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A Night of Fishing at Nauset Inlet

I stepped foot onto the sand of outer Cape Cod and was greeted by pitch black darkness, a sky full of stars and a wild bunny rabbit. A howling south west breeze whipped over the mounds of sand, through the eel grass and out over the Atlantic. I stood there for a moment breathing it all in, and wondering what the next 7 hours would produce.

It was 11PM and I had just begun my walk, barefoot and in a bathing suit, down towards the surf at Coast Guard beach. The tide was receding and despite the pitch black darkness, I could still see whitewater on the outer bars. The cool wet sand felt good on my toes, and my calves were soon burning due to the steep incline of the beach.

I felt like this was going to be a special night.

Cape Cod Fishing Report for July 3

I had a lot to carry which is rather unusual for me. My Daiwa Emblem was "acting up" but I didn't feel like opening it up, diagnosing the issue and making a repair. Instead I decided to bring a back up rod and reel, just in case my equipment malfunctioned. In addition I had a bucket with 15 live eels, a fishing vest full of tackle, my GoPro camera and GoPro supplies, a backpack with water, my phone and 3 homemade caprese sandwiches, 2 plums, a brownie and a rotisserie chicken from Stop and Shop.

A man needs to eat, and since I would be spending the entire night alone in the suds I figured I might as well eat a square meal.


Lactic acid began flowing through my arms around the same time a possum appeared over the dunes. The creature froze in the light cast by my triple A battery powered head lamp, and stared directly at me. He seemed curious and walked within 20 feet of me, until I took a step forward, which startled him and caused him to scamper away.

Further down the beach phosphorescence covered the wet sand. Each step I took disturbed the tiny micro-organisms, causing them to glow a bright neon green between my toes. I kicked a chunk of damp sand into the air which illuminated the tiny area directly in front of me. It was so dark that I imagine someone a fair distance down the beach could still see the phosphorescence as it glowed in midair.

Once I rounded the bend towards Nauset inlet I could hear the pounding and crashing of current and waves as it echoed through the wind. Over my left shoulder the Atlantic collided with a powerful ebb tide, which was flowing at a fast pace out of Nauset marsh. The maelstrom of waves, current and a salty southwest wind made me think how passing through this inlet in a boat at night, could be a truly nightmarish endeavor.

I found as good a spot as any to drop my gear and get rigged up. My arms thanked me by draining the remaining lactic acid from my biceps, providing my muscles and I with much desired relief. The eels, on the other hand, were not so lucky. I tossed my first victim into the sand, which helps to get a grip on the slimy bait, and proceeded to thread a 7/0 Gamagakstu circle hook through its black head.

With rod and reel in hand I followed the slope of the beach down towards the water's edge. I opened my bail and placed the 50 pound braided line onto the edge of my finger tip. In one calm and continuous motion I lobbed the eel out into the rushing water, for what would be the first cast of a long night spent surf casting Cape Cod's National Seashore.

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