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Understanding Your Sonar 101

sonar featured

Having sonar (AKA “fish-finder”) on your boat is no guarantee that you’ll actually find fish! Like anything else, sonar is a tool and the more expertise you have with sonar, the better you’ll be at using it to find and catch fish.

In this post I will use sonar snapshots from this season and the 2013 season to help share what I know about using sonar effectively. This post should be of value to you if you have sonar but am not 100% confident using it.

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5 Ways To Fish Live Bait On Cape Cod


Over the past several days I’ve noticed that live bait has worked better for me, and the guys I’ve been fishing with, than lures and other artificial baits. Whether you’re fishing for bass or tuna, live bait will probably be your best bet at catching a fish or two-especially the big ones.

However fishing live bait is not as simple as it sounds. In many scenarios, placing a live baitfish on a hook and letting him swim around is just not enough. I feel it’s best to be at least somewhat comfortable with a few different live bait techniques before heading out onto the water in pursuit of big stripers and giant tuna.

In this post I’ll share with you five ways I have found success fishing with live bait. I will also share with you a free eBook and a free video with more detailed information.

If you have any questions you can leave me a comment, or a voice mail (yes a voice mail!), at the bottom of this post.

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Getting Started Live-Lining Mackerel


I usually live-line mackerel during May and June, however this year everything seems to be “running a bit behind.” Right now we are approaching mid-July, and live mackerel are still plentiful in many inshore waters throughout the Cape.

Bass in these areas are super susceptible to a properly presented live mack. Live-lining mackerel has been one of the most successful techniques the past few weeks here on Cape Cod, and I would expect live-lining to continue to work for as long as the macks decide to stick around.

In this post I’ll share with you the simple strategy I’ve been using this season for live-lining macks to striped bass.

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Getting Started With Trolling Bunker Spoons

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Bunker spoons catch the largest striped bass in any given area. If you want to target the cows, then consider trolling spoons-especially right now in the waters off Cape Cod.

I began trolling bunker spoons this past Monday and will continue trolling spoons periodically over the next few weeks. In this post I will share with you my super simple setup for bunker spoon trolling.

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The Simplest Way To Catch A Striper At The Cape Cod Canal

cape cod canal easiest way to catch a striper

From jigging to eeling, fishing cut bait and plugging, there is certainly no shortage of different ways to catch a striped bass at the Cape Cod Canal. So many ways actually, that it can be rather intimidating if you’re new to fishing the Big Ditch.

Whether in fishing or life, I feel it is best to keep things as simple as possible. In this post I am going to share with you a simple, and what I believe is the easiest, way to catch a striper at the Cape Cod Canal.

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My 5 Most Frustrating Fishing Trips Of All Time

cape cod fishing frustrated ryan collins

This past Monday I spent nearly 24 hours on my boat. I searched far and wide, finally found fish, and then watched as the guy next to me caught them. I unfortunately could not catch a darn thing.

I then proceeded to slice my finger on the anchor and embed a hook in my left butt cheek. I burned so much fuel I may need to get a second job. By the end of the trip I was ready to sell the boat and downgrade to a canoe.

I understand I am not the only one who has frustrating days of fishing. Despite having  a fancy website, I do not always catch the fish.  I hope this post helps you feel “less alone” the next time you encounter frustration on the water.

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Getting Started Trolling With Leadcore Line

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Summer is finally here on the Cape!  Flat calm, hot, humid days are right around the corner.

One of the most reliable ways of catching big striped bass from a boat during the dog days of summer, is via trolling leadcore line. Leadcore lines makes it easy to present a lure to big stripers, holding deep in the water column.

In this MFCC member video I will share with you:

  • The concept behind leadcore line trolling and why it works
  • How to use leadcore line to present a bait or lure at precisely the correct depth
  • My personal setup for trolling leadcore line

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The 10 Most-Stunning Things I’ve Experienced While Fishing Cape Cod

pilot whale stranded cape cod

Yesterday I took some friends from Minnesota out on my boat. We did some fishing and explored numerous sand bars, tidal pools and other areas that essentially feel like home to me.

The surprise, excitement and curiosity that this experience sparked in these people from Minnesota really struck me, and I realized that not many people get the opportunity to see and experience the side of Cape Cod that I often take for granted.

In this post I want to share with you 10 of the most-stunning things I have experienced while fishing Cape Cod, because I would like for more people to realize and understand just how incredible this environment truly is.

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3 Simple Ways To Tell Which Tide Fishes Best


This past week I was fortunate to connect with a couple nice schools of striped bass while fishing from shore. You can learn more about those experiences by checking out these two Cape Cod fishing reports from this week:

After publishing those two reports I received several emails asking about tides and how to determine which tides will fish best at a particular beach, bay, harbor, cove or estuary.

Some folks thought that high tide was always the best tide for fishing. Others thought low was best. The truth is that the best tide for fishing varies, depending on where you are fishing.

One beach or bay might fish best at high tide, while another close by is better towards low. In this post I am going to do my best to share with you 3 simple ways to tell which tide fishes best at a particular location.

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10 Ways To Catch A Cow Striper On The Tube & Worm

tube and worm trolling striped bass on cape cod

That’s me and my Mom!

So far this season I have been focusing on exploring and fishing Cape Cod’s many beaches, bays, harbors and estuaries. This trip I took last weekend with MFCC member Jeff Richard is a good example of the excursions I have been fortunate to go on.

Yet as summer begins to settle in, I plan on switching over to fishing from my boat a heck of a lot more. In most areas on Cape Cod, big striped bass will become more challenging to find and catch from shore during the heat of summer. To get a real good bass in the heat, your best chance will be via boat.

In this post I will share with you 10 ways to catch a cow striper on the tube and worm, which have worked for me since I was a little kid, trolling tubes from a 12 foot tin boat with my Dad. If you are looking to catch your first keeper striper this season from your boat, or if you are just hoping to glean some tube and worm information, then I feel this post will be extremely valuable to you.

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