Catch date:8/1/2015 3:42:00 PM

Story date:8/4/2015 2:53:00 AM

Location:Cape Cod Canal MA


I have always wanted to come up to Cape Cod and fish the canal. I view it as the second highest place every surf fisherman should experience at some point if they are serious about fishing productive spots that can hold some big stripers. I didn’t go home with the FEM Men after we got off the Monomoy for sea bass, fluke, and porgy. Instead I put my fish in the cooler and bought two bags of ice to keep them cold/fresh until I got home. I wanted to get a Sabile stick shad so I headed over to the canal bait & tackle shop after I ate my lunch. They do some upgrades well suitable for fishing the canal with its deep fast moving water. They call it the Canal 7” sinking 4 3/4oz in the green mackerel color. This thing is massive and it only proves the theory that big bass hit big plugs.

When I got to where I wanted to start fishing I was happy to find out they let you park on the side of the road. I had to take some time out to put the bike I borrowed from my coworker together. I’m told having a bike on the canal can be like having a boat due to the fact that the fish can be blitzing at any given point along the 11 mile stretch. It wasn’t the standard set up but I made it work. I was a bit taken back that I had to walk across the rail road tracks to get to the path. Ten minutes later the Mass Coastal came roaring by and I thought what if I was on the tracks at the time with my bike, 11’ pole, and Korkers on…the things us surfcasters do to fish.
I get down to the water’s edge to observe a bit, and take it all in that I’m standing on the Cape Cod Canal before I start casting. The current was moving very fast at three hours into incoming, water clarity was unbelievable, air temps were still high in the 80’s, and the wind was out of the west…wind against current. I saw a tone of bait in the water that looked like peanuts, and something that was a bit reddish or brown. I’m not the best at identifying “bait fish” It didn’t appear that any fish were on them to me. I began casting my lures with hopes of catching a cow despite the warning that bass fishing in the canal this season has been oddly slow. The theory is with all the hot weather we have they tend to go pass the “three mile” mark towards the cooler waters.

I started out with what works in my neck of the woods before I began casting the heavy stuff just in case I got lucky. I was egger to start using the Canal stick shad so that was up next. The first cast I wasn’t too impressed with how it wobbled through the air, but I was happy with the action once I was able to see it up close. On my second cast the line snaps and there goes a plug I just got that I always wanted, and really felt like it would give me a chance at catching on the canal. All I could yell at the top of my voice was NO NO NO!!! I made a rooky error by forgetting to open the bail. My drag should’ve saved me by slipping but I had it locked for a good hookset. I usually back down once I’ve got a fish hooked. Big bass have hard mouths so a locked drag will drive a good hook through there tough mouth. If this was the floating version I’m sure I would’ve gotten my lure back some place down current…another nice lure I’ll have to order online.

I moved on for another two miles or so before I headed back to my truck. I wanted to fish the inlet, mid portion, and lastly near the railroad tracks on the mainland side before heading home. I rode the bike on the highway back to my truck and not the path. When I pulled up I saw a few more trucks parked so I wanted to see what they were doing, and if they were having a better time than I was so I went down. I saw three guys bait fishing. I picked out a spot in the middle of them to keep an eye out for what they were tossing. One of them was catching shorts on every cast! He was using a drift rig with a 4oz sinker and a sand eel on the hook letting it drift down current that seemed to turn around and hour early…I guess the wind had a play in that. I through everything I had with me that looked like a sand eel for no hits…though when I went with my 6 oz. Spro sand eel colored bucktail with a red rind something took my rind on a light tap. Nothing more after that it’s 8:30pm and I had a long drive home so I was done. Skunked…catch’em up!

Shaka Antoine

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About Shaka Antoine
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