After an absolutely smoking June the bottom fell out of my shore fishing. The usual transition from the sound to the bay went as smoothly as an Ikea furniture assembly with no instructions. I was able to scratch the itch with some boat fish through the generosity of my neighbor, but others weren’t so lucky, and I empathize with those stuck in the malaise.
One of the joys of the My Fishing Cape Cod forum is that you can both live vicariously through the success of others while also picking up helpful tidbits to get your wheels moving again. Don’t rub salt in your frustrations, double down and try something different. Use the forum to bring fresh blood to your routine with new people to fish with. Recently I was able to get back to catching fish from shore, and it was all the sweeter because I got on the bite while fishing with some new friends!
So in this post, let’s inspire ourselves by looking at the MFCC forum's top catches and stories from July of 2022. You can continue reading by scrolling below, or you can use this table of contents to jump to a specific section.
Stripers in the Surf
While some of us have struggled in the surf, many of the members have continued to catch. Salties like Calvin Toran-Sandlin have been working both ends of a tide. His dedication payed off with catches of slot stripers and good sized blues.
My Fishing Cape Cod member Calvin Toran-Sandlin had successful outings in mid-July.
A few days later Calvin fished the entire incoming and then the outgoing the next morning. Small bait was flushing out and all the action was on the teaser. Keep in mind this is still a moderate tide with only a tidal coefficient of 62. Imagine what the upcoming big tides will do!
When fish are on small bait, a common technique is to attach a teaser 36" or so above your lure. This keeps the hooks far enough away to not tangle and allow for stress-free landings.
Calvin Toran-Sandlin shared his teaser setup for when fish are on small bait
Just off Cape in The Three Bays area (Plymouth/Duxbury/Kingston) member Kevin Touhey has been dialed in on his local waters.
He has found the morning bite very productive, landing a 42" beautiful slob as well as another 40"+ fish, a couple of larger slots, and some schoolies on an outing in later July.
Kevin Touhey displaying a weight PB and the hook that failed on his Dark Matter pencil.
When you're on fish of that size, equipment can make all the difference. The one that got away bent out two arms of the belly treble.
Shore fish over 40" is a milestone for many surfcasters. Caught up on the North Shore in mid-July, Andrew Milmore notched his belt with the magic number 43, inches that is.
MFCC Member Andrew Milmore displaying his new PB, 43"
In the summer when the water heats up and the fish get harder to induce into a strike, the bag of tricks often include eels. You can fish them live, or you can use an eel skin on a plug.
Eel skin on a Red Fin lure (left), and some jumbo sized eels (right)
When stormy weather rolls in, the turbulence will oxygenate the water and stir up the prey. Add in some daytime fog and you have excellent conditions for fishing.
John Keech caught a quick photo of the surf and the slot fish he enticed to sample his white bucktail and trailer.
Another fish caught on a bucktail by John Keech
We haven't heard of much action on the Outer Cape, but Jane Simpson and her husband Tom got on a sunset bite, which according to the Ranger has been the only bite going.
Tom Simpson displays a nice striper caught on the outer Cape (left). Conor Sheridan with a striper caught in CCB (right).
Conor Sheridan was out crushing the stripers on July 31st, managing a dozen fish up to 29" during an outing the mid-Cape area of Cape Cod Bay.
It was a very solid outing for Conor on the north side, especially for this year.
You can get daily surfcasting updates by visiting the Surfcaster's 2022 topic inside our forum.
Stripers from the Boat
The boat fishing for striped bass was phenomenal during the month of July. Monomoy and Cape Cod Bay have been very active and even Buzzards Bay was still producing some large fish. Of course, the story of the day has been the "Prolific Plymouth Pogie Party of 2022". It even outshines the Margate Pumphouse Blitz of '89.
Gerry Dodge was out in Buzzards Bay still landing good sized stripers on the tube without the worm in early July.
Member Gerry Dodge and a 32" striper
Two weeks later Kitt Sawitsky and a friend threw everything on their boat at fish crashing silversides stacked up along the shore of Buzzard's Bay. They finally coaxed a strike from this nice striper on a Krocodile spoon.
Most of the more recent catches in Buzzard's have been good sized blue fish, but it is nice to see the striper still in the mix.
Further east Cape Cod Bay has been producing all month. Topwater during the day landed a large fish for John Dillard, and further North near Race Point Kitt Sawitsky had a stellar day.
John Willard out in CCB on topwater (left). Kitt Sawitsky up near Race Point (right).
Don't despair if your boat is slipped on the Sound because Monomoy is having a stellar season. While the latest reports have no pictures, they still tell of good sized fish and outstanding days of fishing. You can check out the latest Monomoy reports here.
Early in the month of July, anglers of all sizes were landing slot sized fish on spin and fly.
Tim Blanchard catching on fly (left) and Chris G's son catching on the spin (right), both at Monomoy in Mid-July.
Having a reliable first mate is very important when out fishing. Eddy Kooyomjian's son (pictured below) looks ready to get behind the wheel and let his father cut the bait!
MFCC Member Eddy Kooyomjian enjoying quality father son bonding time at Monomoy.
Prolific Plymouth Pogie Party of 2022
I haven't been fishing long enough to have anything to compare the activity at Manomet to. Clearly it's the chance of a lifetime to catch a fish of a lifetime. Actually, catch lots of fish of a lifetime.
Without having personally witnessed it, it sounds like a National Geographic special on fast forward along with a splash of Keystone Cops. Hundreds of boats, kayaks, and even paddle boarders mixed in with millions of assorted fish, including tuna. Oh, and don't forget the mammals not in the flotilla: humpback whales and seals.
MFCC Member Kevin Touhey holding a 45" PB
Kevin Touhey was the first to post results from fishing this massive school of life off Manomet. I don't think of this as a spot burn, since at least twice the location has made the news because of collisions between whales and boats. As well, the pogie bite has been going on in this general area for over a month.
With Ken serving as the deck hand on Jeff Boswell's boat, they landed multiple fish over 40" and numerous fish over slot in the high 30s'. Fishing like that is going to draw a crowd and it certainly has.
Jeff Boswell in a great photo with a big fish.
Beth Dwyer and her husband were out there 4 days later and it was still going strong.
The Pogie Party continues with Beth Dwyer (left) and her husband (right).
A couple days after that MFCC member Joe Delicio was out there for the morning bite, catching nothing but over slots up to 40" all morning long.
The latest word is the boat count is still around 200, all within a few mile stretch. Bluefish have moved in and this may scatter the menhaden. Or it may just add to the mayhem, if that's possible. But for now the bite is still on if you are interested.
A few members during July ventured to the pogie party off Plymouth and were rewarded with slob bass on multiple days.
Josh Diner working to land this big bass in his kayak
Chris Kline displaying one of the big fish landed the same day off Plymouth in a school of pogies.
For more kayak fishing reports and updates, please visit the Kayak Category inside our forum.
As hot as the early striper bite was, perhaps the recreational tuna bite was even hotter. Using the "Wayback Machine" we see our first Cape Cod based tuna was posted to the forum on June 30th by Bruno Demir.
Bruno Demir (left) and Chris G (right) display their early season Blue Fin Tunas.
A few days later John Willard got his first tuna out at Stellwagen and Pat Elliott had the best fishing trip of his life.
John Willard (left) and Pat Eliott (right) show off their early July tuna catches
Chris G. and his son spent a lot of time together fishing during July and were generous enough to share their info and photos.
This young man is becoming quite an angler and it's great to see families able to spend quality time together - the fish is a bonus!
Chris G. and his son are living the dream, catching blue fin tuna together in early July
Recreational tuna catches like this went on for weeks in July. Brian Larson had a successful run and gun hookup on Tighten Up Charters on June 15.
A week later the bite had been so hot that the tuna market had been flooded and many buyers weren't taking fish.
Brian Larsen with his Dad and Brother (left). Caulin Simond and friends (right).
Catching tuna isn't just posing with the fish when it's been landed. Ross Glinos (below left) shows us the pressure that can be brought to bear on a fish when you have a young back, a good reel and a high quality rod.
Ross Glinos showing us we should do our planks (left), David Tourigny and Daniel Rice with a fat 78" BFT (right).
After that screaming start out of the hole, the recreational tuna bite has finally slowed down. With the commercial market saturated, boats are holding off on trips with the hope the market will improve. Things change quickly and a good way to stay abreast is on the 2022 Tuna thread.
Largemouth bass have finished spawning and are active during the day. Some members have taken a break from the salt and tried their hand at landing some bucket mouths.
Meanwhile on Cape Cod, Chris G. and his son put a hurting on the largemouth bass during the day in Mid-July. We've seen them crush in the salt and now they've put their stamp on a small Mid-Cape pond, landing 40 fish on topwater and Albie Snax action.
Big Perch in Sweden, 20.5", 3.25# (left). Chris G.'s son, angler extraordinaire, with a nice largemouth (right).
Member Johan Frenje recently shared a photo of an epic yellow perch that was caught by his nephew's girlfriend in Sweden. It sure would be nice if we had some of these behemoth yellow perch in our kettle ponds for when the salt bite dies down!
Despite the high gas prices, we're not going back to the days of whale oil and scrimshaw. However there have been some amazing things going on with whales lately. The juvenile Humpbacks off Plymouth have given many a close up view of the power of this amazing animal. A number of boaters have learned a quick lesson in momentum and mass.
No matter what your belief is about the intelligence of animals, you have to be impressed, perhaps amazed, at the bubble feed, a sophisticated method of corralling bait and feeding by humpback whales.
Brian Larsen caught this bubble feed on a Tighten Up Charter on July 13th
While we will not all be lucky enough to see this up close, these videos give us a great perspective on another wonder of our world.
Photo by Leslie Kalinowski
The weather on Cape the last few weeks has been perfect for beach goers, but the lack of rain has troubled this gardener. The consecutive days of SW winds have driven up the Nantucket Sound temperatures while also keeping the CCB inshore temperatures surprising cool for early August. I have my fingers crossed that the consistent salinity in the estuaries means good conditions for bait growth. Hopefully the next big tides in mid-August will flush lots of mature bait, pouring gasoline on the bite in the sound, luring bluefish and stripers over from Monomoy and little tunny up from the South.
It's hard to imagine it's already the first week of August. This is one of my favorite times of the year to fish. Snappers up in the estuaries will keep young ones entertained for hours. Good sized schools of bluefish will be roaming the sound under birds scrounging the tidbits left by the yellow-eyed devils. Soon the stripers will be voraciously sucking down silversides, peanut bunker and other fry, fueling up for their trip to warmer winter waters. And don't forget bonito, a great fighting fish and possibly the most delicious one to hit our shores.
As I am writing this article the MA commercial striper quota is currently at just under 85% of quota. It might already be filled by the time you are reading this. A brief scan of past year's landings (excluding the C19 years) demonstrates just how much of an impact the Prolific Plymouth Pogie Party of 2022 (and similar fishing opportunities) has had. In 2022 the quota will take under 2 months to fill. Other years lingered into late August and even September. I am not sure what the takeaway from this is.
Are the conservation measures on menhaden having a positive impact and leading to higher quality feeding opportunities for big fish? Therefore, the larger fish are more easily harvested by commercial fisherman? Many of us don't like to see the large breeders being taken from the population, but the quota gets met one way or another. I like to think the remaining fish are still benefiting from these big schools of bunker, and at the same time I hope no one thinks these unique anecdotal events are reflective of the health of the general population. I'm no expert, but I am glad there are people out there looking out for these beautiful creatures so we can pass this on to future generations.
Be safe out there & tight lines!