In my opinion, September is the best month for fishing Cape Cod. The early morning air has a crisp bite to it that was not present during August, the crowds at the boat ramp dissipate, and the fish show up in larger numbers and are more aggressive.
The fish become more abundant and aggressive as the month trucks along. Some of the biggest bass and tuna of the year will most likely be taken over the next few weeks.
The weather in September is also usually conducive to fishing Cape Cod Bay from a small boat. Greasy calm days are pretty common. Of course we will get a few days of a sustained northwest wind this month, (which is happening as I write this!) which will keep most folks off the water, however this is not always a bad thing. A brisk onshore breeze often lights up the fishing in spots that are surprisingly close to shore.
Most Cape Cod Bay striper hope-fulls will begin their September efforts at Scorton Ledge, and for good reason. The area consistently holds bass throughout the month of September. Tube and worm is the name of the game at this spot. Just keep an eye out for the lobster pots and other boats trolling in this relatively small area.
The best aspect of fishing during September is that the behavior of bass in Cape Cod Bay (and pretty much all around Cape Cod for that matter) begins to change. The schools of bass you found back in July and August that would not bite a thing, are typically much more aggressive in September. Odds are that if you find the fish, you will be able to catch them.
Finding the fish in the first place also becomes easier as September inches its way towards October. Large schools of big stipers tend to hang a bit closer to the beach during this month. The days of trolling and cruising around in 60-70 feet of water are now (hopefully!) over. Spending time fishing and searching in 15-40 feet of water is the protocol during this time of the year.
Towards the end of the month, the bass will really put the feedbag on as they prepare for their southerly migration. I’m getting a little ahead of myself here, but I can not help but remember the great fishing we had during late September 2010. I’m crossing my fingers that we will have a repeat this year.
Cape Cod is also fortunate to have many other species of fish present in the waters surrounding this man-made island.
Aside from striped bass, giant and school bluefin tuna can be found inside Cape Cod Bay throughout this month. During September of 2010, a few giant tuna were seen crashing on the surface in the deeper water off Scorton Ledge. Even if you don’t hook up, seeing tuna this close to shore is a treat in and of itself.
Large bluefish, as well as snappers, will invade the near shore haunts throughout this month. Big blues can be found in the usual Cape Cod Bay hot spots such as the Ledge, the Parking Lot, Race Point and Billingsgate.
Snappers on the other hand, infiltrate the estuaries and harbors on the south-side of the Cape. Snappers are a ton of fun on light tackle. This is great fishing for the under 10 years of age crowd. These small bluefish taste great and also make good live bait for giant tuna.
Bonito and false albacore can usually be found kicking around Nantucket Sound, Vineyard Sound, Buzzards Bay and even inside the Cape Cod Canal during September. I have actually never fished for or hooked up with these speedsters, but from what I hear they are an absolute blast on light tackle.
This is the time of the year when we hear stories of more exotic fish entering the water around Cape Cod. Spanish mackerel are caught on occasion in Nantucket and Vineyard Sound during September. So far this season I have heard some very positive reports of mahi-mahi being caught with regularity around the high flyers south of the Vineyard.
If you are into shark fishing, you may want to head out to Stellwagen Bank this weekend. Big blue sharks as well as makos are virtually everywhere on top of the Bank-according to reports from reliable tuna anglers. Most of these sharks are being caught on live bait, however at least a few have been taken by folks casting plugs. Can you imagine watching a 10 foot mako destroy a topwater plug? This is really an incredible opportunity that may not last for long.
The giant tuna and school tuna bite on the Bank and around P-town towards Peaked Hill Bar has also been stellar as of late. It seems as if the tuna have been gorging themselves after resting up during Irene. Did I mention September is also one of the best months for chasing giant tuna off Cape Cod?
With that said, best of luck fishing this September! This really is a magical time for fishing Cape Cod.
Click here for info on booking a September fishing charter.