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Winter Largemouth Bass Fishing On Cape Cod

new hampshire largemouth bass

Ryan Collins

Cape Cod is blessed with some wonderful freshwater fishing! This rings especially true now that it's December. With the busy summer season behind us, most of the ponds on the Cape are deserted of people.

The scene is very peaceful, with few people, plenty of animals, and hungry fish! Right now is a great time to be fishing these ponds, especially if you like fishing from shore.

I don't know if it's true, but I have been told by "old timers" that Cape Cod has as many freshwater ponds as days of the year. Some of the largemouth bass in these ponds can reach 10 pounds!


Largemouth Fishing On Cape Cod During December

The other day I set off with my dog Rosie to one of these 365 ponds, hoping to catch largemouths using one of the most reliable lures around, the Gary Yamamoto Yamasenko soft plastic worm

After a cool and refreshing walk through the woods, I found myself standing ontop of a downed tree. The pine tree was half submerged in the pond and extended about 50 feet out into the depths.

Submerged timber is usually a very good place to find largemouth bass. I always make sure to stop and make at least a few casts around trees which have fallen into the water. Sometimes the bass are holed up in tight to the tree, basically in the branches. However the area around the tree can be good too. 

The technique I used recently while fishing with Rosie was very simple. All I really did was cast the worm out and slowly twitch it back in. 

My friend and MFCC member Kevin Walsh explains it like this - "When a worm falls into the pond it is drowning, so it tries to lift its head back to the surface". This is exactly what you are trying to mimic when fishing the senko worm "whacky style."

Please click play below to watch!

Time stamps:

0:25 - introduction to the lure, tackle, and rod and reel
2:10 - example of how to fish the Senko
3:43 - first largemouth bass of the trip
5:18 - second demonstration of how to fish the Senko
5:49 - second largemouth bass of the trip
6:40 - closing comments

Gear and equipment used in this video:

Yamamoto "Senkos"
Shimano Nasci 2500
Temple Fork Professional TFG PSS 662-1 rod
10 pound moss green Power Pro braid
10 pound Seaguar Blue Label Fluorocarbon leader
GoPro Hero 4 (refurbished)
GoPro battery pack life extender
Flexible camera tripod attachment

How To Fish The Senko Worm "Whacky Style"

There's a million different ways to catch largemouth bass on Cape Cod, but one of the most reliable is by fishing with the Gary Yamamoto "Senko" worm. 

There are many different colors and sizes, but I honestly don't think it matters all that much what size or color you choose. I usually end up fishing with a 4 or 6 inch Senko that is dark in color.

I like fishing these worms "whacky style" with the hook pierced through the middle of the worm, as shown in the photo above and below. 

wacky rig senko for largemouth bass

If you want to get super professional about your rigging, then you could use a small bait elastic with a weedless worm hook, as shown below.

wacky rigged senko largemouth bass fishing cape cod

What do you think?

Let me know by commenting below.

  1. Great tip Ryan…I often fish from a kayak or boat. This allows me to keep more than one rig handy. Usually a Senko wacky rig (weedless with ring) is usually one of them.
    It’s tough to fish such a finesse pattern all day (I get bored easily) but when you come upon a static piece of structure like a log, tree, or dock a wacky drop or two at the structure is a killer addition to other patterns.

    1. Good tip Martin about having a few rods rigged up and ready to go. I will admit that fishing the Senko all day could get a little boring….it is a painfully slow retrieve at times! Good to mix it up. Thanks for commenting! ✌🏻

  2. Ryan,
    Thanks for being in our community! Your keeping us connected with your passion for fishing and nature! Long Life!
    Mike Webster

    1. Thank you Mike! We just arrived here in Costa Rica. Hoping to hit the beach with the surfcasting setup tomorrow. I’ll let everyone know how it goes 🙏🏻

  3. So cool we have fish to target year round. Wacky Senko really is a day saver. The funny thing is, the knockoffs don’t seem to work nearly as well as the Yamamoto brand. I like to texas rig mine, weightless. Cast into vegetation and just slowly pull it through. In the summers, it’s a great way to fish lily pads and reeds. Cast right up into it and pull right through slowly.
    All of my biggest bass were taken this way. Not the most technical way but certainly effective!

    1. Great insight, and thanks for the tips Billy 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

  4. My son has pulled some real healthy LM’s out of the Charles using the wacky rig set up. we find the fish prefer the sparkly orange/ brown (Charles River Red), but black can product as well. 2 summers ago he was almost spooled before the line broke on some docks. It was either some monster 10lbs+ LM or an aggressive carp. thanks for sharing ryan.

    1. Sounds like a fishing memory that your son will not soon forget!!!

  5. Love the darker colors on bass and trout as the temperatures turn colder. Senkos are magic. Here’s another one to put in your bag of tricks: Texas rig a 4″ Zoom Super Fluke. Green & Watermelon are my favorites. You’ll do well. Fish on.

    1. Great! I will give that a try. Thanks Kev!

  6. I like the O ring setup, it keeps the bait from getting chewed up as much and usually goes right up the line when you fight the fish. It’s nice to see open water, just about everything out here has a layer of ice.

    1. Lots of rain last night and with temperatures in the 40’s forecast for the next week hopefully there will be plenty of open water down here. However come February I wouldn’t mind trying some ice fishing!

  7. Great picture! I Happy Holidays to you and yours! I love Laurens Christmas tree dress! We have an ugly sweater party at work Friday! Mike and I are off the week after Christmas and can’t wait to get some fishing in. Kettle ponds or holdover we come! I recieved my Striper Gear bag yesterday. It’s great!

  8. Do you have a new camera or using a different mode? The quality and sharpness in the this video is fantastic. Noticeably different from previous videos.
    Rosie looks great in her new hunter’s orange vest!

    1. Yes I finally retired the GoPro Hero 3, which now only be used for underwater shots. All the “above water” shots are now being shot with GoPro Hero 4 cameras.

      I figured the vest was a good idea considering Rosie, from a distance, looks pretty similar to a deer. She doesn’t mind wearing it all!

  9. Another technique to use after fighting off seals on the back beach for Stripers is to adjourn to the pond in front of our place toward evening. The best outfit is a camp chair, a bucket of shiners and at least two cold beers. As the sun sets you realize once again that catching is not necessarily the most important thing about fishing.

    1. That sounds like a pretty perfect evening to me Mark. Spring of 2019 (and the stripers) will be here before we know it 👍🏻

  10. Great little video. Looking forward to being out there soon! Thanks!

    1. Gluck Leslie, and Happy Holidays from the Collins family! (photo from yesterday’s Ugly Sweater Xmas party, lol)


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