October is a pretty wild month here on Cape Cod (and across New England for that matter). Earlier this week while fishing Cape Cod I was freezing my buns off while yesterday I was worried about getting sun burnt.
Last year much of New England experienced a snow storm in late October and this year it looks like we may be hit with some sort of hybrid hurricane/nor’ easter. I checked the marine forecast for Tuesday at Stellwagen Bank and they are predicting seas of 22 – 27 feet!
Well fortunately the seas yesterday at Stellwagen were about 1 inch. It was dead flat calm with crystal clear skies and sun that had me thinking it was June. After yesterday’s summer-like weather I find it difficult to believe that high seas, big winds and torrential rain may be the on way. Yet this is Cape Cod and the weather changes within a heart beat.
Luckily today and Saturday are looking pretty good weather wise. I hope you are able to take advantage of this weather window, because who knows what Sandy is going to bring!
Cape Cod Fish Report | Oct. 22 – 25
Earlier this week I logged some time down at the Cape Cod Canal. Cape Cod Canal fishing so far this October has been a lot of fun with consistent action just about every time I toss a line into the Ditch.
Back in the spring, Cape Cod striped bass fishing at the Canal yielded a fair amount of big ones up to 45 pounds for me – but so far this fall the action has been mostly on schoolies. Maybe I just happen to be missing the big boys when they come through, however from what I’m gathering most other Canal fishermen are stuck on small fish too.
I switched things up a bit on Wednesday and jigged a set of Canal fishing spots during the beginning of the east tide. I normally work this area during the beginning of the west tide, but sometimes it is fun to do things a little differently. With less water in the Canal (due to the tide) I was able to get my jig into areas that during the west tide are out of casting range.
As with trips prior, the small bass were all over the jig whenever it happened to swing into a hole they were sitting in. On this trip they proved a bit harder to hook and I actually missed more fish than I hooked. And of course the one bigger bass I did hook (hard to say how big but I’m guessing over 15 pounds) shook free before I was able to get him on the rocks.
Nevertheless there are still a good amount of small bass in the Ditch and I do 100% believe there will be larger bass moving through (perhaps unnoticed during the night) throughout this weekend.
Cape Cod Tuna Fishing October 25
Yesterday we headed out from Plymouth to fish Stellwagen Bank and Cape Cod Bay for giant bluefin tuna. The Bay was as flat as a pane of glass and the skies were clear – just perfect.
With all the dogfish we encountered during our last Cape Cod tuna trip, having an ample supply of live bait was a #1 priority. This time of the year the mackerel filter back into Cape Cod’s waters so we figured we would be able to find at least a few live macks for the live well. Since we departed from Plymouth we planned on trying for macks off the Gurnet and over a few ledges off the Plymouth coastline.
Last year’s mackerel Cape Cod fishing spots in the 50-60 foot range were bone dry so we cruised out to a shallow spot where the bottom goes from 90 feet up to around 55. We could see the occasional mackerel touching its nose on the surface around the boat, so we knew we were in a good spot. After about 25 minutes we had two dozen beautiful and big mackerel in the live well. By 7:30AM we were on our way to the tuna grounds.
The cruise to Stellwagen’s south west corner was an easy one in the flat calm conditions. We anchored up right on the edge of the Bank and started chumming. We had seals and whales around the boat and bucket loads of mackerel beneath – plenty of marine life in the area.
Speaking of life, we noticed many small shrimp and minnows (no larger than 1 inch) in the water around the boat. There were also jelly fish just about everywhere we looked. Maybe this is why the mackerel were in so thick on the Bank. To be quite honest, the mackerel fishing on Stellwagen was nothing short of epic yesterday, with full stringers of mackerel on just about every single drop of the sabiki rig.[slideshow id = 39]
Tuna Fishing Cape Cod Bay | Jumping Bluefins
At around noon time I decided to scan the horizon with the binoculars in hopes of seeing birds and/or tuna. Conditions were amazingly clear. I could easily see the smoke stack of the power plant at the Canal’s east entrance – some 30 or so miles away.
As I was scanning the southern horizon I picked up on a flock of birds working the deep water just west of Provincetown inside Cape Cod Bay. I focused in on the birds when out of nowhere a tuna launched itself straight clear from the water. I continued watching without saying anything to the crew (Mazzola and my Dad), just to be sure that I was not hallucinating. Within a few moments another bluefin came hurdling straight clear from the water and crashed back down. Then another, and another, and another!
“Guys there are tuna jumping straight clear out of the water just to the south of us” I said to the crew. That was all it took and within a few minutes we were on our way to the area.
Whether moving was a wise choice or not is up for debate, but it is hard not moving after seeing big tuna flying through the air. We reset anchor and began chumming like crazy in 200 feet of water inside Cape Cod Bay. Things felt right.
I continued scanning the horizon with the binoculars but not surprisingly the tuna were nowhere to be found. Bluefin tuna travel at amazing speeds, and those fish that we initially saw could have been miles away by the time we arrived. Nevertheless we had whales off in the distance and dolphins around the boat – good signs when you are tuna fishing Cape Cod Bay.
The dog fish were not all that bad inside the Bay but we did catch a few. The whiting bite was also pretty good. For once we had no trouble at all catching bait yesterday.
Despite chumming like crazy we did not get lucky yesterday with tuna. No bites for us despite seeing those fish break the surface. I also spoke with Paul M., a member here on the blog who reported seeing 100 – 150 pound tuna surfacing in the southern part of Cape Cod Bay. Both sightings were fleeting, with the tuna here one minute and gone the next.
Thanks again Paul for the intel – much appreciated!
If the weather for Saturday holds we may give tuna fishing Cape Cod Bay another try. Who knows what Sandy will do to the tuna bite, so we might as well give it a shot while we can.
Best of luck this weekend if you head out fishing. The mackerel bite is hot, there are still some bass around and the tuna are most certainly still present in the waters off Cape Cod.
As always feel free to email me at email@example.com if you have any questions. If you are new to the blog, please feel free to introduce yourself as well – it’s always nice speaking with new readers.
Thanks as always and tight lines,