The new moon in June. Striper fishermen throughout Cape Cod circled this weekend on their calendar months ago in anticipation of the dark nights and large tides putting big striped bass in a feeding mood. With the new moon still a few days away, the fishing on parts of the Cape is already lighting up with schools of hungry striped bass.
Fishermen continue to catch big numbers of stripers off the South Side of the Cape. Jeff at Forestdale Bait and Tackle said stripers out-numbered the blues this week on the South Side beaches. The fish have ranged in size from 16 to 32 inches, and are greedily striking poppers, small soft-plastics, and swimming plugs. Sunrise, sunset, and into dark have been the best times.
Bill at Sports Port in Hyannis said the South Side schoolie fishing is very good. He said that while only one out of every ten fish is keeper size, it’s been great fun on light tackle.
Jeff said the South-Side stripers seem to be feeding on small sand eels, and at times have been bumping larger lures, but not committing. Switching to a smaller lure or adding a teaser can be the ticket to getting bites from the finicky bass.
Todd at Falmouth Bait and Tackle heard of a good school of stripers moving through Vineyard Sound off East Falmouth this week. The fish were out of range of shore fishermen, but boat fishermen appeared to be hooking up.
Bluefish action was hot and cold this week. Oregon Beach had fair action reported Bill at Sports Port, but the more consistent bluefishing seemed to take place at South Cape Beach. Jeff said the recent wave of bluefish has been smaller 4- to 6-pounders.
Black sea bass and scup fishing has been good in the Sounds, with big sea bass stacked up on wrecks and rough bottom. While fluke are being caught incidentally by fishermen looking for sea bass, few anglers have been targeting them specifically.
Cape Cod Canal
Canal fishing has been inconsistent reported Todd at Falmouth Bait and Tackle. He blames a lack of big bait for the spotty action. While mackerel are abundant in Cape Cod Bay, few have made it into the Canal. This weekend’s big tides could change that.
The crew at Red Top reported that the Canal is picking up. Fish do seem to be moving in from Cape Cod Bay on occasion, and when they do, they have been taking pencil poppers. The eastern half of the Canal has been producing better than the western half.
Striper action in Buzzards Bay has been slow, according to the report from Red Top. Some fishermen are finding fish in the 28- to 30-inch range, but big schools have been scarce. Even the fishing along the Elizabeth Islands and Woods Hole has been very slow reported Todd at Falmouth Bait and Tackle.
Black sea bass fishing, on the other hand, is still good in Buzzards Bay. Moving away from the big fleets off Wings Neck and around Cleveland Ledge can be the ticket to finding schools that haven’t been picked over. Jigs are still producing, but when the bite gets tough, fishermen are turning to bait to fill out their five-fish limit.
Big scup are being caught as well. The scup are being caught on jigs, but for more consistent action, tie on a high-low rig with smaller hooks and bait up with squid.
Some keeper fluke are being caught in the upper reaches of Buzzards Bay outside of the Canal channel in 15 to 30 feet of water. Jigs and Gulp are working well for the fluke, and will provide enough action with sea bass to keep things interesting between fluke bites.
Cape Cod Bay and Outer Cape
The bass bite caught fire in Cape Cod Bay this week. Boat fishermen scored bass into the mid-30-pound range by casting sand eel and small herring imitations at stripers feeding under flocks of birds. Captain Bobby and Captain Elena Rice of Reel Deal Fishing Charters had great fishing on Wednesday, catching fish to 43 inches on Gibbs Needlefish and Daddy Mac jigs.
Captain Terry Nugent had a banner week as well, finding fast action with soft-plastics and swim shads.
Live-lining and chunking mackerel has been taking some big stripers around Barnstable Harbor as well. Bill at Sports Port weighed in three bass between 20 and 28 pounds this week from that area.
The action isn’t limited to the boat crowd. Shore fishermen caught keeper stripers from Sandy Neck this week according to the report from Blackbeards Bait and Tackle, while light tackle and fly-fishermen had fun with schoolies from Scusset to Sandwich.
For fishermen looking for them, winter flounder continue to be caught in Cape Cod Bay.
Surfcasters on the Outer Cape are catching keepers at Newcomb Hollow Beach and Whitecrest Beach according to the report from Blackbeards.
Ron at Larry’s Tackle said the striper fishing is picking up in the Martha’s Vineyard surf. Fish to 20 pounds are being taken from the North Shore, Wasque, and from up-island. Bluefishing, on the other hand, has been spotty.
Fishing Forecast for Cape Cod
The boat bite in Cape Cod Bay is the hottest prospect this weekend. Bring an assortment of lures to cover from the surface to the bottom. Also, bringing mackerel jigs and loading the live well with macks could be the ticket to hooking up if the bite gets tough. It’s likely these fish will move along the back side as well, and if you’re looking to escape the fleet, taking a ride around Race Point and down the outer beaches could yield big results.
Shore fishermen have a similar option, fishing in crowds at the Canal, or taking a ride down-Cape for a shot at stripers on the backside beaches. The after-dark hours will be the best shot on the beaches, while first light is most likely to produce in the Canal.