Cape Cod Fishing Report – May 19, 2022

Striper fishing keeps getting better with more reports of slot and over-slot fish hitting topwater plugs and other offerings. Bluefish are also in, both on the South Side and in Buzzards Bay, and black sea bass season opens this Saturday, May 21.

Schoolie stripers are dominating catches on all sides of the Cape, but numbers of 28- to 35-inch fish have definitely increased over the past few days with the occasional 36- to 40-inch throwback fish. According to the report from Red Top Sporting Sporting Goods, stripers in the 20 – and 30-pound class have been landed in the Canal in recent days, although most of the fish are schoolies and slot-sized. Most of the Cape Cod Canal action has been on jigs, though some fish have been taken on pencils. The East End has been good around the herring run, and the West End has also been fishing well.

Capt. Ross of Cape Cod Charter Guys has had awesome topwater striper action this week fishing the Game-on X-Walk lure.

Stripers and blues have been funneling into Buzzards Bay and pushing up into harbors on the South Coast and Upper Cape. Captain Ross from Cape Cod Charter Guys fished in the rain Thursday morning and had “awesome” action. Guests Chris and Don Ormes took their father fishing to celebrate his 70th birthday and caught slot-sized fish and larger on the new topwater Game-On X-Walk.

Captain Mel True of Fishnet Charters has also been catching topwater stripers and he’s ready for the black sea bass opener this Saturday. He’s located lots of sea bass in Buzzards Bay and expects some great charters ahead! Tog fishing is still a great option after filling sea bass limits.

Scup fishing has also been picking up in Buzzards Bay. I was striper fishing on a North Falmouth beach one evening this week and encountered a scup feeding frenzy. Hundred of legal-size scup were streaming along the shore in only a couple feet of water and feeding just under the surface like schoolie stripers!

The Sports Port crew reported good numbers of schoolies along the Cape Cod Bay beaches and inside Barnstable Harbor on the incoming tide. Big macks can be found out past the bell buoy, and they should attract the attention of any larger bass that start filtering into the area.

Off Hyannis, the squid run is dying down, which is typical for this time of year. Bluefish have been reported on the south side but I haven’t heard any reports of a consistent topwater bite from the beaches.  Warming temperatures and a southwest breeze could draw them in this weekend. Try topwater plugs around high tide off South Cape Beach in Mashpee.

Fishing Forecast for Cape Cod

While temperatures hit the 90s on the mainland, the Cape and Islands will stay cooler with 60s and a southwest breeze. Conditions should be good for Saturday morning’s sea bass opener, with scup and tog rounding out the bottom fishing in Buzzards Bay and Vineyard Sound.

Bigger striped bass are funneling into Cape waters and there are good numbers of schoolies and slot-sized fish around in the bays and backwaters from Falmouth to Chatham and in Buzzards and Cape Cod bays. That’s good news for participants in this weekend’s Cheeky Schoolie shore-based fly-fishing tournament.

For bigger stripers, tie on some topwater plugs and look to Buzzards Bay, where 20- and 30-pounders are beginning to funnel into the Bay and feed on bunker and other baitfish as they push toward the Cape Cod Canal.

Finally, a fishing story that is remarkable for many reasons. Captain Scott McDowell of North Shore Charters of Martha’s Vineyard was wire-line trolling for stripers when, after a big bite and an hour-long battle, a giant bluefin tuna emerged behind the boat. With no way to safely unhook the fish, they were forced to cut the leader. Check out the video on Instagram:

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