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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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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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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.

fishing cape cod

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!

The summertime fishing at Provincetown has since not been as productive as that one special year.  Will the same thing happen to Chatham during 2012?  Only time will tell, however it is likely that at some point other Cape Cod fishing areas will light up as the Chatham bio-masses of striped bass infiltrate new areas.

Until that happens, Chatham fishermen have a lot to be happy about.  Millions of sand eels have kept the bass and tuna happy over the past two years.  This past fall the school tuna fishing off Chatham was nothing short of remarkable, with some captains recording double digit hook ups on multiple outings.

fishing cape cod

The striped bass fleet hammering away outside Chatham Inlet.

Often times these bluefins were located incredibly close to shore.  I am sure more than one angler hooked up with a tuna while bass fishing during 2011.

These sand eels attract a lot of attention from top predators and for good reason.  These are not your typical 3-4 inch long baby sand lances.  These sand eels are monstrous, Sharpie marker thick goliaths.

This makes for great top-water action during the early mornings.  I didn't really participate in the bite during 2011 however from what I heard the top-water action was often times downright nutty.  Catching 20 or 30 keepers on plugs in a matter of  just a couple of hours was not uncommon.

After the morning top-water bite settled down, most folks switch to wire line jigging or vertical jigging with diamond jigs.  Both methods work, however be prepared to sweat it out with the wire unless you want to invest in electric reels.  Keeping those jigs bouncing right along the bottom is key, which usually means a lot of wire is necessary to do the job properly.

Chatham may sound like an angler's paradise however there are a few drawbacks to fishing the area.

Seals have managed to successfully decimate the shore bound anglers chances of getting in on the action.  Surfcasting the outer cape has become progressively more difficult as seals scare bass away from their near-shore haunts.

Dogfish are also a big time nuisance.  Millions upon millions of dogs invade Chatham (as well as most Cape Cod fishing areas) throughout the fishing season.  Be prepared to deal with at least a few doggies if you switch to live eels or vertical jigging.  Be sure to watch out for their spines.

The dogfish spine will easily penetrate your skin and cause your blood to gush uncontrollably.  I was hit with a dogfish spine a few years ago and within an instant the punctured area swelled up to the size of golf ball and squirted blood like there was no tomorrow!

Access is also difficult and at times dangerous.  The parking at Ryder's Cove can be a challenge to say the least, and the standing waves at Chatham inlet can be daunting at times.  The long jaunt around Monomoy can be difficult due to miles of rips, shoals and dense fog.  Be aware that you are fishing the open ocean and that seas can build quickly and without warning.

But on a nice day fishing off Chatham is an experience unlike any other.

Tight lines and take care,

Ryan

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