Cape Cod Bay Warms Up...

Capt. Hap Farrell

It has bee an unusually warm and dry winter. The spring started out warm and dry also. Because of this we, in the charter industry, started getting our tackle and boats ready. The fish, oh yes the fish. They didn't want to be left out so they showed up early also.

Starting in mid April there was word that there was a charge of small stripers in Pleasant Bay and on the South Shore of the Cape. Next, a few small bass were taken in Barnstable Harbor. The last week of April there were keepers being caught by the Barnstable Bell just outside the entrance to the Harbor and at the same time a good number of good sized stripers were being landed at night along the Eastham Shore and up at South Sunken Meadow. This is about 10 days to two weeks early.

On the 29th of April, while bringing my boat from Northside marina in Sesuit Harbor, where I store my boat for the winter, to Rock Harbor I ran across some working birds with fish under them. After trying to get on three different groups I finally hooked up using an umbrella rig. There were three keepers on the rig. Two came home with me and I let the third go. This is definitely two weeks early.

I actually had a group of guys call for the trip on Saturday the 5th. Since I had seen and caught fish just a few miles west of Rock Harbor I agreed on one stipulation, that there were still fish around at that point. We had cold and wet weather during the week so on Friday when I went looking for fish I didn't find any. The Sullivans wanted to go anyway so we went. Fortunately, we did find two keepers just off the Brewster Flats which saved the day and the Sullivan group had a nice fish dinner that night. What I think happened is the surface water temperature went down a bit and the stripers have moved into the shallow water which is slightly warmer. In time they will be back out where we can catch them.

There is also good news for those who are looking for bluefish. I've heard that a couple of large bluefish have been caught along with the stripers around Lieutenant's Island way up in the shallow water. There are accounts of bluefish being taken in Nantucket Sound. Not a lot, just a few here and there. This is also early in the season

Once we break out of this weather pattern and the air temperature warms some along with a fair amount of sun I figure Cape Cod Bay will explode with fish. Maybe as soon as this weekend.

Fish Species: Striped Bass
Bait Used: N/A
Tackle Used: Umbrela Rig & Swimming Plug
Method Used: Trolling
Water Depth: 24 ft.
Water Temperature: 51 degrees
Wind Direction: ESE
Wind Speed: 5 Knots
The Sullivan Party
The Sullivan Party

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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!

Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Captain Hap Farrell