Thursday, August 24, 2017

Pencils Making a Splash

Light or mackerel colored
pencil poppers were scoring
the best.
Here's a real large fish that hit one of my
homemade white colored pencil poppers.
In the last week I spent a good amount of time at the Cape Cod Canal fishing for stripers, and what I saw and caught in the middle of the day was astounding.  There were days I saw hundreds of guys catch hundreds of keeper stripers that ranged from fish in the teens to fish in the forties (pounds not inches). At times the fish were just about everywhere in the Canal. The plug that was scoring the best was a pencil popper.
Pencil poppers are made for Canal fishing.  It is one of the longest casting plugs you can sling when teamed with a long cast reel (I use a Shimano Ultegra 5500) and a 10 or 11 foot rod (I use a 10 1/2 ft. St. Croix Mojo) .  Because of its aerodynamic shape and rear weight, a pencil popper casts like a bullet.  Its slender shape also allows it to move well in strong currents when popped along with short rhythmic pulls of the rod tip.  Since a lot of fish were busting for mackerel way out, the pencil popper was one of the few artificials that could consistently reach those "way out" fish. Even when the fish were breaking in close, the pencil popper still scored well.
It seems that everyone fishing the Canal has their own favorite brand, favorite size and favorite color to use.  I was using my homemade variety in a white color and scored many fish up into the thirties. One characteristic, though, in all those various pencils stood out.  Most sharpies were either using a light colored pencil popper like a white color or a mackerel color.  Some of those mac colors included green macs, blue macs and even a pink version made by Guppy that seemed to score well.
So, if you do head to the Canal in the coming days and weeks to sample the tremendous fishing going on there, make sure to pack some pencil poppers.  They are THE plugs to use when fishing the Canal.