September 16 2012

Scorton Creek Fluke and Old Harbor Stripers


Last night was absolutely incredible.  The weather was out of this world perfect.  It was so clear and calm that I could see the stars reflecting off the water's surface in every direction all around me.  If only the weather could be like this more often!

This is a fantastic time of the year for fishing Cape Cod.  The nights are crisp and cool, the days are still perfect for the beach, and Cape traffic is starting to ease off.  Once Labor Day passes, shore access will open up a little more, and the fishing should start to pick up big time for the surfcasting crowd.

A couple of weeks ago I fished the tidal pools of Old Harbor in Sandwich, MA.  That night the bass were everywhere, chomping down on small minnows, sand eels and mummichogs in waist deep water.  I had bass after bass whack, and follow my live eel right to my toes, but I couldn't hook a thing.  Even though I didn't hook up, it was awesome watching schoolies and small keepers in such skinny water.  Definitely an evening to remember.

The tide was again perfect last night for this spot, so I decided to give it another go.  But before heading to Old Harbor, I thought it'd be smart to give Scorton Creek a try during the outgoing tide.

I've managed some nice bass fishing from shore at Scorton in years past.  During September there are usually a lot of big bass sitting just offshore on or around Scorton Ledge.  Sometimes these vast schools of 20 plus pound bass push right up onto the beach-most often during the night.  I wasn't expecting this to happen yesterday evening, however I always like to fish the mouth of Scorton during the last part of the outgoing tide, especially when it coincides with a sunset or sunrise.

Scorton Creek
I was suprised to catch fluke instead of bass at Scorton-but hey I'll take what I can get!

You definitely want to be cautious wading around the mouth of Scorton.  For starters, the current is extremely strong.  The mouth of the creek is definitely not a good spot for very young fishermen (aka small children).    You may even want to leave your waders in the truck if it's warm enough.  It's very easy, especially during less than ideal conditions, to step off the creek bed into deeper water.

In fact, the best place to cast during the last part of the outgoing is right along the drop off which runs in an easterly direction away from the shore line.  The weather was perfect yesterday and the water was clear, making it easy to walk along this drop off towards the standing waves at the mouth of the creek.  This would be a different, and much more dangerous spot if a heavy north wind was blowing.

So with all that in mind, I always wear a bathing suit when fishing the mouth and never venture into the water during rough conditions.  It's never worth taking the risk, especially for a fish.

There was not much action in the form of stripers yesterday at Scorton, however the fluke were hitting pretty well.  My 6 inch Slug-Go rigged up on a 1 ounce lead head was the ticket to 2 keeper fluke, one of which I brought home for the frying pan.  To be honest, I think these were the first fluke I had ever caught from the beach.

I had a couple more fluke hits before the action died around 6:30pm.  No signs of life from bass so I decided to move to Old Harbor for slack water and the start of the incoming.

I could see bass popping on the surface as soon as I arrived at my favorite Old Harbor tidal pool.  In fact, my first cast with a weightless Slug-Go landed directly on top of a small school of stripers, spooking them and causing them to scatter.  The tidal pool was again loaded with bass!

A few casts later and WHACK!  Fish on!  Finally I was hooked up with a tidal pool bass.  After an extremely quick battle I had the striper up onto the sand.  This was the epitome of a micro-striped bass and was easily the smallest fish I have caught this entire season!  The fish might of tapped out at a whopping 18 inches.

Old Harbor
A micro striped bass caught from a tidal pool at Old Harbor in Sandwich, MA.

I didn't care though, the monkey was off my back and I avoided the striper skunk.  A few casts later I had another swirl on the Slug-Go.  It was obvious that these bass were not actively feeding.  I was actually spooking more fish than I was enticing with the soft plastic.  After about 20 casts, I had spooked a dozen or so stripers.

It was getting dark when the tide slowly began to turn.  Figuring I had a better chance at bigger fish using live eels, I decided to make the change to a snake.  On my third cast with the eel I had a take, and a drop.  A few more casts later I had another big take, and another drop.  I assumed these were small bass just playing with the eel.

After about 20 minutes I had my first real solid take.  The bass ran with the eel, and after counting to five I set up on him.  The bass started peeling 40 pound Power-Pro from my reel.   This was a much nicer fish.  After a few minutes I had the bass right in front of me.  This was not a huge bass, but definitely a keeper.  Then, as has been my luck fishing eels from shore recently, the hook popped and the fish calmly swam away.  What a bummer.

A few more casts with the eel resulted in a few more bumps and takes without a hook up.  It was time to make another change, this time to the Yo-Zuri swimmer.

A dozen or so casts later with the swimmer and I was on again.  Again not a huge bass, but not bad either considering I was fishing in a tidal pool.  The bass put up a nice little fight before getting him up onto the sandbar.  A nice plump 30 incher.  I'll take it!

Old Harbor Sandwich
A rather crappy picture of the keeper fluke and striped bass taken last night from shore.

I fished a while longer and caught another micro-schoolie before packing it in.  All in all a great night, and I can finally check Sandwich off my list of Cape Cod towns in which I need to catch a striper from shore.  One town down, 13 more to go.

Aside from the fishing, I have to comment on the Pterodactyl noises coming from the birds last night.  It sounded like someone was strangling these birds.  Man oh man are they loud when they want to be.

If anyone knows of any surfcasting spots you think I should check out down Cape I'd definitely appreciate an email at [email protected], or just leave a comment below.


Thanks and tight lines!



A view of Scorton Creek during the last part of the outgoing tide

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