How To: Casting for Stripers at the Monomoy Shoals
Starting in late June and early July, large schools of striped bass migrate more heavily into the shoals just off the coast of Monomoy. There are miles upon miles of rips in the area, including Handkerchief, Bearse’s, and Stone Horse Shoals. It can be intimidating at first to figure out where to begin fishing this large area, so here are a few tips to help you catch striped bass (and bluefish) by casting jigs and softbaits into the rips using light-tackle outfits. For more on the area, check out our Monomoy Shoals spot profile.
Recommended Outfit: 7′ Shimano Terez Rod with a Shimano Saragossa SW 5000 reel. This light tackle outfit will give you extra action when you twitch your baits and extra sensitivity when feeling the initial strike. Plus, its a blast when you inevitably hook a 30+” striper or 8+ pound bluefish in this area.
Technique: The name of the game here is bouncing around from rip to rip until you find the one that’s holding the most life. The idea is to hang with the engine running right after the first couple waves of the rip or just in front in the slick water. Once your boat is in position, cast up tide and twitch the bait as it tumbles back through the rip. This diagram should help:
Recommended Tackle: Medium-sized softbaits and larger Epoxy Jigs seem to do the trick here. The fish are dialed in on different baits at different times of the season so make sure to match your lure’s color correctly. For example, if you’re seeing squid, try pink Epoxy Jigs and pink or amber colored soft baits. During the video shoot above, the fish were keyed in on herring, so silver-colored presentations were most effective. Also, the water is typically quite cold and clear at Monomoy, so going with larger and more colorful baits can attract fish from further away.
Recommended Time of Day & Tides: Typical of striper fishing on most of the Cape, low-light conditions that coincide with strong tides produce the best striper fishing. When the rips aren’t standing up, it can be very difficult to locate both the rips and the fish as the shoals shift significantly over the course of the year, making chart data inaccurate.