After a somewhat slow start to October I was really chomping at the bit to get back onto the water. Fortunately I did not have to wait very long, and found myself floating around Cape Cod Bay last night.
The weather conditions had changed quite a bit since the last time I was out. The south wind had backed off for a couple days, the skies were overcast and it was raining. I was hoping the change would affect the karma on the boat and bring some big bass into our reach.
I had the father son duo of Bob and Eric with me. Both Bob and Eric have been through it all on the Miss Loretta. From incredible 30 fish, 800 pound nights, to the “grind away for a fish or two” nights. Needless to say they’re pretty experienced night bite fishermen.
We departed the Sandwich Marina around 6pm and cruised out into Cape Cod Bay. Within 20 minutes of leaving the dock we marked our first big pile of stripers. This was a great sign. I informed the guys that the last time I was out, we didn’t mark a single school of fish this big the entire trip. Things change quickly on Cape Cod Bay!
Within minutes of marking that big pile we had eels in the water and a bass ripping line from Eric’s reel. Fish on!
Eric did a great job with this fish. After five minutes or so we had the bass flopping around on the dock. A chunky 25 pounder and a great start to the trip.
We then took a minute to move back to where we had marked the original school of bass. I was crossing my fingers that the fish had stayed put, and were not yet making a bee-line to Provincetown. Fortunately the bass were still sitting in the same spot. We waited for the boat to settle on top of the school and then pitched the eels.
It wasn’t long until Bob was on with a big bass. This fish was peeling line and putting serious bend in the rod. Towards the end of the fight Bob couldn’t budge the fish-a good sign. We managed to get some nice video of the fight-just click below.
The bass tipped the scales at 37 pounds. Great fish!
We motored around a bit for a few more minutes, sticking around the same general area until we marked a few more fish on the sonar. We pitched the eels and it wasn’t long until Eric was on with another nice one. It was a great start, and I was hoping it would continue with some consistency.
However, as is the fishing world, things died off and we lost track of the fish. I cruised east down the beach, then back west towards the Canal. We moved out into 30, 40, and 50 feet of water without marking a single thing. There was still plenty of bait around the 25 foot contour, so we put the tubes out and trolled along as I conjured up our next move.
I told the guys the disheartening news-that we had lost track of the fish-and that we would make one pass through the area we had been catching them with the tubes, and then check in ridiculously shallow water just in case.
After trolling for 20 minutes without a hit or mark we reeled in the tubes and moved in tight to shore. The problem with finding fish in the middle of the night in skinny water is that the sonar beam’s level of effectiveness diminishes drastically due to the shallow water. The sonar cone is so skinny in shallow water, that a fish would have to swim literally directly beneath the transducer in order to register a mark. This makes finding fish in water depths of less than 10 feet very difficult, especially without any visual cues due to the darkness.
As we cruised along in 8 feet of water I noticed a strange orange blimp on the sonar that rose ever so slightly above the bottom. I figured it was probably nothing, but I also though that just maybe that was the tail of a bass that just barely entered the sonar beam. Either way it was worth making a drift.
We pitched the eels and as we did I noticed another mark on the sonar, then another, and another…
Then Bob’s reel started sizzling, Eric’s rod doubled over and my eel got slammed. Tripled up! I could not believe it! The fish were in so close to the beach that you could have reached them with a fly rod.
We boated the three bass that ranged from 18-30 pounds and continued making drifts and hooking up. I was still in a state of shock that we had found the bass in so close to the sand, especially considering I was almost ready to pack it in and head for the dock after searching for over an hour with zero signs of life.
By 10:30pm the rain and easterly breeze had made life uncomfortable on the Bay. The guys had caught their limit of bass, so we decided to leave the fish and head for home. The bass were still there, cruising around in skinny water when we left.
Final tally was around 10 keepers ranging from 18-37 pounds. It was an awesome trip, with a couple great guys, on a night that could have gone either way weather wise. I’m just happy that the fish and the weather worked out nicely in our favor.
I have an opening tonight for anyone who’s interested in getting out on the water. Email me for details on times and prices. Weather is looking good tonight.
As always, comments are encouraged and appreciated!
Tight lines and take care,
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