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Surfcasting Cape Cod’s Outer Beaches During “The Spring Run”

Sam Brown
Goose Hummock
Pro Staff

I am fortunate to call Cape Cod my home. I was born and raised in the small town of Orleans, where driving out on the “Outer Beach" (also  known to many surfcasters as “The Great Beach") was a Sunday tradition for my family.

Although I never did much fishing from shore in my younger days, my memory is full of watching surfcasters in the 90’s and early 2000’s pulling massive Striped Bass and Blue Fish onto the sands of this gorgeous landscape which stretches from Chatham to Race Point.

Years ago, passionate surfcasters from up and down the East Coast would travel to Cape Cod’s beautiful backside beaches looking to catch trophy striped bass in the surf. Anybody who has spent time around a Cape Cod surfcaster from the older generations, has probably heard their stories of catching 30+ pounders on “every cast” from shore along the back side. 


The Seals

Within the last 15 years or so, ten’s of thousands of seals have decided to call the backside beaches of Cape Cod home. Our rich and bountiful waters have made this area ideal hunting grounds for this top inshore predator.

This has made targeting game fish a little bit more difficult than during the golden age of surfcasting that generations before me took great advantage of.  

Many shore fishermen would now rather wade the flats of Cape Cod Bay or cast from the rocks of the Cape Cod Canal instead of spending their time searching for blitzes in the surf off the backside beaches.

However, despite being part of a generation of surfcasters who've had to fight and compete with the seals, I've still managed to have some great fishing experiences along these beaches.

In this article I’m going to share with you some one of my most memorable surfcasting trips along Cape Cod's Great Beach. 

We will also talk gear and techniques, as well as the ideal tides and conditions that will increase your chances of hooking into a striped bass, while enjoying what is in my opinion one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.

  1. Fantastic article! Love the backside beaches! Even if you don’t catch fish just being there is priceless! Thanks for all the info, You have me excited to start trying the outer beaches soon! I will come and say hi when I am at Goose Hummock! Great job!

  2. Great article. I have been fishing the Great Backside Beaches for 35+ years now, ranging from Maguire’s Landing in Wellflet all the way to Race Point. Although the seals have mad a dent in the fish population, there are still plenty of big fish to be had. Personally, I have used a Penn 704Z reel for these past 35+ years, and it had held up extremely well. One of these days, I need to try the braided line. Although the number of “no fish” trips has far outnumbered “fish on” trips, there is nothing better than a walk along the beach, pole in hand gazing out at the water.

  3. Nice report Sam.
    Fishing the outer beach alone is the pinnacle of fishing, in my humble opinion.
    Nothing else compares..

  4. Great post! thanks …

    Generally speaking, does there need to be an on-shore wind (with waves) to be productive? The photos above show a pretty calm ocean where the subjects are fishing …

    Also, for May and early to mid June, can daytime be productive, or does one have to fish in the dark? And if “dark”, how does one find the structure and the spots if you don’t have an opportunity to pre-scout?


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