I was browsing through our forum the other day and came across a thread I thought might be useful to share here on the blog.
This thread highlighted some of the "hottest" lures and techniques, used by My Fishing Cape Cod members during the 2016 season.
The following list contains 8 of the most effective plugs, lures and techniques used last season by MFCC members, when chasing striped bass from shore, boat and at the Cape Cod Canal.
#8: Jumping Minnow in white
The white (bone colored) Rebel Jumpin' Minnow was recommended to us by MFCC member and Martha's Vineyard surfcaster Brian McCarty.
In addition to the Jumping Minnow, Brian (pictured on the left) also experienced success last year using white darters, white SP Minnows, white Slug-Go's and white Albie Snax.
#7: Bucktail jig
Without a doubt bucktail jigs caught a ton of fish this season (as they always do) at the Cape Cod Canal, from the beaches and at the islands.
The bucktail above is a homemade job by our very own Ned Bean (pictured left), who used chartreuse jigs with success along the beaches of Martha's Vineyard.
Ned being the generous fisherman he is, also gave several of his jigs to myself and other My Fishing Cape Codders like Dex Chadsey, Jane Simpson and Alberto Pina who used Ned's jigs with success on Cape and at the Canal.
#6: "Mini" Needlefish
One of my personal "go to" plugs this season was the Nantucket Needlefish created by the late Tony Stetzko.
Other MFCC members such as Brian Genovesi did well using Beachmaster Needlefish. Brian actually caught most of his bass from the rocks of Maine.
#5: Blurple Daiwa SP Minnow
For me personally, I typically go with black or white plugs and lures at night. When trolling tube & worm at night, I always choose black.
However during this 2016 surfcasting trip, MFCC intern Andrew Burke (pictured on the left) demonstrated how effective a blend of black & purple can be when fishing at night.
I heard similar reports from MFCC members Ryan Turcotte, Matt Bach and Dex Chadsey. When fishing at night, the blurple color out-fished white 3-1.
#4: Conrad Jr. Eel Skin
The man who goes by "Frank Zappa" in our forum is "a creature of habit" who mostly fishes homemade plugs he has personally made himself. Specifically, the Conrad Jr. Eel Skin is a legendary difficult-to-find plug which is only produced by individual plug builders.
According to Frank, "Every year there seems to be a specific plug that outshines others. This year it was the eelskin Conrad Jr. which is a great night time plug.
"I found myself fishing it along side my buds while they drifted live eels. I also had a morning where I out fished guys on either side of me using magic swimmers at daybreak. That was a very satisfying morning."
#3: Live Mackerel, Eels, Pogies
For MFCC member Steve O'Malley, the 2016 season was all about live-lining. Steve did well from June through September, using different live baits such as mackerel, eels and pogies.
According to Steve...
"I learned that bass will take just about any live bait, almost anytime. Even when there was no sign of fish, many times I dropped a live bait in a deep channel or rocky area and hooked up pretty quickly.
"I was also surprised to find barely keeper sized bass taking huge live baits."
#2: Green Mack Savage Sandeel
Savage Sandeels have become super popular the past several seasons at the Cape Cod Canal.
Specifically, the Green Mack Savage Sandeel worked very well for MFCC member and Red Top Sporting Goods associate Hayden Gallagher.
Savage Sandeels can be jigged along the bottom, worked through the middle of the water column, or quickly retrieved just beneath the surface.
#1: Dead Eels
This year I invested more time than usual fishing weed beds and boulder fields from my boat and from shore.
In these areas, live eels will often head straight for the bottom and bury me in a mess of rocks and weeds. During 2016 I began "skipping" dead eels across the surface of weed beds and around boulders.
This type of retrieve was similar to largemouth bass fishing by working a frog lure through lily pads.
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!