Catch date: Not Specified

Story date:8/29/2016 3:41:00 PM

Location:Cape Cod Canal MA

Species:Bass, Striped

The fifth fish was the last fish I caught in the two days I spent fishing the Cape Cod Canal. This was my mother’s fish. Before I left Mom asked me “bring me back on of those fish you catch” I said sure mom no problem! That felt like a lot of pressure given I have come all this way, and went home without a catch a few times before. I had to put her request out of my mind, and focus on catching fish period! My first day on the canal was a major success catching three fish one making my personal best length at 41.5”, releasing my first canal striped bass witch was a keeper, and even catching a sub keeper late into that night. I wanted to keep the good trend going by releasing the first keeper of day two…now that that 12lbs deed was done I needed to fulfil my mother’s request to bring her a fish. From that point on I made it up in my mind any keeper I catch for the rest of the day will go home. Technically it’s a legal catch because the fish in my cooler was caught the previous day so I’m still within regulations of one fish per day.

I had the same tide in a few hours where I fished the previous day in the spot when I caught my first canal bass. It was in the middle of the day, and not too many people were “fishing”. I decided to poke around a bit before the tide was right at the location I’ve been catching at. I lost a few jigs; saw a ton of rain/small bait as far as I could see. The canal is loaded with small bait. This could be both good, and bad. This much rain bait could draw in larger baits like mackerel, and whiting witch would draw the stripers to the surface causing a topwater bite. However if the stripers should feed on that small bait then it would be hard to get them to hit larger plugs. By the time the tide was right I had not had another hit in none of the other places I fished on the canal…I was still confident that I would catch another fish because so far I have caught a fish on the same tide in the same spot for the last two days. I got into position only casting my six oz. bucktail I had made just for my time spent on the canal, and a fat cow jig strip…the five once hung up on the bottom in another spot I was exploring. I was trying to not snag the bottom with this six oz. bucktail so I gave big jigging motions to my rod. This 30” fish (only weighed 8lbs. MA what’s up with all the skinny fish?) hit the bucktail on the fall HARD! I had to tighten my line fast. The fish felt much bigger than it was…chalk it up to taking me into the rips. I had a time getting this one out. The water was moving upwards of five knots but I was able to put the brakes on him with my 12” Carnage II. I love how this rod can handle a fish without wearing me out.

I now had my Mothers fish and one for me so now I asked myself should I continue fishing for fun playing the CPR game or go home. I could’ve fish the next tide at location two or at least the first two hours, and still have left early enough to get home at a good time so that I can go to work in the morning…realistically I should get some sleep, and then hit the road so that I will be refreshed, and ready for the four and a half hour drive home. I decided to pack it in to do the responsible thing, and get some rest. I went back to where I parked the truck to break down my gear, load my rods in the rack, and to reflect on the success I finally got to enjoy on the canal. I asked an older gentlemen that was close by to snap a few photos to remember this moment. The weather began to change after I woke up, and I began to wonder if I made the right choice. Later on I heard the bite got nuts once the fog, and rain started…I questioned if I should’ve stayed but I remembered I had a 41.5, and a 30” fish in my cooler. I did alright on the canal so no need to feel like I missed something. Trips to the Canal like this will keep me coming back. As I was driving home I couldn’t help think if or when I could come back up even though I only planned two trips on the Cana this season…who knows what the future holds…Stay Bent!

Shaka Antoine

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About Shaka Antoine
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