Looking forward to the spring small striped bass typically begin arriving in many Cape Cod fishing spots during late April. I would imagine there is a good chance that we will see bass a bit earlier than normal this season-maybe around mid April.
The majority of these first fish will be on the small side, between 12 and 20 inches. The best places to target these early season striped bass are around bait filled estuaries inside Buzzard’s Bay and on the Cape’s southside. I’ve always had fantastic luck fishing the Weweantic and Agawam Rivers in Wareham early in the season with super light tackle.
Many of the creeks and estuaries from Falmouth to Hyannis also have the potential to produce good fishing in April, and are great Cape Cod fishing spots to target. Of course Nantucket and the Vineyard are great places to try for the first striped bass of the season if you don’t mind riding the ferry.Once May rolls around the bigger bass will return to Cape Cod and the Islands.
Buzzard’s Bay has, over the past few seasons, produced phenomenal top water plugging for the boating crowd. The key is to locate the flocks of birds feeding alongside the bass by using radar. If you start hearing great fishing reports trickling in from Buzzard’s Bay, consider fishing the Cape Cod Canal, especially during breaking tides.
Often times the biomasses of Buzzard’s Bay bass will move through the Canal a few days after anglers find them feeding in the Bay. They’ll stick around in the Canal for a day or two before moving north into Cape Cod Bay and beyond.
Then a new batch of fish will move in from Buzzard’s Bay a few days to a week later (at least that is the theory!).
Cape Cod Striped Bass Fishing with Mackerel
Having a live-well full of atlantic mackerel is a great first step to boating that first big bass of the season. Small bass can be caught in Cape Cod Bay usually during the first week of May.
By the second week of May the schoolie fishing is generally pretty steady, with bigger fish filtering in with each passing day. The middle of May is when I start thinking about targeting keeper size bass in the Canal and in Cape Cod Bay.
Fishing with live mackerel can be a lot of fun during May. Macks infiltrate Cape Cod Bay early in the season and are generally pretty easy to find and catch.
Trolling and drifting with live macks is a blast and an awesome way to catch truly big stripers. I can still remember watching a 32 pounder inhale a live mackerel last season right off the stern of the Miss Loretta. That was one sight I will not soon forget!
I am hoping that 2013 will be another banner year for Cape Cod Bay, and for live mackerel fishing. Last year’s mackerel showing was incredible compared to past seasons-at least for yours truly.
Needless to say the anticipation is building for me, even with this weekend's impending snowstorm. If you are like me then spring cannot get here soon enough!