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Fishing the Cape Cod Canal for Big Striped Bass

The Cape Cod Canal is one of the most challenging and rewarding places along the entire East Coast of the United States to fish for striped bass. Few locations on earth offer the shore bound angler a better chance at hooking a bass in the 40 pound range.

The man-made land cut has produced spectacular fishing the past few seasons. The spring run of big striped bass has been just as impressive, if not more impressive than the famed autumn migration.

If this spring is anything like the spring of 2010, impressive schools of trophy size striped bass should enter the canal over the upcoming weeks. For the Barnstable angler, the 25 minute drive to the “Big Ditch,” as it is referred to by canal regulars, could very well produce some of the biggest bass of the season.

Fishing Cape Cod

This 35 pound striped bass came on a topwater plug during a windy morning at the Cape Cod Canal.

Timing is Everything

The canal will support a population of striped bass from May through October.  But to really cash in on great canal fishing, a fisherman needs to be at the canal when a large biomass of striped bass moves through the land cut.

Unfortunately, it is inherently difficult to predict when this will occur.  However it can help to stay up to date on Vineyard Sound and Buzzards Bay fishing reports.  Stories of large schools of surface feeding striped bass in Buzzards Bay will often trickle in a few days to a week prior to a canal blitz.

These fish are on a northward migration pattern that often brings them directly through the Cape Cod Canal - as opposed to the longer trip around the arm of the Cape.  At this time of the year the canal is filled with herring, mackerel, whiting and a plethora of other prey items.  The canal naturally sets the stage for a world class fishing opportunity.

Top-notch fishing seems to occur...[join MFCC to read the full article]

  1. Good read, went to Mass Maritime a long time ago. Novice at fishing but hope to nail some strippers this fall.

    1. It’s been a great year Mark! Excited to see what fall brings.

      Keep us posted with how things go.


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