At 4am this morning in a secluded spot on Cape Cod, I made my first cast of the 2018 season.
The light of a bright full moon reflected perfectly off the glass-calm surface of the water. Could there be holdover striped bass in this spot? I would soon find out.
I kept my rod positioned at a 45 degree angle while I began my retrieve. I could feel the lure wobbling back and forth, as I reeled ever so slowly. The first 15 seconds of the retrieve were uneventful.
However, I knew that holdover stripers often lay in shallow water, and hug the shoreline in this specific spot. There was a real chance of my lure getting slammed, virtually right at my rod tip.
With about 30 feet left in my retrieve, I decided to pause, and then lightly jerk the lure with a sudden swift movement of my fishing rod. It was at that exact moment that my lure got slammed by the first striped bass of my 2018 season.
Preparing For The Season
Since returning from Costa Rica, quite a few members here on My Fishing Cape Cod have asked if I've had any success this winter with holdover striped bass. The honest truth is that up until this morning, I have not even been trying. The past couple months have been devoted to family, business, and working around the house. I am sure many of you can relate.
For example, I am happy to report that my wife Lauren and I have just adopted a rescue dog. Rosie is her name, and we are excited to provide her with a safe home!
In her "past life" Rosie had been confined to a crate, and was surrounded by drugs and addiction. Sadly Rosie's owner passed away recently from a drug overdose. Fortunately Rosie now has a safe and happy home.
With time I am sure Rosie will become a terrific fishing companion, however taking her with me this morning at 3am in search of holdover stripers was clearly out of the question. For now Rosie can keep me company as I crush the barbs on my hooks!
I always crush the barbs on my hooks when targeting holdovers. If you do not already crush your barbs, then I really recommend you consider doing so this 2018 season. It will help us all to release fish in good condition.
The Calm Before The Storm
Yesterday afternoon it was clear to us that the dog was settling in well. I also realized that I had made great progress on most of the projects I had been working on all this winter. My tackle was organized for spring and my reels had been spooled with fresh line. It was finally time to go fishing again.
Before heading to bed for a catnap, I decided to check the weather. According to the forecast, the winds on Cape Cod would die down to light and variable after midnight. However, starting Thursday night the Cape was predicted to be smacked by a winter Nor'Easter, with driving rain and winds in excess of 60mph!
Now I was even more excited to have a chance of catching my first striper of the season, in the calm before the storm, before a powerful Nor'Easter would squash all chances of wetting a line.
I set my alarm for 2:50am and tried my best to drift off to sleep. Little did I know I would soon be casting plugs into a school that probably contained hundreds of striped bass.
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!