Pretty much everywhere you look in the bay, there are striped bass to be caught; the only challenge is figuring out where there are larger fish, if that is your goal.
Cape Cod Bay
The livelining mackerel bite is just starting to pick up — a few larger fish have been caught up inside Barnstable, but nothing to write home about. The bigger fish seem to be further out towards Provincetown.
Barnstable Harbor has been the name on everyone’s lips when it comes to bass fishing from boat or shore in the waters from Sandwich to Orleans. Most of the fish are schoolie size, but with more and more mackerel likely to show as May draws to a close, the larger bass will start trailing the schools that gather outside the mouth of the harbor. But if you don’t care what size bass you catch, then there are schoolies throughout the harbor, including the marshes and creeks.
While there aren’t that many folks looking to charter a boat right now, if someone would like to do, there is no lack of fish out in the bay. While Billingsgate and the Path are slow right now, there is some good fishing to be had closer to shore, especially around the flats and inshore shoals.
Reports from boaters regarding bass have been tough to come by because the weather has kept many of them off the water, while the presence of bluefin tuna out around Stellwagen has resulted in anglers fishing for tuna in boats of pretty much every size. As an example, the assistant harbormaster in B-Harbor told me that a 19-foot boat came in with a 100+-inch fish that weighed over 600-pounds.
Barnstable Harbor is absolutely loaded with bass, including tons of schoolies in the morning with some bigger fish being caught at night up inside the harbor on live eels and plugs. The charterboats out of Sandwich, Barnstable, and Rock Harbor continue to find fish around Billingsgate, mainly on jigs and umbrella rigs, although Andy Little said that some folks have been doing well livelining mackerel – when they can get them.
The fish up inside Barnstable Harbor and the Sandwich Creeks are mainly schoolies in the 24 to 30-inch range. Out in the bay, it’s been tough for boats to get out due to the windy conditions, but prior to the weather things were generally reported as slow.