Handlining For Striped Bass On Cape Cod

handlining for striped bass on cape cod

Ryan Collins

When I was growing up, my father and I fished "blind"without sonar and GPS. We used very basic equipment and fished from a 12 foot boat powered by a 6 horsepower engine. 

We found fish by paying attention to the wind, tide and past experiences. Instinct, determination and sheer luck also played a major role.

Since that time, catching fish from boats has become much easier. Now my father and I fish from a 21 foot fiberglass boat powered by a 150 horsepower engine, with sidescan sonar and a top of the line GPS. 

My boat fishing success is now more reliant upon my ability to use my electronics, than my understanding of the winds and tides. This realization hit me like a bag of bricks when my friend Noah and I went handlining in Costa Rica.

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Monster Shore-Caught Bluefish

16.9 pound outer cape cod bluefish

Andrew Burke

I stepped outside around 8am and was greeted by a pleasantly cool morning. Instead of fishing, I felt like taking a beach day to enjoy the nice weather.

I quickly loaded up my car in an effort to beat the crowds that fill the backside beaches of the lower cape during peak summer months.

However, I had a feeling I should pack my go-to surf setup, a 9’ St. Croix Mojo Surf rod equipped with a Van Staal VS200X reel.

Typically if I’m just keeping a rod in my car for a sudden daytime blitz, it’ll be a lightweight 7 footer for convenience sake. However I had just purchased my new Van Staal from Goose Hummock a week earlier, and since have been fishing it every chance I get!

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Surfcasting Cape Cod With My Future Wife

Lauren Woman Surfcasting Cape Cod

Ryan Collins

This adventure with my future wife Lauren began on the morning of Saturday, July 16th.

However, before any fishing would take place, I had promised Lauren we would take care of some items she has been wanting to cross off her to-do list.​

So with that in mind, we woke up bright and early to wish my Mom a happy 65th birthday, before departing to Hokum Rock Farm in Dennis to pick blueberries.

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Recommended Canal Gear & Equipment


Ryan Collins

The Cape Cod Canal is probably the most unique place to fish in all of New England.

Where else can you cast into 60 feet of water while standing on dry land? Not to mention the incredibly strong current and unforgiving bottom.

If you fish the Canal using the same equipment you would use when fishing from the beach or from your boat, then you are setting yourself up for failure.

To fish the Canal effectively you really need to have a rod and reel (plus other equipment) which is specifically designed for fishing the Big Ditch.

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Help Support A Local Fishing Family

luke gurney

Ryan Collins

Martha's Vineyard lost a beloved fisherman last week on Monday June 20th.

Luke Gurney died doing what he loved, fishing in the waters off the Vineyard onboard his 42 foot boat.

After hearing about what happened, MFCC member John Camara and I thought it would be nice if MFCC helped to support the fundraising effort for Luke's wife and two young sons.

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My First Experience Fly Fishing Cape Cod

first fly rod striper

Ryan Collins

This adventure began with a visit to Dave Steeves of Goose Hummock, to get rigged up with saltwater fly fishing equipment.

Dave has more than 20 years of experience fly fishing the waters around Cape Cod, and is definitely the "go to guy" for fly fishing the Cape.

I needed a setup that could handle a 30 pound striped bass. Even though I have never fly fished before in my life, I feel catching a 30 pounder to be a challenging (but attainable) goal for me.

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Weekend Update

Photo by johndoblephotography.com

Kevin Collins

Hello everybody and welcome to another edition of the My Fishing Cape Cod Podcast. 

I'm your friendly neighborhood host Kevin Collins glad to be back with you for another week. I have a very special show in store for you today.

My Fishing Cape Cod founder and creator Ryan Collins will be joining me live in studio for the first time in 2016, to help debut two new guests to the podcast.

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June 1st Lower Cape Cod Surfcasting Report

lower cape cod striped bass

Ryan Collins

The Memorial Day Weekend rush was over. My drive down Route 6 was fast and easy.

By 4pm I had arrived at ABC Campground in North Truro. The friendly staff checked me in, and within an hour I was ready to go fishing.

With miles of coastline and perfect weather, I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve! However I still had my work cut out for me, because finding fish along these endless miles of sand can be quite the challenge.

I learned firsthand just how challenging surfcasting Lower Cape Cod ​can be when I walked and fished 27 miles of it last September. This time I prayed I would have an easier time finding the bite.

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Night Fishing The Beaches Of Outer Cape Cod | Video

night fishing full moon

Ryan Collins

It has been nearly 1 year since I fished the beaches of Lower Cape Cod with MFCC members Jim Murphy and Chas Salmon.

Last year's trip with Jim and Chas turned out to be quite memorable. We caught plenty of fish from shore and enjoyed some gorgeous weather.

It has also been nearly 1 year since I again fished the beaches of Lower Cape Cod with my friend and well-known surfcaster Danya Mahota.

During that special trip with Danya we fished from 10PM - 2AM, casting into a stiff onshore wind with bright clear stars above, and caught bass up to 18 pounds.

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May 25th Surfcasting Video Report

night time striped bass

Ryan Collins

Yesterday I had a terrific opportunity to play golf with two longtime members of My Fishing Cape Cod.

Jeff Richard and Warren Fairbanks, if you are reading this please know I had a great time, despite my inability to break 100!

​Once golf was finished I immediately set to preparing my gear, food, tackle and equipment for a long night of surfcasting the beaches of Cape Cod.

My plan was to surfcast a deep channel during the first part of the incoming tide, and then focus on fishing the flats during the first part of the outgoing tide.​

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