Yesterday I had the pleasure of fishing with two of the most dedicated guys I have fished with all season.
Don and Don (a father and son duo) had traveled all the way from Springfield, MA to Sandwich with hopes of bagging some striped bass above the 30 pound mark. That’s a 2 hour plus drive, and keep in mind they had to make the return drive home after 8 hours on Cape Cod Bay-how about that for dedication.
Well the good news is that they made it home safely with around 30 pounds of striped bass fillets. With the commercial striped bass season now closed, I’d estimate that’s around $450 worth of bass. Just about pays for the cost of the trip!
Financial nonsense aside we had a great night, with picture perfect conditions and a few fish to boot as well.
As expected, Scorton Ledge was stacked with bass after the good north wind earlier in the week. Unfortunately the fish were not interested in biting. After a few trolls through the bass (and nice hookup with a lobster buoy) we continued eastward.
I was thinking, praying and hoping that the bass would be holding shallow on this trip. I cruised through the 25-30 foot depths down along Sandwich and Barnstable but marked nothing at all. Hopefully the bass will eventually begin to consistently hold along the beach soon, however we may have to wait until September.
Fortunately we managed to find an absolute load of stripers once we began searching the 50-55 foot contour. There were some seriously BIG orange marks on the sonar. After a few swings and misses by Don, Don senior, and even yours truly we were hooked up.
Don jr. battled a very nice bass on one of our smallest spinning setups for around 10 minutes before we got our first glimpse at the beast. This was a nice fish that was disturbing a lot of phosphorescence. One of the cool things about night fishing is watching the “fire” in the water when a good striper is brought close to the boat. The fish’s movement disturbs the phosphorous, which in turn creates a very cool looking glow in the water. The bigger the glow = the bigger the bass.
Don’s first fish of the night ended up being the biggest, bringing the scale all the way down to 34 pounds-his personal best. Very nice!
A little while later and it was Don senior’s turn at a fat Cape Cod Bay striped bass. After a nice battle, some awesome drag screaming runs, and a few compliments from Don about how strong this bass was, Don had another 30 + pound bass flopping on the deck.
The fellas quickly bought into the search and pitch eels process and were able to bring a few more fish to the boat until the bass simply “disappeared.”
Sometimes I wish I had a GPS tracking device on these big bass. On some nights this year we have been able to stick with the biomass the entire trip, while on other nights we only have them for an hour or so. Unfortunately we lost the bass schools last night around midnight and were unable to find them again-despite covering an additional 15 miles of water.
Regardless we were still able to boat some beautiful bass. Average fish was above 30 pounds which bodes well for anyone trying to beat their personal best this late summer/fall. A few of the marks on the sonar indicated there were some really big bass around. I couldn’t help but picture what the fishing will be like once these fish move in tight to the beach during September and October. I’m crossing my fingers that it’ll happen sooner than that.
Big thanks to Don and Don for coming down yesterday. Great meeting you guys. It’d be awesome to see you again in September!
Tight lines and good luck,