Cape Cod Fishing Report- October 6, 2022

Albies push west and south, striped bass fishing improves across the Cape, and bluefin tuna explode on the surface prior to sustained winds.

(Above) Before the blow this week, Reel Deal Fishing Charters in Truro found bluefin tuna blitzing on the surface for some phenomenal topwater action.(@fishreeldeal)

Typically, I thoroughly enjoy striped bass fishing in the wind and rain. It adds another element of excitement to surfcasting, but it’s undoubtedly more enjoyable when the fish are actively biting. I struggled to find a solid bite on the south side of Cape Cod this week, despite covering plenty of water on account of spot-bouncing and the bomb-casts that come with 20-knot winds at my back. Most of the striped bass action I experienced was prior to these shoddy conditions, but I’d imagine that surfcasters who braved gusting winds in the face on Cape Cod Bay likely had some productive fishing. A trip to Long Island for albies on the fly with my friend Sean threw a wrench in my week, and unfortunately, the outing was blown out. But, per usual, the bass were chewing well as the remnants of Hurricane Ian approached the Cape. I find that the days prior to storm fronts often yield the most consistent fishing, and that was certainly the case this week/weekend.

After a slow start to a night of striper fishing, my friend Jack and I headed to a spot with deeper water and stronger current than our first stop. Upon casting my jig into an eddy that signified a deep pocket on the far side of the channel, I immediately came tight to a nice 27-inch bass. The current sent my soft plastic tumbling into a stack of striped bass, which we proceeded to cast to for the next hour or two. Jack, who was using a medium/light freshwater setup, came tight to a handful of stripers ranging from the low 20’s to 28 inches. We had the bite to ourselves, and even managed to find a large bluefish mixed in with the pile.

Jack Renfrew caught this bluefish on a white paddletail and a 1/2-ounce jig. Needless to say, the soft plastic was no longer fishable after the blue chomped it.

Deep, fast-moving currents seem to be holding most of the fish around the South Cape. I pryed at some of my favorite shallow, boulder-ridden spots with swimming plugs and bucktail jigs with only one fish caught over the course of three outings. It’s funny, because in last week’s report I talked about stripers coming in so shallow that they were wriggling around in the sand on their bellies to get one last mouthful of silversides. This week though, finding those pinch points and areas where bait is funneled has proven successful. I’ll blame the storm for the drastic shift in feeding patterns over the course of a few days.

It will be interesting to see what the wind and weather has done to the albie bite, too. On Friday, Andy Nabreski caught a solid albie from a south Cape beach before work.

Here’s Andy Nabreski with a nice shore ‘core from late last week. (@livingoffthelandandsea)

It’s likely that the consistent northeast winds have since pushed the albies away from shore, but there’s still tons of bait around. The only way to find out if they’re still around is to get out there and try. The mouths of inlets and salt ponds seem to hold a few lingering hardtails, so start there and then expand your search if the bite is slow or non-existent.

During the windy, crummy weather on Tuesday evening, I sneaked out to one of my favorite trout ponds for an evening bite and landed a few rainbow trout. They struck my Kastmaster in low light, which I only continued to throw because I could see small shiners breaking the surface. As it turns out, rainbow trout weren’t the only ones chasing the shiners around the shallows.

A few little smallmouth bass like this one were mixed in with the ‘bows.

I missed a quality smallie after watching my kastmaster disappear into it’s massive jaw. It inhaled my jig and before I had a chance to set the hook, the fish spat it right back out… Soul crushing to see that happen in a foot or two of water.

Fishing in the fall is a blast. There’s so much freedom as a fisherman on Cape this time of year, and it’s fun to switch things up now and then. The only thing that allowed me to successfully fish with 4-pound fluorocarbon and a 1/4-ounce Kastmaster was the orientation of my casting. Due to sustained northeast winds, I positioned myself in the northeast corner of a kettle lake, which allowed me to cast further and cover more water with a small lure. Play to the conditions and you’ll often be rewarded, even if the reward is a couple freshly-stocked rainbow trout and fingerling smallies.

Speaking of, if there’s anyone who knows how to shift plans with the changing wind and weather conditions, it’s bluefin tuna fishermen.

It’s the first week of October, and as the chill in the air heightens with the swells offshore, bluefin anglers are keeping one eye on the clock and one eye on conditions. Timing a trip to the tuna grounds in October is often about finding the gaps between unfavorable weather systems— gaps that give promise in the way of safety and successful fishing. Devin Acton of The Weekly Salvage managed to do just that:

“This time of year is without a doubt one of the most frustrating but rewarding stretches and it reminds me of the old George Costanza quote: ‘I gotta focus. I’m shifting into soup mode.’ The weather windows in October get tighter, the sea-state gets soupier, and the fishing (usually) makes up for the time and safety constraints. This past weekend was a prime example, a 7-hour window Saturday the lone opportunity for those making the run off the backside before the swell kicked up. Excellent reports of topwater action from earlier in the week had expectations at a high level, which ultimately led to some early frustration after finding multiple schools of BFT ravaging butterfish only to get blanked on a dozen ‘grade-A’ casts into feeds. Following shearwaters to the NE, we bounced from feed to feed with no joy on stick-baits or swimmers…ultimately retracing our steps into shallower waters where there was a more consistent biomass of life. Whether it was luck or veteran’s intuition, while my buddies Jack, ‘Silky’ and I stubbornly blind-casted Mantis’ and Sirens into productive water, a sneaky stern jig deployment from my father ultimately punched our ticket to a 70” rec sleigh ride. While anecdotal, the day’s events underline how necessary it is to take off the blinders this time of year when the fish aren’t responsive to your offerings. Expectations are simply that, expectations, and every day should be viewed as a (nearly) clean slate.”

For those who are chasing giants but are limited to shore-based fishing, the Cape Cod Canal is still your best bet.

From the Ditch, East End Eddie Doherty reports:

“Peanut bunker, silversides, adult menhaden, mackerel and other baitfish remain in the Canal providing a top-notch meal plan for hungry predators! Vinny Rosata from Wareham caught several nice fish on the early east tide including a 41 inch striped bass with an Al Gags 5-ounce white soft plastic jig. Tim Petracca from Bourne, Mike LaRaia of Mashpee and Pocasset’s John Schmidt got into some topwater action together on the Cape side that produced several bluefish and stripers including a 37 inch that was landed by Mike. Tim got into some more surface breaks a few days later when he caught some nice fish including a 41-inch linesider on a Ron Arra white Strike Pro Special Popper. Another 37 inch was fooled on top by Paul “the painter” Gravina of Sandwich with a white surface plug and Bill Walsh of Roslindale got into the surface bite reeling in a 36 inch bass with a popper, both on the Cape. I was fishing near the Bourne Bridge next to Professor Johan Frenje from Beverly who teaches nuclear physics at MIT. My hope was that some of his intelligence would rub off on me, but there’s no sign of that miracle yet! Johan caught several fish including a 35 inch on the bottom and another one on top. I caught a 36 inch and 6 others on a Striper Gear green mack Rocket that is aptly named as it casts through the salt air like a turbo jet to reach distant breaking fish. Billy Jenkinson of Taunton instilled enough action in his 4 ounce Al Gags white soft plastic jig to cause a 44 inch striper to eat it in the east end. Centerville’s Jimmy Kelly was fishing next to Billy and using the same lure with an added bucktail teaser that resulted in two twin hookups with some slots!”

Bill Jenkinson with 44-inch Canal striper (photo: Jimmy Kelly)

Connor at Red Top Sporting Goods in Buzzards Bay reports:

“Buzzards Bay has been slow for bass, but there are lots of tog are around so we’ve been selling plenty of green crabs. Guys who have gotten out recently are getting a mix of keeper and short tog in deep pockets around the rocky shorelines like Quicks Hole and the Elizabeth Islands. In the Canal, the West End is waiting for another good push of stripers after a recent wave of 20- to 30-pound fish moved through. They didn’t stick around, but the slot and sub-slot body of stripers has kind of lingered in northern Buzzards Bay around Wareham. Meanwhile, the Canal’s east end has smaller fish around sub-slot, and schoolie size chasing bait around in the early morning hours.”

Macos Bait and Tackle in Buzzards Bay reports:

“The Canal is loaded with stripers but the big ones have just recently moved through, so we’re waiting for another good body of fish. The mackerel are in pretty thick right now, so that should get the stripers going. Otherwise tautog fishing has been pretty good, with a lot of decent fish coming up in relatively shallow waters. Get your green crabs and hit the rock piles for some steady short action and the chance at a couple healthy keepers.”

Eastmans Sport and Tackle in Falmouth reports:

“There are still albies on the south side of Cape from Cotuit to Woods Hole, and there have even been stripers mixed in with the albies. They seem to be lingering around inlets and steadily moving west. Striped bass fishing has picked up along the Elizabeths for anglers fishing with eels, but they’re also biting in the backwaters on small jigs, topwaters and swimming plugs. We’ve been selling a ton of crabs too, since the tog fishing is very good right now with a handful of customers who had limits this week. They’re getting them throughout the Elizabeth Islands and even in Buzzards Bay. If you locate submerged rocky structure in 20- to 30-feet of water or less, there will probably be some tog willing to chew.”

Sports Port Bait and Tackle in Hyannis reports:

“Trout fishing is going well since the stocking began, but only rainbows being caught so far since that’s what the state stocked first. Largemouth bass fishing is picking up as well, but our freshwater customers are focused on trout. There have been a couple guys catching albies by kayak and shore recently, but they seem to be slowly moving out because the boats have been doing a little better after the northeast winds pushed fish off shore a bit. There have been a few schoolies in Barnstable harbor as well, which are best targeted in the mornings and evenings. Not much happening out here for tautog just yet, but we’ve sold some green crabs and we’re hopeful that the bite picks up as the weekend brings in some better weather.”

Captain Ross of Cape Cod Charter Guys in Bourne reports:

“We’ll be chasing albies and stripers around South Cape and the Islands this weekend. The fishing was slow this week, but you gotta play the weather off the land; finding pockets of fishable water close to shore yielded some stripers but otherwise the wind and chop made fishing very difficult. We’ve had some good luck that way, fishing in close to shore without getting hammered. We are hunting around for tog too, but we’ll fully shift gears for them by the 15th for sure. If you’re looking to get out for stripers, tog albies or blues, we’ll be on ’em.” Call/text Captain Ross (509) 993-8981 to book a charter or go to for more information!

Captain Elena Rice of Reel Deal Fishing Charters in Truro reports:

“The topwater tuna bite was on fire before the past few days of heavy winds. Epic surface feeds presenting as best we’ve seen all year. We landed, kept and released several mid-40 inch to high-50 inch tuna on topwater plugs. Perfect size for a battle on spinning gear! Captured many GoPro moments including these: Doubled Up on The SpinTopwater TunaBluefin Tuna Triple and Catch and Release. Back out again today for what looks like another possible stretch of good weather and tight lines!”

The Reel Deal crew enjoyed crazy surface feeds before the recent wind halted mid-week trips. (@fishreeldeal)

Cape Cod Fishing Forecast

Albies are going to continue to push south and west, so if you have any interest in getting last licks on the speedsters, this weekend is the time to do it.

Striped bass fishing has improved recently and after the northeast winds, it should only get better as fish continue to file through the Canal and around the Outer Cape beaches. Topwaters have been getting the job done in the wind and chop, so don’t hesitate to throw a spook or a popper as the conditions calm this weekend.

Tautog are biting well towards the Islands and that bite is going to improve as we near the 15th, when the limit switches from 3- to 6-fish at a minimum of 16 inches. Further out toward Hyannis and Yarmouth, togging hasn’t picked up just yet, but anglers fishing from jetties may find a few fish here and there. Bring some crabs and a tog rod with you on the next (possibly final) albie trip to the rocks. Kayak anglers and boaters on the other hand, will likely see consistent action from short tog with flurries of keepers in the mix. Stop into your local shops and grab a bucket of green crabs and some jigs or pre-tied rigs to get in on the action.

Trout fishing should be great this weekend, and my bet is that freshwater passing will follow suit. Try out those kettle lakes and bass ponds in the morning or right around sundown for the most activity.

It’s a long weekend, so there will be more boats on the water chasing fish. Look out for each other, be respectful, be safe and have fun in the better weather this weekend.

Catch you next Thursday!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *