The Canal is On Fire!

082517-CANAL FIRE

…With Some of the Best Bass Fishing in Years!

Nick Gallagher, left, had tons of luck heading out at first light while Sam Brown, right, went out at night with similar results.
Nick Gallagher, left, had tons of luck heading out at first light while Sam Brown, right, went out at night with similar results.

In the past week, the Cape Cod Canal has been lit up with huge schools of bunker, mackerel and tons of Lunker Stripers feeding on them. Day or night, crowds of anglers have been filling the shores and hitting on almost every cast. Now is the time to grab some gear and take a drive to the Big Ditch.

Some of the boys here in the shop have been burning the candle at both ends, working their shifts here in the store and the marine shop, then either heading to the Canal for some night fishing or getting up before the sun to hit the morning bite. Chris, Sam, Dave, Jada and the two Nick’s have all been out in the past week and all have been talking about catching 40 inchers on almost every cast! The time of day and the type of bait you are seeing will determine what to throw at them.  The guys have offered up some tips for heading to the banks to catch yourself a big one.

This pic from Dave Steeves shows why the Bill Hurley Canal Killers are so good.
This pic from Dave Steeves shows why the Bill Hurley Canal Killers are so good.

As are are rod & reel, the boys have been taking surf rod setups. The trick is you want to get your lure as far into the middle of the Canal as you can, so the longer rods work great. You want to have a beefier reel as well for the fact that hooking a 40+ in that current can “feel like hooking a tuna”, in the words of Goose Pro Staffer Sam Brown. You had better be ready for a fight.

For lures, you want to base your choice of the time of day and what the bait are doing. At night, your best bet seems to be throwing jigs. Any of the heavier soft baits, like the RonZ’s or Got Got Strypers, have been working, but the one lure all of the guys raving about has been the Bill Hurley Canal Killer 4.5 oz. The heavier head gives them the casting ability they are looking for and the paddle tail provides great life-like action. Cast them out as far as you can and give them a steady retrieve then hang on. Go for the bigger lures as many of the guys have had their hooks straightened using the smaller ones.

The Guppy Pencil Poppers have been slaying on the surface bite.
The Guppy Pencil Poppers have been slaying on the surface bite.

For the day light hours, try switching to a top water lure. These will be more visible in the day and will attract the fish to the surface. The other thing to look for is when the Bass start pushing the bait to the surface. This can happen day or night. When it does, be ready. Goose Marine mechanic Nick Gallagher stated, “The Bass started pushing the mackerel up onto the rocks. Every popper we thru at them was immediately sucked down. It sounded like a cinderblock being dropped in the water.”  The lure of choice for top water action seems to be the Guppy Jobo Sr. Pencil Popper. The flat bottom provides a wonderful dance across the surface proving to be irresistible to the lunkers. With the strong currents you can just cast it out and let it ride down with the flow.

There are a few simple rules of etiquette you should observe when fishing these waters. Be sure to space yourself out. This time of year there can be a lot of people with the same idea as you so don’t position yourself right on top of them. Spread out. Also, watch the other guys around you and try and cast in sync with them. Crossing lines is a sure way to NOT make friends. Another important thing is to take care with the fish. If you are not going to keep the fish, make sure you keep it alive for a healthy release. Too many stories came back of sightings of dead stripers floating by because of poor handling practices. The faster you can get it off the hook and back into the water the better.

Nick Packett modeling the perfect foot ware for the wet rocks.
Nick Packett modeling the perfect foot ware for the wet rocks.

The other thing to consider when venturing to the Canal is foot wear. More then one story has come back of the guys being pulled off their feet when a big hog hits their lure. You will most likely be climbing on wet seaweed covered rocks, so wear something that will hold up to the water while supplying traction on the we granite. Xtratuff boots are the perfect choice for the job. They come in various heights and styles and have wonderful soles for either being on wet decks or slimy rocks. Come check them out in the store and at TheMightFish.com.

The days are getting shorter and the nights cooler. Won’t be long before we are all packing our gear away for the season, but before that happens, one of the biggest bites of the season is going off right now at the Canal. Pick you time, grab your gear and head to the bridges. Tight Lines!