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Barnstable’s Schoolie Hot Spot

After a day of not fishing I was starting to go through withdrawals so I made a concerted effort to get out for an hour tonight.  I didn't have much time to plan the trip, but I still liked my odds of at least catching a fish or two.

I really enjoy exploring new areas so that is exactly what I did.  Once again I grabbed my Dad and headed out for a relaxing night of surf casting.

So far most of the action I have found from shore has been around boulder fields.  I dug way back in the memory bank and recalled an area I had heard a lot about, but had never actually fished.  We decided to head to Barnstable to cast pencil poppers around car-size rocks.

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Chatham

Over the past two seasons Chatham has held one of the largest bio-masses of striped bass Cape Cod fishermen have ever seen.

It is hard to say why these enormous schools of striped bass have chosen Chatham over other Cape Cod striped bass fishing hot spots.  There has been an absurd amount of bait present off Chatham in recent years, however there has been plenty of bait in other Cape Cod locations as well.

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A healthy Chatham striped bass taken on a red tube and worm during 2011.

It seems that certain Cape Cod fishing spots produce abnormally well for streaks of a season or two.  Then after a year or two of incredible fishing, the spot dies down a bit.  Then another striper hot spot experiences an influx of striped bass with little or no warning.

Four or five years ago this same striper phenomena occurred at Provincetown.  For an entire summer huge schools of stripers stacked up like cord wood on the drop-off west of the Bath House and Race Point.  The bass were so thick that they threw off the accuracy of fish-finder readings.

I vividly recall my sonar telling me we were in 10 feet of water when we were actually in over 30 feet.  The bass were so thick, the sonar had mistaken the fish for the sea floor.  Now that's a lot of bass!

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Stripers at Race Point

I was around 20 years old when I first took the Miss Loretta to Provincetown.  We had just upgraded from a small skiff to a 21 foot walk-a-round.  The 21 mile jaunt across Cape Cod Bay to Race Point had always seemed a bit too precarious in the skiff, but with the new boat came a new found confidence.  The flat calm seas and beautiful sunrise made the ride that much better.

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Late Summer Bass and Tuna

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In my opinion, September is the best month for fishing Cape Cod.  The early morning air has a crisp bite to it that was not present during August, the crowds at the boat ramp dissipate, and the fish show up in larger numbers and are more aggressive.

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Tuna Time

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This giant tuna article was published during the spring of 2011.

The jaunt from Plymouth to Stellwagen Bank’s legendary southwest corner had been rather uneventful. Fortunately the seas had been smooth and the sun was shining, yet as we pulled the Miss Loretta onto the Bank, the apparent lack of life proved rather disappointing.

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Catching Your First Cape Cod Bluefin Tuna

 

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There is nothing quite like the expression on the face of a virgin tuna angler when they finally hook up with a Bluefin. It is usually a mix of shock, awe and fear.

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Cape Cod Bay School Tuna Fishing

 

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My fascination with bluefin tuna began 13 years ago in a 12 foot boat about 300 yards off Sandy Neck beach. It was a flat calm, sweltering mid-August morning.  The fact I had two more weeks of summer vacation, and a hefty bluefish on my line had me feeling ecstatic. But as I eased the toothy critter towards my beat up aluminum dinghy, I got a glimpse of a fish that would change my future forever.

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Cape Cod’s Tuna Candy Hot Spot

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Aside from inclement weather, catching, transporting and storing fresh live bait was the most challenging giant tuna hurdle for us last season.  I'm happy to say that so far this fall, the news on the live bait front is much more encouraging.

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Procuring Giant Tuna Bait

 Click here for the latest Cape Cod tuna fishing report

One of the most difficult road blocks we have thus far encountered in our pursuit of giant tuna is procuring a reliable source of high quality live bait.  In the tuna world, this means having a bait pen chock full of live bluefish.

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Inches from Cape Cod Bay Giants

If you are planning on going tuna fishing this week, but don't want to spend the gas or time getting to P-town or Stellwagen Bank, considering heading out on Cape Cod Bay.

Over the past few days a friend of mine, my father and now myself have found tuna of all sizes just a few miles off the Bay's north facing beaches.  My father actually waved down a stick boat to bring the captain's attention to the giants that were pushing water all around him.  My friend, Todd (who's becoming more addicted to tuna fishing as the days go by) watched in awe as dozens of bluefins-footballs to 400 pounders-surfaced all around him Sunday morning.

With the all these reports of tuna so close to home Mazzola and I decided we had to give the Bay a shot.  We told ourselves it would be stupid for us not to go-further rationalizing our obsession with catching one of these huge fish.

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