June 15 2022

“School Cannot End Fast Enough!” – Striper Fishing with High Schooler Joe Vinci

by Joseph Vinci

Hello My Fishing Cape Codders 👋

My name is Joe Vinci and I am a 15 year old high school student and member of My Fishing Cape Cod. You might recognize me from my blog post about targeting snook on Marco Island.

In today's post I hope you will join me as I recap my 2022 spring striped bass season! Within the following report I'd like to share highlights of my fishing season so far, as well as offer some advice about fishing for stripers from shore during the spring. 

You can scroll below to keep reading, or click a link in the table of contents to skip ahead to a particular section.

My Recommended Schoolie Striper Gear

Almost all of my fishing is from shore so I use a lot of different rods for different techniques.

Most of my early season fishing can be accomplished with a 7' rod rated for 1/4-1 ounce and a 4000 sized reel packed with 20lb braid. If the weather is calm I like to use even lighter tackle. 

The lightest setup I use for striper is a 7'2" Lamiglas Black Inshore Rod rated 1/4 to 3/4 of an ounce paired with a Shimano Vanford 3000 that is equipped with 15lb braid.

This combo is very, very light weight, and pretty much feels like I am fishing with freshwater bass tackle. However, it can still horse in larger sized schoolies without a problem. 

My Favorite 2022 Season Lures (so far!)

For lures, I stick with what works for me. Typically, the first plug that comes out of my bag will be a Rebel Jumpin Minnow almost always in bone color. 

My next go-to lure is almost always a paddle tail or jig of some sort. My favorite is a 4 "or 5" Al Gags Whip It Fish in either pearl or wonder bread color. 

Albie snax in all colors are also a really good choice. I would also advise throwing a few swimming plugs like the SP Minnow or a smaller Yo Zuri Mag Darter

My Spring Cape Cod Striper Fishing Report

Especially early on in the season it is important to find areas with warmer water that heat up quickly. In addition to warm water, finding bait (especially large bait) can produce amazing days of fishing. 

My 2022 striper season actually began in the back rivers on the South Shore of Massachusetts during the weekend of May 7th. However, these trips did not produce anything; not even a bite.

After this weak attempt at getting my first fish, I decided to go down to Cape Cod the next weekend on May 14th to hopefully find some schoolies. With high hopes of catching my first schoolie of 2022, I headed to one of my favorite Cape Cod fishing spots. This spot is located in an isolated marsh in one of the Cape's south side bays.

After a couple hours of fishing with just one missed fish and a few swirls, I decided to switch it up. My dad and I drove to the ocean side and walked to a rip that usually produces fish. Sure enough bass were present, and I caught my first one of the year: a 20 inch striper covered in sea lice. 

I popped out the hook and snapped a quick picture while minimizing time out of the water, before quickly releasing the striper. 

Large herring seemed to be the forage of choice for the weekend of May 14th, along with some bunker. During two days of fishing I witnessed a handful of short-lived blitzes where stripers would chase the bait to the surface and viciously attack as the baitfish did their best to escape.

Usually bass in the area I was fishing are inclined to feed on squid, but there were no signs of squid during my trips. The fog was also very thick and did not offer any visibility past 100 yards. 

The majority of the fish I caught averaged in the high teen and low twenty inch range, but there were also some near slot fish around the 26 inch size.

Honing My Fly Fishing Skills

May provides many opportunities to target striped bass in many different ways all over the North East. For the remainder of May a lot of my fishing was on beaches and bays and the action proved productive.

This season I decided I would tackle fly fishing and become a some-what decent caster. With the help of an avid fly fisherman whom I know (and a couple castings lessons in April) by the time I reached the salt water I was able to double haul and cast fairly well. 

Despite occasionally head butting my Clouser off shells during my back cast, I managed to catch my first striper on the fly, along with half a dozen other fish on my first fly fishing outing of the spring.

I was also able to get my first bluefish of the season and it was on the fly!

Being a true novice fly fisherman it was a completely different fight than using spinning gear. 

Looking Forward

As we roll into mid June it seems that larger fish have made their way up to Cape Cod. These next upcoming weeks may be the best time to land your biggest striper of the whole season - especially with last night's full moon.

Bluefish are also around the Cape in numbers, and hopefully they will stick around and continue to produce some good fishing. School cannot end fast enough!

Tight lines everyone 🎣

About the author 

Joseph Vinci

Joe is an enthusiastic and passionate 15 year old fisherman. He's been a member of My Fishing Cape Cod since February of 2020, and he enjoys fishing for snook, stripers and more.

  • Nice article, Joseph! Great to see you’re fishing for bass using different techniques. That will help you to become a better fisherman more quickly. Love the picture of the yellow-eyed devil taken on a yellow fly.

  • Joseph you have found that fishing can be fun and also a learning experience all tied together . Be sure to keep a log for future trip and when the time comes you will have another experience called looking back at history when I began to first fish . That may not occur for awhile in your case however given how young you are. Continued success in your quest to locate fish . Peace and Prayers Carl

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