trends from the past years, often happening in deep water out in the Bay. The pelagic bass are on the move and the only way to get on them consistently is to burn some fuel, have a good network of buddies, and be okay with the skunk. This is a feast or famine style of fishing. But in late June, this is what we do. We catch big fish or we go home fishless and pissed off.
Big Bass at the Race
Last week, the Cordeiro boys came out for a day of big bass. At first light, we found stripers blitzing in the Three Bays–good old early morning incoming along the flats. Once we broke the skunk times five, we shot across the bay in the slop and found fish stacked on fish along the entire drop off. But man, these fish were finicky. The amount of sand eels around the Bay this year is staggering. And many of these sand eels are around an inch long, making for some pretty frustrating fishing.
We picked away at small-ish fish for a few hours. As the tide approached slack, we loaded up on herring down deep and moved inshore again. On the first drift, we doubled up with 40″ fish. On the second drift the same thing happened. These fish were angry. The bite lasted through slack and into the incoming tide. Most fish were around the 40″ mark but a few approached mid-forties. We had a few fish chase a mackerel flatwing fly to the boat, but we couldn’t get any eats on Docs, Jigs, Swimbaits or really any artificial. These bass were keyed in on sand eels and herring and the wanted the meat.
This is how it works most days. You have to stay on the bite long enough for the flip to switch or for the big bass to move in. This is especially true when there is an inordinate amount of bait around as we’ve seen in the past few years.
All day in the Three Bays
We saw a stretch of all-day bites around the channels and flats in the Three Bays in the last week or so. After the first half of the month, to say I was concerned would be an understatement. But just as they always do, the bass showed up to feed on the buffet of small baitfish.
The blitzes have been all day affairs for the past few days, with fish slurping squid and silversides on the surface well into the afternoon tides. The fish were finicky at times, so the normal topwater lures and unweighted soft plastics were the ticket. We did have the opportunity to vertical jig a few fish with Bill Hurley sand eels in the deeper parts of the Bay, which is always a fun throwback. These fish have mostly been located under birds where channels collide, but lately, the fish have setup in the rips on the big outgoing and incoming tides around the lows. We’ve got ourselves a mini Monomoy out there if you know what to look for.
The Forecast: Pogie City
Every year, it seems that the pogie school fishing comes just a bit earlier. We’re already in the midst of it, and it’s not even July. In the past few tides, pogies moved into lower Cape Cod Bay. Many of these schools have been flipping happily around. Some have been torn apart by forty-pound bass. It’s just about finding the right pogie school. We’ve been fishing mostly Plymouth where the pogies have moved into Warrens Cove and around Browns Bank. But the big fish may be anywhere from Barnstable to Marshfield. It’s that time of year. Burn some gas and find those fish. Don’t be afraid to look deep.
Tuna on the mind
I have to mention this so-call “red hot” school bluefin tuna bite south of the Vineyard. Team 7S hasn’t had the chance to get down there, but next time we get a weather window, we are a-headed south. These fish are supposedly feeding on sand eels and other small bait. We’re hoping to get a spin tuna this year, and this may be out best shot. But who knows? Maybe we’re in the midst of a football resurgence. 40″ bluefin in the Bay this year!? Let’s get ’em.