September is when Cape Cod’s estuaries start to heat up again. Now through the end of October is a great time to fish an estuary for striped bass and bluefish, so I’d highly recommend getting to one asap!
Last night I waited for night to fall before heading down to one of my favorite estuaries. There’s been a ton of bait in this creek and with the near full moon and a nip in the air this week, I figured it’d be a good time to give it a go.
You’ll have to hang with me while I continue to fiddle with the Go Pro camera, but I managed to stick a head lamp to the top of the Go Pro so I could shoot at night.
So after getting spooked by a few egrets (herons…whatever they were) I continued to make my way out towards a deep tidal pool that I felt would be holding some life. This specific tidal pool has about 3 to 4 feet of water in it during low tide. Often times bait and bass get stuck in the tidal pool throughout low tide, and the stripers terrorize the small bait until they are freed by the incoming.
Also, when the tide starts moving in, bass that have been holding outside of the estuary ride the current and put on a feed. I was hoping to time my arrival with the start of the incoming.
The clouds blocked the moon last night, but despite the lack of light I could make out the swirls of bass in the tidal pool. I could also hear fish smacking bait throughout the estuary. There was definitely a good amount of life in the area.
However before I got to the tidal pool I got sidetracked by a few fish smacking bait in extremely shallow water. The bass could not have been in more than 6 inches of H2O.
I followed the sound of bass slapping bait in towards a muddy embankment. There were silversides and an occasional baby bunker scattered in shallow water right next to the embankment. I shined my light down at the water and right in front of me were 3 or 4 schoolie bass – in no more than 4 inches of water!
Of course I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try to catch one of the small bass with my bare hands.
Now that is fishing the old fashioned way!
After releasing that little guy I moved out onto a sandbar in the center of the estuary. Bass continued popping around and I had a blast catching them on small top water plugs.
The fish were mostly on the small side but I did hear a few larger specimens popping around here and there. There may not have been any monsters in the estuary last night, but I guarantee there will be come later this month into October.
Click here for more information on catching striped bass at night from shore in Cape Cod’s estuaries.
Sometimes just heading down to a creek or estuary with a light tackle rod is just as exciting as targeting 40 pound bass out in the boat!
Tight lines and take care,