Warming spring temperatures might have some people thinking about gardening or baseball. But when temperatures warm, Cape Cod fishermen have one thing on their minds: striper fishing.
Striped bass are one of the most popular fish for anglers in New England. The elusive, unpredictable striper makes for a fun opponent for sport fishermen. As the water warms, stripers begin migrating north, and that’s when the chase is on.
In spring, stripers are on the move all around Cape Cod. And when they are migrating they are easier to catch, as they feed more voraciously than fish who are sedentary.
When on the hunt for stripers, keep an eye out for birds. As stripers feed on baitfish, they chase them to the water’s surface, where birds enjoy feeding on them. So, if you see birds, there might be stripers underneath them.
You’re also best fishing at dawn or dusk, or even night. Stripers are heat-sensitive, so they can be lazy during the daytime. But when the sun is low, they feed more aggressively. Another tip to keep in mind is that stripers like to see what they’re eating, so the color of your lure matters. Go bright when the water is murky. When the water is clear, use a more natural-colored lure. And, considering how nomadic stripers are, be sure to stay on the move. That hotspot you hit the other day can get cold in a hurry.
Luckily for us, Cape Cod is full of great places for striper fishing. Stripers can turn up many places, and disappear as well. But there’s a few spots where the striper fishing is pretty reliable. The Elizabeth Islands are known to hold big fish throughout the season. With big boulders and strong currents, the Vineyard Sound side of the islands are a popular place for targeting stripers. The south side of Martha’s Vineyard is also a popular hunting ground. Check out Devils Bridge, Squibnocket and the area known as “Parkers.”
To the east, the waters off Chatham and Monomoy Island are a constant hotspot, thanks to strong currents, prominent bottom structure and lots of baitfish. Explore the areas around Bearses and Pollock Rips, which are well-known striper hideouts. To the north, the waters off Provincetown from The Race around to the so-called “Golf Balls” are legendary for their striped bass fishing.