Want to hook a tuna from shore? As ridiculous as that may be, now is your best chance to do it. Is there are a 60 pound striper in your future? If there is, then October is probably when it will happen. Looking to encounter a big shark, see a whale close to shore or watch a 500 pound ocean sunfish jump straight clear of the water? Right now’s the time.
Anything can happen during October and you truly never know what you may see.
Cape Cod Canal fishing can be off the charts good, or dry as a desert at this point in the season. October can be a fickle month for sure, as schools of fish migrate south along the coastline and through the Cape Cod Canal into Buzzard’s Bay.
Timing is always crucial, but during October good timing is more important than ever. If you are making a long drive to fish the Canal, it can help to at least know what the latest Cape Cod Canal fishing reports are saying.
Fortunately for me I live right by the Canal, so I either see the action with my own two eyes or hear about it from friends and fellow anglers. Additionally, the members in the My Fishing Cape Cod forum have been great all season long, posting their own reports which help keep us all in the loop as to what’s going on.
I let out a deep breath this past weekend while standing beneath a giant cliff that was so high I swear it blotched out the stars. It felt good to be alone on the beach, as it always does.
The crystal clear skies, flat calm conditions and warm temperatures were really the icing on the cake. I was exploring a stretch of coastline I had never before stepped foot on, which has been a common scenario for me this season.
This year I have been branching out, because I have an overwhelming urge to explore Cape Cod’s nooks and crannies. Additionally, I want to learn new areas and catch fish in places I’ve never been before.
There is a big learning curve to conquer when fishing a new area, especially when you are on foot. There’s no sonar or fleet of boats to lead the way. The bass could be right there in the wash, or they could be 20 miles down the beach.
I set off Tuesday evening as a brisk northwest wind blew down over Cape Cod. Just before sunset the breeze was around 15 knots and I could already tell it was going to be a very cool and refreshing night. I had the entire night ahead of me and soon a nearly full moon would be rising in the east. At this time of the year anything could happen.
Due to the wind direction I knew that any beaches that faced north may be “munged up.” Strong onshore breezes often push sea weed and other debris in towards the beach, which can make effective surfcasting impossible. I decided to check out some areas before sunset so that I could gauge how much of an issue sea weed would or would not be.
Seven years ago this July Fourth I was a 20 year old kid with a big decision to make. Should I go to the Plymouth waterfront and watch the fireworks, or fish the Cape Cod Canal? It was a perfectly flat calm and clear evening which made the decision fairly easy. I called my buddies and told them I was going fishing.
My first Canal fishing spot of the evening was a little hole towards the East End of the Canal, right by the Scusset Beach fish pier.
I made one cast and was instantly inundated with mosquitoes, no-see-ums, gnats and every other bug under the Cape Cod sun. Of course I did not have any bug spray so I had no other choice but to evacuate the area.
However the bugs would end up being a big-time blessing in disguise.
Torrential rain and heavy wind is a good way of describing conditions this morning at the Cape Cod Canal. I almost felt foolish as I stood there on the rocks, getting pelted in the face by wind whipped H20.
Nevertheless I felt like my chances at connecting with a decent bass were pretty good. I knew there was a large biomass of fish somewhere in Buzzards Bay, just waiting to push through. Would today be the day they decided to make their move? Only time would tell.
With each passing day more bass, and larger bass, are filtering into Cape Cod’s bays, sounds, harbors, estuaries and of course the Canal. Right now is an awesome time to be a striped bass fishermen. It’s an even better time to fish Cape Cod from the surf. We might as well enjoy these near-shore opportunities while we have them, because stripers will be harder to find in these close-to-shore haunts once the heat of July and August settles in.
I would first like to say thank you for your patience yesterday while the MFCC website was down. Quite a few people emailed me letting me know that something was wrong, which was really great. We should be in the clear now, but of course if you find something that doesn’t seem to be where it should be, please let me know. I appreciate all the help!
Yesterday morning I decided it was finally time for me to make my first early morning fishing trip to the Cape Cod Canal. I woke up to another morning of perfectly flat calm conditions and a little fog. At least for me, no wind and some fog are perfect conditions when it comes to fishing the Cape Cod Canal. My only hope was that the conditions would be perfect for the fish too.
Cape Cod fishing will be in full gear in just a couple of months. If you are like me, then you have a serious case of cabin fever that can only be cured by a day spent on the beach, in the rocks or on the water. Warm weather will be here soon trust me.
I know that once the bass, blues and tuna return I will be hitting the surf and launching the Miss Loretta as often as possible. Considering you are reading a Cape Cod fishing article right now, during winter, I am going to assume that you will most likely be doing the same. With that in mind I am going to divulge 7 secrets to catching a few more fish this spring on Cape Cod.
The 2012 fishing season was incredible. Even dolphins showed up in areas where you normally just don’t see dolphins. Photo courtesy of Paul Morgan.
Earlier last week bass above the 20 pound mark were still being taken at the Cape Cod Canal. While big bass in November are not unheard of, good action on big fish in November off Cape Cod is certainly pretty rare.
Take last year for example. The 2011 season as a whole was much slower than usual for me. On the majority of my 2011 trips, I really had to put some serious time and effort into catching just a handful or so of big bass.
In 2011, it seemed like most of the striped bass had migrated south by around the middle of October. At least that’s what I observed.
However 2012 has been much, much different. This past season was by far the most productive striped bass season I’ve ever had. A lot of folks from various Cape Cod areas all the way out to Nantucket have agreed. 2012 was definitely a good year for Cape Cod striper fishing.
Thus I don’t think it’s terribly surprising that big keepers were being caught in the Canal right up until the middle of last week. Who knows, maybe there are still a few in there, and/or a few more yet to come. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
I do think we may be in for a good winter season of hold over striped bass fishing. Certain years small schools of small stripers decide to spend the winter hunkered down in Cape Cod’s many estuaries. Believe it or not, it is possible to catch 20 or more stripers during January if you happen to hit the right spot at the right time.
I haven’t caught a winter striper on Cape Cod in a few years. With the way the 2012 season has been going, I believe this winter could produce at least a few hold over fish. As mentioned above, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
A nice schoolie striper taken on the bottom using a big Slug-go.
Well here we are 5 days into November and the striped bass fishing is still holding strong-especially at the Cape Cod Canal. Who would have thought?
This past weekend I hit up the Canal with a friend of mine and blog member Andrew Massard. Andrew’s a great guy who has just recently caught “the fishing bug.” Due to work obligations he doesn’t get as much fishing time in as he’d like, which I think you can probably relate to. Like a lot of folks Andrew had logged a good amount of time in at the Cape Cod Canal, but was yet to catch a fish.
To make a not so long story a heck of a lot shorter, I happened to be down at the Canal this weekend when I got a text from Andrew, asking how the fishing has been. Instead of going into detail about the fishing, I just told him I was currently at the Canal and that he could come on down and join me if he wanted.
In true fishing nut fashion Andrew dropped what he was doing and made his way down to the Big Ditch. I was fishing the same holes that the 25 pounder from the previous report came out of-definitely a good area for Andrew to try his luck.
Andrew and I set up shop and got to jigging. I was tossing the same big Slug-go I had been using all week, and Andrew was tossing a Spro jig. Two good offerings that usually have no trouble enticing a late season Canal striper.
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 Canal fishing, unlike other areas of Cape Cod, seems to remain strong and steady right to the bitter end of the Cape Cod striped bass fishing season. Last season the Canal had bass right into the month of November. Based on the amount of life I saw in the Canal this past weekend, I would not be surprised if the Canal has fish well past Halloween.
On Friday and Saturday I headed down to the Big Ditch with plans of bouncing rubber (Slug-Go’s, Hogy’s etc.) along the bottom. I chose to fish the west tide, which always seems to produce a little bit better than the east tide for me-at least when jigging rubber.
There’s a whole bunch of great areas to bounce rubber at the Cape Cod Canal, but I chose to go with an old faithful spot that has produced well for me throughout the years. This area is stacked with deep holes and high rocky ledges that will quickly eat up your gear if you aren’t cognizant of where your jig is located along the bottom. The sharp rocks and deep ravines also make it difficult to land a big striped bass when fishing this area.
Tonight was absolutely gorgeous. After the thunderstorms moved through the wind backed right off and the skies cleared. Might as well go fishing.
Instead of targeting big bass on the bottom tonight at the Cape Cod CanalI decided to mix things up and go for numbers instead of size. I rigged up a super light spinning setup with 20 pound braid, grabbed a few super small lures and headed down to the Ditch.
I enjoy targeting the small guys every once in a while, especially considering I’m planning on doing some serious Canal fishing for bigger fish throughout the month of September. If you haven’t heard, the Fisherman Fund tournament begins September 1st.
With $1,000 up for grabs I’ll be logging in at least a few long nights down at the Ditch. All it takes is some good timing and a little bit of luck to make it happen.
If you’d like to learn more about the 2012 Fisherman Fund Tournament you can do so by checking out their webpage – TheFishermanFund.com.
The guys who run the tournament do a lot for the community and for the Canal, which makes signing up for me a no-brainer. Plus there are some pretty spectacular prizes up for grabs just to make things interesting.
Back to the fishing, the Canal is mostly known for bass up to 60 pounds, however during this time of the year there is often a plethora of small fish feeding on the multitude of small bait that inhabits the land cut. Night time is a great time to target these small but extremely aggressive fish.
After a brief walk I scaled the rip-rap and set up shop. As if on cue a small striper broke the surface to my right and another sprayed some bait to my left. Time to start casting, or more appropriately, pitching the small lure 10-20 feet from the rocks.
The Bay has fished very well for us all year and especially this past week. It’s been basically all tube and worm and believe me I have tried some other techniques. For whatever reason these fish just want to be fed tubes.
I’m not sure exactly what kind of bait I was marking this past week. If I had to guess I would say sea herring and/or sand eels. There are still some mackerel from the East End down towards Scorton Ledge.
If you put your time in this weekend on the Bay, you may hook into a bass in the 20-45 pound range.
Compared to last year the fishing off Chatham is, as of this moment, not quite as incredible. The thing that is still incredible is the amount of boats!
A few of the guys I know who are very skilled fishermen only managed a handful of bass the past few days off the Backside. That’s saying something considering that these guys usually have no trouble at all filling up the boat.
Snapping wire along the bottom has been producing the best. At times there has been a decent vertical jigging bite, but for the most part this has been few and far between.
However Wednesday night’s intense northeast blow may have stirred things up a bit. Yesterday morning there were whales in surprisingly close to shore, which tells you that the bait got pushed in by the breeze.
If the bait continues to get jammed up against the beach things could really turn on again off the Outer Cape.