Mass Striper Fishing

Massachusetts is perhaps the most legendary of all areas for striper fishing. Just look at a map with Cape Cod and the Islands jutting out into the sea, and you'll understand how a lot of bass simply stop in Massachusetts on their migration, and most fish that go further north need to pass through Massachusetts both coming and going. Many bass hang out to feed at these times, either fattening up for the winter or gaining strength for heading further north.

There are many famous and productive areas in Mass, although not all produce consistently year round. Just like anywhere else, you need to find where the fish are and learn your spots. Great areas include the Plum Island area at the New Hampshire border where the mighty Merrimack River dumps into the sea and a mere few miles from me, which offers river, jetty, surf, and flats action.  Cape Cod is certainly worthy of it's fame, and I've been fortunate to fish areas like the flats at Monomoy Island (a sandbar off Chatham, Cape Cod), Nauset Beach with locals who held nothing back, and Martha's Vineyard, a heavenly fishing island off Cape Cod, with guys who have spent weeks there fishing hard every year for decades.

Striped Bass Cape Cod BayI've also had good fishing, sometimes even better than at infamous Striper spots with locals guiding me, when I've had a spare hour or evening and just fished a nearby spot that looked good. Don't just concentrate on the famous spots -- there are fish everywhere.

The Cape Cod Canal is worth mentioning, although most people do not consider it a fly fishing spot for striped bass. I've gotten blank stares at local tackle shops when mentioning fly fishing for example. That said, I've had success fishing in the canal, where prime times are when the horrendously fast current slows, and at the two ends where you'll find a friendly jetty or two.

Stripers show up approximately mid April in Massachusetts, although they won't hit northernmost Mass until the beginning of May. Early season can be hot with lots of small fish, and bigger fish showing up not far behind. By mid to late May big stripers are everywhere, although that doesn't mean they're easy to catch of course.

The stripers are gone by late October in the north, but still around after Thanksgiving, often into December, in the south and islands. Most people have given up striper fishing by then, but the occasional big fish, or even cow striper blitz can occur late and makes it worth fishing.

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