Reader E-Mail: Searching For Stripers in Cape Cod Bay
by Arthur Hyslop
After reading about Bruce Beardsley’s 42-pound striper, I thought I would share my catching trip of a lifetime on the same day in Cape Cod Bay. I am an avid striper fisherman from New Jersey who has fished the waters on Cape Cod for fifty-plus years. I spent my summers fishing the beach and Scorton Creek since I was a youngster living at Scorton Shores. Back in the day, my mother caught a 45-pounder when I was just five years old. It took my father seven years to best her fish using a dead mackerel off the target ship. He was rewarded with a 55 pounder. On that same day I caught a 35 pounder which is mounted on my wall in Jersey and I have been trying to up stage my parents catch since that time.
My fishing partner Woody and I began our trek from Jersey on the morning of September 6th and met up with Captain Jim Auld at the Sandwich Canal boat ramp at 5PM to catch the evening bite. We proceeded east along the beach towards Scorton Ledge and immediately doubled up with two nice bass in the high 20-pound class fishing eels. I have trolled wire with jigs over the years and it was a welcome change to pitch eels to schools of bass seen on the Simrad display. After pointing out my parents house to Captain Jimmy and Woody, we read another school of bass right off the beach that I fished as a kid and were rewarded with multiple hookups of bass in the 30-pound class and Woody’s 39-pounder. We continued to hunt for the bass towards the parking lot at Sandy Neck Beach and finally called it a night about 10PM with a dozen bass caught and released from 20 to 39 pounds.
The following evening, the game plan was the same, after partaking in an early supper locally of clam chowda (yes I have the lingo down having spent all these years traveling to the Cape every summer). We began our trip in much the same way as the night before with the only difference being no fish, except for a 30-incher. Keeping in mind that my goal was to catch a 45-pounder to beat my mothers fish of 57 years ago, we continued to hunt up and down the beach. Finally all three of us hooked up right off the beach within sight of my parents’ summer home. I was rewarded with a cow that weighed in the following morning at 40.4 pounds. The remainder of this epic and awesome fishing trip was highlighted by Captain Jimmy’s 40.9-pounder measuring 51 inches. The rest of the evening (until 3 AM) the three of us caught 30-plus bass from 25 pounds to 40.9 pounds.
Over my lifetime, I have caught larger quantities of schoolies but never the size of these linesiders. It was the most memorable catching trip of my lifetime to date. Obviously, I will be back next year to try and beat my parents record. As an aside, I am happy to see the comeback of the striped bass after living through the late 70′s and 80′s where the species was in peril of becoming non existent. I would like to thank Captain Jim for putting us on the fish and his perseverance of not pulling the pin on our trip earlier in the evening.
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