Large striped bass pushing through our waters, big-as-a-horse bluefish (well, almost...), those bottom-dwelling brutes called tautog... summer may be over, but the fall offers plenty of great fishing to look forward to.
This is the last episode/post of The Fishing News for 2014 - but that doesn't mean the fishing is coming to an end. I'm looking forward to the fall run, when bigger striped bass come down from the north and migrate through our waters. It hasn't seemed to happen yet, which makes me hopeful that it's just around the corner (my friend Sven says that fishermen, like venture capitalists, must possess logic-defying optimism to succeed).
Of course there's a chance the fall run will echo this season's unusually quiet spring run - which will mean more opportunity, sigh, to practice one's philosophical outlook.
The fall is a great time to pitch eels, if you're out for a big bass. Kevin Blinkoff, of On The Water magazine, reminds me this week that the hardy angler can come up with keeper-size bass well into November.
The cooling waters of fall also bring the return of fishing for tautog. This is a nice, practical way to fish. Put green crab on a jig, or a hook-and-sinker rig, and drop it down in the vicinity of structure. Let the fish take the bait - they'll nibble, but you want to be patient in setting the hook. Then hold tight to that rod, because tautog do love to yank.
Tautog are fish to make dentists smile and give the rest of us the creeps - they have eerily human teeth. They also transform into very tasty fish chowder.
Kevin Blinkoff also reminds me that the fall - and on into the winter - is a great time to remember that Cape Cod also has freshwater fishing. Many local ponds are restocked in the fall, so keep trout and largemouth bass on your fishing card too.
There are more details, and this week's fishing forecast, posted in the audio above. Give it a listen.
Another great fall tradition is On The Water magazine's StriperFest, a once-a-year gathering at Falmouth Harbor, offering anglers a look at tasty new gear, good food to eat, and a chance to swap fish stories. It's a big party, and it's happening this weekend. Here are details. See you there!