The most epic Cape Cod Canal striped bass fishing season in recent memory began in 2017 during the second week of May.
It started with news of a mammoth 60+ pound striper which was caught somewhere in Buzzard’s Bay. Soon that school of trophy-size fish swam north, passing Mass Maritime Academy and entering the canal’s landcut.
It was difficult to keep the news from getting out. Members here on My Fishing Cape Cod may of gotten an early jump on the action, but it was just a matter of one or two days until photos of huge fish and crazy topwater blitzes filled the newsfeeds of people’s Facebook and Instagram accounts.
The first big push of fish stuck around for maybe a week, before exiting the canal as suddenly as they showed up. Where the fish went next is a bit of a mystery, but my guess is that at least a portion of that magnificent school spent the next week feeding in the deep water between Barnstable Harbor and Billingsgate Shoal, before once again disappearing to “who knows where.”
For the canal rats, it was not long until another big school of migratory bass appeared in the Cape Cod Canal. This next school was even larger than the first, and they would soon enter into a somewhat “predictable” pattern, as they settled into the canal for what was virtually the entire summer.