Cape Cod Fishing Report | May 8
I had a good feeling about today.
It all started last night when I was rigging up gear for this morning’s live mackerel striped bass fishing trip. As I tied up hooks in my basement, I heard a “pitter-patter” noise just outside the screen door. Naturally I was curious as to what was causing the noise so I walked over to the screen door to have a look.
As I approached the door I was greeted by a behemoth of a skunk. Immediately I froze in place, hoping to not startle the basically lethal creature. The skunk took a good hard look into my eyes, turned around and pitter-pattered away. Phew!
This morning I met up with Josh who is a local policeman. Josh is a great fisherman with tons of experience and is easy to get along with, so I had high hopes for his and my first boat trip of the season.
We departed from Taylor Point Marina in Buzzard’s Bay at 5:30am and cruised through the Canal towards Cape Cod Bay. It was a gorgeous flat calm ride through the Canal. As we cruised over the many holes and rips of the Big Ditch I kept a close eye on the sonar, hoping to get a gauge on where the majority of the bass were hanging out – which could come in handy if I am able to fish this afternoon’s tides.
Fortunately we did mark multiple nice size schools of bass in the Canal. It was really great to see those big orange globs registering on the sonar again – it’s been a while since I’ve seen that!
We did not see much surface activity, however the bass were certainly there. Most of the fish were holding deep in holes and behind rips, which is ideal for jigging.
We’ll talk more about what areas of the Canal had the greatest concentrations of bass in the members’ report.
Once we made it through the Canal we proceeded to the regular mackerel hot spots and were able to quickly stash the live well with 2 dozen colorful speedsters. I would classify this morning’s mackerel fishing as “lights out.” There were a good amount of macks out there this morning.
Instead of fishing the macks right in the spot we caught them (which is often a pretty good strategy) we opted to transport them to a few spots that usually fish very well during the month of May.
On our way to live-lining destination #1 we managed to mark a few more globs of orange which were most likely decent size schools of striped bass. All good signs of what’s to come.
Lines went in the water immediately upon arriving at the first location. Within 5 minutes both Josh and I were on to some nice fish. Nothing crazy but two very chunky 34 inch bass. Both of these fish bit and fought very hard and were extremely aggressive. It was a very promising start to the trip.
We repeated the same exact drift and got the same result-another couple of beautiful keepers. These next two fish were slightly smaller at around 32 inches but we were certainly not complaining.
As the tide slowed down the main concentration of fish moved north just a bit. Fortunately it did not take us long to find the bass again, which is all too often an issue. Macks went in the water and rods bent over, great stuff!
Most of the fish I have caught this year have been on the smaller end of the spectrum. This is expected as it is still very early in the striped bass season here on Cape Cod. However the bass this morning were slightly larger and much fatter than the fish I have been catching. My guess is that these bass have been gorging themselves on sand eels and mackerel since arriving in this area. Hopefully they’ll stick around for a while because the action was very good.
We continued live-lining macks on light spinning and conventional setups for the next 1.5 hours. We probably had about 24 takes which resulted in 13 bass brought to the boat. All of the stripers were keeper size with the smallest around 30 inches and the largest around 35.
By 9am we were out of live bait and decided to head back off shore to catch more. I got a great tip from a blog member about a nearby area that has been consistently producing mackerel so we decided to give it a shot. I owe a thank you to Paul because he was right on the money with the location of the macks!
We found mackerel feeding on the surface, gulping down 1-2 inch long bait fish. At one point we had schools of mackerel feeding off the bow, starboard and port – all on the surface. Of course we also had macks feeding below the boat which we were able to jig up and store in the live well.
Many of the macks were very big. Last year most of the mackerel we caught were “tinker” size. So far this year the majority of the mackerel we have caught have been at least 12 inches in length. I believe this is a great sign and is an indication of the staggering amount of marine life currently present around Cape Cod.
So with a full live well we proceeded to hit up a few more areas that have fished well for us in the past during May. For more information on the areas we fished and the techniques we used click here.