This past Friday morning we departed the harbor at 6AM and enjoyed grease calm conditions with absolutely no wind.
We were fishing with captain Cullen of Cape Star Charters, onboard one of our weekly group fishing trips.
For this trip it was myself, captain Cullen, and MFCC members Ben Mahanna, Mike Marcus, Darren Jacobs and Dick Glockner.
We devoted the first 30 minutes of the trip to searching around this general area of Cape Cod, and talking with other captains in an effort to locate striped bass.
All was quiet, with no bird activity or stripers on the sonar, so captain Cullen moved us to a new location where we would hopefully load up the live well with 30 or 40 live baits.
Once we had caught enough bait, our focus shifted back to finding stripers. At around 9AM we began marking scattered pods of bass, but the bass didn't want the live baits, so we tried casting these artificial lures instead.
The lures worked!
Darren (pictured above) and Ben (pictured below) each hooked up on the artificial lures.
The "skunk" was out of the boat and we were catching fish, but overall the bass seemed finicky, and not very active.
We figured there were probably much larger striped bass in the general area, but it was clear the big fish were not yet in the feeding mood.
By 1PM we had caught about a dozen schoolie stripers. With about one hour remaining in the trip, captain Cullen continued hunting around and searching for bigger fish.
That's when the real "herd" of stripers decided to show up, and they were directly beneath the boat.
For whatever reason, these fish cooperated, and Ben and Dick's live baits got smashed at the same exact time.
Right off the bat we knew these were not schoolies! Line was peeling off the reels as the big fish dug down deep.
Ben was the first to land his fish. We were all pleasantly surprised when the bass surfaced.
It was Ben's largest striper to date!
If you look close at Ben's fish, you will see its deformed jaw.
In my life I have caught many bass with deformed jaws, and I have always assumed these fish had been caught before.
Have you ever caught a striper with a deformed jaw?
Please let me know by leaving a comment below 👇
Ben's fish was released in great condition, because we had used a circle hook. However, not all circle hooks are created equal.
After experimenting with many different types of circle hooks, I found that many circle hooks on the market right now simply do not work.
On the other hand, this special type of circle hook hooks striped bass right in the lip or corner of the jaw, probably about 80%-90% of the time (at least for me).
After releasing Ben's fish our attention turned to Dick, who was still battling his bass.
While reeling in the fish, Dick announced to the crew that this was the biggest bass of his life.
I have seen Dick catch a lot of big fish, so I'm not sure if this was his biggest fish ever, but it was definitely pretty close!
The bass was skinny but measured a whopping 45 inches.
Minutes later, Mike Marcus hooked up off the bow with another beauty of a striped bass which was hooked nicely in the lip.
This trip just goes to prove that the action can change quickly when you are fishing the waters surrounding Cape Cod & the Islands!
It was a dramatic change of events, and it just goes to show that if you never give up, you will eventually catch fish.
In this case, the final 20 minutes of the group fishing trip produced the best action of the entire day.
I hope you are able to get out on the water, fish the beach, or hit the canal soon.
As always, please be safe, and have fun!