Cape Cod Fishing Report – May 21, 2020

Things are looking great going into Memorial Day weekend, with at least a half-dozen options for fishermen.

Black sea bass season opened this week. The opening was lukewarm. Boats caught limits in both Buzzards Bay and off the South Side, but had to move around to locate the fish. As the water warms, the sea bass fishing will only improve.

Joyce Fowler tautog
Joyce Fowler who caught a 21” Tautog out in Buzzards Bay on Saturday 05/16 using high-low rigs with live green crabs.

Nathan at Red Top said in addition to the sea bass, fishermen in Buzzards Bay were picking up keeper tog as well. Tog fishing is mainly a boat game, but Amy from Sports Port heard of some shore-caught keepers down her way in Hyannis. Green crabs are a great bait for tog, but when targeting them from shore, it never hurts to flip some rocks and gather some Asian shore crabs, as these bite-size morsels are irresistible to blackfish.

Striper fishing is excellent, but as of this writing, the motherlode of big fish from the south has yet to arrive. Jersey is awash in 20- to 50-pounders on the ocean side, and there should be a similar school headed our way, and the new moon just might bring them out. In the meantime, keep the light-tackle handy as the schoolie fishing in the bays and rivers is top notch right now. The schoolies around are a very fun size, with many in the 22- to 26-inch range, which put up a much better fight than the 12- to 18-inchers that we’ve mostly seen during the past few early springs. Be sure to take care in releasing these schoolies so they come back even bigger next year.

But it’s not all schoolies in the bays. Fish to 30 inches are being taken, reported Nathan.

Capt. Brian Coombs striped bass
Capt. Brian Coombs of Get Tight Sport Fishing with a healthy 29” striper by working structure and current seams in the west end of the canal on top water plugs. Bigger fish in the 40” class were observed following topwater plugs but just wouldn’t commit.

Word from the water from Captain Brian Coombs of Get Tight Sport Fishing was promising! Capt. Brian got on the water for first light working current seams and structure around the west end of the canal managing a few dozen stripers up to 29″ in about an hour and a half on spook style plugs. The most exciting part of his report was he had follows from bigger specimens in the 40″ class following in the Doc! Although the larger fish wouldn’t commit, just laying eyes on some quality fish tells you they’re here! Upon switching over to target black sea bass, Capt. Brian found several keepers but had to spend some time culling out keepers. With water temps hovering around 54 degrees this warmer weather should get things really going through the weekend.

The South Side bays have been coming alive with spawning worms, reported Evan at Eastmans. Stripers are taking advantage of the easy meal and can be found slurping down the worms in the early evenings. Flies or small red or pink soft plastics are an excellent choice if you find a bay full of worms and fussy stripers.

Donald Dyer weakfish
Donald Dyer landed this nice weakfish last Thursday morning on the Upper Cape.

The blues are in, reported Amy at Sports Port. We’d been hearing scattered reports of bluefish over the past week or so, but it seems like there are finally some numbers being taken on the south-facing beaches. Some wind from the south should only ramp up that action. It’s worth mentioning that  you’ll need to be careful about where you park when trying to fish the beaches in Cotuit. Illegally parked cars are being towed there, even first thing in the morning – I should know because I received a request for roadside assistance from a friend who returned from fishing to find his car missing at 7 a.m. Thursday.  The enforcement went into effect last Friday. Here’s a letter sent by one of the residents in that area:

Starting this Friday May 15, the No Parking Tow Zones will be enforced on Vineyard and Bailey roads in Cotuit. These are private dirt roads where many fishermen park to walk to the jetties at the mouth of Popponesset Bay or to the salt marsh at the tip of Meadow Point.

There is a common misperception that there is a public Town Way to Water here. That is not the case. The Town of Barnstable owns Oregon Beach, where public parking is allowed with a beach sticker. The Barnstable Land Trust owns 28 acres at the southern tip of Meadow Point and has two parking spaces on its property for people wanting access. All the land on the dirt roads past the gate at the southern end of Main St is private property.

As homeowners we’ve come to this point because of the increase of vehicular traffic, which wears down our road, requiring more frequent repairs, which we pay for ourselves; because of the lack of respect for private property as people leave trash ranging from the ugly to the disgusting on our lawns, driveways, and by the side of the road; and by the increasing number of ‘parking spaces’ created when cars & trucks drive into our woods and carve out a space where there was none before.

Since March 28 we have documented 123 unique incidents of cars parking on private property despite, and sometimes in front of, No Parking signs. We’ve left notices on windshields asking them not to park there and kept track of their plates. Of these, ten have come twice, four have come four times, and one person has parked here four times.

After consulting with the Barnstable Police, we’ve contracted with a tow company and will begin towing on Friday, May 15.

We don’t want to tow anyone’s car. But we will if we have to. We ask people not to park here. They will be towed.

An unfortunate situation, but a good reminder about how important it is to be respectful when parking in and around residential areas when going fishing. Take your trash with you, and don’t make a ton of noise, and we won’t lose access to any more of our favorite fishing spots.

Freshwater fishing is great as well.  The bass are active. Depending on the pond, the bass may be on spawning beds or still in the prespawn feasting mode. It’s a great time to throw topwater plugs in the evening.

I didn’t even mention the scup fishing, which is good, the mackerel, which have moved into the East End of the Canal, or the big numbers of giant sea robins. So much to catch on Cape Cod right now. It’s the best time of year.

Fishing Forecast for Cape Cod

The schoolie bite will continue all around the Cape, and some larger fish should arrive by the weekend, if they aren’t here already. Bluefishing will be a fun option on a south-facing beach. Bring poppers and metals, and make sure you’re parking somewhere legal. Black sea bass should be a sure bet for an easy meal, as should scup.

13 on “Cape Cod Fishing Report – May 21, 2020

  1. Dane

    The “BLACKFISH ” description for
    ” TAUTOG” needs to be explained to me please. I have been told it’s a reference towards African American people. I read this word in your article. Thanks for your time.


    1. Zack Tivey

      Hahaha well whom ever told you “Blackfish” is a racial slur is a bone head lol Blackfish is another angling name for tog/white chins. Hope this helps

  2. Charles M Wrighter

    You never mentioned that Fluke also opens this weekend but not sure if the weather is going to be all that co-operative for small boaters.

  3. Edzo

    Are you Fn kidding me !!
    Give it rest will ya.

    Too the folks fishing canal, that are too damn lazy and ignorant.
    PLEASE pick up and take your trash home.
    Place is getting bad.

  4. Nick Korniotes

    Kudos to the homeowners in Cotuit who finally grew fed up of the Disrespectful slobs who fish their neighborhood beach. Don’t get me wrong a lot of the guys that go down there are awesome but there’s so much riffraff that have discovered that area that there’s Continual flow of trash and fish guts left behind. We need the environmental police to take a walk down to that area on any weekend because they’ll find groups Of certain individuals poaching, taking undersize fish and leaving All their trash behind for someone else to pick up.

    1. Edzo

      Well said sir.
      Its disgusting. Its only due time, until places are gonna get shut down to fishing because of their lazy ignorance.
      First ones that’ll cry and yell, are the pigs that trash our fishing grounds.

    2. Charlie lepre

      Im sure if they take a walk down theyll only bother enforcing fish law on commercial license holders or veteran anglers if there anything like RI enforcement.they need to slap cuff on the little old men and families that keep everything that comes on there line and then leaves diapers and goya cans in the wake of the short bass fish fry…ive seen it to many times on my stoping grounds of the east shore of narragansett what point do the honest fishermen start taking the protection of our fish and spots into our own hands?

  5. Charlie lepre

    Its really sad when a few pigs and slobs not to mention the mini camps of short fish fryers that set up along the canal and even on my home turf of narragansett.turn our cherished fishing spots into toilets and get them shut down.i ask all our fishermen to stay vigilant and dont be afraid to tell these people to take there excrement with them when they leave.a few bad eggs can ruin it for all of us

  6. sid

    “neighborhood beach” you might own the road to the beach but there is no such thing a ownership of the beach. ma law says anyone fishing or fowling has the right to the water. might not be able to park legally but sure as hell can walk down any stretch of shore on this island if your fishing. f**k rich second home owners and private interest. what with their golf courses and country clubs its sad so much of this beautiful island has become just rows of ugly un-occupied mansions. the rich and wealthy trashed cape cod with all their bs. nuff said

  7. Andrew Milmore

    Has anyone ever actually said anything to the gross freaks that take schoolies and leave a mess? Or do we just use internet boards to rant and rave about them.

  8. Ronson P

    Lsst year there was some guy taking shorts acting all proud of it. I told him he should put them back he told me to mind my own business.

    I got out my camera and took a picture of him and his little fish. I told him I would post the pic all over the boards to show people with a poacher looks like. He told me I better be careful.

    After I took his picture I called the epos. He started to follow me back to my car and then turned around I guess he thought better of it. I didn’t wait around to see if the EPO showed or not.

    Rat the scum out at (800) 632-8075

  9. Fed up with those who ruin it for others

    It is truly sad to see humans not showing respect to the very places that give us nurishment,show you care for our land around our oceans where we reap,or loose the very thing that you can’t seem to be responsible for

    1. canalrat

      They don’t show respect at all. We was jigging last night. Axxhole cast down and tangle us line many time. And wanted start a fight with us. I holp his will get Covid19 virus.

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