June 30 2020

Topwater Striped Bass | Heart-Pounding Doc Footage!


ryan collins my fishing cape cod breakfast

Catching fish on a topwater lure is, without a doubt, one of the most exciting ways to catch a fish! This rings true for species across the globe.

Here on Cape Cod it's possible to catch tuna and other species on topwater lures. However, targeting big striped bass is definitely the most popular.

The following clip was filmed earlier in June, and captures the most heart-pounding moment of my 2020 season thus far. I hope after watching this video you'll have a clearer understanding of how stripers track and attack topwater lures.


Please click play below to check it out! ?

*Members of My Fishing Cape Cod can watch more drone, wildlife and nature videos by clicking here.

During this trip I was fishing with My Fishing Cape Cod member Alex Ridgway. In the video Alex is casting a 7 inch Lil Doc, which is an extremely effective spook-style lure.

The most effective way to work a spook is by zig-zagging the lure from left to right across the surface.

Sometimes it's best to work the Doc real slow, and other times it's best to work the Dock quickly. It can pay to experiment.

I hope you enjoyed this video clip as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you. Be safe and have fun this July Fourth Weekend! ??

If you are able to get out fishing, then good luck, and please let me know how things go.

PS - Members of My Fishing Cape Cod can watch more drone, wildlife and nature videos by clicking here.

Tight lines! ?

What do you think about this video clip?

Please let me know by commenting below!

  • Nice footage, awesome production … captured the scene perfectly.

    I would have slowed down the retrieve some, and maybe downsized to a Hydropencil … like the one I was using yesterday at the Rips …

  • That is a new way to fish Ryan!!! Topwater drone fishing for Strioers.
    Only thing better would be doing it in February in Costa Rico. If you bring the drone, I’ll book the charter!

  • Hi Ryan,
    Cool footage. Does the drone scare off the fish if you get too close to the water? I would think that they would see it as a predator bird and be spooked off of the bite. Did you try fishing same spot without drone?

    • Hey Andrew,

      The fish don’t seem to mind the drone. I’ve gotten it very close (3-4ft) above the water and the bass are pretty slow to spook. Oftentimes they don’t spook at all. I think they believe it’s a tern or a sea gull.

      Yes we have fished the same spot without the drone. The bass are just incredibly finicky and difficult to catch in this particular area.

      Thanks for watching and LMK if you have any other questions! ?

  • Amazing stuff, once again. The soundtrack is perfect, though I would also very much like to hear the conversation between you two when this was happening. Were you able to see the video well enough to tell him what was going on?

    • Glad you liked that video Jim!

      Yes I was able to tell Alex what was going on. It was pretty cool! We had some pretty good conversation going. I will include the conversation (as well as a bunch more footage) in season 5 of My Fishing Cape Cod TV, which will air during the winter of 2021.

      Keep me posted with any other questions. I hope you have been finding some fish of your own out there! ?

  • Ryan, that’s a great video! Without the drone flying above one would never know how many bass that the Doc passed over! Not being a drone operator and not having to buy a new drone how close to the water can one fly over the Doc as the lure is coming in?

    • That’s exactly right Martin. In the past I would probably have imagined there were a few fish around, based on the swirls and hits. However, I never would have guessed just how many fish were out there, until I started seeing things from above. Now I know what the birds are looking at!

      I’ve gotten the drone to about 4 feet above the water. I don’t risk bringing it any closer. Water and drones don’t mix too well, lol. ?

  • Unbelievably awesome footage, wow !!! Plus that was the perfect music choice. I think I see a tv career in your future Ryan. For me that video was gold.

    Have to ask what Dex asked. I can see them hitting and missing the Lil Doc. As I watched, I thought would just try a pause and see if that gets them to eat. I almost thought you guys were hookless and looking for footage vs catching them.

    Anyways, these videos are fun and very informative. I’m not sure where else I could have seen that ?

    • Glad you liked the video Steve. I was honestly shocked as I was watching this all occur. I’m just happy I didn’t crash the drone into the ocean, because I was almost shaking with excitement while filming! LOL.

      Throughout this trip we tried pausing the Doc many times. We tried super slow retrieves, super fast retrieves, and just about anything else you could imagine. The bass were extremely finicky and difficult to catch.

      Keep me posted with any other questions, and thanks as always for watching and reading MFCC! ??

  • That lock on drone feature is so cool! Interesting how the biggest fish in the group often gets to the lure first. Did you try stopping the Doc during the retrieve and letting it sit for 10 – 20 seconds? So cool seeing the large concentration bass near the surface. Slurping Bay Anchovies?
    I am really enjoying the latest videos you have been sharing. Gives great insight into bass behavior

    • For this clip, I was not using the lock-on feature. I was following the plug using the joysticks on the controller. It was very challenging but fun. Somewhat similar to playing a video game! LOL.

      We did not try letting the Doc sit for 10-20 seconds. We did try letting it sit for just a second or two. Overall the fish were very finicky and difficult to catch.

      I think the bass were exhibiting “shoaling” behavior. I feel they were more or less just relaxing, and hanging out. I don’t think they were actively feeding.

      LMK if you have any other questions. I’m glad these vids are giving you good insight into bass behavior. They are fascinating fish!

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