Earlier this week I was browsing the My Fishing Cape Cod forum when one of the posts caught my attention. The guys were chatting about a solid surf casting bite on both top waters and jigs. I was intrigued so I decided to go check things out for myself the very next morning.
Half awake I stumbled out of bed at 3AM, got my gear together and off I went down Route 6. Despite the darkness I could tell the sky was overcast and I wondered if I was going to get dumped on by rain like during my previous surf casting trip. Of course I had forgotten my rain coat at home.
After a breezy start to the week the wind had finally died down, which I really appreciated. Things felt promising as I arrived at the destination and began walking through the woods towards the shoreline. With the sky just beginning to lighten I entered the water and got to work.
With flat calm conditions it was easy for me to see bait fish touching the water's surface. Then there was a swirl off in the distance to my left, and then another to my right. There was most certainly good life in the area.
As the sun began to rise I continued casting at the occasional swirl and pop. Yet despite my most well placed casts I was coming up empty. I was obviously doing something wrong so I decided the time was right to switch lures.
I tied on an old reliable - the weightless Slug-Go. On my second cast I was tight to a fish, however it was obvious that this was not a striped bass. I can't recall the name of this species of fish off the top of my head. However once the sky brightened up I could see that they were feeding ferociously on the surface all around me. Go figure!
It was time to make a move, so I decided to focus my efforts on an area of current just to my west. I could see a few lone birds diving off in the distance, which always helps my morale. With all the bait I was seeing I felt like my chances of catching a decent Cape Cod striper were still very good.
As I walked to my next spot I could not help but notice how nice the morning had become. The clouds had dissipated and the sun was shining through. It was a good change of pace, especially contrasted with the torrential rain of earlier in the week.
My first cast into the current revealed a Cape Cod's surf fishermen's worst nightmare. The place was absolutely loaded up with mung and weed.
I felt like there were big fish in the area, yet with all this weed I knew that getting my lure down to them would be a challenge.
It seemed like the main patch of weed was hanging a bit farther offshore, so I decided to stick to short casts into the water immediately in front of me. This was not ideal, however it helped me to diminish the amount of weed on my jig. For the time being I was back in business.
Despite my short casts I still felt like my chances were good. The bottom dropped off dramatically directly in front of me, which meant that fish could be traveling amazingly close to shore. Knowing this I made another 10 yard cast and let my jig flutter down towards the bottom.
As I reeled the line tight I felt a bump. I knew this was no clump of weed so I quickly reeled tight and set the hook. Despite all the mung I was on with the first fish of the day.
The bass fought well, but I knew pretty quickly that he was no monster. Nevertheless the bent rod confirmed that yes, there were indeed some stripers in the area.
After releasing the 30 inch bass I got back to work. Where there is one fish there are probably two. I cast back into the same area, hoping to elicit a strike from a bass with some serious shoulders.
The jig fell to the bottom without any obstruction and as I lifted my rod tip I knew the jig was still weed free. The swift current swept the jig directly in front of me and then down to my right. As it passed I lost touch of the jig, which meant that a larger fish may have sucked it down.
As quickly as I could I tightened up on the line. There was no doubt now that I had a pickup, so I leaned back and set the hook. The fish took off down current, ripping line from my reel.
I loosened my drag just slightly to diminish any chance of the line snapping and settled in for the fight.