Cape Cod Fishing Report- November 10, 2022

Schoolie stripers dwell around salt ponds, the Canal fishes well and albies linger near the Elizabeths, where tautog anglers also find good action.

The Fall Run is slowing down here on Cape Cod, and the recent combination of a cold snap and full moon tide likely set up the last leg of the migration. There are still bass around the south shore of Massachusetts that seem to be mostly low slot size to schoolie size. Those fish should be pushing south over the next week, so the Canal should fish well for a couple weeks while the bite in other areas diminishes. Bait has significantly thinned out, but there are select bays and inlets that seem to be holding dense schools of peanuts and silversides that are feeding the straggler bass around sunrise and sunset each day.

The outer beaches of Cape Cod are yielding a few fish here and there, but nothing of size. My friend Brian Larsen fished some of the ocean beaches around Orleans and Eastham over the weekend and found a decent pick of schoolie bass after dark. Time is running out, and personally, I haven’t been particularly good about getting out at night this week; it’s ironic, because nightfall comes around 4:45 p.m. these days. I’m going to blame my laziness on the fact that there is a new hole in the right foot of my waders because the water is substantially colder than it was last week. Still, I’ll have to give the night bite a few more good efforts before calling it a season. The south-facing inlets and salt ponds are still producing fish in the 30-inch range, although much like the outer beaches, the action is spotty. We have a tropical storm heading this way as the weekend approaches, so there’s hope that a shift in barometric pressure will flip a switch for the remaining stripers to put on the feed bag.

If the bass do decide to cooperate with local surfcasters, they’ll most likely be biting smaller, slow-moving swimming plugs at night. Peanut bunker and silversides are filing out of the backwaters, so a soft plastic with a similar profile, around 5-inches, will likely perform well on an appropriately matched jighead. A headlight will also show that crabs are moving in and out of the shallow salt ponds with the strong moon tides, so don’t hesitate to throw bucktails around the inlet mouths to pick off some stripers with their heads down.

I apologize in advance for the lack of photos this week. I didn’t do great with the camera while I was out on the ponds, and I haven’t fished the night shift as much as I would have liked to; however, I hope to find some action tonight.

Without many captains out and actively fishing, it’s been a quieter week on the water. The anglers who are still out fishing the surf are mostly doing so with silence and stealth at night.

You know the season is really dwindling when East End Eddie Doherty has given his final Cape Cod Canal fishing report of the season. There are few anglers that fish the ditch with such zeal on a daily basis, and Eddie is kind enough to share his intel and secrets with all of us throughout the season. It’s safe to assume that there are still schoolies and low slot fish feeding on the surface in the mornings, especially around breaking tides, and there should be some decent fishing on jigs for a couple weeks. I have a lot to learn down there. The only action my jigs saw during my first season fishing the Canal were snags and a big bluefish that sliced through my bait before I could get a hook into it. I’m looking forward to spending a couple more mornings or evenings down at the Canal before calling it quits.

When the surf fishing dies off around mid November, my attention will turn moreso toward freshwater. Largemouth bass will be biting well during the windy days that we’d normally be casting from the beach or boat.

I pulled this little guy in during a windy daytime bite that lasted a solid two hours.

Chain pickerel have been putting on a show the past two weeks, with handfuls of slime darts chowing down on spoons, poppers and Rapalas.

Light tackle and shiny spoons made for a fun bite during a warm, sunny lunch break this week.

Stocked trout fishing has been great too; when the sun is shining, the trout are biting. Even in breezy, overcast conditions, rainbows have been aggressively taking my Kastmasters. It’s the time of year that I go freshwater fishing with almost nothing other than those silly little metal lures. A couple jerkbaits and crankbaits, and a ned rig or tube jig will be kept close in case of finicky bass; but the spoons and spinners prevail in any small ponds or lakes with shiners and/or river herring fry. Play around with the retrieve, running it deep and shallow, fast and slow and be ready for a strike; fishing with Kastmasters and spinners always brings a few surprises.

Here’s the rundown from our local shops this week.

Connor at Red Top Sporting Goods in Buzzards Bay reports:

“Lots of smaller fish in the Canal this week. There are a good amount of schoolie to low slot fish. There were some boats doing well outside the west end early in the morning catching schoolies around Onset. The Canal still erupts with schoolies and slot stripers most mornings too. There was a big school of 10- to 12-pound bluefish toward the East End a few days ago, and there are still some guys getting good sized fish in the high slot range jigging at the east end.”

Macos Bait and Tackle in Buzzards Bay reports:

“Anglers are still catching big keeper tautog in the Canal, though it has been tougher with the strength of the current around the moon tide. There are plenty of bass still hitting topwater plugs in the morning and jigs during the day, but they definitely gotten smaller.”

Eastman’s Sport and Tackle in Falmouth reports:

“I caught a bunch of albies on Monday while they were feeding on silversides down by the Islands. Birds were working and everything, it was great to see this time of year. I think they were easier to catch because it was pretty rough out there, but there were tons of silversides still hanging out in dense schools. Schoolies are biting around the salt ponds and inlets, but the best fishing recently has been tautog. Tautog fishermen have done really well on the Buzzards Bay side of the Elizabeth Islands. I know a couple guys catching decent stripers by slinging eels around the Elizabeths too, but even that bite has started to dwindle a bit. I’m glad it was such a great season for albies, but I’m worried about bonito; hopefully we have a better showing of those next year.”

Morgan at Sports Port Bait and Tackle in Hyannis reports:

“Trout fishing at the local ponds was great this week, we found mostly rainbows but had a few browns mixed in. There were also lots of perch biting too. Shiners were working really well for yellow perch, but they were also picking at our trout baits. We bottom rigged Powerbait trout dough with a few small sinkers and it produced really well.

On the saltwater front, striper fishing improved this week for anglers throwing topwaters and chunking bait around the backwaters and beaches. There were also a lot of people catching bass on their resin jigs recently with all this small bait still around. Cape Cod Bay is fishing well for bluefish and striped bass, and there have been some more recent reports of big bluefish biting on the south side of Cape as well. Tautog are still being caught nearby as well, though nobody seems to share specifically where they’re getting tog when they find a good spot.”

Cape Cod Fishing Forecast

The Canal will be the safest bet for anyone looking to extend their striper season and still be met with abundance. Try the mornings, evenings, and breaking tides by throwing pencil poppers, jigs, or deep diving swimming plugs. There may still be some bluefish around, so bring a couple spare tails if you plan on jigging.

Surfcasters can still find a few bass here and there, especially along the south shore at night. Eels will find a few fish, but SP minnows, Redfins and various other minnow-style swimming plugs will also catch in the right environment. Locate spots with moving water and run the plugs almost painfully slow, so that any action imparted to the lure is from the force of the current. Daytime surfcasters might find more success with resin jigs and tins when there are silversides and peanut bunker off the beaches. Time the tides right and there will be schools of silversides swimming in an out of the salt ponds tight to the shoreline.

It’s hard to believe there are still albies around after their late-August arrival, but silversides are a prime source of forage for them. At this point there’s no telling when the albies will be gone completely, but clearly, anyone tog or striper fishing around the Elizabeth Islands would be wise to bring a couple extra resin jigs and Deadly Dicks.

Tautog are still biting in the Canal for land-based anglers. The East End fishing pier is a favorite spot, though I’m honestly not sure how you manage swinging a tog up over that railing without losing the fish or damaging your gear. Canal toggers (or pier anglers in general): do you use a net similar to the ones I see on Florida fishing piers? I’m genuinely curious.

Tautog are also biting well around the western side of the rocky Elizabeths, which is a huge area that is bound to hold some boulders with untapped potential. If you have not fished there, it’s advisable to drift the section you plan to anchor first and clear the area of any hazards before the fishing commences.

Wherever fishing finds you this week, respect the fish, respect each other, be safe and fish hard.

2 on “Cape Cod Fishing Report- November 10, 2022

  1. Jim Burek

    Good day!
    I have recently retired and I am looking for a new center counsel fishing boat in the 22-26 foot range. I have no experience in purchasing boats. I live in Harwich on the Cape. I know that there are many options out there for boats, but was wondering if you had a favorite go to brand name. Best, Jim

  2. Noah

    Still getting tog from shore, less small bites as the temps cool but also less fish, not looking forward to pulling the tip ups out

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