As we move into the New Year, I find myself reminiscing about the 2014 Cape Cod saltwater fishing season. Throughout the 2014 season I can swiftly recall numerous highlights and memorable moments, in which I declared “I will remember this come winter!”
Several of those memorable moments include:
- Running after a 30lb striped bass swimming in inches of water, while fishing the boulders of Cuttyhunk Island from shore during May
- Hooking a bluefin tuna 10 minutes into the troll, south of Martha’s Vineyard during June with MFCC member Ari Goldschneider
- Catching a 41lb striped bass at 1AM alone on the beach during August, with a full sky of stars above
- Being surrounded by breaching whales and dolphins, east of Chatham during September
- Exploring and fishing the many miles of lonely and wild backside beach, from Nauset to Truro during October
However there is one trip in particular from the 2014 season which stands out in my mind. The following happened to me this past September and was taken directly from the kayak fishing report section of MFCC.
Big Striped Bass From The Hobie Kayak
Matt Wake, owner of Sturgis Boat Works in West Yarmouth, had just granted me one of his company’s Hobie Kayaks, so I could target a school of giant striped bass which had settled over an underwater rock pile.
Here's a photo of Matt, Greg and I a few days before the trip. I can't thank these guys enough for helping me obtain a kayak for this specific adventure.
For days big striped bass had been feeding on top of and around an underwater rock pile. I figured the Hobie Kayak would be the perfect tool for positioning me in the exact right spot.
So during this particular afternoon I dropped my line back behind the kayak and began peddling forward.
2 minutes into fishing and I had a massive bite. I turned towards the fish and set the hook with everything I had.
As soon as I felt the weight on the rod I knew this bass was a good one. The kayak lurched forward as the fish took me on a Nantucket Sleighride.
“This is pretty awesome” is what I recall thinking to myself as I was tugged along by the fish.
If the bass turned left, then I went left with him. If the bass made a move to the right, then I went to the right.
There was no engine noise either-just complete silence. Minus of course the reel’s drag and the waves lapping against the side of the yak.
This was a completely different experience contrasted to fighting a bass from my 21 foot boat.
After a very good fight, which lasted close to 10 minutes, I had the big bass straight up and down beneath the kayak.
Finally I had her next to the kayak, when the hook broke! Yes you heard me right!
I was devastated and could not believe that the hook actually broke! Seriously?!
But that was just the tip of the iceberg...
After losing that fish, which I estimated to be around 25lbs, I got right back to work.
Odds are where there’s one big bass, there are many more. I pedaled my way back towards the underwater rock pile where I hooked that first bass, straight into the wind and chop.
I got a little wet, but made it back to the spot quicker than I thought I would.
I set my line just as I had before.
Next I began slowly pedaling the kayak forward and BAM! I was on again, except this fish was much larger than the first.
This bass took considerably more line than the first fish. I was positive she was at least 30lbs.
The kayak was being pulled right across the surface by the fish, just as I had been told it would. I can now understand why so many people prefer fishing via kayak!
This time the hook held and I was able to successfully land the bass.
What an experience! I was astounded.
The fish were here and they were biting big time.
Little did I know that things were just getting started...
How This Trip Began
This trip began with a call to my Dad.
“Want to toss the kayak in the back of the boat and try to find some fish?” was my offer to the old man.
“Sure, your mother’s going to come too” was his response.
So together we tossed the kayak into the back of our 21 foot boat the Miss Loretta, and off we went.
My idea was to use the big boat to transport me and the kayak to the underwater rock pile alluded to above. I could have just launched the kayak from the beach, but using the boat to transport the kayak was easier.
Now that I had a crew, my Mom and Dad would be able to snap some photos and videos of the experience to share with the members here on MFCC. I suppose I am fortunate to have family that is willing to drop everything and go fishing at a moment’s notice!
I had no issues transporting the kayak in this fashion.
This kayak weighs around 100 pounds and is very manageable considering it is 12 feet in length. The next challenge would be lifting the kayak over the gunnel and launching it from the boat.
Fortunately with 2 people this was no problem at all. I believe I could have launched the kayak on my own if I had to.
With a few pumps of the foot pedals I was off. This type of fishing is an absolute joy in the Hobie. I simply pedal with my feet and hold the rod waiting for a bite.
I missed very few fish during this trip because I was able to use both hands for fishing purposes and not for paddling.
The next bite came just before I reached the rockpile. As soon as I felt the bite I dropped the rod back for an instant, and then set the hook.
Then I was off to the races just as before. I traveled at a pretty good clip along the surface of the water. Then the bass took a wicked turn to the left, spinning the kayak and myself almost 360 degrees.
After one hell of an awesome battle I had her. I estimated the fish to be at least 30 pounds. Another beauty!
It was now apparent to me that I was sitting above a large school of stripers. For some reason the school of big bass was remaining stationery.
Perhaps they were scouring the bottom for crabs and lobsters. I figured they were probably not feeding on fast moving prey items like mackerel, squid or menhaden.
If they were I highly doubt they would have remained in one spot for very long. Yet each time I pedaled over this pile of rocks I got hit…and hit hard.
Click play below to see what I mean.
The Great Bite Lasted Into The Night
When I encounter great bass fishing like this it usually does not last for long. During this entire trip I was waiting for the fish to disappear as they often do.
However that would not happen during this particular outing.
The largest striper of the trip, a fish I estimated to be around 40lbs, bit 30 minutes after sunset.
The time of day, good fishing and perfect weather made this a trip to remember.
The great bite lasted well into the evening.
Not long after sunset I decided I had injured enough striped bass for one trip and called it quits.
I felt as if I was on drugs. Had this trip really happened or was I dreaming?
Final tally was around 15 bass from schoolie size up to 40 pounds.
Get even more information about this specific trip
Fortunately I was able to capture this entire kayak fishing trip on video. I used a GoPro attached to my head, another GoPro attached to the front of the kayak, and an iPhone secured in a Lifeproof case to get the video.
I also had my "old man" and my lovely mother snapping photos and video at a distance from the big boat. It was a good team effort!
I then took all this video, and edited it down to 12 minutes of streaming footage, in which I share with you the action, as well as more information on the techniques used, and the areas fished.
My goal for doing all of this? To help you create a similar experience this coming 2015 season.
MFCC members can click below to watch now.
- The bait that worked to catch bass to 40 pounds during this trip
- A simple strategy for using the this type of bait from a kayak
- Tips on transporting the Hobie kayak
- Info on the gear and equipment used
- Info on the weather and wind conditions
- My thoughts on fighting big fish from the Hobie
- Video of the area fished (I don't mention the exact spot in this situation)
And a whole bunch more. Click here to check it out.
Cape Cod Is A Special Place
As I recall this trip now in early January, I can only feel appreciation for Cape Cod and its fishing opportunities. It sure is a special place.
I feel that 2015 will be the best season yet. Spring will be here before we know it!
Until then I will enjoy recalling past memorable trips like this unforgettable Cape Cod kayak fishing experience. I hope you do the same.
Tight lines and take care,
What do you think? Let me know by commenting below!
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