Cape Cod Fishing Report – June 16, 2024


Interesting contrast on the water today for Capts. Bob Lewis and Ben Sussman versus yours truly, with the two of them striking gold and the other not so much.

So. Let’s start with the good news. Bob once again had Olivia Dinkelacker and Grace Castleberry on board the Gotta Fly for a chance at adding some more data logger entries into Olivia’s database as part of her doctoral thesis research.

One of the challenges with the logger set up is that once it is strapped to a fish large enough to swim with it – which generally starts around 30 inches – a striped bass can peel off hundreds of yards of line off the reel which has been placed in free spool.

That means having plenty of open water free of obstructions – including other boats.

And, if you have fished any of the shoal areas on the Cape on the weekend, then you know that this scenario is not one you are likely to encounter at any of the numerous named or charted shoals, whether it’s Middle Ground, Hedge Fence, or Succonesset to the west; Wasque on the southeast corner of Martha’s Vineyard; Muskeget and Tuckernuck between the Vineyard and Nantucket; Smith’s Point or the Old Man on the Grey Lady; or Handkerchief, Bearses, or the Point around Monomoy.

Then again, around the area known generally as Monomoy, there are also a number of smaller rips that smart anglers and captains keep to themselves and that’s what Bob did. The short stretch of white water he targeted had lots of birds and good sized bass, perfect for what they had hoped to accomplish.

As Bob told me, they could have hooked up with multiple fish at any time on the Hogy Charter Grade Poppers they were using, but when a fish is put on the logger, all angling must cease since they drift along with the fish and most often end up well away from the rip line where the fish are feeding. In addition, if someone did hook up with another fish and it managed to cross the line attached to the logger, thereby parting it, an expensive piece of equipment would be lost.

I don’t think anybody who enjoys being on the water as much as Bob could ever become so inured to catching bass that he wouldn’t want to keep casting at them – even if it was with only a hookless plug! But he said helping Olivia out has been a lot of fun and makes for a relaxed day when they are into lots of fish that fit the profile of what Olivia is looking for in this part of her research.

Another benefit to seeking out areas with less angling pressure but still hold good numbers of fish is that it can expand our knowledge of bodies of water beyond just heading for a popular location that might have died out due to fishing pressure, stage of the tide, or bait movement.

Ben, on the other hand, was able to target rips both east and west of the point and said it was “stupid action pretty much all trip. You could cast a popper straight into the rip and hook a 36 inch bass.”

His crew also used soft plastics – Ben is a big fan of the 10 inch Hogy Original – as well as trolling swimmers that are similar in design to the Hogy Charter Grade Swimmer.

My downfall today was trying to take the easy route in an area where the fishing is still good but right in front of everyone’s nose. In other words, I was hoping to pick a corner or point at Middle Ground where we could do some unobstructed fly and spin casting.

I was especially hopeful that this would be possible since the boat ramp parking lot at Falmouth Harbor wasn’t crowded even at my later than usual departure time, but I always forget that plenty of people have boats in slips and on moorings, both at that end of the Cape and on the Vineyard.

We were able to stay away from the areas where the boats jockeying for position looked like seagulls trying to grab a squid flying out of the water. But within a very brief time, that proved to be impossible as I looked down for what seemed like a second and there were boats on both sides of me that appeared out of nowhere.

Paul Valint hooked up with his PVEP squid fly, but the fish came unbuttoned due to a poor knot – which I did not tie! We tried one of my orange and brown versions of the Jaime Boyle Red Can Squid, but had no interest in it at all. A small silicone squid got bit a few times, but we never came tight and before we changed over to another of Paul’s flies, the tide was starting to slack and the crowding was unbearable.

Paul’s friend Steve picked up a couple of nice fat bass tossing bone or amber seven inch Hogy Originals as the fish just were not interested in poppers of any color.

If you are only interested in plugging, however, then consider trying spook style topwaters instead. I am a big fan of white/bone Hogy Dog Walkers, both the regular and XL models, but as you can see for yourself, amber doesn’t just work with the Hogy Charter Grade Popper.

Oh, and although some really big bass have been caught on really small lures, leading to the saying, “Even elephants eat peanuts,” I think more anglers abide by the saw, “Big lure – or bait – equals big fish.”

One of the most heartening aspects of my trip had nothing to do with striped bass as I saw lots of folks picking up some really nice fluke. These were both recreational and commercial boats and I have to say it sure looked relaxing as they drifted through the rips or held upcurrent, bouncing jigs – both with and without bait or artificial attractors.

Capt. Mike sent me some samples of his new Biki Groundfish Jigs and if I can ever escape my obsession with topwater plugs and flies, I need to give them a try. Or perhaps even “loan” them to someone who, like Mike, knows how to use them.