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Top 10 “Winter Reads” For Fishermen


Ryan Collins

December has arrived, so I figured it fitting to publish a post about good wintertime reads.

These books are perfect for the angler, or anyone who loves reading about Cape Cod, the beach, and the ocean.

This post originally appeared in our forum during the winter of 2015. I owe a big thank you to all the members who helped to create this list!

So without further ado, and in no particular order, here are our top 10 winter reads for fishermen (and all people who love Cape Cod).

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Anchor/Ball Setup For Giant Tuna Fishing


Ryan Collins

The 2016 giant tuna fishing season off Cape Cod was nothing short of remarkable. Many anglers caught multiple tunas well over 700 pounds.

Historically speaking, one of the best ways to target these massive fish off Cape Cod is by anchoring up, and using what is referred to as a "ball."

Last year MFCC member Joe Strumski asked me some great questions with regards to anchor/ball setups for giant tuna fishing. The follow post originally appeared in our forum, as a reply to Joe's question.

Special thank you to my tuna fishing buddy Jason Mazzola and captain Jay Ciancolo of Laura Jay Charters for helping to create this post. I'd also be interested in hearing about other setups and opinions.

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Thousands of Schoolie Striped Bass

november fly fishing from the kayak on cape cod

Ryan Collins

This week I encountered thousands of schoolies while fly fishing from my kayak off Cape Cod. 

Plenty of folks from MFCC have experienced the same. Check out this forum thread for daily updates being posted by members.

We are certainly blessed to be seeing all these small stripers so late in the season! It is as if they appeared out of nowhere all at once. Perhaps they will stick around for a few more days - dare I say weeks!

The following kayak/fly fishing trip occurred earlier this week on the morning of Wednesday November 2nd. However as you will read in this forum thread, these fish were still here as of this morning.

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Jigging Inlets with Al Gag’s Whip-It-Fish

al gags 1.5 ounce whip it fish lure

Ryan Collins

Last night I spent the hours of 7pm-10pm bouncing Al Gag's Whip-It-Fish along the bottom of an inlet. 

In this particular area, striped bass often "pave" the bottom, holding in shallow depressions waiting for a meal to be swept by. 

A 1.5 ounce Whip-It-Fish (from Canal Bait & Tackle) is the perfect jig for inlets like this one, in which the bottom is only around 10 feet deep. 

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Shadow Fishing Marinas for Striped Bass

night time striped bass cape cod

Ryan Collins

Before I dive into this report, I would like to mention that not all marinas allow fishing from their docks. 

I recommend asking your local harbormaster if fishing is allowed, before you step foot onto the docks, especially at night.

However, if you can find a lighted marina where it is OK to fish (and if that marina is chock full of bait) you can do quite well during the month of October.

Last week during the howling NE winds, I had the opportunity to fish a lighted dock where stripers of 25+ pounds sometimes congregate. 

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Fishing the Tony Stetzko Needlefish

My "go-to" Nantucket Needlefish. Designed by the late Tony Stetzko.

Ryan Collins

I have just recently discovered the effectiveness of the needlefish when surfcasting Cape Cod at night for striped bass.

Of course I knew all along how effective needlefish can be. For example my friend Danya Mahota even blogged about needlefish last year here on MFCC.

Yet this season I have been casting needlefish with more regularity, and in particular, needlefish designed by the late Cape Cod surfcasting legend Tony Stetzko.

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A Bass On Every Cast | Fly Fishing Report

fly fishing lower cape cod

Ryan Collins

On Friday October 7th myself and MFCC intern Andrew Burke encountered fantastic fly fishing for schoolies and small keeper stripers.​

The bass were not large but they were present in astounding numbers. Hundreds of stripers were patrolling up and down the shoreline.

Fortunately for me the big schools were cruising a mere 20-30 feet off the beach. I am still very "green" with the fly rod, so this was the perfect situation for my limited fly-casting ability.

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Jigging Inlets for October Stripers

striped bass at inlet

Ryan Collins

Last weekend I jigged an inlet on Cape Cod which has treated me well over the years during October.

During this tip I was fortunate to catch bass up to 37 inches using Al Gag's Whip-It Fish. 

Oftentimes the largest bass in the area will "pave" the bottom of the inlet. The key during this trip was to keep the Whip-It Fish just off the bottom and right in the strike zone.

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Fly Fishing the “Fall Run” on Cape Cod

fly fishing the fall run on cape cod

Ryan Collins

I woke up this past Friday morning to the sound of crashing waves, howling wind and pelting rain.

In the dim morning light I watched powerful waves smash onto the shoreline, and felt the sting of the wind on my face.

All week I had enjoyed a fantastic "fall run" surfcasting bite. During those trips I was fishing right in the rough surf and strong northeast wind.

Yet this past Friday I decided to switch things up, by fishing more protected bays and harbors on the southside of Cape Cod, using the Sage 3280 fly reel and Sage 890-4 Motive rod and from Goose Hummock in Orleans.

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Gator Bluefish in the Cape Cod Surf

Gator Bluefish Cape Cod Surfcasting

Ryan Collins

Some of the biggest bluefish of the entire season have showed up the past few days here on Cape Cod.

These are "gator" bluefish over the 10 pound mark with some specimens pushing 15+ pounds.

In this post I would like to share with you another drone surfcasting video filmed by my friend Zach Lesinski of

In this clip Dave Steeves of Goose Hummock and I catch huge blues in the whipping wind, and pounding surf of this past Sunday.

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