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December 12th Striped Bass Report

Ryan Collins

The weather so far this December on Cape Cod has been pretty phenomenal. This is especially true when compared to all the rain and wind we experienced during November.

Today was another beautifully crisp and refreshing day, with plenty of bright sunshine and not much wind. It was a gorgeous day to be outside.

I awoke today just before sunrise in order to complete some work on my computer. By 9AM I had accomplished what I needed to accomplish, so I dropped everything I was doing, packed up the truck with fishing gear and headed out.


Upon arrival at the spot I noticed plenty of snow and ice on the ground. Apparently this area of Cape Cod received a dusting of snow overnight - the first snow I've personally seen so far this year!

As I walked through the woods I kept my eyes open for animals. With less people around on Cape, the wintertime is primetime for spotting snowy owls, deer, coyotes, fox and other critters. 

I didn't get it on camera, but I did see a medium size owl swoop down from a tree and fly over my head. It was not a snowy owl (which are all white in color) but a darker brown variety, perhaps a barn owl. 

As you can see from the picture above there was not a single cloud in the entire sky. The fresh winter air felt amazing in my lungs. Now if only I could find a striper or two, then that would be the true icing on the cake!

Last week I found plenty of striped bass in this spot, however even holdover stripers will move and change locations every so often. Just because I caught stripers here last week, didn't mean it was guaranteed I would catch them today.

Cattails swayed in the wind as I trekked my way through mud and muck to where I anticipated the stripers might be. There are not many stripers left on Cape Cod (most have migrated south for the winter) but there are a few.

Before I made a cast I noticed a pair of ospreys circling overhead. I wondered if these ospreys were also fishing for stripers. I figured if the ospreys were here, then this was probably a good spot.

I made a cast into the water and allowed my lure to sink to the bottom before beginning a super slow retrieve. About half way into my retrieve I felt a solid THUMP which could only mean one thing. Fish on!

  1. Ryan, in the late 90’s I often fished ——- during the winter for hold overs. I used a 5wt fly rod with a short lead core sink tip and did quite well in some of the holes. Is this still a fishery!?

    1. Hi Steve 👋Yes the area you used to fish back in the 90’s is still a fishery. Maybe not as productive, but there are still fish in there.

  2. Nice little trip Ryan! Beautiful day. Kind of feel bad for that little schoolie left on his own. Makes me wonder why some fish get stuck or lost and don’t migrate. I have a goal to hunt for holdovers this winter! Looking forward to getting out there soon!

    1. Hopefully that fish meets up with a big school of friends shortly! LOL I am sure there were more fish around somewhere nearby, but I just didn’t find them. It is a bit of a mystery why they hold over, but I would imagine that for some reason that fish feels his chances of survival are better here, than migrating south.


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