By November most folks have hung up their saltwater rods and reels for the season. I can’t blame them as most of the striped bass in the area, especially the larger bass, have moved on to warmer waters to the south.
However for the diehards there are still bass around. Migrating fish will continue to filter into the Cape Cod area throughout November and arguably much later, possibly into early December. Over the years my father and I have found freshly dead striped bass on the beach in late November/early December on both Sagamore and Scusset Beach, which is the last stretch of sand before these fish reach the east entrance of the Cape Cod Canal.
If you are looking at catching a November striper from shore, I believe your best bet will be to fish the Cape Cod Canal or the beaches surrounding the Canal. Fishing these areas will put you in a good position to intercept one of those last remaining stripers of the season.
Another option is to target bass that will be holding over for the winter in some of Cape Cod’s estuaries. Each season schools of small stripers decide to spend the winter here on Cape Cod, hunkered down way back in estuaries. During November it is possible to intercept these bass as they move into their winter hold over locations.
The Canal and the Beachfront
It is not unusual to catch bass in the Canal right up to Thanksgiving. Obviously the action is usually a bit more sparse and your odds of catching a big bass diminish by the day. Nevertheless there are usually fish present, and in numbers that make it worth the effort.
Mackerel, tinker mackerel in particular move into and out of the east end of the Canal daily with the tide throughout November. Sometimes the amount of mackerel present off the east end of the Canal during this month is staggering. It’s possible to catch mackerel form the breakwater at the east end by casting sabiki rigs way out into the Canal. Once you catch a few tinkers you can try live lining them right there for a rare November keeper.
Scusset Beach is one of the best beaches in the area for November striper fishing. The last of the migrating bass will make their way down the Plymouth coastline southwards toward the Canal. It’s pretty common to find terns working over bass in tight to the beach here throughout late October and early November. I can recall one awesome surf casting trip at Scusset that produced close to 30 bass – two days before Thanksgiving!
Small buck tail jigs, especially chartreuse buck tail jigs with a white grub tail work well during high tide at Scusset. When the tide is low I usually opt for small top water plugs. You will have a better chance at finding bass within casting range during high tide.
If you are interested in catching a late season keeper from the beach, I would recommend chunking fresh mackerel from Scusset Beach around high tide. Either fish the beachfront or walk out onto the breakwater and fish the Scusset side as opposed to the Canal side. Lob your chunk out and let it sit on the bottom. If you have plenty of mackerel it can’t hurt to chum the shoreline.
To the east of the Canal is Town Neck beach in Sandwich. I believe this beach represents your 2nd best chance at catching a November striper from the suds. In particular, concentrate on casting small buck tails and soft plastics around the jetties at high tide. Fishing the creek (Old Harbor) during the outgoing can also be productive. I have not caught bass here during the winter, however I would imagine that some fish do winter over way up in the far reaches of Old Harbor.
The south side estuaries are also worth checking out during November. Popponesset Bay is a bait magnet and good area to sniff around during this month. Click here for more information on fishing Poppy.
For more information on fishing for November stripers, feel free to shoot me an email at email@example.com
I’ve also put together a little video below with additional info on fishing for that last bass of the season.
Tight lines and good luck!