Over the past four days I've fished with 12 members of My Fishing Cape Cod. We've fly fished, surf cast, and live-lined mackerel to stripers of up to 40lbs.
These trips are part of the limited number of custom guided trips I am offering this season to My Fishing Cape Cod members. These trips are a great opportunity to not just catch fish, but to also learn about different techniques and areas!
My latest batch of trips began extremely early on Wednesday morning (as in 12:45am early). MFCC member Aaron Perlmutter and I met up at 2am and hiked out in the pitch dark of the night to one of my favorite beaches on Cape Cod.
Wednesday June 20
Fly Fishing The Beach
The reason for the early start was because I wanted Aaron and I to arrive in time to catch the 5:30am high tide. I figured our best chance of catching some nice stripers on the fly would occur between 3:30am and 7:30am.
Things got off to a quick start and upon arrival at our second location along a deserted beach, Aaron reported feeling a bite. About 20 minutes later I felt a strong and sudden tug on the end of my fly line, and with a quick strip set I was on!
I could not believe how much line this bass was taking. Instantly I knew this was by far the largest bass I've caught from shore on the fly rod so far this season. About 5 minutes later and I had her up on the beach.
This bass put up a great fight on my 9 weight fly rod. Special thanks to Dave Steeves from the Goose Hummock Shop in Orleans for outfitting me with the right fly fishing gear for targeting stripers on Cape Cod.
Aaron and I were pumped! In the early light of false dawn we could see more swirls and surface commotion from what appeared to be a school of stripers moving quickly down the beach. We gave chase and Aaron was able to hook up.
Aaron Perlmutter loves to fly fish from shore, and chase stripers and bluefin tuna from his boat. He's been a member of MFCC since 2016.
The fish took Aaron to the reel so we knew it was decent size. Unfortunately the hooks pulled, and to my disbelief the school of bass disappeared soon thereafter.
Aaron and I spent the next 5 hours hiking and fly fishing a total of nearly 6.75 miles of shoreline. Aaron has spent a considerable amount of time hiking the mountains of Nepal, so logging in the hours and miles during this trip proved to be no problem.
The bass proved challenging during this trip, but Aaron and I still had a great time hiking the Cape's shoreline together.
We had a great time and were able to catch one bass of 30 inches from shore on the fly rod, had several missed and lost fish, and had about a dozen more chances with finicky bass swirling on the surface.
We might not of caught a ton of fish during this trip, but we did explore over 6 miles of some of the Cape's most beautiful coastline.
Thursday June 21
My Fishing Cape Cod TV
At 12:00pm the next day I met up with my fishing buddy Jason Mazzola, MFCC TV director Shane Uriot, Evan Schneider of Hop Top Films, MFCC member Ryan Turcotte, MFCC member Aaron Permlutter, MFCC intern Andrew Burke, and Tyler Adams from the Goose Hummock Shops.
Our goal was to film a new episode for season #2 of My Fishing Cape Cod TV, which will air on NBC SportsBOSTON starting in January of 2019. Our idea was to show people how to catch Atlantic mackerel, and how to live-line them to stripers using circle hooks.
During this trip we found plenty of mackerel in 55 feet of water, just north of the area shown below in the map.
The shoot went great!
We ended up catching about 15 striped bass between 25 and 35 inches in the area shown in the map below.
Size 5/0 Gamakatsu circle hooks did their job well.
13 of the bass were hooked somewhere near the corner of the mouth, with only 2 fish being hooked somewhat deep in the throat.
All of the fish during this episode were caught and released using circle hooks. You'll be able to watch this episode on NBC SportsBOSTON starting in January of 2019.
The guys also caught some awesome video footage of the Cape's beautiful scenery. I'm already looking forward to watching this episode during next winter, and stay tuned for a new "behind the scenes" blog post about this trip coming soon from MFCC intern & content creator, Andrew Burke.
Friday Morning June 22 | MFCC Group Trip
On Friday at 5:30am I met MFCC members Mike Marcus, Dick Glockner, Larry Campbell and Darren Jacobs at the boat ramp shown below.
Before we launched, MFCC Larry Campbell was generous to give me a super cool metal rendition of a 40 inch plus striped bass, which will soon be added as a new prize to our 2018 Derby!
The wind was blowing about 10mph from the east, so there was a bit of a chop on the water. Yet Cullen's 27' Conch handled the seas as good as any boat could, and in about 45 minutes we reached our destination where we quickly loaded up the live well with tinker, to forearm size, Atlantic mackerel.
For the next 2.5 hours we searched up and down the coast for signs of striped bass. Cullen called his charter friends for updates, and we listened to the radio. It was quiet, with no visible cues of striped bass anywhere in the area.
Then at around 8:30am we marked the largest school of stripers I've seen all season on the sonar. Everyone immediately took a cast and everyone either hooked up or got slammed by big fish right on the surface.
Darren Jacobs (left), Larry Campbell (center) and Mike Marcus (right) have all been members of My Fishing Cape Cod for several years.
Notice the circle hook embedded in the corner of the striper's mouth. Circle hooks make catch and release much easier.
Dick Glockner (right) has been a member of My Fishing Cape Cod since 2014. He goes on at least 6 MFCC group trips each season, and is particularly skilled in live bait fishing.
All of our group trips with captain Cullen (left) are currently sold out, but stay tuned later this summer for more potential dates.
From there until 11am the bite was ridiculous. Bass from 32-47 inches were caught using live mackerel and an assortment of plugs.
You can learn more about the general area where we were fishing, by viewing the map below.
It was the craziest bite I've witnessed all season long, and I was PUMPED to be able to share the experience with captain Cullen and four fantastic members of My Fishing Cape Cod!
Friday Evening June 22 |
At 5:30pm the same day, after catching dozens of huge stripers during our early morning group trip, I met up with MFCC members John Steele, Tom Howie and his 10 year old son Tommy.
Our plan was to hike and surf cast the beach at night.
John Steele joined My Fishing Cape Cod about a month ago. He usually fishes from shore in the Harwich area. John also recently got engaged - congrats buddy!
As we walked the coastline I provided as much advice and tips about finding stripers from shore as I possibly could. However by 8:30pm we were still yet to find any fish!
I was starting to worry that the bass might just not show up.
Then the action suddenly picked up. Once it got dark a school of bass settled in extremely close to shore (virtually right at our feet). John was the first to hook up!
Throughout the trip John mentioned on numerous occasions how appreciative he is of the help he has received so far from the My Fishing Cape Cod community - thank you to all the members who have helped John out!
Soon thereafter both Tom and his son Tommy had fish on the line!
Tommy has the most upbeat and positive attitude of any 10 year old I've ever met!
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Tom and Tommie both caught their first ever stripers from the beach during this trip, which I was pumped about. Yet nothing could of prepared me for what was about to happen next.
At around 9:45pm I heard yelling and noticed a big commotion over where Tom and his son were fishing. I ran out of the water as fast I as I could in order to find out what was going on.
When I arrived on scene I found Tommy hooked up to something large. His dad was doing as best he could to help his son, as 15 pound braided line peeled off Tommy's small spinning reel.
The fish was heading south down the beach so I told Tommie to slowly walk and follow the fish, while making sure to keep steady tension and pressure on the line. Tommy did exactly as he was told and 5 minutes later he had a very chunky 30 inch striper laying on the sand - his biggest fish ever!
These guys were a pleasure to fish with, and they actually remind me of my Dad and I when we were just getting started striped bass fishing! Tom and his son have been members of My Fishing Cape Cod for the last 10 months.
Even after fishing for 3 hours without a bite Tommy never gave up, and he was rewarded at 9:45pm with the biggest fish of his young fishing career!
The great bite lasted until 11pm, and both myself and John hooked into (but lost) stripers that were at least as big as Tommy's 30 incher. At 11:15pm we called it a trip, and made the long, peaceful walk back under a starlit sky with moonlit dunes as our backdrop.
It was a pretty surreal experience.
In conclusion, I once again learned first hand the importance of "never giving up" when you are fishing.
On Friday morning and again Friday evening, the first 3 hours of the trip producing absolutely no fish at all. But then suddenly it all changed, we started catching fish, and ended up with fishing experiences we'll all remember for the rest of our lives.
The wind today and tomorrow is predicted to blow pretty hard from the northeast. Temperatures are going to cool off before hopefully warming up again midweek.
Who knows for sure how this will affect the stripers, and where they might show up next. However, figuring that out is a fun challenge, and one of the main reasons why I love fishing off Cape Cod!
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!