By: Capt. Hap Farrell
The summer season is over. Labor Day has come and gone. The fish in Cape Cod Bay are still here. The striped bass may be a little elusive up our way but a ride down towards Barnstable Harbor and you may find these fish and in abundance at times. There are plenty of bluefish in our area. In fact, it is quite possible to catch nice tasty bluefish right out in front of Rock Harbor. In the last few day some of the charter boats have set out their gear as soon as they got to 10 to 15 feet of water just outside the harbor. Within minutes you hear the words "hooked up". The bluefish are in pockets from there all the way up to the #10 can just outside the entrance of Welfleet Harbor.
Lately, there has not been much striped bass activity on Billingsgate Shoals. We used to find them, first on the north edge and then, as the tide started out, they would move to the south edge. When we started having the big tides and the storm hit these fish disappeared. Well, they seem to be coming back a little. I had my radio on a few days ago while working on some tackle and I heard two of the boats out of Welfleet talking about seeing birds and marking some fish with their fish finders on the south edge of the shoals. This is a good sign. We have had to run all the way down to the East and West Bars by Barnstable Harbor in order to find any amount of striped bass. This is not bad for the full day trip but to do it on the half day trip we have to put the coals to our engines to get there and have enough time to fish. It is a 12 to 15 mile run depending on where you fish.
There seems to be a good amount of bluefish up along the Eastham shore and as far up as the channel leading into Welfleet Harbor itself. The #10 can is the focus of the area. In the channel the umbrella rig using a 200 foot wire rod set up will work very well. In the shallow water the single hootchie works also. There are some bluefish up near the Path from 30 feet of water out to 45 feet. At times this area can be teaming with fish but that is a hit or miss situation.
I'm hoping what I heard on the radio last week is true. It would be nice if the stripers came back to Billingsgate Shoals. With the weather we had most of this last week not too many boats checked the shoals out much. The first good day we have and I'm out I'm going right there to find out.
I have two fishermen of the week this time. Both are women. First is Ann O'Sullivan. She is the matriarch of the O'Sullivan Family and had come along on the fishing trip they set up. She was sitting in a stern chair when the rod went off. With a steady and constant pressure she landed a twenty five pound striped bass. The second new angler is Kara Wong. Her mother Judy Wong booked a trip for her and her brother Michael. They brought some friends. We landed a number of bluefish and the largest and the most were caught by Kara. Again proving that women are on the rise in this sport.
If you'd like to get in on this good fall fishing call me at:508-240-8267 or 508-255-6211.
Ann O'Sullivan and her nice striper...
Kara Wong and two of many bluefish...
About The Author: Captain Hap Farrell
Company: Stunmai II Charters
Area Reporting: Cape Cod Bay - Rock Harbor, Orleans
Bio: Captain Hap Farrell has been fishing the waters of Cape Cod Bay for 27 years. His intimate knowledge of the Bay and all it's idiosyncrasies guarantees that your day on the water will be an enjoyable one. Whether a novice angler, or a seasoned pro, the captain and crew of the Stunmai II will do what it takes to get you "tight" on a big striped bass or bluefish!