The super moon brought some terrific fishing to Cape Cod, but it still seems like we’re waiting for the first major push of big stripers.
That’s not to say there are no big stripers around the Cape. Fish into the 40-pound-class were reported this week by boat fishermen who were able to find extra-large stripers around bunker schools in Buzzards Bay. Some good fish are also trickling into the Cape Cod Canal. AJ at Red Top reported a 39-pounder caught in a Monday afternoon blitz in the Canal. AJ said there had been little word of Canal blitzes since, despite prime breaking tides this week. Though, that could change any day.
Jeff at Canal Bait and Tackle reported plenty of fish in the Canal, but said you have to be on the bottom to get bit. Soft-plastic paddletails in pink, green mackerel and wacky mackerel colors have been working the best so far, Jeff said. He also reported some good fish mixed in.
The word from Maco’s Bait and Tackle was “fish everywhere,” referring to stripers, sea bass, and scup. They shared a “one that got away” story from a shore fisherman in Wareham who was using cut bunker and lost a mammoth striper right as he was about to grab it.
With all the bunker around, and some bluefish relieving those bunker of their tails, chunking may be a worthwhile tactic from both boat and shore.
The blues have been turning up on the South Side and in Buzzards Bay. In Buzzards Bay, the blues are running large, with some fish of 10 pounds plus being caught. There are fish from 2 to 10 pounds off the South Side, both from shore at perennial hotspots like South Cape Beach, and for boaters and kayakers. Topwaters and flies are catching.
Striper fishing has also improved off the South Side. Before this week, most of the striper action had been in the bays, harbors, and on the beaches, but this week, bass piled into the rips according to Pat at Eastman’s Sport and Tackle. It seems like stripers to 26 inches are feeding in most of the Vineyard Sound shoals, including Middle Ground. The bass are hitting topwaters and soft plastics. Fly-fishing is also a great option.
The Outer Cape has schoolies, and in good numbers, all the way to Race Point. Fish are feeding in the surf, and will strike small minnow plugs and jigs.
Cape Cod Bay is also loading up with stripers. There are some big ones off the East End, reported AJ at Red Top, and slot-size fish all over the bay and on the flats. Topwaters are working well, and live mackerel may give you a shot at a bigger fish.
Martha’s Vineyard is surrounded by schoolie bass, said Julian at Larry’s Tackle Shop. While the bass have been plentiful, they haven’t been large, though Julian had heard of a 39-incher taken recently. Bluefish are also being caught at Menemsha and Wasque. Squidding is Edgartown Harbor is very good, but Julian said it’s been very crowded.
Black sea bass fishing is very good. There’s good fishing on the wrecks off the South Side, and the fishing is getting better and better in Buzzards Bay. Captain Mel True of Fishnet Charters said the sea bass are here in full force, but the wind is on their side this weekend! Mel’s also been finding some good stripers eating bunker closer to the Rhode Island/Massachusetts border.
There are some extra-large scup still around, including a 3-pound, 13-ounce fish weighed in at Red Top.
According to Maco’s Bait and Tackle‘s, tog are still around as well, but green crabs have been difficult to get this spring.
Fishing Forecast for Cape Cod
Wind from the Northeast and rain is promising for the fishing, but not so much for getting the boat out. Looking like a wet and windy weekend ahead, but if you can get out, the fish will be there and hungry. And even if the boat can’t hit the water, the shore fishing will keep you busy. The tides are good for morning action in the Canal this weekend, and this weather could be just what’s needed to fire up the bite. The South Side schoolie and bluefish action from shore should stay as good or better in the forecasted conditions. Bring plenty of topwaters and metals.
Hiding from the wind in Buzzards Bay could prove viable, and there are big fish roaming around willing to strike topwater lures. But, on the occasions when the topwater bite isn’t happening, some live bunker can save the day, and help put some truly large fish in the boat.