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First Striped Bass of the Year Reported off Cape Cod

Update - My Fishing Cape Cod will be expanding this season by offering in-depth, detailed and accurate Cape Cod fishing reports to subscribed member.  To become a member today for $1, click here.  As always, thank you for the great support!

They're here!

Rumors have been flying around for a few days now about fresh, migratory schoolie striped bass being caught at specific locations off the southern side of Cape Cod.  I'm usually pretty skeptical with regards to these first reports, especially considering the latest bluefish report  (which I believe was an April Fool's joke).

However these latest striped bass reports are no joke.

For the past few weeks good striped bass fishing has been reported off Connecticut and Rhode Island.  Apparently over the past few days the most adventurous of these bass have decided to head even further north and are now within reach of Cape Cod anglers.

The news isn't terribly surprising, considering how warm this past winter was.  Water temperatures are way above normal and have been for months.  Could these warmer than usual water temps spark an earlier than typical spring migration for striped bass?

So far it appear so.

Click here for the full report.

Man does it feel good to be writing fishing reports again!

Tight lines and best of luck with these early season micro-schoolies,


Stellwagen Bank’s Incredible Fishery

Ryan Collins

Stellwagen Bank is one of the coolest places to wet a line on Cape Cod. You never know what you might encounter!

The Bank is located about 19 miles from Plymouth, 27 miles from the Cape Cod Canal and 6 or so miles from Provincetown.  That is relatively close to shore as far as tuna fishing is concerned.

For example where I fish in Costa Rica, boats regularly make runs of 50-80 miles offshore to find tuna.

According to NOAA, Stellwagen is the result of the retreat of the last great ice sheet - the Laurentide Ice Sheet.  Odds are that the same ice sheet is responsible for the formation of Cape Cod.  

The Stellwagen Bank of today is the result of 25,000 years of geological activity.

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Spring Time at the Cape Cod Canal

The spring-time arrival of the striped bass at the Cape Cod Canal is one of the most highly anticipated fishing events of the entire season. Six long months of no striped bass is quickly replaced by top water blitzes, beautiful mornings and fantastic striped bass fishing.

The first striped bass of the year at the Canal generally arrive early in May and are typically on the smaller side.

A lot of guys do pretty well on these small fish which is great. However I usually find myself fishing estuaries and the beachfront during the first week of May. I tend to wait and fish the Canal when the bigger bass begin to filter though.

These much larger striped bass pass through the Canal beginning at some point in mid-May. By the end of the month a steady stream of 15-60 pound striped bass are filtering into and out of the land cut.

Most of these schools of striped bass are using the Canal for feeding and migration purposes. Over the past few springs the Canal has boasted astounding amounts of mackerel, herring and menhaden during the spring. Couple these forage fish with the lobsters, crabs and other Canal creatures roaming the bottom and the table is set for epic striped bass fishing. In addition to great feeding opportunities the Cape Cod Canal also significantly reduces the overall mileage that these fish need to log in order to reach their summer feeding grounds. To put it simply, the Cape Cod Canal is a food-filled shortcut that large schools of striped bass find very alluring.

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Martha’s Vineyard | Squibnocket Beach

I remember starting to feel a little nervous as we trudged along the Vineyard Sound side of the Elizabeth Islands towards Woods Hole. We had enjoyed a beautiful flat calm morning, but now the prevailing summer southwest breeze had kicked up to over 20 knots.

What that translated into was a steady diet of 2-4 foot waves. 2-4 foot waves does not present much of a problem for many larger, deep V vessels, however at the time we were stuck in a small, flat bottom Carolina Skiff. Believe me when I tell you that 2-4 foot waves in a small, flat bottom skiff is an absolute nightmare.

It took us a good 5 hours to reach Woods Hole. Unfortunately the tide was running against the wind, which created even scarier sea conditions. Whenever a strong tide or current is running against a stiff breeze, sea conditions worsen and the potential for standing waves and abnormally large waves increases.

With life jackets securely fastened we entered some of the worst sea conditions I have ever experienced. If we were lucky the skiff would ride up the face of a wave and down the backside without any problem. However every 30 seconds or so we'd hear a large bang! as the flat bottom hull caught a wave the wrong way. This of course resonated through the entire skiff and crew, throwing everyone off balance and drenching my father, myself and my friend Jason with sea water.

Finally after 6 hours of trudging along we reached Green Harbor in Falmouth. Our 3 hour tour had turned into a day long trek back to safety. We had successfully missed baseball practice and given my mom quite the scare. It had been one of my first Vineyard Sound fishing experiences, and needless to say I was not terribly eager to fish the area again anytime soon.

However I knew that Vineyard Sound produced a lot of big bass. I was 14 or 15 years old at the time and I was determined to get in on the incredible fishing I had read and heard about. During this time the chum and chunk and yo-yo bite off the Vineyard was in full swing. A family friend of ours would torment me with incredible stories about acres of big bass, slurping down chunks of pogie with such aggression and vigor that you could literally "hear them slurping" once the bite got going.

Of course at the time I had absolutely no idea how to catch striped bass chunking or yo-yoing. I still consider myself a rookie chunker and I have never caught a bass yo-yoing. Yet there is something exciting about fishing a completely new area via a completely new technique.

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Cape Cod’s Early Season Striped Bass Fishing Hot Spots

Could the weather have been any better this winter?

I feel as if the winter never really happened here on Cape Cod, or really anywhere in New England for that matter.  As I write this I am enjoying a nice "spring-like" breeze that is blowing through many of the open windows in the house.  It's 50 plus degrees and sunny at the moment with tomorrow's temperatures expected to be in the mid 60's.  Unreal!

The warm winter weather has kept water temperatures well above normal.  From what I have heard Cape Cod Bay is about 2-3 degrees warmer than usual for this time of the year.  How this will affect the 2012 saltwater fishing season is yet to be determined.

Some folks believe that this year's fishing will be a little off due to the extraordinarily warm winter we have been having.  However all current signs seem to be pointing to the contrary.

I'm really looking forward to this season because it will be my first year of providing in-depth and detailed Cape Cod fishing reports for subscribers to the blog.  To access premium fishing reports during the 2012 season, considering becoming a member.  Right now you can sign up for just $1.

Click here to check it out.

I'm also looking forward to this season because I think the incredibly high amount of whale and dolphin activity this past winter in Cape Cod Bay bodes extremely well for the upcoming striped bass season.

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Snow Storm Striped Bass – a 2011 Reader Story

Well we have crossed the mid-way point of the winter, which means we only have around 2.5 months until the first stripers of 2012 will be trickling into Cape Cod's waters.  To help get through these tough last couple of months, here's a story from Captain Paul Peluso about a late October 2011 trip.

Hopefully we'll see plenty of bass like the one below in 2012!

If you have a story and photo from an awesome 2011 trip that you'd like to share, feel free to send it along to

Take care,


Submitted by Captain Paul Peluso

With the pending Big Nor’easter coming I made the 5 AM call to try a sneak a trip in before the heavy rain and wind. Sent a few messages out, had Neil respond and Junior on standby. Junior, who just the other day landed a nice 26 lb striper was surf fishing from the East Jetty all night long with no luck.

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Yellowfin Tuna and Blue Marlin with Captain Paul Peluso

We all love fishing in the Northeast, but sometimes you just have to get away.  Of course getting away is a lot more exciting when big yellowfin tuna and blue marlin are in the mix.

Here's a quick recap of a phenomenal trip off Puerto Vallarta.  Brought to you by Captain Paul Peluso of MamaMia Charters-based out of Great South Bay, NY.


By Captain Paul Peluso

Fished on the Maximus out of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on a 4 days tuna trip.

On the first morning we hooked into a 300lb Blue marlin right as we got to the Tres Marias Islands. The next fish on the troll was a YFT over 200.

We then decided to deploy the kites and flat lines. Over the next 2 days we had at least 1 fish on almost all day and at one point we had 4 or 5 on. Total to the boat was about 30 fish some close to if not over the 300lb mark. Most of the fish were over the 175 mark and a few were in the 60-70lb range. Everyone in our group had their personal best yellowfin tuna.

cape cod fishing reports


Ugly Stick Tiger | for tube and worm trolling

I've used a variety of different trolling rods over the years. Some of these rods have cost well over $100, while other rods were less than $30. I used to justify the cost of the more expensive rods by telling myself they would last longer, or that I could use them with wire line if I ever chose to do that.

To be completely honest, I have had more success with my $30 Wal-Mart special than I have with any custom wrapped, carboloy guides, more expensive rod. Maybe I've just been lucky, but when trolling the tube and worm, choice of rod is not as important as choice of reel-at least for me.

I think it's more important to look for specific qualities in a tube and worm trolling rod, as opposed to the price tag. Actually, now that I think about it, there really are only a few pet peeves that drive me a bit crazy when it comes to trolling rods. So instead of me telling you what to buy, let me recommend what not to buy, when it comes to a tube and worm rod.

Listed below are some things to look for, and subsequently avoid purchasing, the next time you are shopping for a trolling rod.

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Penn 440ssg Spinning Reel

When trolling tubes via braided line, I like to experiment with spinning reels. Again, I purchase equipment that I can use to fulfill more than one purpose. In other words, the spinning reels I use to troll tubes are the same spinning reels I use to cast plugs and live eels.

Because of line capacity constraints, I will only troll tubes via braid on spinning reels when the fish are holding shallow. I don't feel comfortable having half a spool of braid in the water, especially when trolling with a light spinning setup. I will admit that it is a ton of fun catching big bass using these small spinning reels.

I use the Penn 440SSG spinning reel for casting lures, eels and trolling tubes via braid while on the boat. I'll also use it from shore unless I am fishing the Cape Cod Canal.

Here are a few reasons why I use this reel:

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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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