Cape Cod Fishing Report – April 28, 2022

Hunter Thayer kicked off his striper season last Friday with a few beautiful schoolies.

We’ve reached that tipping point of the spring, where we’ve gone from few saltwater options to several…and counting.

The tog bite has been pretty great, with fishermen reporting Buzzards Bay blackfish up to 10 pounds over the past week. Slot-sized stripers, that is, bass between 28 and 35 inches, have entered the mix alongside the freshly arriving schoolies. Squid are in, haddock are biting, and there have already been reports of bluefish in Rhode Island.
And that’s not mentioning the freshwater fishing, which is still firing on all cylinders with big post-spawn pickerel, pre-spawn largemouth and smallmouth, and trout.

What wasn’t on our side this week was the weather. Northwest winds and dropping temperatures made my end-of-the-week pond-hopping a bit brisk. Pickerel are biting very well during the daytime. Chatterbaits have been the hottest lure I’ve found. The smaller pickerel have been spread all over the ponds, but in recent days, the larger fish seem to be in deeper water, say 8 to 10 feet over weeds.

The larger bass, however, are very shallow. I haven’t seen any active spawning beds yet, but the big bass are definitely hanging in shallow water looking for big meals.  I was with OTW’s Anthony DeiCicchi this week on a nighttime outing, and he pulled a 5-pound-plus largemouth out of a couple feet of water with a large swimbait.

There’s more news of stripers every day, and many of them have been covered in sea lice. On Martha’s Vineyard, Peter at Larry’s Tackle said the south side of the island isn’t on fire, but fish are being caught. He’s been seeing great signs of life, including a wild display of dive-bombing gannets off Wasque. That’s a sure sign of good-size baitfish moving into the area, either herring or squid. Peter has been seeing a few squid boats off the south side, and has heard reports of fishermen getting some, but expects it to break wide open very soon.

Many of the herring runs are loaded right now, including the Canal run. At the opening of these runs, fishermen are finding stripers, including a few slot-size fish. At Red Top, word was of a few slot-size fish joining a growing number of schoolies in Buzzards Bay. There wasn’t any word on the Canal just yet, but undoubtedly, some of these fresh arrivals are poking their noses into the Big Ditch.

The South Side beaches are producing some schoolie stripers as well, with some of the fish even taking topwaters. Most of the action is coming on jigs or small swimming plugs, however.

Fishermen running toward Stellwagen can expect good numbers of haddock, Andy Nabreski went out this week and though it took some searching, he eventually got on a good bite of keeper-sized fish.

Evan at Eastman’s said he’s been moving good numbers of green crabs as fishermen take advantage of the spring tog fishing. One consideration for any tog fishermen: the females are a few weeks away from dropping their eggs, and it’s a good idea to give them a stay of execution until the fall.  They can be easily distinguished from the males by their mottled coloration and, this time of year, by their distended bellies that are full of eggs. The hope is that we can keep our tog fishery strong, as it has quickly become one of the favorite bottom fish in our area.

Fishing Forecast for Cape Cod

It’s about to break wide open. We have options for sport (stripers, freshwater bass) and options for tablefare (squid, tog, haddock), and it’s only getting better from here. In a few weeks we’ll add sea bass to the metaphorical and literal menu.

If looking for that first striper, hit the harbors or salt ponds, or the harbor openings.  I like the dropping tides this time of year, and small plastics are tough to beat, but pack some topwaters along. The Rebel Jumpin’ Minnow is a classic for springtime schoolies.

And, if over the next week, that wind swings around the southwest, you wouldn’t be crazy if you hit a south-facing beach and tossed some metals or topwaters in hopes of bluefish. Back at the beginning of April, Rhode Island kayak angler, Dustin Stevens, came across a school of bluefish while looking for tog.


4 on “Cape Cod Fishing Report – April 28, 2022

  1. Ron

    Nice fish/pic Hunter! Way to go! Just one gripe, how’d it wind up in the Cape Forecast? I feel so betrayed!

    1. H.T


      Unfortunately I dont have your email, so I had know way of getting it to you, had so send it to Jimmy instead! I plead the 5th Haha

  2. b

    caught 4 schoolies friday morning onset beach very windy and cold

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