Early-Season Tips for Buzzards Bay Bass & Blues

A hefty bass taken in Buzzards Bay in late May.

With larger striped bass and bluefish moving into Buzzards Bay, Capt. Corey Pietraszek of Plug n’ Play Charters offers the following advice on targeting these fish on light tackle and fly gear.

  • If fly fishing, go with all-white patterns with some flashy material in them. Fish them on intermediate line using long, fast strips, just below the surface.
  • Use heavy-sink lines on schooling bass that are holding 12 to 20 feet deep. Be patient. Get all your line out up-wind and allow it to sink by piling the line close to the boat allowing it to sink with very little drag.
  • Bigger fish are deeper. To reach them, try a seven-inch Tsunami Deep Shad or a standard white bucktail with a RonZ trailer for added action.
Tsunami Deep Shad
  • Use your fishfinder to find a concentration of bait. If you mark bait, try blind-casting the area. I’ve had fish come up to hit surface lures in 25 feet of water, even when we didn’t mark them on the sounder.
  • In the topwater department, large stickballs work great. In terms of color, anything white outfishes everything else.
Giant topwaters can draw ferocious strikes from big bass.
  • Patience pays: This time of year the fish are moving. One day they’re here, the next they’re gone. Start fishing where you found fish the same time last season and work from there. Factor in the direction of wind and tide and try to move in the same direction in search of life, both on the surface and below.
  • Watch the birds (especially terns) to see which direction they are flying, then follow them. This can often lead you to a concentration of bait—and bass.
Terns can lead you to fish.