It was dark at 3:30 this morning in the town of Plymouth, Massachusetts. The air was warm and dense, and there was not a hint of wind. I could tell it was going to be a perfectly sunny, and hot, summer day.
My plan was to fish Plymouth’s rocky coastline, an area which holds striped bass when other Cape Cod surf fishing spots dry up. The cool up welled waters of Cape Cod Bay lap against this boulder strewn coast, which appeals to fish, as well as people who don’t mind bone-numbing water.
Right now through October is the ideal time to fish this area. One of the best techniques is to cast live eels while wading from shore.
Around 4AM I arrived at a dirt parking lot, which would give me easy access to a mile long trail through the woods, which would eventually lead to the beach. The walk through dense woods in the dark was oddly eerie. I could hear animals stirring in the underbrush and I wondered just how many sets of eyeballs were on me, that I did not know about.
The dirt path bobbed and weaved through the woodlands, until I finally arrived at a small dune which marked the exit to the beach. I stepped out of the woods, onto the dune, and was greeted by slightly cooler air, chilled I assume, by the dark blue waters of Cape Cod Bay.
I stood there for a moment, as I often do, taking it all in. To the north of my position was a craggy coastline and a rocky point that sliced into the flat calm surface of the Bay. Behind me, to the west, lay expansive marshland and a pitch black forest, chock full of all sorts of life. To the south was a slightly sandier beach with small eroded cliffs. To the east was Cape Cod Bay, and the tip of Provincetown some 20 miles or so in the distance.
Once my moment of zen was finished, I reached down to lift my 5 gallon bucket of live eels, when I heard movement on the sand to my left. A shadow jumped out of the darkness and leaped down the beach, creating a heavy yet agile noise that I had heard before. I had spooked a large whitetail deer, which had been standing just yards away from me, and I watched with a moderately increased heart rate as the big doe leaped down the beach.
By now the sky was beginning to brighten and any striped bass in the vicinity would be preparing for the morning bite.