Cape Cod will forever hold a dear place in my heart. For many years our family spent summer vacations there. We stayed on Long Pond in Harwich usually in the mid July. By day we would lounge at the lake or make the short ride to Nauset Beach or Chatham Light. On early mornings and late nights we fished all over the spit of sand jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean like a flexing arm.
The Cape has long been one of the most fabled fishing grounds for striped bass in the surf. With endless amounts of sandy beaches, Bay-side flats, and a canal that acts as a super highway for fish, Cape Cod hosts a wide array of habitat and forage to draw in the largest of stripers.
A memorable sunrise over the Cape's Herring Cove
Sand eels are the predominant bait found in Cape waters
While the outer Cape has taken a hit in recent years thanks to the incredible influx of grey seals, it will always be known as one of the birthplaces of modern day surf fishing. During the glory days of the outer beaches, 50-pound class fish from shore were a common occurrence. The biggest bass of them all was a 73-pound behemoth taken in the Nauset surf on a teaser fly by Tony Stetzko in 1981. The expansive flats in Cape Cod Bay are another world class fishery, one I love to take advantage of with friends and family when the tides line up for us. The Canal is amazing too and probably the best of all in terms of quality of striped bass fishing as of late. It has miles paved access roads lining either side making it one of the more easily accessible spots in New England. Bottom line, if you love surf fishing then you have to love Cape Cod--it has it all.
The Cape's bay-side flats offer excellent sight-fishing opportunties
There is something about the cool, crisp autumn air that makes me proud to be a surfcaster. Fall may not be the best time of the year to produce a monster striped bass, but it sure is my favorite time to ply the salty waters of New England. Some would argue that the spring push of stripers running up the eastern seaboard is your best bet at a trophy these days, yet late May just doesn't have the same "feel" as late October. The once-crowded beaches are now barren, the water is gin clear and the temp of Long Island Sound is falling fast, triggering bass and blues to feed heavily before their voyage south. The fall migration is upon us once again; soak it in now boys and girls because before you know it, we'll be dusting off the ice fishing gear.