z-man

Cod in the Canal?

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I just saw this in OTWs weekly report. Do you think there’s any truth to it or are they just trying to stir up some business?

 

“If you like a good wild goose chase, there’s geese to be chased at the Cape Cod Canal. Jeff at Red Top said he had a few customers come in seeking cod in the Canal, and that they’d had some recent success. Day or night, east end or west, bait or jigs, the details were sparse beyond that. But, that’s enough to get me excited about my annual winter surf-cod attempt.”

Edited by TimS
links removed - please don't post commercial links here - thanks

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I'm talkin from zero experience here.  BUT, IMO if you have mola (I learned it here) swimming thru, I would say anything is possible. 

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1 hour ago, z-man said:

I just saw this in OTWs weekly report. Do you think there’s any truth to it or are they just trying to stir up some business?

 

“If you like a good wild goose chase, there’s geese to be chased at the Cape Cod Canal. Jeff at Red Top said he had a few customers come in seeking cod in the Canal, and that they’d had some recent success. Day or night, east end or west, bait or jigs, the details were sparse beyond that. But, that’s enough to get me excited about my annual winter surf-cod attempt.”

Over 20 years ago a couple of friends and I would head to the Canal at the tail end as the snow was letting up of good ol N/Ester that lasted a couple of days.Prior in the early winter,we hit the outer Cape for the sea clam wash-up in Truro.Shucked on the beach and bagged.Taken home and frozen in small portions.East wind and east running tide was the best.Conventional set-up bouncing the clams produced fish.Both pollack and cod to around 10#s was about average.The same was on Nauset but a full tide later.Nantasket used to have a huge clam wash-up back in the 70s the day after a storm.There we fished at night just tossing the fresh clams right back out.Those fish were smaller mostly and an occaisional bass would get taken too.When that happened at Nantasket there would be a big crowd picking up the clams and the EPOs would be telling people to throw them back because they were contaminated and no licenses.

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Z man speaking from many years of cod fishing from shore during the fall, winter and early spring months . One such place was indeed the Cape Cod Canal where those who put in the time would catch some sizable specimens up to and including 40 pounds with some over that weight.  The bait of choice was sea worms of sand eels if you could get them. Some chose sea clams as another choice. Many of the places one finds our striped bass being caught back then also hold cod  as well. When the herring came into the run it was not uncommon to see a few cod fish of size right in the pool with the herring and bass. The cold months were the best in my opinion, from Thanksgiving till March . t goes with out saying that was in another time and now we are in different times as the once large schools of cod were cleaned out when they allowed the draggers in to drag for them .They took most of the genetically marked fish that would invade our coast line each since the days of the Pilgrims and beyond  and is the reason that cape Cod bay was so marked and that the Massachusetts fish above our state house is the Golden Cod fish . I miss those days for sure. Getting back to today, the only way to find out is by putting in the time . The fish pier when it became usable was one such place as was PIps and Portuguese Hole Peace and Prayers

 

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In 2005 I caught one there, 19”, on a mackerel rig by accident. I’ve been tempted to try with clams. Maybe I’d pre bait some hooks on leaders with a clip to keep my hands dry.

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15 mins ago, Angler #1 said:

Z man speaking from many years of cod fishing from shore during the fall, winter and early spring months . One such place was indeed the Cape Cod Canal where those who put in the time would catch some sizable specimens up to and including 40 pounds with some over that weight.  The bait of choice was sea worms of sand eels if you could get them. Some chose sea clams as another choice. Many of the places one finds our striped bass being caught back then also hold cod  as well. When the herring came into the run it was not uncommon to see a few cod fish of size right in the pool with the herring and bass. The cold months were the best in my opinion, from Thanksgiving till March . t goes with out saying that was in another time and now we are in different times as the once large schools of cod were cleaned out when they allowed the draggers in to drag for them .They took most of the genetically marked fish that would invade our coast line each since the days of the Pilgrims and beyond  and is the reason that cape Cod bay was so marked and that the Massachusetts fish above our state house is the Golden Cod fish . I miss those days for sure. Getting back to today, the only way to find out is by putting in the time . The fish pier when it became usable was one such place as was PIps and Portuguese Hole Peace and Prayers

 

Wish I coulda been there. That sounds awesome. 

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Z man,

It certainly wouldn't be hard to find out.  Cod are easy to catch on fresh bait, esp sea clams, conch and sea worms.  All you need is a couple canal rods, a high tide, preferable after dark, and warm clothes.

Before that fishery collapsed, I used to fill my freezer with fresh cod in a couple weeks.  One thing about cod, if they're around, they bite. :hooked:

Not just bait either. They're total patsies for bucktails and eel skins. So I would imagine sluggos and savages would work.

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It could happen. I don't know if I'd feel great about targeting them, until a stable population developed, but they are pretty rugged. I remember a tagging study suggested they do well caught and released in Stellwagon, so a trip to the edge of the canal should be manageable.

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55 mins ago, PSegnatelli said:

Wish I coulda been there. That sounds awesome. 

Cod fish were very prevalent along the whole Massachusetts   coast line , especially during the hard winter months I can post here that at one time I actually caught cod fish in every Massachusetts river system at the head waters of such rivers as the Charles, Neponset, Fall River ,Essex, Mystic, and Newburyport. It was a hard core of fishermen that would venture out during the freezing temperatures , snow and rain , as Bob indicated you needed to be prepared with the right clothes, boots and hand protection as in some cases it was survival fishing unlike any may imagine. I carried a custom wind breaker where ever I would fish that two fishermen could get behind . On the piers I had one that I could roll out to cut the temperatures and we often could get six or 7 protected. The line would freeze[Monofilament was used] The eyes of the rod would freeze up the inside ring and you had to clear them periodically. The fresh bait was kept in a special insulated box or inside your shirt pocket. It did not make much difference if they were alive or dead as long as you could weave them on a hook/.  The fish once they came out of the water in many cases, simply froze in place and when I got them home they would come back to life . Some night you would only have a small crew fishing, which began at the end of the out going tide and would last until the tide came full and going back out. One needed to fish the whole tide change to find the best time of fishing, but it changed enough, so that if you had a hot spot, you needed to set up earlier to get a good location . I have been known to set up from 3 to 4 hours before the fish showed in order to be productive. That meant you needed to be insulated for minus 30 degrees on some nights, The wind chill needed to be factor into what you were seeing for weather. I have seen times when the only way I could move my fingers was to take a leak on them. It worked then , however that is why they do not always want to move today. I would be remiss by not also including the majority of our beaches along our coast line was fished and plenty were caught, some times late in the fall while bass fishing and some times early in the spring when we turned to flounder fishing. AS Bob mentioned above not only did we catch them on bait, but jigs, red gills and even plugs during the spring in fast moving current . I can still recall a time my brother in law [broken reel] did a nice 25 pounder off of Hull one morning  Back in another time I wrote about my experiences and they were published by both New England Fishermen and  On the Water. Peace and Prayers .     

Edited by Angler #1

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1 hour ago, foxfai said:

How else would they get people to come in to buy their clams? :D

That’s what I suspect. 

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a photo of a canal caught cod in 20+ years. Anyone else ever see one or know a reliable source that has caught one?

Edited by z-man

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Just now, z-man said:

That’s what I suspect. 

Well for one they want business in the winter time. Not saying that they write up is false. But it is hard to get anyone out to the cold to do some real fishing now a day. Everyone wants instant gratification. If it's not guarantee, they won't even bother.

 

On the other hand, it'll be fun trying to freeze our behind off trying to score a fish in the canal if we can find a group. :D

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59 mins ago, Angler #1 said:

Cod fish were very prevalent along the whole Massachusetts   coast line , especially during the hard winter months I can post here that at one time I actually caught cod fish in every Massachusetts river system at the head waters of such rivers as the Charles, Neponset, Fall River ,Essex, Mystic, and Newburyport. It was a hard core of fishermen that would venture out during the freezing temperatures , snow and rain , as Bob indicated you needed to be prepared with the right clothes, boots and hand protection as in some cases it was survival fishing unlike any may imagine. I carried a custom wind breaker where ever I would fish that two fishermen could get behind . On the piers I had one that I could roll out to cut the temperatures and we often could get six or 7 protected. The line would freeze[Monofilament was used] The eyes of the rod would freeze up the inside ring and you had to clear them periodically. The fresh bait was kept in a special insulated box or inside your shirt pocket. It did not make much difference if they were alive or dead as long as you could weave them on a hook/.  The fish once they came out of the water in many cases, simply froze in place and when I got them home they would come back to life . Some night you would only have a small crew fishing, which began at the end of the out going tide and would last until the tide came full and going back out. One needed to fish the whole tide change to find the best time of fishing, but it changed enough, so that if you had a hot spot, you needed to set up earlier to get a good location . I have been known to set up from 3 to 4 hours before the fish showed in order to be productive. That meant you needed to be insulated for minus 30 degrees on some nights, The wind chill needed to be factor into what you were seeing for weather. I have seen times when the only way I could move my fingers was to take a leak on them. It worked then , however that is why they do not always want to move today. I would be remiss by not also including the majority of our beaches along our coast line was fished and plenty were caught, some times late in the fall while bass fishing and some times early in the spring when we turned to flounder fishing. AS Bob mentioned above not only did we catch them on bait, but jigs, red gills and even plugs during the spring in fast moving current . I can still recall a time my brother in law [broken reel] did a nice 25 pounder off of Hull one morning  Back in another time I wrote about my experiences and they were published by both New England Fishermen and  On the Water. Peace and Prayers .     

Sounds like my old winter  hunting & ice fishing.    I used to love it. Forest all to my self.  Experienced so many epic moments.  Especially when I lived in the ADK of NY.   

 But I think those days are behind me. :(

 

 

Eta.  Thinking about it. I might be able to stand it.  Get a windbreak of some sort and bring my propane heater. 

 

Wonder if they ever come into CT inlets.  

 

Edited by PSegnatelli

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19 mins ago, PSegnatelli said:

Sounds like my old winter  hunting & ice fishing.    I used to love it. Forest all to my self.  Experienced so many epic moments.  Especially when I lived in the ADK of NY.   

 But I think those days are behind me. :(

 

 

Eta.  Thinking about it. I might be able to stand it.  Get a windbreak of some sort and bring my propane heater. 

 

Wonder if they ever come into CT inlets.  

 

Back in the time I speak about we would catch them in Rhody[Deep Hole] not far from the Rhode island border, when we followed the bass home. Peace and prayers

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