flyfishvt

Spring fishing on Cape Cod

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My pals and I are starting to think about our annual May/June pilgrimage to the Cape for a week of striper fishing.  We stay pretty close to the Bourne bridge and fish on our feet on both the north and south sides up to around Chatham..

 

We've had some great fishing over the past few years but can't really reach a consensus on the best week to go.

 

We have four weeks available to us:  5/15-21, 5/22-28, 5/29-6/04 and 6/05-11.

 

I know it can be a crapshoot because of the weather, but any thoughts on when to catch the best of the migration would be appreciated.

 

Thanks!

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Based on last four years experience the last week you have up. It is a good drive from Bourne to Chatham. Any chance you could find a place to stay closer to Chatham. Dennis Port or Harwich Port give you good access to both north and south side beaches in a short drive.

 

Mike

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Thanks much guys.  Mike, the place we stay at is a family house of one of the guys.  We have a bunch of spots that we frequent on both side of the Cape that aren't much more than a half hour each way.   It's a great spot and the price is right. Never really mind the drive up to the elbow...it's the ride back that's the killer!

 

Bruce

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Based on last four years experience the last week you have up. It is a good drive from Bourne to Chatham. Any chance you could find a place to stay closer to Chatham. Dennis Port or Harwich Port give you good access to both north and south side beaches in a short drive.

 

Mike

I agree with Mike based on our last year's trip to Chatham. Plus during the later dates, you'll  just be coming off a new moon

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Bruce,

 

I kinda had a feeling you were staying in Bourne for a reason. Plenty of fishing local to you as you know only too well.

 

Ok I do love the excitement of early season fishing say mid May and in years past and not too ,long ago it was some years very good. But we can't ignore whats happened in recent years. Also if you fancy the Backside Beaches they are more likely to come into form on your last proposed week.

 

I guess you will not be sleeping very much. So much great water to fish in a week. Know where you are coming from on the drive back from say PT. One year I was so dog tired I forgot the kind of car I was driving and pulled the  gear shift into low directly from high. That woke me up with a sound of wrenches in a galvanised bucket. But after a few minutes and coming to a grinding halt the car re-started and seemed ok. Be aware that there is a small party of Brits roaming around Cape Cod same time as yourself. I bet we bump into each other. 

 

Mike

Edited by Mike Oliver

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Memorial Day has been the time, over my whole life, that you could count on nicer fish being around, at least someplace. Last year, it started earlier.

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Flyfishvt, I'm sorry, but the one bass scheduled to be around Cape Cod this spring is already fully booked by RJ, Mike, myself and the rest of RJ's Camp Worm crew. Sorry to disappoint you.

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Last week in May through mid June would be a great time. Migration is in full swing. Mid  May is dependent on the winters weather. Last year we had an extreme winter and the fishing started off slow, for me.  Some years it's great by the second week in May. I love early June but we can get some squirrely weather then, say once every three years or so.

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I took a look at the tide book and the best week in the spring is going to be the weekend after Memorial Day weekend.You have big tides that whole next week and a new moon.Both the canal and the beaches should be excellent.Get a copy of the canal tide chart from Red Top B&T in Buzzards Bay.The other good one is the 1st week in May so that will be abit early but the fish are moving so I'd go with the 1st option.Lived on the Cape for 28 yrs.New Moon on the upswing is a good bet.I'll be there for sure.

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Three Cheers and a :hi5:  for Mike and flysully is making a very good point.

 

 

The last week would be my choice as well.  You are dealing with two migrations. The earlier spawning dates go with the larger migration coming out of Chesapeake Bay.  That can be the last two weeks of April or the first week of May.  The Smaller, but significant Hudson River Spawning event is usually between May 10 and 20. 

 

Last years cooler spring delayed the minimum 58 degree water temperature in the Chessy and the Hudson.  June will be a better bet if the spring is cool again this year. If it is an average Spring last week in May and first week in June should show Chesapeake fish for sure and some early spawners from the Hudson River.

 

The spawning range in the Hudson is 110 miles long and the more southern reaches of the Hudson hit 58+ degrees earlier. From Poughkeepsie to Newburgh is wider and shallower than the tighter northern reaches.  They receive cooler water from the tributaries flowing out tothe Catskills, Adirondacks and Green Mountains. So there is a progression of spawning events in the Hudson river that moves from South to North and can spread the spawning over a ten day period.

 

As soon as a female bass spawns her eggs, she begins her migration and begins feeding hard during it to the summer grounds in New England.

Edited by RJ

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