Fishing On Cape Cod: Fall

Fishing On Cape Cod: Fall

In early fall the water is still very warm and the fishing may be slow but very soon things will change and change fast. The first northeast storm of the season usually kicks things into motion and the “fall run” will be underway.

Every species of fish in the waters of Cape Cod begins to feed more aggressively in preparation for the migration south or out to deeper waters for the winter. Striper fans again turn their attention to the Canal, where big bass put in regular appearances, especially at dawn at times of slack tide. The estuaries and salt ponds are as full of bait as they will be all year and stripers of all sizes, bluefish and even false albacore will take advantage. After dark fishing is still best but increasingly the day time bite will be good. This is the time of “blitzing” fish, schools of stripers and blues pushing bait such as menhaden close to or even onto the beaches. Fishing a blitz is an unforgettable experience.

It is also the time when the true heavyweights of the Cape fishing scene, giant bluefin tuna show up off Chatham and Provincetown, feeding on huge schools of sand eels. This heavily regulated fishery is for experienced anglers only but school bluefin are still available in the same areas.

Many fishermen feel that the week or so around Columbus Day is usually the peak of the fall run. If that time period coincides with a good northeast blow the fishing can be absolutely epic.

In the latter part of fall, near Thanksgiving things are usually slowing down dramatically but the warmer backwaters will still hold schoolie stripers and a few larger fish will still be migrating through. But striper fishing is rapidly drawing to a close for another year.