As we approach the first days of July and the official kick off to the summer season out here on Cape Cod we realize how the rest of the season will be as the summer progresses. Fortunately this year our long winter and cool spring has caused the water not to excessively warm up meaning that there is plenty of baitfish and gamefish to go around.
Buzzards bay has consistently been producing great action from Black Sea Bass to stripers and bluefish along the rock coast of the bay. There have been numerous large schools of pogies moving through the bay in to Cape Cod bay. With Large baitfish such as pogies (menhaden) that mean one thing big bass and bluefish. The early morning when the winds are variable these schools of bait can be seen pushing water or jumping out of the water fleeing from hungry gamefish. Good tactics to catch large fish that are exclusively feeding on large baits is throwing Wally’s Custom Lures metal lip Danny style swimmers. These plugs can be altered quickly to alter the retrieve and presentation of the lure with the use of a pair of pliers. The metal lip allows you to change the pitch of the lip causing the lure to dive deep or shallower. The steeper the pitch of the lip will cause the bait to ride higher in the water column. I prefer to fish these plugs just under the surface throwing a small wake behind the plug. Also when I am throwing this style of plugs I tend to put a teaser above the plug 1-1/2 feet in front of the lure. I usually use some sort of sand eel or deceiver style pattern. If throwing the fly is your passion or obsession then utilizing large patterns such as Roger’s Big Eye Baitfish and Cowen’s Major’s Bunker would be a great examples. There are also plenty of juvenile sand-eels throughout the bay and bird and fish can be seen across the bay feeding on these large schools. Small Clousers and in olive and white, chartreuse, black and tan have been great color choices for this application. Be aware of bluefish and have wire leaders handy. We are seeing a lot of 3-5 pound blues mixed in with big “gator” blues reaching weights up to 15 pounds. These fish are everywhere and can rip up your gear if you are not prepared be sure you have Rio’s knotable wire on hand. Black sea bass are still around but the big 5-7 pounders have retreated to deeper cooler waters. The same techniques are still in play mentioned in a previous fishing report.
Cape Cod Canal has been great and has been producing a lot of big fish up to 47 pounds caught primarily on savage sand-eels, Wally’s Needles and Pencil Poppers.
Cape Cod bay the fishing has been the best in a few years with an abundance of mackerel, squid, sand-eels, silversides and pogies. The Brewster flats are still producing fish that have been “user friendly”. These fish are still primarily feeding on small sand-eels ranging from 2-3”. With the late night and early morning tides velvet sand-eels have been producing fish that may be particularly finicky. The velvet eel is the fly rodders’ slug-go type pattern that allows the angler to fish the pattern fast or slow depending on the particular situation.
Billingsgate shoals has been producing a lot of fish on the north side of the shoal at low tide and as the tide rises these fish have been cruising the top of the shoal in search of larger sand-eel. Towards Provincetown the top water bite has been epic with lots of big fish. These fish have not been very picky in the morning but top water pencils and needlefish have been producing big fish. For Fly rod enthusiasts, large Sandeel patterns and Sliders have been fishing very well also.
The action towards Chatham has been Picking up of Handkerchief shoals and Bearses Rip. These fish have primarily been keyed in on squid in the north and south running tides. Large Hogies, Wally Darters, Rip squids, and Bombers have been producing. Large Squid flies have been working very well popular flies have been Joe Leclair’s Fly Catcher Articulated squid and Boyle’s Can Squid patterns. These flies are best fish with RIO’s 350 grain striper line. I recommend using at least a 20# tippet due to these fish are very strong and use the heavy current to their advantage. As the tides tend to slow and the rips off Chatham calm down these fish have been seen chasing bait of shovelful and up the beach towards the Southway. A popular pattern for these applications has been Clousers, Half and half’s, flat-wings, Deceivers and Pammet Specials.