Things change awfully quick off Cape Cod.
On Saturday I headed out towards Provincetown to anchor and chum for a shot at a Cape Cod giant bluefin tuna. The seas could not have been any calmer. For miles around I could not even find so much as a ripple. It was hands down the most gorgeous morning I have experienced all October.
However Saturday evening a chilly NE breeze began to sweep across Cape Cod Bay. It was the first puff of what was soon to come. By Sunday morning Cape Cod Bay became un-fishable.
Right now the seas are pretty intense to say the least. The waves are approaching 10 feet in the areas where I normally take my Cape Cod striped bass fishing charters. Further offshore at Stellwagen where we do most of our tuna fishing seas are around 20 feet.
Those are scary conditions to say the least and I am very happy to be safely on land today.
The question on every fisherman’s mind right now is how Sandy will affect the Cape Cod striped bass fishing and tuna fishing. Most folks I have spoken to have admitted that they believe the storm will kill the fishing and officially end the season. However I am an eternal optimist when it comes to anything fishing, so I am choosing to believe the exact opposite.
I think that once things settle down later this week we will have ample opportunities for striped bass and bluefin tuna, along with tautog and a variety of other species like mackerel. If we get a few calm days early in November we may see some nice fish hit the docks.
Pre-Sandy Cape Cod Fishing Report
I was able to get out tuna fishing twice this past week inside Cape Cod Bay. We saw fish on one of the trips but failed to get a bite. We were strictly targeting larger bluefins by fishing live bait in deep water. Things seemed pretty quiet with regards to the Cape Cod Bay giant bite.
The amount of mackerel this past week at the southwest corner of Stellwagen Bank was absolutely astounding. Most of the mackerel were very large and jam packed with small shrimp. These were some of the most well fed mackerel I have ever seen. We also found large mackerel about 2 miles out from Plymouth Bay.
Tinker mackerel were all over the place off the East End of the Cape Cod Canal on Saturday. We were quickly able to jig up a couple dozen tinkers in about 20 minutes. Usually the mackerel fishing only improves in this area as October gives way to November. Last November acres upon acres of sea herring infiltrated the stretch from Ellisville Harbor east to the Canal.
Small tuna in the 100-200 pound range could be seen occasionally going air born in the stretch from Ellisville to the Dump, south to the Canal last November. I’m hoping the same scenario will play out again this season.
Cape Cod Canal fishing has produced nothing but a bucket load of small bass for me this past week. Jigging the bottom has been the ticket for me when fishing during the afternoon. I did not make it down to the Canal during the morning, so I don’t have any first hand intel on how the top water plugging bite has been. I have heard about sporadic small bass blitzes occurring at the Canal in the morning and afternoon.
If you are looking for one last big striped bass this season I would recommend focusing on fishing the Cape Cod Canal with live eels or chunks of pogie or mackerel. This late in the season monster bass do pass through the Canal – perhaps stragglers lagging behind the main biomass of big fish.
I know of one huge bass that was lost right at the rocks this past week, that was hooked while everyone else was playing around with tiny schoolies. It just goes to prove that huge bass are in there, even if they are few and far between.
Cape Cod Post-Sandy Fishing Forecast
With regards to big tuna in the Cape Cod Bay/Stellwagen area your guess is as good as mine. The good news is that the bait is there in the form of mackerel and even half beaks. For the most part the tuna bite seemed rather slow this past week, so maybe some good wind is all we need to bring some fish back into our area.
I’m going to spend the next few days clearing up some land-based work obligations so I can fish hard during the end of this week. As mentioned above, I believe Cape Cod tuna fishing and striper fishing could be pretty good once things calm down. Might as well remain positive!
For striped bass the Cape Cod Canal as well as certain Cape Cod Bay beaches could produce decent late season striper action. The south-side estuaries and inlets should also have some bass around. Keep in mind that some stripers will winter over on Cape Cod, and now is a good time to target those fish before they hunker down into the far reaches of the Cape’s many creeks, estuaries and salt ponds.
I just put together an extended fishing forecast that covers some areas and techniques I will be trying for late October/early November striped bass. In years past certain Cape Cod beaches have produced good fishing right until Thanksgiving, so if you are hoping for some late season action don’t give up!
Click here for more information on targeting late season striped bass from the beach.
Stay safe and tight lines!