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Catching Striped Bass During December On Cape Cod

Ryan Collins

On Saturday December 1st the air was crisp and cool as I hopped out of my truck and prepared my tackle and equipment. I couldn't help but think of how winter is looming just on the horizon.

December is most certainly not a prime month for striped bass fishing on Cape Cod. 99% of stripers have migrated south for the winter. 

Yet here I was, walking down a wooded path with leaves crunching beneath my boots, in search of the rare and elusive "winter striped bass." 


I had no clue whether or not I would catch any fish. To be honest it just felt wonderful to be outside in the fresh cool air, surrounded by nature. Catching a striper during this trip would be a real bonus.

Nevertheless I was confident in my chances, because over the past 15 years I have been hunting down and discovering places on Cape Cod where striped bass winter-over. The tide was right, and the wind was dead calm, as I made my way out of the woods and towards the water.

Several small flocks of sea ducks scattered from the saltwater into the sky, spooked by my sudden appearance. 

After a 20 minute walk I had arrived at the spot. There was no visible signs of stripers in the area, no birds diving, bait spraying, fish swirling or breaking the surface - yet I had a feeling there might be a few around.

I made four casts throughout the area without so much as a sniff, but on my fifth cast I felt a sudden and solid THUMP which could only be one thing - a striper!

  1. Ryan, how deep is the water where holdovers might be? Do the holdovers come on and out with the tide or do they stay tucked away in holes deep into an estuary?

    1. Hey Leslie, let’s continue this discussion in our forum. Here’s a link 👍🏻

  2. Excellent! I need to get out there!

    1. Good luck if you go! Pray for a mild winter!

  3. Thanks for the report –
    Reminds me of a couple of places nearby that
    I should try –
    Good info on the lure –

    1. That lure has always worked great for holdover schoolies. Gluck Ron!

  4. Nice!
    One of my goals this year. Thanks for the lure tip!

    1. No prob Warren. LMK if you get some winter stripers 🎣🎣🎣


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