Outer Cape Fishing Report – July 11, 2019

July 11, 2019 Weekly Rating: 3 out of 5

Reports of tuna milling off the Golf Ball and other spots on the backside have folks hoping that they get into an eating mood soon.

When Elise Costa from The Powderhorn in Hyannis told me that there were small to large fish up by the Golf Ball, I was relieved in some ways because the bass fishery there has never really taken off this season the way it typically does. Or at least folks in the know were doing a fantastic job of keeping it quiet.

But Elise quickly corrected my assumption and said she was speaking of tuna that were close to shore in the Truro area; they weren’t feeding just yet, but just swimming, as if they were almost checking out things. But if they start to eat, you can bet that plenty of folks will forget just how mediocre the striper fishing has been for boaters working the waters of the backside.

Paul Newmier at Blackbeard’s in Eastham said he spoke to a kayaker who was fishing off of Race Point and saw one of the local charterboats doing well on bass by vertical jigging. It was hard to say just what size class they were catching, but there were plenty of rods bent over and happy faces.

For the sand people, the beaches from Wellfleet to Provincetown have been holding greater numbers of stripers, but the vast majority remain schoolies in the low to mid-20-inch class.

Swimming plugs and sand eel imitating soft plastics are typically to producers from the backside beaches, but at night there are still a few hardcore working Nauset and Coast Guard with needlefish and live eels at night. Around spots like Herring Cove and the Race, folks still toss topwater plugs in hopes of finding a school or two of fish, even small ones.

Pleasant Bay is definitely warming up, which means early mornings and evenings, as well as inclement weather days, are best when fishing inside, while there as the summer progresses there is more attention paid to the waters surrounding the inlets by boaters. Remember, however, that these areas can change overnight and they are especially dangerous in the fog and/or when the current is running especially hard against opposing winds.

They may seem like a stick with hooks, but needlefish are an outer Cape classic; in fact, folks like Don Musso of Super Strike lures began to make his classic styles after hearing how effective they were in spots like Block Island and the backside beaches. Each one has its own characteristics, but typically it’s a slow, straight retrieve with an occasional rod tip movement.


June 27, 2019 Weekly Rating: 3 out of 5

It just breaks my heart to see what one of the finest, classic striped bass shore areas on the East Coast has turned into.

If you’re not inundated with hungry seals that will steal your fish, you’re lucky to come up with anything that approaches legal size.

While the tourists are typically happy to soak sand eels or cut bait, swimming plugs and weighted soft plastics are most popular with the folks who still fish these waters.

Paul Newmier at Blackbeard’s in Eastham suggested that if you are going to fish the backside beaches, you would do best to concentrate on the beaches from Wellfleet to Race Point.

On a more positive note, Matt Cody at North Chatham Outfitters said that if folks are just looking to catch a fish, they can pretty much send them to any spot up inside Chatham or Orleans and they will catch schoolies. Pleasant Bay also is still holding good numbers of bass as well as hickory shad, which are a lot of fun on the fly rod and light tackle. After all, there is a good reason that some folks call them “poor man’s tarpon.”


June 20, 2019 Weekly Rating: 3 out of 5

Plenty of bait around the backside is a precursor to the fishing taking off – if it hasn’t happened already.

Capt. Austin Proudfoot at North Chatham Outfitters told me that there is a ton of bait along the backside, especially up around the Truro and Provincetown area. Pogies, sand eels, mackerel, and sea herring typically concentrate from the Golf Ball to Race Point, with some folks believing that this bait moves around the tip of the Cape into Cape Cod Bay, while others feel that there is an earlier influx of macks that comes around the corner earlier in the season, eventually deeper into the bay and then back up towards Provincetown.

By this time of the year, the Provincetown/Truro bite is typically already on and that might be the case as we speak, with those in the know being cagey about what they have.

Meanwhile, Race Point to Wellfleet remains the best stretch for the shore crew, said Paul Newmier at Blackbeard’s in Eastham. Finnish style swimming plugs are popular, but Paul really tries to steer folks towards jighead/soft plastic combinations, both paddletails and eel styles, because their single hook makes it easier and cleaner to release small fish, which dominate the population in this area right now.


June 14, 2019 Weekly Rating: 3 out of 5

With the number of folks fishing from Provincetown to Wellfleet greater than there are down around Eastham and Orleans, it would only make sense that there would be more news and more fish being caught.

Race Point is producing a good number of bass, with a lot of folks telling Paul that they are getting close to catching a legal one, with many between 26 and 27-inches.

Paul also spoke to some folks who rent a cottage up around Wellfleet and they have managed to catch four legal bass this week on white or bone colored Finnish style swimmers. The fish weren’t huge, but they were happy to be able to eat some bass.

Down his way, there are some small bass being caught around Coast Guard and Nauset Light, Paul said, but generally they have been small schoolies.

I also stopped by to talk with Capt. Joe Fitzback at Chatham Bait & Tackle and he said that along with good numbers of small bass in the rivers and other protected waters such as Pleasant Beach, it is also not uncommon to catch hickory shad, which are great fun on fly and light tackle.

Although it won’t do any good for folks looking for bass to eat or that one cow that they can kill for bragging rights, the reality is that there are plenty of smaller bass around that make for great fun is you down size your tackle. Even if you’re a flyrodder, you can down size to anything between a five and seven-weight and use smaller flies. If you need to use a weighted bug, consider using bead chain eyes as opposed to a honker set of lead Clouser barbells.


June 6, 2019 Weekly Report: No Rating

Other than small bass from Race Point down to Wellfleet, the back beaches have been pretty quiet. The winds have been generally out of the north and east this week, making conditions difficult for the few shore anglers who continue to put in their time along the sand.


May 30, 2019 Weekly Rating: 1 out of 5 

This rating just might be too generous, but at least there are good numbers of schoolies being caught up off Race Point. Paul Newmier at Blackbeard’s in Eastham said the number of people putting forth any kind of effort along the back beaches in May has dwindled to almost nothing.


May 24, 2019 Weekly Report:

Paul Newmier at Blackbeard’s in Eastham said that the wind has kept folks from fishing the backside beaches, although he did hear from one angler who was up at Race Point and experienced the frustration of watching other fishermen catch bass while he came up empty.

Odds are that if the fish are on the beach, then boaters should be enjoying the Provincetown and backside jig bite, as well as some solid topwater action, but at the moment, the wind is keeping most vessels tied to the dock or on their trailers.


May 17, 2019 Weekly Report: 

Paul Newmier from Blackbeard’s in Eastham said the conditions this spring have kept most folks off the water, but up inside Pleasant Bay there have been plenty of small bass. In years past, an occasional really large, holdover fish has been caught, and given the relatively mild winter we experienced, the odds go up that a wise old striper managed to hang out in a deeper hole or channel, waiting for the sun to signal that spring has arrived.