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Scudder Lane

I had always heard stories growing up about the great schoolie striper fishing at Scudder Lane.  It only took me about 20 years but I finally made it down there tonight.

This is a really cool place with easy access and plenty of fishing options.  There is even a tide dependent boat ramp that would work well for launching small skiffs, kayaks and row boats.

There's been a TON of bass in Barnstable Harbor this spring so I figured Scudder Lane would be a good bet.  I definitely did not see any keeper size bass tonight, but I think that would have been different had the tide been high.

The last time I fished Barnstable Harbor from a boat the main bulk of fish moved into the harbor itself during the last part of the incoming tide.  This makes sense if you think about it.

The incoming tide allows these bigger fish to explore the shallows and tidal creeks.  They ride the tide way up the harbor and then retreat back into the main channel when the tide drops.

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70 Pound Bass to the South | May 22 Cape Cod Canal Report

It never ceases to amaze me just how big some striped bass grow to be.

Back in the day there were reports of 100 plus pound striped bass being caught up in nets off Cape Cod.  Of course we all remember the recent new world record 80 plus pound striper caught last year on a live eel.

Well the biggest fish I have heard of so far this season was caught just the other day by Captain Blaine Anderson.  Captain Anderson operates Anderson Guide Services down in Connecticut.

I don't know Captain Blaine personally but I sure wish I did!

That sure is one hell of a nice fish to say the least.

First off BIG CONGRATS to Captain Blaine for an amazing catch.  I'm definitely looking forward to hearing the details.

And if you are interested in seeing the picture you can check it out on Facebook at Captain's Blaine's Facebook page.  I would also imagine we will see more pics soon at this website http://fishingct.com/.

Secondly us Cape Cod fishermen still have a TON of big fish to look forward to.

This past week the Canal bite has been solid from what I have been hearing.  I have not been able to fish the Canal much this week, however I plan on getting down there tomorrow at some point and possibly again on Friday.

Earlier in the week another talented angler pulled a 46 pound striper from the Big Ditch.  Needless to say there are some serious cows prowling the land cut.

Yesterday morning was another one of those mornings where you have a hard time rolling out of bed.  The rain was coming down in sheets and the fog was thick.

Still it only took me a few moments to get up and out of bed, knowing that 40 plus pound bass were around.  I arrived at one of my favorite rocky outcroppings by 5AM.

As I walked down along the service road I spotted a small school of mackerel swimming in tight to the rip-rap.  I never complain when I see bait swirling in close to shore.  Odds are larger predators farther out in the center of the Canal scared them in tight.

By 5:30AM I had not yet seen any surface activity but was still having fun launching a pencil popper around.  As I stood there in the water a small school of pogies swam right by my legs.  There were four or five adult pogies, a couple juveniles and some other small bait fish all schooling together.

Just after that school of pogies passed I had one of the largest Atlantic mackerel I have ever seen swim by right in front of me.  There's certainly no shortage of bait in the Canal at the moment!

Around 6:00AM bass began popping on the surface here and there.  By 6:30AM there was some serious tail slapping and surface explosions going on.  By 7AM more bass were passing by me on the surface - yet all were completely ignoring my plug.

Interestingly enough the bass that I saw were feeding on relatively small bait-especially compared to pogies and mackerel.  The fish I saw the stripers spraying out of the water were in the 2-5 inch range.  Maybe this is why they were so fussy and refused to hit my 6 inch long pencil popper.

I continued casting and dragging my plug right in front of their noses until 7:20AM when I had to call it quits and take care of some land based work.  I felt as if I could have put in just a bit more time I would have been rewarded-oh well, I got skunked!

I'm really looking forward to getting back down to the Canal ASAP.  I did see some impressive bass yesterday morning.  The fish that were slapping around on the surface had some really good size to them.

I've also been hearing quite a few reports and getting a decent amount of emails from folks who are themselves landing fish over 20 pounds.  And of course with more reports of big bass to the south of us (like that 70 pounder!) things could get good for the holiday weekend.

There's a ton of bait around and we have some decent tides to look forward to.  Some of the biggest bass caught this past week were taken during the middle of the afternoon which is somewhat unusual.

On top of that there's pictures in just about every bait shop in the area with guys (and some gals!) holding 20-30 pound fish.  Even my mom reported seeing someone carrying a bass back to their truck on her way to school.

Click here for more information about what to expect at the Canal this Memorial Day weekend.

Spring Time East Tides

Unfortunately I was skunked yesterday but I still had fun and feel as if it was definitely a good decision to go down to the Canal in the rain.  You just never know unless you go.

There's been a good amount of fish moving through the land cut this past week so hopefully it will continue through this weekend.  All too often a big batch of fish moves in and then moves out just before Memorial Day weekend, which is a big time bummer for folks traveling all the way to the Cape to fish the Canal.

If you are one of those folks I will cross my fingers for you that the bass stick around and more move in!

This time of the year the best tide for top water plugging at the Ditch (in my opinion) is the beginning of the east.  Right now this is occurring early in the morning, with the start of the east happening tomorrow at 6:18AM.

Yesterday the bass started feeding in the area I was fishing about an hour into the east tide.  I feel as if I would have eventually hooked up had I stayed down there longer but I guess I will never know.

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Smallest Fish of 2012 | May 21 Report

cape cod fishing reports

Garet with a future 50 pounder.

I met up with a good friend of mine yesterday to do some surf casting for striped bass.  Garet is a young man from Cape Cod who loves to fish, watch Boston sports and eat at Old Country Buffet.

A few seasons ago Garet joined me on a live eel night fishing expedition.  During that trip he boated 5 bass up to 32 pounds.  That was one heck of a trip that neither I or Garet will be forgetting anytime soon.

Garet was born with spina bifida, so it's a little difficult for him to sometimes get around/walk long distances etc.  We decided to hit up a spot that is easy to access and doesn't require long casts to catch a fish.  We both had a good feeling about the trip which was great.

Luckily the rain subsided but the fog was the thickest I have seen it all year.  The fog actually made for pretty cool and ideal shore fishing conditions.

cape cod fishing reports

Long casts aren't always necessary to catch fish when fishing back water creeks and tidal areas.

We set up shop at a narrow in a local creek and got to work.  We were banking on the incoming tide bringing in a fresh batch of fish from the open ocean.

I love fishing the back waters of creeks and tidal areas during the first part of the incoming tide.  All sorts of marine life will ride the current up into the estuary.  Opportunistic bass hop on the band wagon and are rewarded with a cornucopia of feeding opportunities.

In the past we have encountered some decent bass fishing utilizing this theory.  I've never caught anything incredibly enormous fishing backwater tidal creeks, but fish in the 30 inch range are not terribly uncommon.

A bass like that is what I was hoping for last night.

Around 7PM the tide began flowing in at a decent clip.  Once the current got moving the tidal pools and creek beds began to come alive.  A few birds were diving here and there and we would occasionally catch a glimpse of a bass as it made its way back into the creek.

We cast for a long time with nothing to show until I felt the smallest, nearly undetectable "bump."

"Was that a hit?" I remember thinking to myself.

A couple casts later I felt the same little bump, leaned back to set the hook and hooked into the first fish of the night.  After no more than 30 seconds I had the bass on the bank.

This guy might have measured 12 inches at most!  Hands down one of the smallest fish of the past couple of years.

A few casts later I hooked up again.  This fish might (emphasis on might!) have measured 8 inches.  This particular bass definitely takes the cake as the smallest striper I have seen in person since I was probably 14 or 15 years old.

Although we didn't catch anything with any size we still had a great time.  It's just nice to be able to fish in easily accessible areas where a 20 foot cast has the potential to produce a bass or two.

The fog on the drive home last night was absolutely unreal.  At times I had to slow down to a near stop just to see a street sign or the painted lines separating the lanes.  We've had some strange weather so far this week to say the least.

All in all a fun trip.

In other news I've been hearing great things about the Cape Cod Canal bite as of late.  A 46 pound bass was taken yesterday with many others in the 20 and 30 pound range.  Looks like this week's tides at the Canal could be productive.

I hope you are able to get out this week and find some fish.  If I can help in any capacity please let me know - I am just an email away.

Thanks as always for checking out the blog and good luck!

Take care,

Ryan

Best Trip of the Year So Far | May 20 Report

cape cod striped bass fishing reports

The Worcester crew killed it today!

If only every trip could be this fun and productive!

I met Anthony, Tom and Adrian this morning at 4AM.  The guys were all fired up and so was I.  We had picturesque, flat calm, crystal clear conditions.  Needless to say the morning had a ton of potential.

Both Tom and Adrian were looking for their first ever striped bass.  I had a good feeling that today may be their day, but I held back from saying anything because you just never know with fish.  Thankfully the bass cooperated!

We cruised out to this past week's mackerel hot spot and I gave the guys a quick lesson on jigging macks.  It took us a little bit to zone in on the mackerel but we were eventually able to load up the live well with big macks and a sea herring or two.

As the sun rose we eased into our first striper spot of the day.  I gave the guys a quick run down on how to fish the macks on light spinning gear and put them to work.

cape cod striped bass fishing report

A very productive 1st drift of the day! If only it was like this every day!

I could ramble on for hours about this report so I'll just cut to the chase.  Within 5 minutes the guys had 4 keepers, all between 36 and 38 inches flopping around on deck-amazing!

The bass were coming right up to the surface and smacking the mackerel.  Some of the macks would speed along on top, with a bass in close pursuit.  It was quite the show to say the least.

Both Tom and Adrian had caught their first ever striped bass (and nice size ones at that) and it was only 6AM.  Great start!

We continued drifting along, pitching live macks to the left and to the right.  All three guys quickly became accustomed to the technique and had no problem hooking bass.

Before we knew it we were almost in double digits, as far as keeper bass were concerned.  We had quite a few double hook ups which is always exciting.

Around 7:00AM we decided to make a big move and load up on more live bait.

The mackerel fishing this year has been stellar and I'm happy to say that it continued today.  We found macks way out deep beyond the fleet and had about 40-50 in no time.  With a chock full live well we headed back to the bite, hoping the fish were still around.

cape cod striped bass fishing report

Adrian with a beauty.

The tide had changed and the bass had moved but we were fortunately able to find them again in no time.  If only things worked out this well on every trip!

We had a much better class of fish to work with today-the average bass before 9AM was 35-38 inches.  The fish continued to put on quite the top water show, slamming and running with the macks, pulling line from the reels and putting bends in the rods.

The action began to slow mid morning until we made a move in tighter to shore.  By chance we happened to stumble upon a shoal that was absolutely paved with fish.

By now we had just dead baits but the stripers did not care one bit. We bounced dead mackerel along the bottom and had pick ups during each drift.

Due to equipment failure I rigged Adrian up with a light freshwater setup that is better suited for large mouths than stripers.  Sure enough the ultra-light setup produced, and Adrian had one hell of a time battling bass up to 20 pounds on the flimsy rod.

cape cod striped bass fishing report

A school of bass holding tight to the bottom in shallow water.

By 11:30AM we had landed somewhere in the vicinity of 25 keeper bass between 28 and 38 inches.  All of these fish were incredibly FAT with huge stomachs and good shoulders.  It was obvious that these fish had been feeding extremely well.

Today was hands down the best day we've had so far in 2012.  I can't wait to get back out there!

The great spring fishing on Cape Cod is showing no signs of slowing up.  Hopefully the bite will continue right on into summer.  For more information on today's hot spots and techniques, click here for the extended report.

Big thanks to Adrian, Tom and Anthony for making the long drive from Worcester.  I'm looking forward to getting back out there again with you guys soon.

Tight lines and take care!

Ryan

eCourse 8 | The Cows of Late October and Early November

During the Fall large schools of striped bass use the Canal as conduit to the south. Just like in the spring, bass use the Canal as a shortcut of sorts - a shortcut that just happens to often times be chock full of bait and prey items.

Each Fall is different. Some Falls produce incredible fishing while other Falls produce rather lack-luster action. I think the main variable influencing whether or not the Canal has a stellar Fall run is the amount of bait present in Cape Cod Bay, the Ditch itself and Buzzard's Bay.

If the bait is there then the bass will most likely show up. If the bait is not there then the bass may opt to head offshore and make the swim around the Outer Cape.

True cows (bass over the 30 pound mark in my book) need big bait to survive. These fish are most likely not going to survive by picking off 2 inch long sand eels or slurping down krill. They need mackerel, herring and menhaden to name but a few large prey items.

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Hot Top Water Action | Buzzard’s Bay Surfcasting Report May 17

striped bass fishing reports

I love finding and fishing brand new areas.

There's certainly nothing wrong with fishing the Cape Cod Canal or other well-known areas.  These spots are well-known for a reason.  They produce great fishing and big fish.

Yet in my opinion one of the best aspects of fishing Cape Cod is the plethora of incredible, virtually unknown fishing areas.  Almost every rock and sand bar on Cape Cod has the potential to at some point in time, produce great striped bass fishing.

The entire Cape is jam packed with productive fishing areas.  If you are feeling adventurous and would like to spend some time fishing away from the crowds, then pull up Google Earth and start poking around.

buzzards bay fishing report

You never know what you'll find surf casting. Here are two horse shoe crabs frolicking around just offshore.

Using Google Earth to find productive fishing spots is quickly becoming one of my favorite things to do.  Today I spent about 20 minutes zooming in and zooming out, scrolling east and west, tearing Cape Cod apart inch by inch.  Technology is absolutely amazing!

The problem was not finding a productive spot to fish, it was deciding which productive spot I felt like fishing.  Google Earth shows you every single sandbar, estuary and even individual boulders.  It really is awesome and I highly recommend it.  I've mentioned it before but I think I'll put together a handbook for how to find productive fishing spots using Google Earth.  I think that will be a good winter project for me.

My goal for today was to find an area that was really off the beaten path.  I wanted to find a spot completely devoid of other folks, in an area where I have never fished before.  Of course I also wanted to catch a fish, so I made sure to look for some good structure located by an estuary.  Good structure in close proximity to an estuary (that I think also had a herring run) is the fishing equivalent of a 1-2 punch.

With my spot selected I headed out with high hopes.

I asked my Dad if he felt like tagging along and to my surprise he agreed!  Since retiring he's usually busy riding around in his car, drinking coffee or taking a nap - so I was glad he decided to come.  Reminded me of when I was younger which was nice.

After a longer drive than usual we arrived at the spot.  A long dirt road winded to an abrupt end where we had just enough room to park the truck.  I think we both were impressed by just how gorgeous the scenery was.  A picture perfect beach path through the dunes lead the way to a boulder strewn beach.

These boulders were huge with some easily 8 or more feet in height.  It was an unforgiving terrain to say the least but it just wreaked of fish.

It only took three casts with a pencil popper to elicit the first strike of the day.  The bass caught me completely off guard and basically came hurdling out from behind an enormous boulder.  This fish put on quite the show and catapulted straight clear out of the water.  Unfortunately I completely missed him!

It was a shame because it was definitely a decent size bass in the 34-37 inch range.  Usually I wouldn't be so sure about my "guestimates" regarding size but this fish came completely out of the water no more than 25 feet in front of me.  I got a good look to say the absolute least!

fishing cape cod

A micro-schoolie that whacked a pencil popper up on top.

I continued wading around through the rocks and boulders, casting as I went.  Every 10 minutes or so I would get another SMACK! out of the blue as a decent bass came screaming to the surface to give the plug a whack.  I'm not sure exactly what was going on but I was having some serious trouble hooking a fish.

Finally as I rounded a nice big boulder I got smacked again and buried the hook into the bass.  After a 25 second battle (yes that's right - 25 seconds!) I had the fish on shore.  A whopping 20 incher!

The bass may not have compared to last week's 36 pounder but it still was fun to catch my first bass in a completely new area.

I continued casting and getting whacked by the occasional bass as I waded around.  My batting average today was not very good.  All in all I went 4 for 14.  4 hook ups out of 14 hits.

Even though the batting average suffered it was well worth it.  Nothing beats the excitement of watching a bass whack a top water plug.  I just can't put away the pencil poppers this year - it's just too much fun.  I'd imagine if I chose a swimmer I could have hooked the majority of the bass.

As the sun set over a flat calm Bay the action only got better.  My hook up ratio still stunk but at this point I didn't really care at all.  It was just an absolutely gorgeous evening in a brand new spot.  I'll definitely be venturing back here before the season is over.

For more information on the trip and the area fished click here.

fishing cape cod

The biggest bass of the night, caught just as the sun was setting.

Little Island

The conditions could not have been any better for a surf casting trip.

There was absolutely no wind, sunny skies and warm temperatures.  This is what fishing during May is all about!

Fortunately the bass were abound during this trip.  As previously mentioned I only caught 4 fish, however I had 14 good solid top water hits in under 2 hours of fishing.  The action definitely kept me on the tips of my toes.

The first bass that walloped the pencil popper was a better fish in the 34-37 inch range.  It would have been nice to have hooked that bass-maybe next time.

The area fished could definitely produce some bigger bass than the ones I caught last night.  It just feels fishy.  The spot has huge boulders, an estuary nearby and a surprisingly strong current.

I was fishing Little Island in Falmouth.  Little Island is basically not an island at all but is a peninsula that jets out into Buzzards Bay.  It's relatively small and could be walked around in well under an hour.  There are numerous trails winding through the "island" - definitely a great place to go for a hike.

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Live Mack Barnstable Harbor Spring-time Bite

This guy engulfed this poor mackerel.

It's an exciting time of the season to go fishing off Cape Cod.

I heard numerous reports today of guys catching over 400 pounds of mackerel.  That is a TON of mackerel.  I can only imagine how messy their boats were!

Mackerel infiltrate the waters around Cape Cod each spring.  However some springs are far better than others.  Last year's mackerel run was rather dismal if I remember correctly.  It's great to have so many of these colorful speedsters around this year.

Sometimes I spend a couple hours trying to find and jig up enough live macks for a spring time striped bass fishing trip.  Yet this year the average time spent mackerel jigging has been less than 30 minutes.  I don't know how long this sort of action will hold up, however it is showing no signs of slowing down at the moment.

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eCourse 7 | Night Fishing during the Dog Days of Summer

During May and June the Canal sees a lot of migrating striped bass. Big pushes of bass occur every week or so, with thousands of stripers moving through the Canal. The surface and day time fishing can be extremely good during this early part of the fishing season.

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