Last weekend and the early part of this week provided some incredible seascapes at some of the Cape’s most popular saltwater fishing spots including ice floes riding the east tide through the Canal, ice-plastered rocks and pilings on the South Side, and frozen beaches in Cape Cod and Buzzards bays. I played the role of fair-weather fisherman while driving around these spots, taking in the views from the comfort of my car.
Some of my co-workers better represented On The Water, by bundling up and taking to the ice on Sunday at a mid-size Upper Cape pond. The action, I’m told, was fast and furious with a mix of perch, bass, pickerel, and crappie. A few even lingered past sundown hoping for the crappie bite to pick up.
The ice-fishing this week was excellent—thick ice, mild temperatures, and hungry fish. Most reports came from warm water species like bass and pickerel. Hayden at Red Top Sporting Goods weighed in a 5-pound, pin-size pickerel for a customer this week.
Shiners are the top bait at the moment, but fishermen are catching on jigs as well. Jigging with Rapala Jigging Raps, small metals, or small soft plastics is deadly on panfish, but the occasional bass or pickerel will take a jig and put a big bend in the little ice-fishing rod.
Some fishermen hit the trout ponds and took some 3-pound-plus holdover browns. Live bait is key to fooling the big browns, but don’t be shy about jigging for rainbows or brookies.
Fishing Forecast for Cape Cod
The big question this week is how the rain and 50-degree temperatures will affect the ice conditions. It’ll certainly eat away at the ice somewhat, but whether some ponds will remain fishable is tough to predict. It’s still early in the winter, and the ice is likely to sure up again in the coming weeks, so don’t push your luck by fishing on questionable ice.