Tonight was absolutely gorgeous. After the thunderstorms moved through the wind backed right off and the skies cleared. Might as well go fishing.
Instead of targeting big bass on the bottom tonight at the Cape Cod CanalI decided to mix things up and go for numbers instead of size. I rigged up a super light spinning setup with 20 pound braid, grabbed a few super small lures and headed down to the Ditch.
I enjoy targeting the small guys every once in a while, especially considering I’m planning on doing some serious Canal fishing for bigger fish throughout the month of September. If you haven’t heard, the Fisherman Fund tournament begins September 1st.
With $1,000 up for grabs I’ll be logging in at least a few long nights down at the Ditch. All it takes is some good timing and a little bit of luck to make it happen.
If you’d like to learn more about the 2012 Fisherman Fund Tournament you can do so by checking out their webpage – TheFishermanFund.com.
The guys who run the tournament do a lot for the community and for the Canal, which makes signing up for me a no-brainer. Plus there are some pretty spectacular prizes up for grabs just to make things interesting.
Back to the fishing, the Canal is mostly known for bass up to 60 pounds, however during this time of the year there is often a plethora of small fish feeding on the multitude of small bait that inhabits the land cut. Night time is a great time to target these small but extremely aggressive fish.
After a brief walk I scaled the rip-rap and set up shop. As if on cue a small striper broke the surface to my right and another sprayed some bait to my left. Time to start casting, or more appropriately, pitching the small lure 10-20 feet from the rocks.
A nice big bass just under the surface with a setting sun looming on the horizon.
What a beautiful weekend we just had. Right now it’s just past midnight on Sunday (technically I guess it’s Monday morning), and the wind is still nonexistent. It’s been flat calm and perfectly sunny for quite a few days now. You really can’t beat the weather we have been having.
The fishing this past weekend was stellar. I had Andy, Rob and Matt with me. A couple of weeks ago I had to cancel a trip with this same crew due to high winds and a persistent chance of thunder and lightning. It’s always tough making the call whether or not to postpone a trip, but in this case things worked out fantastic.
There’s been a lot of bait out there over the past few days – baby bunker, adult pogies, squid and who knows what else. All this bait has been driving the bass and bluefish crazy. Fortunately for the greater part of our trip this weekend we had bait, bass and blues underneath the boat.
Actually, from about sunset until midnight we had red and orange marks on the sonar. We drifted with the engine off for more than a half of a mile, and the marks on the sonar never slowed down. Not only were we catching fish but we were conserving gas – which is always appreciated by yours truly!
Andy, Rob and Matt had a ball fighting around forty striped bass up to 32 pounds on the light spinning setups. No absolute cows this trip but real steady action with bass in the 15 – 32 pound range. For quite a while it was a constant dance of double and triple hookups.
With the guys help I was able to get some pretty cool underwater shots of some of the fish, just as the sun began to set.
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It felt more like late September and early October out there. The bass were super aggressive which has been the case for the majority of the 2012 season.
In past seasons it was not unusual for us to drift through huge masses of fish and not elicit the slightest bit of interest from the bass. For whatever reason, encountering large schools of finicky stripers has been a lot less common this year.
I think the guys were all in all pretty happy that we did postpone that first trip a couple weeks back!
I’d love to elaborate more on this trip but I’m exhausted and need to hit the hay.
Emily with a beauty of a bass. It’s been a great summer on the water so far, and I have my fingers crossed it will continue!
Earlier this week I had a great crew aboard the Miss Loretta.
This was a charity trip so I was hoping to get Kevin, Emily and Chris on top of some nice striped bass. Kevin had won a charity auction fishing trip with me this past winter at a fundraising event for the Bina Farm. Thanks again Kevin for donating to a really good cause.
The Bina Farm is an impressive organization that helps children and adults with developmental disabilities. They help these people in a variety of ways, but the coolest and most central component to the program is what they refer to as “therapeutic riding.” In other words, they use horses and horse back riding to help people learn life skills, gain confidence and ultimately enrich their overall life experience.
Pretty impressive to say the least. I’ve been fortunate to attend a few Bina Farm events over the past couple of years and I’ve always been excited and impressed by what they are doing. The kids faces always light up with delight when they are plopped on top of a 1,000 pound horse!
I caught this little guy on a live eel this past weekend. A good reason to take the girl friend to a beach with an inlet!
Late summer means that it’s time to soak up as much sun and have as many beach days as possible. Plus with the kids heading back to school soon, many of Cape Cod’s beaches will have a bit more breathing room. This is perfect for combining a beach day with the family or significant other, with a live eel striped bass fishing trip.
Things change awfully quickly in the world of striped bass fishing. As soon as you think you have them figured out, the fish throw you a curve ball and leave you scratching your head.
Earlier this week we found boat loads of bass in relatively shallow water, less than 30 feet. These areas were for the most part, pretty close to shore. When the bass are in shallow water they are easier to find and catch, simply because there is less water for them to be in.
When the biomass of striped bass heads further offshore things often become more challenging. Especially if there are no birds or breaking bass to show you the way to the action. With no visible signs of life the only fall back plan is relying on past experience and sonar.
Wednesday evening I had another father son duo, this time Eric and his father Bob. Both these guys are experienced outdoorsmen who don’t mind getting rained out – which was good because there was plenty of rain in the forecast!
Sometimes you spend hours upon hours searching for fish. Other times you find the fish, and spend hours knocking them over the head with everything in the tackle box just trying to get that one bite.
And then there are days when you find tons of fish and they eat whatever you throw at them. I’m relieved to say that this was the case today!
Thank goodness for sonar. Without it I don’t think today would have happened. I’ll explain why below but if you are looking to maximize your skills with your sonar then click here for a video explaining today’s sonar strategy.
I had Sergio and Randolph with me this morning, two Canadian natives that decided they wanted to catch a striped bass. These two were freshwater pros but this was the first time they ventured out for stripers. Talk about one heck of a way to break them into Cape Cod striped bass fishing.
We met at 4AM and cruised out in darkness to an area that has been producing well for us as of late. After meandering through a maze of lobster buoys we marked the mother load, and from there on out it was non-stop action until we called it quits around noontime.
The sonar was lit up like a Christmas tree for the majority of our trip today.
I’m not sure what the bass were feeding on but man oh man were they aggressive. As soon as our eels hit the water the fish were all over them.
The fishing as of late has been more like October fishing than August fishing . If things progress as they have been I can only imagine what October will be like!
We had screaming drags and bent rods well before the sun poked its head over the horizon. As usual I expected the bite to cool off as the air temperature got hotter but not today. If anything the action improved as the sun crept higher and higher in the sky.
Both Sergio and Randolph did well handling bass up to the high 30 pound mark. I think the experience was a little different than their typical largemouth, smallmouth and walleye fishing excursions. Based on the smiles I think they were really enjoying themselves, the action and the picture perfect bluebird conditions.
A hefty 30 plus pound striper cruising beneath the Miss Loretta.
Big bass were not the only fish caught today. We also caught plenty of smaller fish too, which is always good to see. This year especially we have seen more small bass in the 28-33 inch range mixed in amongst the monsters.
We had many instances this morning where we would mark a massive school of bass, pull a fish or two out of the school, and then suddenly lose them. It was as if the fish had completely disappeared, even though we had just marked hundreds of bass beneath the boat.
This is a problem that has plagued me for years. Finding the bass and then losing the bass. It can be very frustrating, and I know that many other folks experience the same issue.
Well I have not completely solved the problem but I think I have finally figured out how to efficiently and effectively use my regular sonar with my side scan to at least maximize the amount of time we have with the schools. It only took me about 2 years to figure out how to stay with schools of fish using the side scan, but I will say that tackling the learning curve was well worth it!
If you are interested in learning more about how to use your regular sonar, and side scan sonar, to zone in on big schools of big bass, then click here to view a video about the general strategy.
As mentioned above as soon as we found the bass we were able to get them to bite. We had some incredible surface explosions that I will never forget. We also had many instances in which “packs” of big bass would follow a hooked fish right to the boat. With the polarized sunglasses it was easy to see dozens of stripers just beneath the hooked fish.
By the end of the trip the guys were showing obvious signs of fatigue. Sorry for the low blow guys but I couldn’t help but notice! Even with the sore muscles both Sergio and Randoph hung in there and had no problem bringing a few more bass to the boat before it was time to call it quits.
I’m also having a blast experimenting with the Go Pro Hero 2 camera. If anyone is interested in documenting their fishing trips then I would 100% recommend this camera. I’d also recommend purchasing the specialized Dive Housing that drastically improves the clarity of underwater photos and videos.
In the below video you can see why bass so often follow a hooked fish right to the boat. You’ll also see why bluefish are sometimes responsible for cutting off a nice fish unexpectedly.
Often times the eel will slide up the line as is obvious in the video. The action that the hooked bass imparts on the eel sometimes proves irresistible to other bass and blues.
Needless to say today’s trip was one to remember. Big thanks to both Sergio and Randolph for making the trek down from Canada to do some striper fishing. You guys were great!
Final tally today was at least 40 bass between 10 and 38 pounds. All the fish were released unharmed with circle hooks in the side of the mouth, minus the two the guys took home for the grill. You just can’t beat that in my book.
Click here for more information on how to use your sonar to find awesome Cape Cod striped bass fishing action.
I do a lot of trolling for striped bass with the tube and worm and occasionally with bunker spoons. When trolling the tube and worm I like to troll 3 tubes at one time. Successfully trolling 3 lines at one time is much easier if you incorporate the right set of rod holders into your trolling strategy.
Bill Pupecki, a local Cape Codder, has helped solve the problem of tangled lines by creating rod holders that conveniently flip up for easy removal from the holder. In addition, when trolling his rod holders do a nice job of positioning the rod tip as far away from the boat as possible which keeps the tubes as far as possible away from one another.
This makes it easy to run a third line down the center of the boat. I still wouldn’t advise making sharp hair pin turns while trolling 3 lines, however with the rods positioned out from each side of the boat, you can rest assured that you can troll 3 lines in a straight line without dealing with tangles.
Over the long haul being able to get that third line in the water will undoubtedly lead to more big bass hitting the deck of your boat.
This past week has been a little nutty trying to time our fishing trips with the best bite. It’s been a bit of a challenge compared to last week and the week before, but we still managed to catch 27 bass between 15 and 40 pounds over the past couple of days.
I will admit that I burnt a TON of gas in order to find and catch these fish. I’m right about on empty which means the next trip to the gas station is going to hurt the wallet a little. However that is OK with me because sometimes you need to spend a little more time on the move in order to find the fish.
I have a feeling that the offshore winds of the past week or so have pushed a lot of the life offshore just a bit. The bass, bluefish, bait and even dolphins (which I saw a bunch of yesterday) are still there however they are not as concentrated as they were one week ago. We found the fish to be more scattered and spread out which means it’s more of a challenge to find and catch ‘em.
This past week has been ridiculously busy in the best of ways. We’ve been fortunate to have found a lot of nice fish and have enjoyed some really awesome weather conditions. I’ll definitely remember weeks like this past week during January and February.
I haven’t had much time to do anything but get the boat ready, go fishing, clean the boat and sleep – which is a great thing. However I wanted to at least get some sort of fishing forecast up this weekend because there really is a lot of life out there. I’m happy you get on top of some good fishing so please just let me know.
A nice bass that engulfed a live eel this past weekend.
It may take me a few days to return your call or email but I most surely will eventually. Thanks for understanding!
We’ll talk about some areas to check out this coming week for big bass and football tuna in the Extended Fishing Forecast which members can access by clicking here.
A healthy 25 plus pound fish making its way to the gunnel.
August 1 Cape Cod Fishing Report
The past couple of days have been a lot of fun and extremely productive. So far this has been the best summer of striped bass fishing I have ever experienced here on Cape Cod. Hopefully it’ll continue straight on through October!
I had my Dad with me all this week which was really great. We butt heads once in a while over whether we should be trolling or casting, fishing out deep or in shallow – but it’s all good. When all is said and done we usually at least sniff out a few nice bass to make the trip worthwhile.
However this week a “few nice bass” was definitely a big understatement. We were lucky to find acres of big bass up to and above the 40 pound mark. I am sure we had a few 50 pounders under the boat this week, yet for some reason they continue to evade my hook. Maybe we’ll get one next trip!