Every striped bass fishermen imagines landing The Big One. Recently, from New Jersey to Boston Harbor come reports of catches of 50+ lb striped bass, with a few 60 pounders in Connecticut. For Cape Cod anglers, this means the big fish have finished their spawn down south in the Chesapeake and have migrated north. They are out there.
So you want to catch one of those Big Fish? There are no hard rules to follow (this is fishing, right?) - but here's how you can increase your odds:
- Fish in the right place. Historically, many big fish have been landed in very specific locations. These include The Race in Long Island Sound, Block Island, Cuttyhunk Island, the Cape Cod Canal, and Boston Harbor. These locations offer access to deep water and current.
- Use live bait. Big fish are more often caught on live bait than on lures. The very biggest fish - including last year's world-record striped bass landed by Greg Myerson, at 81.88 lbs - are typically taken on live eels. Live scup can also be good. Why? Kevin Blinkoff, of On The Water, suggests (only half kidding) that those big bass didn't get big for nothing - maybe they're not falling for artificial lures because they're that much smarter. If you do go with a lure, a combination set-up, like the tube-and-worm, can be good.
- Fish at the right time. In a word: nighttime. During the day big fish tend to move deeper and can be trickier to catch. Bigger fish tend to be landed at night or at first light - especially if you're fishing from shore.
JUNE FULL MOON
Two weeks ago anglers were anticipating the "New Moon in June," hoping it would bring strong tides and hungry big fish. The New Moon turned out to be a bit of a letdown, as astronomical conditions produced lesser-than-expected tides. With the full moon coming June 23 at 7:33 am, hopes are once more rising for big tides and currents to stir up those larger early-summer fish.