Fall is in full swing, cooler weather and beautiful colors on display. While winter fishermen are eagerly awaiting the ice fishing season, don’t miss out on your chance to take a fishing trip or two in the autumn months, also known as the Cape's Second Summer.
Cape Cod is one of those places that has exceptional fishing all year round. But fall is always special. October and November offer excellent angling opportunities in estuaries, along shorelines, off of jetties, and in canals.
Here are some of my best bets for fall fishing on Cape Cod.
Cape Cod Canal
Cape Cod Canal runs from Cape Cod Bay to Buzzard Bay, both of which are excellent fishing spots themselves. The canal has strong currents and even stronger fish, making fishing here an exciting challenge. For the best success, equip yourself with heavy lures and strong, tough line. The large stripers you’ll be targeting from the bank or the fishing pier are especially attracted to bottom bait, so most anglers choose conventional reels and a heavy enough jigging rod to handle 6-ounce jigs and chunky bass. If you want the best chance of catching, you’ll want to have your line in the water at “breaking tide”. This is when the flow of the water changes from west to east, and the fish tend to feed on the surface of the canal.
Cliff Pond, in Brewster, is the ideal fly fishing spot and fall is the perfect time for a day on the water. It’s well-stocked with trout that can be caught well into fall, including rainbow, brook, and brown trout. You’ll also have a chance of reeling in smallmouth bass, rainbow smelt, and bullhead. On occasion, American eel can also be found. In fact, Cliff Pond holds the world record for the largest American eel, weighing almost 9 pounds and 46 inches long.
Cape Cod Bay
Cape Cod offers excellent deep sea fishing and flats fishing until late fall. You can expect to have a fair chance of catching striped bass, mackerel, bluefish, and bluefin tuna, depending on where exactly you’re fishing. Jigging is the main technique to attract the lure in both mackerel and stripers in these waters. Sand eels are abundant, and jigging your bait between them can land you a trophy striped bass.
Rules and Regulations
If you’re saltwater fishing, make sure to get your fishing license before doing any angling in Cape Cod, unless you plan to fish from a charter boat. Every angler from the age of 16 to 59 will need a license. Those over the age of 60 are eligible for a free permit. If you’re lucky enough to hold a valid fishing license for New Hampshire, Connecticut, or Rhode Island, you can use it for Cape Cod waters too. If you’re planning on doing freshwater fishing, every angler between 16 and 69 years will need to hold a valid fishing license.
Take careful note of the rules and regulations in the area you’re planning on fishing. They differ from place to place, so do some research before you fish so you don’t get yourself in trouble.
About the author: Kenneth Reaves is a professional angler who’s been fishing all over the country since he was a small child. He currently shares his angling knowledge and advice on his website, Perfect Captain.