OTW TV – Canal Mackerel Blitz – Part 2

Bass pummeling mackerel right next to the rocks.

(Continued from Part 1) Cast after cast resulted in an arm-jarring strike from the mackerel-hungry bass. Everywhere I looked up and down the canal, anglers were holding onto bucking rods attached to 10- to 30-pound stripers. All the way across the canal, it looked like bowling balls were being tossed from the Bourne Bridge as big bass demolished the pencil poppers of Cape-side anglers.

The fish weren’t terribly picky, but anything with a mackerel pattern got eaten especially quickly. I connected on a Super Strike mack-pattern little-neck swimmer, mackerel-colored pencil poppers from Cape Cod Tackle and the Daiwa SaltPro SP Minnow in green mackerel color. Dave caught fish on Sebile Stick Shadds, pencil poppers of his own design and Sebile Magic Swimmers.

With the bite registering about a 7 on the blitz-o-meter, at about 6:00 I texted Matt to get out of bed, get the video equipment and get to canal pronto. I didn’t hear back from him until about 6:20, when he asked if it was still going. It was. Matt made his way to the office, got the equipment, and by 8:00 he was on his way to the Canal with Andy Nabreski in tow to take still photographs and do some fishing himself.

Despite lots of bait and bass, there were only a few other anglers in on the action.

Unfortunately, by 8:00 the bite had gone cold. I made the drive to the east end where there was a steady pick of fish, but no blitz by any means. Matt and Andy arrived and gave me a cockeyed look when the “massive mackerel blitz” I’d been raving about over the phone was nowhere to be seen.

Matt suggested we go back to the office, but I wasn’t ready to give up just yet. I suggested we take one last look just east of the herring run. Matt and Andy obliged and we made tracks for the Sagamore Bridge.

From the distance I saw a definite lack of anglers,which was a pretty good sign that the bite had gone cold. But as we got closer, I could make out some definite nervous water next to the bank. Before I could point it out to Matt and Andy, the nervous water erupted into frothing whitewater as bass ripped through the nervous school of macks. I took off running, waders and all, and before Matt could even get the camera out of the case, I was tight to a good striper.

Cameraman Matt Rissell risking life and limb on slick canal rocks in Sperry Topsiders to get the shot.

Unique to the vast majority of my canal blitz experiences. the nearest anglers were 50 yards away, and they had plenty of fish in front of them too. Either work obligations or a lull in the action had cleared the banks of the Big Ditch, leaving the macks and bass to the few anglers who stayed behind – and for once I’d be the guy catching the bass during work hours instead of getting texts and calls about it at my desk.

The CTS rod doing work on a heavy bass in strong current.

Matt started rolling, and the bass and macks stayed tight to the rocks for the better part of an hour, giving us some great footage. The mackerel were so thick that I periodically snagged one on my plug. I clipped the plug off the leader of my heavy rod and tied on an eel hook I dug out of the bottom of my surf bag. After hooking the macks, I’d pass the rod off to Andy, and before long he’d turn those live mackerel into 20-plus-pound stripers.

The star of the shoot (other than yours truly of course) was the 32-pounder that inhaled a Daiwa SP Minnow and gave my CTS a workout in the ripping canal currents. As the tide slowed, so did the fishing, and around 10:00, after putting in a good morning’s worth of “work” we left the canal, grabbed some breakfast and went back to the office, just a tad late.

The star of the shoot, a beautiful 32-pound bass.

9 on “OTW TV – Canal Mackerel Blitz – Part 2

  1. J Parnham

    My husband and I just finished watching On the Water TV today – Sunday, June 12th. You were fishing Buzzard’s Bay and we are curious as to what type of fish you were catching? They looked like a black bass.

    Thank you.

  2. Jeffrey

    So my and my friend and going to the cape to go striper fishing monday the 20th just wondering if you had any suggestions on ware to go my friend never caught a striper befor and It would be nice to have that happen for him

    Thank you

    1. Jimmy Fee

      The Canal has been very hit or miss the past couple days. Your best bay may be on the South Side near Waquoit or even out toward Race Point. It’s getting to that time of year when the bass will restrict their feeding to early mornings and evenings.

  3. Kierran

    Great post and photos. I like the blog addition to the website. Too bad AT&T U-verse dropped Comcast New England; I miss watching OTW TV badly .

  4. Danny Jett

    Great video I loved it. Are there any opportunities for us guys with fly rods? I have a 35 lb. Striper I have caught but just on trolling tackle aboard a boat called the ” Loosen Up ” out of Holiday Marina in Cheasapeake Bay Maryland. I would love to catch a big one on a fly rod.

  5. Mark Dacey

    Awesome pictures!!! looks like you a good day of fishing!!! I can’t wait for the bass to make there way up here ..

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