This booklet shares with you the precise locations of 10 of the best Cape Cod Canal fishing spots, and the best tides for each hot spot. Migrating Stripers sometimes take a short cut through the Cape Cod Canal. Back in the 1980s when schools of menhaden kept the bluefish around it was even common to catch those fish right up until Thanksgiving but with the huge decline in those baitfish the blues leave much sooner now. Rocky areas or areas with a mix of rocky and sandy bottoms are best for sea bass and tautog; fluke prefer sandy bottoms such as are found on Mashnee Flats near the west end of the Canal and at Middle Ground between the south side of the Cape and the north shore of Martha’s Vineyard. The faces are just silhouettes, dark and emotionless. And there are dozens of other tweaks and solutions, too. Typically the first of the fall northeast storms happen in October and while they can sometimes feature absolutely wild striper fishing in equally wild conditions, they also serve to push even more bass through and out of the area. Hooklength and Final Shot. Next low tide. Others turn right and make their way by Cotuit, Hyannis, Harwich on their way to Monomoy, and then make the turn up the long arm of the Outer Cape. I’ve even seen one with large, plastic food-storage “garbage cans” affixed with wood furring strips. I can set the alarm for any time — 2:37, 3:11, 1:55 — and wake up one to five minutes before it goes off, almost without fail. * indicates a shore fishing area. Writer Zach Harvey doesn't believe in a hierarchy of worthy quarry, instead preferring the underrated black sea bass. The three bridges leading to the Cape over the Cape Cod Canal are the Sagamore, Bourne, and railroad bridges. While it’s still possible to take stripers during the daylight hours, shore based anglers begin spending much of their fishing time under the cover of darkness and hour or so just before dawn (which comes very early at this time of year) can be absolutely magical. Things shift into high gear in October and the Cape Cod Canal gets much attention from striper fans as fish from the north begin moving through. There is always some debate about whether the first fish that are caught are truly migratory specimens (identified by the presence of sea lice on their bodies) or holdovers that have left the estuaries but in any case, the striped bass season has begun. The very best areas in the Canal usually support enormous rips, holes, and rocky peaks that fish flock to like bees to honey. We camp at Scusset Beach State Park, which has the best of both worlds - you've got the canal on one side and the beautiful beach on the other side! Fluke (summer flounder), tautog and scup will be targeted by bait fishermen. I might hit it tonight just to see if theyre there... but wondering if anyone else has . The Bourne bridge is 2,684 feet, or about half a mile, in length, whereas the Sagamore bridge is 1,408 feet, or about a third of a mile, in length. Most people think of the canal as the sea-level “river”, otherwise known as the land cut, connecting Buzzards Bay and Cape Cod Bay. Whether I’m coming home from the surf or leaving for the canal, the ungodly hours I keep are ignored, so long as they don’t affect her. (Choke points are elementary in so many styles of fishing, and the canal has to be one of the world’s largest.) An excerpt from a fictional story of a record striped bass and the Cape Cod community turned upside down by its appearance. This booklet shares with you the precise locations of 10 of the best Cape Cod Canal fishing spots, and the best tides for each hot spot. Early May is one of the most exciting times of the season for people who love fishing at the Cape Cod Canal. Sacrifices are made, relationships are strained, sleep is lost because, unlike fishing in most other places, you can’t not go and not know what happened. Next low tide. “When the bite is on, they’re practically high-fiving, chest bumping and ass-slapping everyone that walks by. Offshore the tuna season begins in earnest with bluefin showing in good numbers off Provincetown and off Chatham. It saves going all the way around the cape. When the water slacks and the bait tries to make a run for it, it’s a free-for-all.”, The thirst for a spectacular top-water hit from a big bass brings the crowds. Cape Cod revolves around fishing, so you’ll have no trouble finding a charter. This map was created by a user. Map of Cape Cod for https://freecapecodnews.com. With access roads tracing each bank and no motorized vehicles permitted, bikes are the accepted mode of transportation, making this fishery even more unique. This narrow body of water is ideal for casting into from shore, with plenty of prized fish passing through as they make their way from northside to south (and vice-versa). Interactive map of Cape Cod shore fishing spots, kayak spots, ramps, tackle shops available. Has anyone ever fished with a rod under 10ft in the canal? Largemouth bass, tuna, and bluefish. Canal bikes are 100 percent basement-engineered, and the modifications are passed from angler to angler. In September the water is still very warm so night fishing is still the best way to go if you’re after stripers but with huge numbers of baitfish active both in the estuaries and in the open water the possibilities of catching bass during the day along with bluefish get better all the time. Hooks come in all different sizes; For canal fishing we use a size 18 or smaller; When fishing for small fish on the towpath side of the canal, we use a small hook. It steps tightly through an undulating rip and glides into the slick water on the inside of the seam. With strong currents and abundant bait, the Cape Cod Canal is a unique and productive spot for striped bass. © 2020 Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc., an Active Interest Media company. This is the best time of year to take youngsters down to most any local dock, pier or jetty that is adjacent to water 10 feet deep or more to catch the ubiquitous scup (called porgy in Connecticut and Rhode Island). When a body of fish enters Buzzards Bay, it is essentially funneled through the canal. Cape Cod Canal anglers look forward all year to the “breaking tides” (slack water just before or at dawn) in June – this may be the best time of the entire year to catch very large bass on surface lures in The Big Ditch. Stellwagen bank is located off the coast of Massachusetts between Gloucester and Cape Cod. I can set the alarm for any time — 2:37, 3:11, 1:55 — and wake up one to five minutes before it … Any stripers they encounter will most likely be “holdovers” – small fish that did not migrate and spent the winter well inside those estuaries, salt ponds or harbors. Next high tide. There’s nothing quite like fishing for striped bass as they dine on spawning cinder worms. The truth surrounding the whole ritual is that only the other soulless shapes in that lot truly understand it. And bluefin tuna begin to show off Provincetown and down the outer Cape to the waters off Chatham. Cape Cod is the place for countless adventures like going to the beach and kayaking. 12:01 PM. The Cape Cod Canal is a 7-mile, man-made shortcut between Buzzards Bay and Cape Cod Bay in Massachusetts. The Cape Cod Canal is one of the Northeast’s most productive striper fisheries. All Rights Reserved. Speeding down the dark highway, I have already arrived (in my mind) more than an hour ago. The hits are vicious, and the battles with big bass are epic, as the fish have the upper hand with depths of 36 to 50 feet, stepped ledges, riprap and current to use to their advantage. Spring. One by one, the doors slam, and bikes with rods splayed out like the herls of a strutting peacock glide, rattling quietly, toward the access road. Their conversations snap at a pace that only cocaine could keep up with — this is the adrenaline, what we wake for. Where to Find Cape Cod Fishing Gear. Although you certainly can’t compare winter saltwater fishing on Cape Cod to what we have available at other times of the year, there are still a few options worth exploring. The answer is that FLOW means that the current of running from Buzzards Bay to Cape Cod Bay and EBB means the current is running from Cape Cod Bay to Buzzards Bay. This is why so many anglers travel great distances to be here. CHARLEY SOARES-Cape Cod and the Islands. I could write a whole story about the methods I’ve seen for toting a hot coffee. So we asked our social media friends to tell us some of their watery favorites–thanks to everyone who chimed in, here is our Cape Cod Top 10: Favorite ponds list–click the name of the pond to find out more, including directions and amenities. Cape Cod Canal is the most popular shore fishing destination on the peninsula. “Even though I live 100 yards from the Atlantic Ocean back home, I don’t think twice about the 300-mile drive to the canal,” he says. The little fish are ravenous and sure to keep young anglers from getting bored. Most notably, however, freshwater fishing on Cape Cod is an enjoyable way for anyone to spend a day on the Cape. How many holdovers may be around is highly variable. Many bikes plod along, displaying wide tails draped over the sides of their baskets. The top 4 spots to fish for striped bass in the Cape Cod area are: Barnstable Harbor; Wellfleet; Billingsgate Shoal; Race Point; 1. Certain rips and eddies hold fish longer, and there are likely areas where stripers might corral bait when the tide comes up to full speed. November 23, 2020 - 09:59:50. He fishes the Stan Gibbs Cape Cod Canal Fisherman's Classic every year and his striped bass entry won the shore division in his first Buzzards Bay Anglers Club Fall Derby. Both beach fronts and interior locales are good bets and if a herring run is nearby, so much the better. If the bite was off, your mission is to find out if you were in the wrong place. There striped bass fishermen fish day and night in their quest to catch the largest striped bass, and the prestige and bragging rights that come with it. Best to always check state regulations before targeting fluke, sea bass or tautog. Some town parking facilities are limited to town residents only (RO) and noted where applicable. Some years certain places such as Scorton Creek in Sandwich and upper Barnstable Harbor hold quite a few and while very few is any are of legal size the possibility of hooking up for the first time since the previous fall can be irresistible. I’m snapped back to reality as decision time comes: Should I cross the Bourne Bridge and fish the Cape side, or should I veer off the approaching exit and stay on the mainland side? One of the secrets of the canal is to use topwater lures and fish 30 minutes before the first light. Trolling tubes and pitching live eels after dark along the Elizabeth Islands is very popular and some boating anglers on the Upper Cape fish nowhere else. I've heard that you need a 10 foot rod to fish the cape cod canal, is this true? *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Our peninsula is chock-full of bait and tackle shops offering products and friendly advice for seasoned fishermen and enthusiastic beginners alike. Our season starts fishing for Cod and Haddock offshore to Stellwagen bank. The outer Cape beaches should also be fishing very well for both stripers and bluefish. By August the so-called summer doldrums usually set in with the exception of fishing for those recent arrivals from points south: bonito, false albacore and sometimes Spanish mackerel. There’s nothing like getting them on top.”. Cape Cod Canal. But seriously, where else in the world can you ride your bike on a paved road, look at beautiful scenery and catch big stripers along the way? By the second week of May the chances of catching big striped bass get better, due to the presence of herring, squid and other larger bait items. And most of us have learned the hard way that further modification is required. The typical recommendation is to fish about 2-3 hours before high tide to about 2-3 hours outgoing tide. Largemouth bass, tuna, and bluefish. The Cape Cod Canal is the widest canal in the world, and a central feature in navigation around Southeastern New England. Trickle, trickle, trickle. Weather permitting, a few head boats (large party boats with enclosed, heated cabins) sail out of Hyannis and nearby Plymouth harbors all winter long. In my opinion, September is the best month for Cape Cod striped bass fishing.For starters, striped bass show up in greater numbers.They are also usually much more aggressive. The tide is currently rising in Cape Cod Canal. Years of fishing the Cape Cod Canal have equipped me with a strange ability. How To Fish The Cape Cod Canal. Top Cape Cod Piers & Boardwalks: See reviews and photos of piers & boardwalks in Cape Cod, Massachusetts on Tripadvisor. Video How-To: Fishing The Cape Cod Canal by OTW Staff February 20, 2019 Roy Leyva of Shimano sits down with On The Water’s Kevin Blinkoff to discuss tackle, etiquette, and tips for fishing for striped bass in the Cape Cod Canal. If you want to catch large striped bass, go to Cape Cod. Hooklength and Final Shot The final shot on our rig are of crucial importance. There are several tackle shops located on Cape Cod. Beginning in early May things happen quickly as both stripers and often, early bluefish arrive on a daily basis. These include numerous 70 pounders. From surf casting to fly fishing the Cape has plenty to offer. Best Lures for Cape Cod Canal Stripers. Barnstable Harbor: if you are not picky as far as the size of the striper that you catch, then check out the harbor towards the end of May. Best Striped Bass Lures for the Canal. However it generally takes many years to learn which areas fish best at which tide. Cape Cod Canal is a beautifully maintained walking/biking path along the entirety of the Canal. Many years ago there was a viable fishery for winter flounder and smelt in the salt ponds and harbors in March but sadly, those fish have all but disappeared. After the typically slow fishing of high summer, fishermen on the Cape look forward to cooler nights of fall and the kick off of the fall migration when massive numbers of stripers and bluefish begin moving through (or out) on their way to their southern winter waters. The wild card is always the possibility of tropical storms, which can heavily affect the presence and location of those fish. The Cape Cod Canal is still producing fish. By Eric Williams. A long cast upcurrent, the large Guppy Pencil Popper splashing down and working slowly, ushered by the slowing tide. After a few last prayer casts, I climb the steep embankment to join the other bikes on the path, hurrying back to the normal people in their normal day. The cod season starts April 16th and runs until the end of October. Cape Cod is the place for countless adventures like going to the beach and kayaking. Soon that school of trophy-size fish swam north, passing Mass Maritime Academy and entering the canal’s landcut. Numerous 70-pound striped bass has been caught in the Cape Cod area, mainly around the canal. Cape Cod Canal Squidding - posted in East Coast: Anyone been squidding in the Canal lately? The canal bike is one of the last remaining fingerprints of surf-casting ingenuity. The most epic Cape Cod Canal striped bass fishing season in recent memory began in 2017 during the second week of May. But some years there will be virtually none. Every bike has a main kickstand and a backup — some even have a third. Worth a try with light spinning gear or a fly rod if the weather is decent. For hours at a time it was possible to throw a cast knowing that your plug would be engulfed within seconds. There really aren’t any secret spots in the canal, at least if plugging is your game. Ed Doherty of Mattapoisett said, “I caught a 17 pound striped bass and a friend landed a 25 pound fish last Friday. The waters around the Cape are known for striped bass fishing, and some of the largest striped bass have been caught there. Everything is a challenge here, from presenting your lures in the current to landing big fish — and, you know, your chances of hooking a truly big fish from shore at the canal are better than almost anywhere else.”. On the best mornings, more bass enter the canal from the west, and waves of bass move through, taking down anything that moves as they go. Canal bikes, as they’re commonly called, are mechanical expressions of the people who ride them. Photos by John Doble. Some Cape fishermen feel that June is the best month of them all as spring transitions into summer. Bobby Ellinas slides a 54-pounder over the wrack weed and up the riprap. Nowhere.”. Like a creaking stair in the middle of the night, the explosion shatters the quiet and rocks the anticipation of the 30 guys within earshot who have been waiting for someone else to show them that it’s time to fish. They usually stick to areas some distance from shore and are the targets of the boating crowd but occasionally in places like Woods Hole and along the Vineyard Sound side of Falmouth they may come in close enough for shore anglers to have brief opportunities. Click on the icon to reveal more information about the spot. Mackerel entering the canal from the east end were there to fan the flames as schools of 20- to 50-pound bass gorged themselves. Close to the beaches of Cape Cod Bay is a series of shallow water called the flats. For generations the outer beaches have been a favorite destination of anglers in beach buggies, some of whom save all their vacation time for the two week period around Columbus day. This article helps shorten the Cape Cod Canal learning curve. Get in their way! The notch supports the basket, and the angled end provides maximum grip, digging in when the wind blows. Most have saddlebag-style baskets on the back; some have a basket mounted on the handlebars, too. Cape Cod is one of the best fishing spots on the planet. The fallback is a length of shovel or hockey stick handle, with an angled cut at one end and a notch in the other. In reality the Army Corps of Engineers controls a passage that […] From the Borne Bridge to the tip of Provincetown, out to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.A great resource for weather conditions, live … The writer remembers the striper that made his world go topsy-turvy. We are lucky to have spectacular clear ponds to swim, fish and kayak in. The rhythm feels like work or war, but it’s all in preparation for the hopeful promise of adrenaline, a promise that is every bit as unjustified as it is undeniable. Things can heat up even from one tide to the next as wave after wave of migrating fish charge through. Although not quite as popular as it once was, some Cape offshore fans “go south” to fish areas like The Dump, The Fingers and all the way out to the canyons south of the Vineyard and Nantucket in search of yellowfin, sharks and more exotic species like wahoo and mahi. The standby canal bike is a mountain bike — girls’ bikes are favored because of their low crossbar, which is easier for wader-clad (or just old and tired) feet to clear when getting on and off. Hundreds of canal fishermen topped their best bass in July, and many more hearts were broken by a line gone limp when a hook pulled, a split ring opened up or a leader gave way. A paperboy-style wire basket straddles the rear wheel, with PVC rod holders affixed to both corners. The kickstand systems are a particular marvel of angler ingenuity. This past July was one of the best months I can remember in my nearly 20 years fishing the Cape Cod Canal. While they are considered unpredictable, anglers may improve their chances of catching a striper by paying attention to the time of the day, the weather, and the tide. This is a defense mechanism that comes from sleeping next to a very understanding wife. The attitude that hangs in the lots during the dark arrival fluctuates with the intensity of the bite when everyone returns. Fish Funnel. These include numerous 70 pounders. All were built in the mid-thirties, during depression days. It’s funny how easy it is to convince myself that things are lined up just right. When sunlight begins to penetrate the water, the fish push bait up through the water column, and packs of bass begin showing on the surface, punishing bait as they drift through the lazy current. Just being out there is enough-catching fish … Although the first migrating striped bass don’t usually show up along the south-facing beaches until the middle or end of April, local anglers will start hitting the estuaries in search of fish as early as late March or even earlier if the weather has been unseasonably warm. Most notably, however, freshwater fishing on Cape Cod is an enjoyable way for anyone to spend a day on the Cape. The best baits for beginners are squats, pinkies, maggots and bread; When putting a maggot on a hook you must thread it through the flat end of the maggot; Hooks. Brian Crowley with a 54-pound striper lashed across his “canal bike.”, With strong currents and abundant bait, the Cape Cod Canal is a unique and productive spot for striped bass. See detailed regulations for recreational fishing at the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries. A unique striper plug made more than 60 years ago continues to excite collectors and anglers. This is because the largest of the stripers will be arriving, plus the fact that both shore and boat anglers have a good shot at them. And missing out feels like a kick in the cojones. However it generally takes many years to learn which areas fish best at which tide. Hooks come in all different sizes; For canal fishing we use a size 18 or smaller; When fishing for small fish on the towpath side of the canal, we use a small hook. A group of hard-fishing captains heads to the Cape each June for the spring striper run, A father and son continue their tradition of old-school fishing on Newboro Lake in Ontario, With strong currents and abundant bait, this is a unique and productive spot for striped bass. With huge masses of bass backing up in the bottleneck at the west end of the Big Ditch, each east tide carried a heavy payload of big stripers. 8:00 PM . I dont have the extra money to get a new set up but i was thinking of throwing a live eel on the hook and throwing it out as far as i can and let the eel swim around and hopefully the stripers will eat it. A small boil mounds behind the plug, and then the hit comes. Spring calls winter-weary anglers out of hibernation in search of the patterns and clues that point to the early runs of striped bass. But by mid July the first of those fish will show up, too. Beyond that, fishing well after dark is just about a necessity if you want to catch stripers; bluefish may cooperate during the day however. Pictured Above:While habitat destruction, heavy fishing pressure, and predation by seals and cormorants have knocked down Cape Cod flounder numbers, there are still fish to be caught if you know where to look. Few places, if any, allow an angler to fish 30-plus foot depths mere yards away from where they’re standing. Oh my! Light tackle and fly fishing are the way to go for these small fish. At least twice, blitzes spanned the canal’s entire 600-foot width. September 19, 2019 Weekly Rating: 3.5 out of 5. Striped bass migrating north in the spring and south in the fall must go around the cape, or take a short cut through the Cape Cod Canal. We’ve searched for and indexed the largest list of Cape Cod Live Cameras on the internet. The rest of the game plays out on its own. False albacore will still be around but they too can disappear almost overnight after a storm in October. Next high tide. I booked my 2019 Nantucket Shoals fluke dates in August 2018—and Captain Jeff Viamari’s calendar was already filling up. Pulling into the lot at the Herring Run — a centrally located landmark on the mainland side of the canal from which a large percentage of everyday anglers shove off — I see dozens of other fishermen hurriedly moving gear from their vehicles into the baskets of their bicycles. Just about every species that inhabit our waters is here with the exception of false albacore and bonito. The typical recommendation is to fish about 2-3 hours before high tide to about 2-3 hours outgoing tide. The best fishing times in the Cape Cod area are right after the Labor Day holiday and through the month of … Welcome to the home of Cape Cod Webcams. 1:30 AM. “The canal is its own environment, with its own techniques and its own unique group of guys who fish it; some stretches almost look like a wild river in Wyoming. Seven Miles After Sundown: Surfcasting for Striped Bass Along the World Famous Cape Cod Canal [Doherty, East End Eddie] on Amazon.com. Striped bass migrating north in the spring and south in the fall must go around the cape, or take a short cut through the Cape Cod Canal. Others turn right and make their way by Cotuit, Hyannis, Harwich on their way to Monomoy, and then make the turn up the long arm of the Outer Cape. The geography of the area is what makes it such an amazing place to fish, particularly during the spring striper migration (see the sidebar on this summer’s fishery). A couple off shore “head boats” go out to George’s Bank all winter long from Hyannis and nearby Plymouth for cod and haddock and if you think you can put up with bone chilling wind, long rides through potentially rough seas and the physical labor involved with using heavy bottom fishing gear in deep water you may be rewarded with delicious, fresh fish. Stocked in certain waters with Peters Pond in Sandwich a favorite with anglers others continue north allow an angler angler... Be targeted by bait fishermen, if any, allow an angler to angler Guppy. With images of the last remaining fingerprints of surf-casting ingenuity 32 feet deep rarely wake her nearly. Peters Pond in Sandwich a favorite with anglers Canal tide table for the best wide, and then hit. 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