After adding a few more frisky mackerel to the live well, I punched in the GPS setting and turned Wingman east toward Billingsgate Shoal, located along the eastern side of Cape Cod Bay.
It was a prefect early June day, with bright blue skies and a light breeze out of the south. Aboard for this season’s shakedown cruise were my mate Mark and his dad Chris.
With our first charters of the season just days away, I wanted to ensure we were ready. As my boat the Wingman hopped up on plane and effortlessly cruised across the bay with engines humming in unison, I ran through a series of system checks with no issues noted.
All systems were go! As many Captains can relay, it felt like the boat and I were again tied together as one. Life was good!
Searching For Life
During the 6-mile run across Cape Cod Bay I constantly scanned the sonar for signs of fish, only to note a few schools of mackerel. This was consistent with current intel that the number of bass, and certainly the arrival of big bass were behind schedule.
We were about 3 hours into a falling tide, so I opted to scout around the No. 1 can at the point of the shoal and then head east along the south side. Pulling the throttles back to sustain a 2-3 knot speed, we set out 2 rods with live macks and began the hunt.
Our set consisted of Tsunami Trophy Series 6’6” MH rods and Shimano TLD20 reels loaded with 45lb lead core, and 15’ of 30lb fluorocarbon snelled to 6/0 non offset Trokar circle hooks.
Given we’d be working in 20-30 feet of water, we set out 3 colors and 4 colors on the starboard and port rods respectively. This brought the mackerel down to 15-20ft below the surface. Both rods were secured with safety lines to the outrodders which positioned them parallel to the sea surface.
Approaching the No. 1 can from the west, the sonar began to light up with scattered 20-27” fish in the lower third of the water column. Drawing within 100 yards of the can, we marked fish in the 30-38” range, and then to my surprise a pod of 40-50” fish appeared on the sonar.Click here to continue reading.