18) Cape Cod Sept 11-13

Bob's Banger Popper Kayak Stripers

Tough day at the Merrimack River Outlet.  There are 2 kayak launches on the south bays.  Bait can sometime stack up in some of those bays but a strong North wind required a long paddle across to sheltered water.  I fished poppers to various north shore spots by the camp ground, working up toward the mouth aong with my shadow seal.  When the tide turned and started running out, I quickly got myself back in far enough inside to the first survivable eddy.  I anchored and fished Bangers and Clousers out to the current edges.  Some bait, a few peanut bunker began to show up but nothing bothered them.  I got one very small (13 inch) stripper on a Clouser.  A dead low tide I tried around the exposed rocks out in the current channel.  Lots of seals everywhere here but more around those rocks.  The weather improved and I tried the south side bay near the mouth just out past the Merrimack River Bar.  I got nothing, there was a basketball sized tuna head lodged on the shallow end of the sand bar. Some campers and locals had gotten a few small strippers casting bait from shore.

Day 2, the next morning on the South Cape, I paddled out nearly a mile from the public launch down a tide creek and across "3 Rivers Bay" to the smaller breachway (inlet) where I expected some strippers to be hanging out and targeting bait moving in and out with the tide shifts and ready to hit poppers or Clousers.  I pulled the kayak up on shore and fished from the sandy shore side of the narrows. 

Nothing, thought I did have one solid hit on a Clouser that came with a flash that appeared to be something like a 12 inch schooly stripper. The low neap tides and the locals arriving and beaching their power boats for their get together on the best spot to fish the breachway channel made it best  to move to another nearby spot.

This South Cape Bay is extremely fertile and usually holds some schooly strippers and maybe some big Bluefish also.  From the limited access  public launch (better after Labor Day) I paddled to the mouth of a tidal creek in the remote back corner of the bay.  Lots of Peanut Bunker, 1 to 1.5 inches, bright silver,  flashing along the sea grass banks. 6 inch Bluefish were harassing  them, I was also getting decent sized fish moving on the poppers without taking them.  I tried smaller Bob's Bangers but switched to a 3.5 inch 2/0 Banger later when there was a bit of chop.  At almost dark, a good fish took with a loud suck pop.  Nothing there on the hook set.  8 cast later, again but a solid hook up and a long hard fight brought soid 18 inch stripper. 

Next morning same spot produced similar results, and a good sized schooly, slightly longer but skinny. 

It took a 1.75 inch 1/0 Banger.  As I was setting up to get video, I could hear bass busting the bait along the grass edges.  By the time I was back to fishing, it was over, nothing more happened there nor when I paddled out to the breachway where I tried from the narrow's sandy shore. 

Day3, I drove to the northeast corner of Cape Cod Bay to a place I'll call Town Creek.  This spot is pristine, very fertile and can attract larger bass.  It is a bit of a hike on foot to fish one side and the other side of the channel can only be reached with a kayak.  This spot is best fished from shore even though a kayak is good to access it.  This river channel is different every time I go there.  The sand, gravel and softball sized stones are constantly being sorted and repositionded by the storms and tide currents.  At low tide, the fish will hold in the deeper holes.  When the current is running, they will spread out into the current runs and below drop offs of their liking.  I had not been doing anything right. there was a fly fisherman on the other side, 2 hand stripping over deep water also not doing much right.  A spin caster showed up, got a 12 inch schooly on the first cast with a silver "tin", a heavy metal lure something like a Deadly Dick or Cast Master.  He got 2 more in the next 10 cast as he quickly moved down the shore, then he left.  

I had a floating line, not good for Clousers deep.  I tied on a longer lighter 1X tippet and a small #2 heavy lead eyed White, Pearl, Silver & blue #2 Baby Bunker Clouser.   I counted down deeper, fished a 3 strips & long pause retrieve. I got seven 12 to 15 inch bass on hard hits, mostly deep on the slack long pause and fall.  Three guys in kayaks pulled up on gravel Islands at the top end of the run.  Once the tide was coming in, They began hitting fish on shallow 2 hand retrieves in the current.  They had the better spot then, I had the better spot by the deeper holes at slack low tide.



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