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I recently returned from the Cape Cod, USA following an amazing holiday with the family.
While I didn't get as much fishing in as I had hoped due to needing to keep the wife and kids entertained (none of them fishes and they all think I'm nuts :mrgreen: ), I still managed a few awesome early morning sessions though, resulting in my first ever stripers and bluefish.

We stayed near the legendary Cape Cod canal which is an 8 mile saltwater shipping passage that intersects the cape and has a fierce current.





After some research on the net, I pitched up at 6am at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy (a bit like the US equivalent of Dartmouth Naval college) and found squads of trainee US Navy officers marching up and down chanting about kicking Bin Ladens ass :???:. It was a bit weird but I noticed some other guys fishing and decided to give it a go.

I was a bit clueless tbh but decided to go for a Blue Maria Chase SW which has never done much back home, but as I heard there was a lot of herring about I felt it was the closest match I had. I didn't have to wait long and watched as a fish followed the lure into the shallows and hit it about 6ft from the rod tip with a huge crash followed by run of about 20yards.
It wasn't a huge fish but I was shaking with excitement at the possibility of my 1st striper! It felt identical to the fight of our bass and after lot of splashing I beached it. It was 20inches which equals about 4lb on the striper Weight/length chart.



I was chuffed to bits and had achieved what I came for, after about 20minutes!

About an hour later I got hit by another fish - this time the fight was brutal and I thought I had a real beast on until it leapt clean out of the water and I realised it was a similar size to the last one. It was truely the hardest fighting fish I had ever encountered and once I got it in I realised it was not a bass but a bluefish - an evil looking, yet strangely beautiful killing machine complete with razor sharp teeth (apparently they will snap if you put your fingers near there mouth!).

Luckily for me, this one was hooked outside the mouth but I still took no chances!



That was it for my 1st session; my next session resulted in a similar sized striper but I had to give up due to the approaching thunderstorm :-o

I had another few smaller stripers from another mark on the south coast and lost a fish I literally couldn't stop. It eventually threw the hook as I applied maximum pressure as I had hardly any braid left on the spool! I was fishing 25lb braid straight through.

I had a few more trips to the canal. 1 blank (well - you can't win them all!).

On my last day I watched a huge shoal of macks moving up the current towards me and noticed every now and then the large shapes of the bass ploughing into them. I decided to put on a mackerel coloured Daiwa SP minnow (at $9 you cant go wrong!) and was eventually rewarded with a fierce hit and hard fight. The fish eventually weeded itself and it took me a good 10 minutes of manoevering to free it. It was pretty tired by the time I got it ashore but I was over the moon as it measured 26inches (about 8.5lbs on the chart) and very chubby:



I also had another hard fighting bluefish shortly after.

Unfortunately I didn't get any more fishing in but had an awesome time and I am already planning next years trip - hopefully I'll manage a double - they got to over 40lbs apparently!
 

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Really interesting report :clap:. Love to know how big the fish was that you couldnt stop :twisted:.
 

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Si,
50lbers have been taken in the canal most years especially during the later part of the season.
 

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Fantastic effort for a self-guided trip. The potential looks amazing. NIce pics too!
 

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Sounds like a great trip, haven't fished for strippers there, but the blue fish are insane, I had a popper broken in half by them!!!
 

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Amazing isn't it? It could be like that here.......
 

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Totally agree Julian, Just show what can be achieved IF a natural resource is managed correctly rather than exploited.
Cape Cod is almost a must do trip for bass pluggers-if you find the big bass over there-You will remember them for the rest of your days.
 

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Totally agree Julian, Just show what can be achieved IF a natural resource is managed correctly rather than exploited.
Cape Cod is almost a must do trip for bass pluggers-if you find the big bass over there-You will remember them for the rest of your days.
Where's the best area to base yourself on a trip over there :?:
 

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Also, 'if' i was considering going there later this month ;), would that be a good time of year, and can anyone recommend a good travel-agent worth contacting about it :?:
 

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Simon,
Derby (imagine a month long bass festival, with some of the best striper fisherman attending!!) starts in mid september and runs through into Oct, So yeap the fishing especially around the Vineyard/Nantuckett is very good.
I wouldn't bother with a specialist travel agent-Just a rip off. Book a fly/drive package to Boston. Book somewhere to crash online. And get yourself out there.
If you want maps marked up with good spots to fish-give me a shout.
 
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plenty on it in the BASS mag Simon.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I think September/October is supposed be the best time of year there (bit like here). Don't bother with a travel agent - I got flights and car hire through Ebookers.com after a lot of shopping around. Also there are loads of cheap motels around but we rented a house as it was more convenient for the family and as it turned out, the place was spotless, on a nice lake (stocked with laregmouth bass) and 2 mins from the Canal. I found it on WeNeedAVacation.com.

Regarding marks, I tried to get as much info as I could before leaving from StripersOnline.com although it was tough - they give even less away than us!
I got a lot of promises but in the end, it was a British guy who fishes there every year who gave me a list of marks, although I only managed to fish a couple. Let me know and I can send you details. He lists tides, times of day, and what lures worked for him - a really helpful guy.
I also found a great tackle shop where they specialize in bass fishing and the guy there also suggested a few places.

I know Marthas Vineyard is supposed to be good but it is more expensive.

The canal is where the real big fish are concentrated and catchable from the shore - I saw a couple of keepers (over 28inches) being carried by anglers along the path and they must've been 15-18lbs (still nowhere near the size they can go to).
Also in the autumn the fish migrate down to Virgina/North Carolina, so a huge amount of fish that summer off Maine and New Hampshire pass through the canal.

If you want bluefish, the surf beaches on the east coast are awesome - we took a trip to Marconi beach near Wellfleet and I forgot my rod :cry: I watched guys catching loads of them from about 4 to 8lbs on red and white spoon-like lures in the middle of the afternoon. Plenty of stripers there too but they are caught more at night.

The conservation there is brilliant as someone mentioned - 28inches minimum. 2fish per 24hrs and very limited commercial fishing. They have a weight quota and once it is landed thats it for the season (which is only a few weeks anyway).

Bass fishing there is big business and brings far more into the local economy than any commercial fishing could. Look what's happened in Rep. Ireland since they brought in serious conservation measures. Its just a shame our goverment don't get it...

Anyway give me a shout if you want more info - I'm no expert but will pass on what I learnt. I'm thinking of this trip as a preliminary scouting session. When I go back next year I hope to give them a real hammering :-D.
 
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