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Penn 113

My go to fishing reel for trolling tubes is the Penn 113 Special Senator High Speed Reel (Penn 113HSP for short). I like this reel for several reasons:

1) Durability

My father bought me a Penn 113 more than a decade ago, when I first started trolling tubes from my family's 19 foot Carolina Skiff. That Penn 113 has caught a ton of bass over the past decade, and continues to work flawlessly today. I’m not expecting this reel to last a lifetime, but I will not be surprised if it does.

2) Easy to Maintain

One of the reasons why the Penn 113 is so durable is that it is so simple to maintain. I am certainly no expert when it comes to cleaning and fixing reels. But after a little online research, I can now overhaul the Penn 113 in under an hour. The reel has saved me quite a bit of money over the long haul. There are some fantastic tutorials by Alan Tani on how to rebuild the Penn 113.

3) Versatility

An easy way to cut equipment costs is to purchase equipment that fulfills many needs. This is where the Penn 113 really shines. The reel is perfect for trolling lead core, but it's also spectacular for trolling wire. It's even possible to three-way eels using this reel, with the same lead core usually used for trolling. Bunker spoons, tubes, jigs, live bait, you name it-this reel can do it.

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Win Free Tickets to the New England Boat Show Feb. 11-19

Hi everyone!

One of the most highly anticipated winter events, The New England Boat Show will take place February 11-19 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.   The great folks at the Boat Show have offered My Fishing Cape Cod readers 3 pairs of free tickets.

I've added the free tickets to the prizes below.  If you're interested in winning free tickets to the biggest boat show around, free eBooks, memberships and discounts on a fishing charter simply submit your best 2011 fishing photo and quick story to misslorettafishing@gmail.com

Thanks!

Ryan

 

 

5th place - a free copy of Tube and Worm Trolling - from the first knot to the gaff shot!

 

4th place - a free copy of Tube and Worm Trolling - from the first knot to the gaff shot!

one month of free access to the membership section of MFCC

 

3rd place - a free copy of Tube and Worm Trolling - from the first knot to the gaff shot!

one month of free access to the membership section of MFCC

$50 off a 2012 Miss Loretta Fishing charter

a pair of free tickets to the New England Boat Show

 

2nd place - a free copy of Tube and Worm Trolling - from the first knot to the gaff shot!

one month of free access to the membership section of MFCC

$75 off a 2012 Miss Loretta Fishing charter

a pair of free tickets to the New England Boat Show

 

1st place - a free copy of Tube and Worm Trolling - from the first knot to the gaff shot!

one month of free access to the membership section of MFCC

$100 off a 2012 Miss Loretta Fishing charter

a pair of free tickets to the New England Boat Show

 

Send your photo entries to misslorettafishing@gmail.com

 

Can't wait to see the pics!

Ryan

Trolling Soft Plastics for Stellwagen Bluefins

 Click here for the latest Cape Cod tuna fishing report

Skipping work to go tuna fishing was pretty commonplace during my early twenties.  This rang especially true during September and October.  Fortunately I had a good fishing buddy, and supportive father who were also willing to drop everything to go tuna hunting whenever the weather allowed.

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Breaking Bass and Breaking Down on Cape Cod Bay

This is a guest report and photo contest entry from Brian Atchinson, local Cape Cod recreational fishermen.

Only 3 more months to go until the bass return!  Do you have an epic 2011 report or striped bass fishing story you'd like featured on the blog?  Send it over to misslorettafishing@gmail.com for your chance at free eBooks and charter fishing discounts.

Thanks!

Ryan

 

By Brian Atchinson

My most interesting day on the water this year was certainly not my best!  Early in June I had gotten on a hot striper bite in Cape Cod Bay.  The day before I had crushed them with my father and girlfriend.

striped bass fishing

Brian with a beauty-moments before engine trouble cut his trip short.

My brother (not a big fisherman) had not been out on the water yet, so I convinced him that he had to get in on the action.  We got out there at first light, same spot we hammered them the day before, and of course…. there were no fish to be found.  We trolled around on top of Billingsgate, in the deep water off the north, over towards Wellfleet, and finally found them back where we started on the southern edge of the shoal.  After looking for several hours we had finally found the fish and the bite was amazing!

We were on the fish for all of 3 minutes and were doubled-up when the motor stalled.  I didn’t think too much of it as I was in the middle of battling my first striper of the day.  We both landed our fish and it was time to get back over on the breaking school of bass.   I went to start the motor and it only turned over.   I tried again…. just turning over.   Long story short, the fuel pump had seized up while we were fighting the bass and our day was over… just as soon as we found the fish.

The Sea Tow captain was great, and was out there in less than an hour to give us a pull back in.  However, bobbing helplessly in the ocean while watching breaking bass out of casting range was a pretty tough pill to swallow.  As you can see, my brother was not a happy camper on the tow back to Sesuit!

cape cod fishing

The long tow in.

2012 Photo Contest – win free stuff !

Hi everyone!

With it being the middle of the winter and all, I figured now is a great time to break out our best photos from the 2011 fishing season.

The contest is simple.  Send in your best fishing photo from this past season with a brief description.

The 5 most amazing and interesting entries will be featured on the blog and receive the following:

 

5th place - a free copy of Tube and Worm Trolling - from the first knot to the gaff shot!

 

4th place - a free copy of Tube and Worm Trolling - from the first knot to the gaff shot!

one month of free access to the membership section of MFCC

 

3rd place - a free copy of Tube and Worm Trolling - from the first knot to the gaff shot!

one month of free access to the membership section of MFCC

$50 off a 2012 Miss Loretta Fishing charter

 

2nd place - a free copy of Tube and Worm Trolling - from the first knot to the gaff shot!

one month of free access to the membership section of MFCC

$75 off a 2012 Miss Loretta Fishing charter

 

1st place - a free copy of Tube and Worm Trolling - from the first knot to the gaff shot!

one month of free access to the membership section of MFCC

$100 off a 2012 Miss Loretta Fishing charter

 

Send your photo entries to misslorettafishing@gmail.com

 

Can't wait to see the pics!

Ryan

The Barnstable Flats


On a nice day, fishing the flats of Barnstable Harbor is more like fishing the Florida Keys than fishing Cape Cod. Stripers cruise in foot deep water, much like Florida's famous bonefish. The water takes on a torquoise color that extends for miles in every direction. Under a summer sun tidal pools warm up to near 80 degrees as terns and sea birds dive for sandeels.

Barnstable's flats are at times an almost surreal environment.

Located at the easternmost point of Sandy Neck, the flats extend northwards into Cape Cod Bay for hundreds of yards. At the northernmost point of the flats, the sandbars drop off quickly from 10-15 feet down to around 35 feet depending on the tide.

To the west the flats are divided by the Barnstable Harbor channel. Channel depths range from 15-40 feet depending on the tide and the location of your boat. On the eastern side of the channel, the flats extend for miles more, joining with the Brewster Flats to create one of the most extensive sandbar stretches on Cape Cod.

The most abundant bait fish in the area is of course, the sand eel. Most of these sand eels are on the small side, especially compared to the goliath foot long sand eels of the Outer Cape. Nevertheless the sheer number of sand eels provides plenty of reason for striped bass to venture in shallow.

And speaking of shallow, it is not unusual at all to find bass cruising over the flats in water depths of two feet or less. This can be a refreshing change of pace for anglers accustomed to fishing the deeper waters of Cape Cod Bay.

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Billingsgate Shoal


Viewed on a chart Billingsgate Shoal is the most noticeable and extensive are of structure inside Cape Cod Bay. The Shoal extends from a few miles north of Dennis' Sesuit Harbor to northernmost point of Wellfleet.

Back in the 1800's a small village of houses was located on Billingsgate Island which once sat just outside Wellfleet Harbor. Strong storms and the perpetually shifting Cape Cod tides and sands have since swept the island into the sea. I believe that at extreme minus tides the abutments from some of the homes can be seen poking through the shallow water on top of the Shoal.

Aside from being entrenched in Cape Cod hisotry, Billingsgate Shoal today offers fishermen plenty of phenomenal fishing opportunities for striped bass, bluefish, tuna and even the occasional tautog. The Shoal is a hub for recreational, charter and commercial anglers.

fishing cape cod billingsgate shoal

This beauty of a bass was caught in June in 45 feet of water at Billingsgate Shoal.

Over the past few years the Shoal has fished well beginning in late May and continuing right on through June. One of the most popular techniques in the area is jigging bucktails via wire line. A Penn 113 conventional reel loaded with 300 yards of 45 pound wire is a pretty typical setup found on boats fishing the area. Aside from wire line jigging (which can be quite a workout) the tube and worm as well as casting and trolling plugs works well under the right conditions.

In the spring it's possible to find large schools of striped bass feeding on the surface at Billingsgate. Remember that the area is quite expansive, so keep your eyes open for diving birds or if you have the capabilities, use radar to zone in on the flocks.

We had an incredible top water plugging day on the Shoal a few years back. Gannets lead the way to the feeding and we were lucky to have virtually "stumbled" upon an incredible mass of striped bass. The action lasted for hours and we boated over twenty 15-35 pound stripers on top water plugs cast with light spinning tackle. We finished the trip by trolling up a few 30 pound behemoths on the way in. Of course the fishing is not always this hot at Billingsgate!

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Provincetown’s Striper Hot Spot: The Bath House


It seems that each season striped bass select a different Cape Cod location to infiltrate in amazing numbers. Said another way, certain areas on the Cape fish incredibly well one season while past hot spots quiet down a bit.

During 2010 and 2011 the indisputable striper hot spot was the area off Chatham. The fishing inside Cape Cod Bay towards the end of the 2010 season was also much better than usual. A few years ago a spot referred to by locals as the “Bath House” off Provincetown had its turn as the best striped bass spot on Cape Cod.

The Bath House is named after the shower and restroom building located on Herring Cove beach-just south of Race Point Light. Directly in front of the Bath House the bottom drops off drastically from 15 feet to over 120 feet. It’s this underwater precipice and the strong nutrient rich Cape Cod Bay currents that can make the striped bass fishing in this area so fantastic.

fishing cape cod

The Bath House is located just to the south of Race Point Light, which is another Provincetown striper hot spot.

The main forage fish in the area is by far the sand eel, however numerous other prey items are present along this stretch of shoreline. Herring, lobsters, crabs, mackerel and who knows what else can be found all along the Provincetown shores.

There a few striped bass fishing techniques that reign supreme at the Bath House. In the spring anglers are often greeted by top water feeding frenzies which in turn create fantastic light tackle top water action. Vertical jigging with metals has also caught on in recent years. As summer progresses most fishermen choose to troll the tube and worm, jig buck tails or drift live eels.

During the summer long Bath House blitz a few years ago, live eels and the tube and worm accounted for the vast majority of the bass caught. When trolling the tube and worm, it is important to keep the tubes close to the bottom, right along the start of the drop-off. Most of the stripers in the area will be concentrated along the drop-off in 25-40 feet of water. This is also the zone that most live eel anglers concentrate their efforts on.

When the bass are in thick at the Bath House, the fishing and the boat congestion can get out of hand. Because the bass typically stack up along the drop off, any boat fishing the area will be battling to keep their baits and lures along the precipice. Add in a few lobster pots and keeping your lines in the productive zone can become quite the challenge. The ability to plan out a trolling route and maintain your patience can be crucial.

A few years back the schools of striped bass off the Bath House were so vast and plentiful, that my sonar unit interpreted the schools of bass as the bottom. We would be fishing in 40 feet of water, however my sonar would read 15 feet. Now that is a thick school of stripers!

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2012 Seminar: Targeting Big Stripers with the Tube and Worm

Happy New Year (or almost New Year)!

I find it hard to believe that 2012 is already upon us.  I can remember those warm, flat calm August fishing trips as if it was just yesterday.

With the 2012 Cape Cod striped bass season still months away, now is the time to get the gear prepared and brush up on striped bass fishing techniques and strategies to employ next season.

In the spirit of sharing information I will be holding a striped bass fishing seminar at 7pm on January 26th at the Holly Tree Resort at 412 Main Street in West Yarmouth, MA.

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Tuna Hook Up & Sightings Map

cape cod google earth outer cape arrows

Over the past several seasons we have consistently found and hooked up with tuna in certain areas around Stellwagen and Cape Cod Bay.  Without a doubt some spots have consistently produced action and sightings, while other regions seem for the most part devoid of tuna life.

Take this with a grain of salt and remember that we typically fish the same general areas-which of course restricts our ability to find tuna in areas not highlighted on the map.

Red dots indicate a tuna hookup.

Yellow dots indicate a tuna sighting.

Each dot represents a single trip.

Tight lines and good luck tuna wishing!

Captain Ryan

cape cod tuna