A Banner Year
This past July was one of the best months I can remember in my nearly 20 years fishing the Cape Cod Canal. Great months are often defined by one or two great tides, but we saw three multiday events in the span of July’s 31 days. It was an odd pattern for the month because the stripers seemed to be migrating from the south, a phenomenon that usually slows to a trickle by early summer.
With huge masses of bass backing up in the bottleneck at the west end of the Big Ditch, each east tide carried a heavy payload of big stripers. Mackerel entering the canal from the east end were there to fan the flames as schools of 20- to 50-pound bass gorged themselves. At least twice, blitzes spanned the canal’s entire 600-foot width. For hours at a time it was possible to throw a cast knowing that your plug would be engulfed within seconds.
Hundreds of canal fishermen topped their best bass in July, and many more hearts were broken by a line gone limp when a hook pulled, a split ring opened up or a leader gave way. Talk about addictive; if casting into schools of big stripers feeding aggressively in heavy current doesn’t get you excited, you may need to lower the dosage on your nitroglycerin pills.