For certain nothing beats the excitement of watching a considerable bass smash a top-water plug at the Cape Cod Canal. However top-water plugging is not always the most effective and efficient way to target big stripers in the Big Ditch. Many anglers choose to center their efforts on working the deeper section of the land cut. Jigging the bottom, for example, often results in more consistent action-and even bigger striped bass.
Having said that, you can’t just throw a jig, bait or lure in some random spot in the ditch and anticipate good results. The Canal has its own hot spots and dead zones like every other fishing area down the striper coast. Being able to find the spectacular drop-offs, under water humps, rugged ledges and unremitting rips is crucial to regularly taking large fish off the Canal’s bottom. The anglers who know the right spots are almost always the guys weighing in big fish at the bait and tackle shops.
Striped bass flock to regions of structure like bees to honey. Frequently the fish will place themselves at the bottom of a gulley, or directly behind a rock ledge. The structure breaks up the powerful current, much like a building obstructs a brisk breeze.
Classic bass theory declares that cow striped bass make use of current altering pieces of structure to achieve a competitive advantage over food items. The strong Canal current pushes all kinds of bait fish and prey items downstream. Opportunistic bass frequently position at the rear of a part of structure, and then suddenly ambush prey as it tumbles down in the current.
One of the easiest ways to uncover zones truly worth fishing is to be aware of variations in the surface water of the Big Ditch. Bass holding pieces of structure usually create disturbances in the normal flow of the current. More than likely, clues to the location of the fishy structure displays itself as a wake, ripple, whirlpool etc. on the surface of the canal. Concentrating your fishing efforts in these areas will often increase your level of success. Remember that any change in the natural flow of the Canal’s current could be an indication of significant bass attracting structure somewhere along the bottom.
Trekking the banks of the Cape Cod Canal, or even better driving your “canal cruiser” along the service road, and retaining an eye out for dissimilarities on the canal’s surface is a great way to at the least obtain an idea of where to fish. Remember that certain areas with significant structure may show no signs of the structure at certain stages of the tide. Then when the tide changes, standing waves and whirlpools suddenly develop.
Standing waves are probably one of the most tell-tale signs of an underwater rip. If you unearth a spot with standing waves, the actual striped bass attracting structure will likely be situated slightly up current of the waves. This holds true concerning any sort of difference on the surface-the bass holding structure will be a little bit up current.
It is now time to zone in on the exact location of the structure you will be basing your fishing efforts around. This can be done by fan casting a spot with a jig or bank sinker. Be certain to cast a jig or sinker heavy enough to arrive on the bottom despite the fast current.
Cast your bait, lure or jig up-current and keep a close count on the amount of seconds it takes the lure to get to the Canal’s bottom. Certainly the shallower the water, the more quickly the jig will arrive on the bottom-the deeper the water, the longer. Windy conditions couple with a stronger than normal current will make detecting bottom more difficult.
For instance, one outstanding canal fishing spot which I frequent each spring contains a tall prominent peak in addition to a deep, steep gulley. 7 seconds is required to hit bottom on top of the shallow spot. However when cast into the deep gulley, it takes my lure twenty seconds to get to bottom.
Fan casting a location in this manner is going to be easiest in the last hour or so of the west tide, slack tide, and the first hour of the east tide.
The Cape Cod Canal is full of awesome jigging spots. Having said that it usually takes a lot of time and effort to discover the absolute best fishing spots.
Nevertheless if regularly yanking big stripers from the Cape Cod Canal’s bottom is important to you, then your effort put into revealing these exceptional jigging spots will be worth the hard work needed to locate them.
Ryan Collins is a Cape Cod commercial and charter striped bass captain. His fishing blog My Fishing Cape Cod, is centered around helping people to catch more and bigger fish. Check out his blog for the best Cape Cod Canal striped bass fishing hot spots.
Author: Captain Ryan John CollinsThis author has published 1 articles so far. More info about the author is coming soon.