Cape Cod Canal fishing, unlike other areas of Cape Cod, seems to remain strong and steady right to the bitter end of the Cape Cod striped bass fishing season. Last season the Canal had bass right into the month of November. Based on the amount of life I saw in the Canal this past weekend, I would not be surprised if the Canal has fish well past Halloween.
On Friday and Saturday I headed down to the Big Ditch with plans of bouncing rubber (Slug-Go’s, Hogy’s etc.) along the bottom. I chose to fish the west tide, which always seems to produce a little bit better than the east tide for me-at least when jigging rubber.
There’s a whole bunch of great areas to bounce rubber at the Cape Cod Canal, but I chose to go with an old faithful spot that has produced well for me throughout the years. This area is stacked with deep holes and high rocky ledges that will quickly eat up your gear if you aren’t cognizant of where your jig is located along the bottom. The sharp rocks and deep ravines also make it difficult to land a big striped bass when fishing this area.
Cape Cod Canal Fishing | Bouncing the Bottom
Over the past 10 seasons I have lost more big bass in this area than I’ve landed. Actually, the largest bass I have been able to land from here was just under 30 pounds. Every other big bass I have hooked in this area would take me straight down and snap my braided line on one of the numerous jagged rocks that litter the bottom.
Despite my best efforts I have never landed a bass over 30 pounds when fishing this section of the Cape Cod Canal. I have tried locking down my drag and horsing the bass in to no avail. I have also tried loosening the drag, opening the bail and even using wire leaders. Thus far nothing has worked – which I guess keeps me coming back!
It had been a while since I last fished the Cape Cod Canal, so it felt nice to shake off the rust. On my second cast I had a pickup, set the hook and leaned into what I thought was a pretty nice fish.
After a few moments I quickly remembered how that strong Cape Cod Canal current can easily fool a fisherman into believing he has a good striped bass on the end of the line. This was definitely not one of those monsters of years past that has snapped me off in this spot. After a few minutes I had a 20 something inch schoolie flopping around at my feet.
Still not a bad start at all to the weekend so I continued casting. The current was ripping good and it took my jig a full 17-20 seconds to reach bottom. I would estimate that I was jigging depths of at least 55 feet. The schoolies and small keepers must have paved the bottom because I enjoyed a good solid take on every third cast or so.
I also had a few instances when I hooked up on back to back casts, which is always a blast especially this late in the season.
Final tally for this past weekend was 15 schoolies and 2 thirty inch keepers. From what I heard this was pretty typical of most folks who have fished the Canal over the past week. Lots of fun action on small fish.
Click here for more information on locating prime jigging spots and pulling striped bass from the Canal’s bottom.
It looks like we may get some real nice calm weather later this week. Are you planning on heading out at all?
If so feel free to email me for any reason. I’m hoping to get out Wednesday through the weekend and I’m happy to help in any capacity.