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!
I’m fortunate to have grown up on the beach, and I’ve been fishing since kindergarten. I have great family, friends and fishing experiences to be thankful for. Just being out there is enough-catching fish is just a bonus!