The tautog were right where Chris Megan left them when he went out on Buzzards Bay this past Saturday with OTW’s Anthony DeiCicchi. They had fast action and a limit of fish to 5 pounds while fishing structure in 20 feet of water.
The fact that keeper tog are still biting in relatively shallow water inside Buzzards Bay tells me there should be decent tog fishing into December, especially for anglers willing to follow them out to deeper structures. Tog typically move deeper in the wintertime, hunkering down on reefs, rocks, and wrecks in 60 to 100 feet of water to ride out the coldest water temperatures of the season. With keeper-sized fish still in 20 feet, anglers should have no problem locating fish around Buzzards Bay, the Elizabeth Islands, and Martha’s Vineyard. Eastman’s Sport and Tackle is still stocking green crabs, reported Evan, and he said the tog fishing is still very good.
Even the stripers have stuck around. The East End is full of schoolies according to the report from Red Top. Slot-size and larger fish have mostly departed for lower latitudes, but at least one large striper was taken under the “Beaver Moon” caught by Ryan Norton.
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The salt ponds still have good numbers of baitfish, and there are still stripers feeding on those baitfish, reported Evan from Eastmans. Light tackle and soft plastics fished slowly are a good option for this late-running stripers.
Some of these bass may even hold over and spend the winter right here on Cape Cod. If you find a good concentration of bass in a backwater right now, it’s a good bet at least some of them will ride out the winter there. Take note of those locations, and if you find yourself missing the stripers something fierce come January, check on these locations.
Freshwater fishing is excellent right now. It’s been good all fall, but anglers are beginning to pay more attention to the ponds now that the saltwater options are waning. Trout fishing is great, reported Evan at Eastmans. He said fishermen are having good luck around the Upper Cape ponds using nightcrawlers and spinners.
Bass fishing is good as well, according to the Red Top crew. There’s plenty of lures that work for fall largemouth including jerk baits, lipless crank baits, and jigs, but a regular old shiner under a bobber is tough to beat if you simply want to catch a few fish.
Focus on the shallow ponds for largemouths. I always like the afternoons this time of year, because the sun warms up these shallow ponds a couple degrees by the end of the day, making the bass more likely to feed.
Pickerel will also be biting well. As the weeds die back, pickerel will go on the prowl. They’ll hit the same lures as the largemouths, and will gladly devour any shiners suspended under a float. The biggest pickerel of the season are usually caught between now and March, and Cape Cod ponds have been known to hold pickerel that could match a keeper-sized striper for length.
Fishing Forecast for Cape Cod
Tog fishing is still great. Slap those Thanksgiving leftovers on a roll, and head out for one of the final boat trips of the season. Start on shallow structure, in 20 feet of water, and move deeper until you find them.
For stripers, taking a last peek at the Canal is a good call, and if you’re headed that way, be sure to bring some small metals and teasers. Carl Johansen, Angler #1, who has been fishing the Canal since the 1940s visited the office this week, and said he’s been catching mackerel out of the East End.
And there’s always freshwater. Trout fishing is excellent, bass fishing is good, and pickerel fishing is on fire.
There’s lots to be thankful for, and plenty of fish to catch. And thank you to all of our readers who support OTW – we’re thankful for you. Good fishing, and Happy Thanksgiving.