Cape Cod Bay Fishing Reports


Cape Cod Bay Stripers

Hogy Sandeel jigs are a perfect sand eel presentation, especially this time of year! Vertical jig them and hold on!

Cape Cod Bay Fishing Report

Things are definitely starting to pick up in the bay, at
least based on the information I was able to gather.
Amy Wrightson from The Sports Port in Hyannis read from a report
from last weekend penned by Morgan, a junior from Barnstable High
School who is just a great, responsible worker, Amy emphasized.
Apparently, some mackerel have shown around the bell buoy off of
Barnstable Harbor and a few slot fish were caught on them. Morgan
clarified that these macks were huge and they weren’t thick, but at
least there was some news about these very important baitfish.
Morgan added that there was some decent schoolie action as well, with
small soft plastics working best.
The word from Evan Eastman at Eastman’s Sport & Tackle in Falmouth
is that he heard from an angler on Wednesday who had just returned
from a very productive trip to the Sandwich creeks. He had caught
upwards of 20 fish on a mackerel topwater plug, with a number of the
fish in the slot. He added that there was a trio of flyrodders who were
catching fish and one of them hooked something that he couldn’t stop.
Now I know that in the past around Trunk River in Falmouth, it was
traditional to live line herring when it was legal and each year someone
would hook up with the world record striper, which turned out to be a
seal. That said, I can’t imagine a seal taking a fly for any reason, so most
likely it was one of the 40+-inch bass that have been reported in the
Canal and in this case already made its way into the bay and the creeks.
Bob Lewis also heard of some bass being taken on the bay flats by
flyrodders; at this time of year, sand eel patterns are often used with
good results as the early arrivals aren’t pressured as they will be as the
season progresses, but these shallows also hold good numbers of crabs

and shrimp and the regulars are noted for creating their own flies to
match these crustaceans as well.

Winter Flounder Fishing:

Finally, the winter flounder fishing remains very good, according to Lee
Boisvert from Riverview Bait & Tackle in South Yarmouth. When I was a
kid, along with seaworms, we also used to fish clam necks for flatties,
but Lee said that as opposed to necks, folks use sea clams that he and
other shops sell. If you’re really a hard core flounder angler, you just
might dig up some mussels to help supplement your supply of worms,
especially with the cost of wigglers always on the increase.

Outer Cape Fishing Report:

I spoke to Fran Keough at North Chatham Outfitters and
he advised that with water temperatures on the backside and onto the
shoals between 48 and 49 degrees, it’s going to be a while until the
bass settle into open water. At the moment, people are concentrating
on spots like Pleasant Bay, where the water is warmer and there is
abundant forage. Sometimes people make the mistake of thinking that
backwater fish out that way are mainly holdovers, but Fran noted that
there are plenty of fresh fish around and the action has been pretty
good – at least when the weather is good enough to convince people to
go fishing.
I did ask Fran about shoreline access around Pleasant Bay and he said
that you can get to the water around any of the public landings and as
long as you are in the water and actively fishing, you have the legal
right to be there.

Cape Cod Bay Fishing Tip:

Back in the day, Salt Water Sportsman would have articles
about fishing for winter flounder and I recall one article from, I believe,
Jack Fallon who emphasized the effectiveness of using a chum pot.
Even tackle makers such as Cap’n Bill’s, who were known for their
plugs, used to sell custom chum pots. I haven’t heard anyone mention
chumming for flounder in years, but even if you don’t want to deal with
trying to find a pot and then procuring a chum source such as shellfish,
if you do dig your own bait or have a friend who gives you clams or
mussels in the whole, when you break them up to get hook baits, don’t
forget to send the softer, disposable parts overboard to create a chum

Cape Cod Bay Conservation News:

Even though today’s fisherman does a good job of
keeping abreast of news concerning management of gamefish such as
striped bass, bluefish, and tuna, the reality is that protecting what these
prized species eat just might be as or even more important. The stocks
of Atlantic mackerel are in peril and so far, from what I have read, the
new recovery plan that was instituted hasn’t produced the results that
managers would like and the word is that even finding frozen mackerel
from commercial operations has become a challenge.



Filmed recently in Cape Cod Bay

Hogy Jig Biki and Sandeel jigs getting it done!

Cape Cod Bay Fishing Report

Not much to report from this area as the gale that we
experienced from last weekend through midweek kept sane folks at the
dock or on the trailer. Bruce Miller at Canal Bait and Tackle in Sagamore
told that a sailboat that ventured out the east end last weekend in an
attempt to reach Boston ended up grounded off of Scusset Beach and
the folks on board had to swim to shore. It always amazes me how
many people have no idea what the sea state and wind conditions are
while planning a trip. The sea is a cruel mistress and does not allow for
mistakes, so if you are in doubt, skip the trip and reschedule for
another day.

Matt Cardarelli at Riverview Bait and Tackle in South Yarmouth said the winter flounder bite was very good before the storm and he suspects it will pick right back up this weekend.

As far as stripers go, there hasn’t been much discussed about them; on
the other hand, Bruce and his son Jeff told me that they have been
attempting to pick up frozen mackerel for the shop with very little
success, an indication that the commercial boats are struggling to find
them.. Bruce added that nobody has encountered mackerel in the bay,
no a good sign since at this time of year they typically would have
moved inshore and rounded Provincetown into the bay. Mackerel spark
a big fishery around Barnstable Harbor this month, so if they don’t
show in numbers sufficient to keep liveliners happy, it will be
interesting to see how and what artificials prove to be effective

Cape Cod Bay Fishing Tips:

Since mackerel drive a great deal of the action in the Canal,
where bass move in from the bay in pursuit of mackerel and then make
their way back out, it might be worth considering some of the
lures/plugs that Canal anglers use during these events. That said, I can’t
recall seeing bass pushing mackerel around Barnstable like they do in
the Big Ditch, so subsurface options such as skinnier profile soft
plastics, especially paddletails or subsurface plugs such as the Hogy

Cape Cod Bay Conservation News:

I spoke with Capt. Mike this week and he surprised
to hear the mackerel situation is in dire condition since he has had no
problem in the past finding mackerel on his offshore trips. A 2021
management track stock assessment conducted by the Mid-Atlantic
Marine Fisheries Council has resulted in adjustments to the
management plan, including a November 3, 2021 letter to the states of
Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts that they cut their
recreational catch in half. Hearings were held in January to discuss the
changes in the plan and gather public comment, but from what I
gather, no changes in limits have occurred – yet.


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