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Capeshores Charters Fishing Reports

Fishing Instinctively by Capt. Bruce Peters

Sunday April 27, 2003 12:41 PM
January 2022
 · Rate increases for 2022
 · Rate increases for 2022

December 2021
 · Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays
 · 15% off Christmas Promotion

July 2021
 · Bluefin Tuna

June 2021
 · 2021 Bluefin Tuna Bag Limits

May 2021
 · Bluefin Tuna 2021
 · CDC lifting Covid Restrictions

April 2021
 · Tide extremes IN EACH MONTH
 · Charter Rate changes for 2021
 · April 2021 report

January 2021
 · Jan/Feb 2021 Fish Report

October 2020
 · October Bluefin Activity

August 2020
 · Current open dates for Bluefin Tuna fishing
 · Bluefin Fishing is off the Charts !

July 2020
 · FOG ! and TUNA

June 2020
 · Stripers have shown up !

May 2020
 · Open for Fishing Charters !!!!
 · May Corona Report

March 2020
 · Regulation Changes ???

January 2020
 · Capeshores Charters 2020 - tides list

December 2019
 · Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays

October 2019
 · Herring Protection Comments Needed Now !
 · October is Tuna Time

August 2019
 · August Report

July 2019
 · Stripers or Bluefin ???

June 2019
 · July Fishing
 · June Fishing Report - Capeshores Charters

May 2019
 · May Fishing Report

April 2019
 · 2019 Capeshores Charters Fishing

March 2019
 · Mid March fish report

January 2019
 · 2019 Tides
 · Thank You !

November 2018
 · Prepaid Fishing discounted for Christmas !

October 2018
 · October Bluefin

August 2018
 · Late August Tuna & Bass
 · Early August Bluefin & Stripers

July 2018
 · Bass & Tuna report

May 2018
 · Lots of Fish Around !
 · Wicked Tuna = Fake News !

April 2018
 · Herring

March 2018
 · Spring Returns
 · Multi day fishing w lodging

February 2018
 · 2018 TIDES
 · February Fish report
 · Feb report

December 2017
 · Thank you & Merry Christmas !

September 2017
 · A Cancelation Provides New Open Dates
 · September Bluefin Tuna

August 2017
 · August Fishing on Cape Cod
 · Reservations or Reluctant Disappointment ?

July 2017
 · Bluefin Tuna Fishing NOW !
 · Capeshores Charters Blackened Fish Recipe

June 2017
 · 6/26/17 Tuna Arrive
 · Mid June Report

May 2017
 · The 2017 Season Begins
 · Strpers & Bluefin May Report
 · May 2, Fish report

March 2017
 · Ides of March - Tides & Reviews

February 2017
 · Herring Committee Meeting Update
 · Important Meeting HERRING COMMITTEE 2/7/2017

January 2017
 · 2017 Tides

December 2016
 · Thank YOU !
 · Holiday Gift of a Charter ?

September 2016
 · Happy Labor Day !

August 2016
 · Mid August Fishing Report

July 2016
 · ORCA !

May 2016
 · Squid Bars Make Noise
 · Cape Cod Fishing

March 2016
 · Reserving In Advance Is Wise
 · Choosing a Fishing Charter

February 2016
 · 2016 Tides

December 2015
 · December 13 Report

September 2015
 · September 1 Bass & Tuna Report

August 2015
 · August 4 Report

July 2015
 · July 18 Chatham Fishing Report
 · Squid Bars Make Noise

June 2015
 · June bluefin & Striped Bass
 · June Bluefin & Striped Bass

May 2015
 · May 2015 - first report

April 2015
 · Aquatic Awakenings

March 2015
 · 2015 Tide Predictions

January 2015
 · St. Valentine's day Promotion
 · January Blizzard Report

December 2014
 · Good News for Bluefin Tuna Stocks
 · Gift a Discounted Fishing Trip ?
 · Bluefin Tuna news

September 2014
 · September Fishing on Cape Cod

August 2014
 · August Bluefin Tuna Action
 · Monomoy Bass - Chatham Bluefin

July 2014
 · Mid July Chatham Fishing
 · Boyhood Initiations

June 2014
 · June Bluefin & Striped Bass

May 2014
 · 2014 Bluefin Tuna Report

April 2014
 · Chatham Bluefin Tuna
 · Bucket List Bluefin

March 2014
 · Hearty Fish Chowder recipe
 · Bluefin Tuna Charters

February 2014
 · A New "Wicked Tuna" season ?
 · February Bass Meeting

January 2014
 · 2014 Tide Predictions
 · January Fishing Blues
 · Do You Want to Save Bluefin Tuna Quota ??

December 2013
 · Merry Christmas & Thank YOU !
 · Christmas Gift Certificate Sale

August 2013
 · September Bluefin - "I'M TIGHT!"
 · Mid August

July 2013
 · Red Hot !!!
 · July 4th Fishing @ Chatham

June 2013
 · June Bluefin & Striped Bass
 · Bluefin Tuna at Chatham

May 2013
 · Blackened Striped Bass Recipe
 · Macks, Squid, Bass & Tuna
 · Cape Cod Stripers & Tuna

April 2013
 · Cape Cod's "Engine's of Life"

March 2013
 · Make A Better Charter - Follow Up
 · How Do I Make a Better Charter ?

February 2013
 · Catch Your Own Wicked Tuna !
 · Choosing a Charter

January 2013
 · 2013 Best Tide Extremes

December 2012
 · POSITIVE Results form the Latest Bluefin Stock Reports !
 · Merry Christmas, everybody !!
 · Christmas Fishing Gift Certificates - 10% off

October 2012
 · October Tuna

September 2012
 · Best Tuna Bite of the Year !

August 2012
 · 8/30 Bass & Tuna Report
 · Chatham Bluefin & Stripers
 · Open dates

July 2012
 · July End Fish Report @ Chatham
 · Squid for Stripers @ Bearse's

June 2012
 · Topwater Stripers @ Bearses Shoals !
 · Chatham Bluefin Tuna
 · First Bluefin of the Season
 · BluefinTuna @ Chatham

May 2012
 · Striped Bass are Everywhere !
 · Early May Cape Cod Fishing Report

April 2012
 · Wickedly Awesome Tuna !
 · 2012 Charter Rate Change

March 2012
 · 2012 Striper & Bluefin Tides
 ·  email to MA committee re bass bill proposals.
 · Striped Bass in Massachusetts

December 2011
 · Merry Christmas !

October 2011
 · October IS Bluefin Tuna Time !

September 2011
 · Sept. & Oct. = BLUEFIN TUNA !

August 2011
 · Chatham Striped Bass & Tuna Report

July 2011
 · Chatham Bass with the TUNA !
 · Exploding with Striped Bass

June 2011
 · How To Take Your Kid Fishing for $5 !!!
 · Chatham Bluefin Tuna
 · Chatham Bluefin Tuna for DAD ?

May 2011
 · NMFS says Bluefin Tuna NOT endangered !
 · Cape Cod Stripers & Tuna

April 2011
 · ABTA letter explaining latest NMFS proposal to ABFT regs
 · Cape Cod Fishing

March 2011

January 2011
 · Recreational license, tuna & bass news
 · Endangered Bluefin Tuna ?

December 2010
 · Give Summer Fishing Fun for Christmas !
 · Best Giant Tuna Fishing ever !

September 2010
 · September Tuna & Bass

August 2010
 · Chatham MA Striped Bass
 · Striped Bass BITE !

July 2010
 · Bass Limits - 2 hours
 · Striped Bass off Chatham
 · Bass Fishing in the Rips
 · Bass, Blues & Tuna on top
 · July 4 TH Doldrums

June 2010
 · Lots of Bass !
 · Cape Cod Fishing
 · Chatham Bass with the TUNA !
 · Bluefin Tuna Abundance !
 · Opening Day Bluefin Tuna Landed !

May 2010
 · Memorial Day Bass & Tuna
 · Cape Cod Striped Bass
 · Tides for Bass & Tuna

March 2010
 · Locust Trees Catch Tuna ? - Part II
 · Locust Trees Catch Tuna ? - Part I
 · Massachusetts Striper Fishing Bill

February 2010
 · Striper & Tuna Tides

January 2010
 · Striped Bass in Massachusetts

December 2009
 · Christmas Eve
 · Give Fishing for Christmas !
 · SAVE your Tuna Fishery !
 ·  Bluefin Tuna CITES Listing?

October 2009
 · October Tuna

September 2009
 · Bluefin Tuna and Striped Bass
 · School’s open, and the Tuna are Biting !!

August 2009
 · Hurricane Bill
 · August's Fishing Dog Days
 · "IT'S ON" !!!! ( The tuna bite that is )
 · Tuna Bite Improving !

July 2009
 · Stripers, Mackerel and Bluefin Tuna !
 · Cape Cod Striped Bass & Tuna Report
 · Boyhood Initiations
 · Bearse's Rip Producing Bass

June 2009
 · It Stopped RAINING !
 · Bluefin Tuna 2009
 · Cape Cod Fishing Report

May 2009
 · Atlantic Bluefin Tuna

April 2009
 · GREAT News on HERRING !

March 2009
 · March Striped Bass Blitz ??
 · Bluefin Tuna Action Needed (send email)

February 2009
 · 2009 BEST TIDES

January 2009
 · Monster Tuna Dream

December 2008
 · 2008 THANK YOU !

November 2008
 · Gamefish Status - Another View

October 2008
 · Biggest Bass of the Year !!!
 · September & October Striper Conservation
 · Giant TUNA Support !
 · Its Time to Catch a GIANT !

September 2008
 · Bass Fishing Great - Tuna Just OK
 · Striped Bass & Bluefin Tuna on Cape Cod

August 2008
 · Bluefin Tuna & Bass Still on the "Bite"
 · Tuna Busting Among Bubble Feeding Whales !!
 · The Bass Are Back @ Bearse's

July 2008
 · Bass slow, but Tuna picking up !
 · Bearse's Rip works for me !

June 2008
 · Record Striped bass numbers caught !!!
 · Fishing Politics -
 · Cape Cod Fishing report

May 2008
 · Sign on to Support Sustainable Herring Management

February 2008
 · 2008 Best Fishing Tides
 · NMFS Adjusts Daily Recreational Bluefin Limit
 · Cape Cod House Rentals for 2008

January 2008
 · River Herring FMP Public Comments
 · New T Shirt Winners
 · 2007 Bass & Bluefin in Review

December 2007
 · Huge Christmas Bass !!!!

October 2007
 · Sea Herring Management Needs YOUR Help
 · Flat Calm Weather in October !!!

September 2007
 · Chatham and Cape Cod MA Fishing Report
 · Chatham MA Bluefin Tuna and Striped Bass Report
 · Chatham MA Bass and Bluefin Report

August 2007
 · Tuna trips in the AM and Bass in the afternoon !!
 · Double Digit Tuna on a Morning Bass Charter !!!
 · Bluefin Tuna at the Regal Sword
 · Tuna Fishing Better Than Bass Fishing

July 2007
 · I Got "Bearse's Bass Thumb" !
 · Bustin Bass @ Bearse's

June 2007
 · Squid & Bass, Nice Bluefin on Rigs
 · Striped Bass at Monomoy !
 · Bluefin Tuna Report
 · action alert : Need your support for herring management
 · East of Chatham Fishing

May 2007
 · Memorial Day Cape Cod Fishing Report
 · Cape Cod Striped Bass Report
 · Cape Cod Fishing

April 2007
 · Cape Cod Fishing Report
 · - Bluefin Tuna Fishing Report -
 · Sportfishing Cape Cod Site Updates & Housekeeping

March 2007
 · I think its over now – You can come back outside !!
 · Article ; Boyhood Initiations – The making of a fisherman.

February 2007
 · Tides for Bluefin tuna and Striped Bass

January 2007
 · MISS JILLIAN for Sale !

October 2006
 · Herring Managment Needs YOUR Input !!
 · October Winds to Bring in BIG fish ?
 · Bass and Tuna Report

September 2006
 · Tuna and Bass in September
 · Its Tuna Time !!

August 2006
 · The Best Fishing is Now Ahead of Us !
 · August Heat Brings Warm Waters

July 2006
 · Broken Down at Bearse's
 · Bass Busting Right Out of the Water !

June 2006
 · Tuna showed - Bass still great !
 · Rip Fishing is Great !
 · Chatham Harbor Bar is Sanding In
 · Fathers Day Weekend !
 · June of 2006 - Bluefin Tuna report

May 2006
 · Cape Cod Fishing Report
 · May Showers Cape Cod Fishing Report

April 2006
 · Latest "T" shirt winner

March 2006
 · Spring Eels

February 2006
 · 2004 Striped Bass Stock Assessment
 · February Doldrums and Hunting Report

January 2006
 · Cape Cod Fishing - January Report

December 2005
 · Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Thank you !!!

October 2005
 · Flat Calm and Lots of Nice Big Stripers !

September 2005
 · Upcoming Storm Ophelia
 · Big Bass Every Drift ! - Fuel Surcharge ??

August 2005
 · HOT and COLD fishing off Chatham

July 2005
 · Cape Cod Charter Fishing Report at Chatham
 · Cape Cod Fishing
 · Free Fishing Trips !!

June 2005
 · Chatham Fishing Improved Considerably !!
 · Chatham Fishing Report
 · June - Warming Cape Cod water temperatures !

May 2005
 · Pleasant Bay, Orleans Fishing
 · Cape Cod Fishing Report
 · How to tell if you are a Native Cape Codder
 · Cape Cod Fishing and Conservation
 · Orleans MA fishing report

April 2005
 · Cape Cod Fishing Report
 · New T shirt winners
 · Striped Bass Commercial Regulation Changes
 · Striped Bass Fishing Pictures

March 2005
 · Commercial Bass Regulations
 · Seems Like Another Cold Spring
 · Boyhood Initiations

February 2005
 · How's the Cabin Fever ????
 · Andrew Troetti of Norwalk CT wins a T shirt
 · Go Patriots !
 · Steve Iacovelli wins a shirt

January 2005
 · Fishing Charter Survey Winner
 · January 2005 - A brand new year and fishing season !!

December 2004
 · Christmas Wish

September 2004
 · Labor Day !!

August 2004
 · Bearse's Rip is still RED Hot !!
 · Mid August is Bass & Tuna Time !!
 · Capeshores Charters on NESN
 · Fog, Fish and Happy Customers !
 · August Charter Availability

July 2004
 · Northeast Breezes Finally Clear out the FOG !!!
 · Jon's comments
 · Kathy catches 44 inch Bass on 10 POUND TEST Tackle !!
 · Bearse's Shoals Producing Nice fishing

June 2004
 · Finally - Some GOOD Fishing !
 · Monomoy !
 · No Big Fish !!!!
 · Pleasant Bay on Saturday 6-5
 · “Millions of fish swimming around me, DUDE” !!!!!!

May 2004
 · Wow, They Are Already Gone !
 · Lets See if Anyone Really Reads These Things ?
 · Lots of Fish Moving In Now !
 · It's All About The BAIT !

April 2004
 · Schoolies in May !!!
 · Changes to MA Scup Regulations
 · Waiting for the Sun..........
 · Proposed MA Commercial Striper Regulation Changes
 · Cod Slow !! Schoolies ( holdbacks ? ) Rumored
 · Feedback Form problem
 · Fishing with Wayne
 · Nightcrawlers in April

March 2004
 · March Doldrums

February 2004
 · Washington DC Fishing Report
 · Capeshores Charters latest T shirt winner

January 2004
 · Bad News !! - 2004 Charter Rate Change !!
 · Herring, Bycatch & Observer Coverages
 · Latest "T" Shirt Winners !
 · Cold - With little cod activity

December 2003
 · Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays !!!
 · The Fall Activities

October 2003
 · October Bluefin Thrills

September 2003
 · Cool Crisp Days of September
 · Hurricane Isabel - links to data
 · Stripers Are Being Caught On Every Drift in the Rips of Monomoy
 · Giant Bluefin Tuna Report
 · Steve's Comments
 · After Labor Day

August 2003
 · Customer comments
 · The Sky is Falling !!
 · Finally, Some Bass are Showing in the Rips !

July 2003
 · 5 Days of Southwest wind !!
 · Paul's Comments
 · Finally ! - Some Consistent & Decent Fish !!
 · Not the Greatest Start to a Season !!!
 · Not the Greatest Start to a Season !!!

May 2003
 · A Late Spring ??
 · BIG Pods of Fish Moving up the Beaches !!
 · The Rips of Monomoy - Part 2
 · The Rips Of Monomoy - Article by Bruce Peters ( Part 1)
 · They're Back !!

April 2003
 · Fishing Instinctively by Capt. Bruce Peters
 · Nothing to Report
 · Cod Moving into the shallows

March 2003
 · Article: Boyhood Initiations by Capt. Bruce Peters
 · Article : Beat Dogfish with Rubber !!
 · Fishing Instinctively by Capt. Bruce Peters

February 2003
 · Chris is Thinking Ahead !!
 · 15 th Survey Respondent Winner !
 · February Updates

January 2003
 · January 2003

November 2002
 · November Bluefin Follow Up

October 2002
 · Every Giant Tuna Fights Differently !
 · October Bluefin Tuna and Bass

September 2002
 · Dan's Comments
 · Paul's Comments
 · Bass Charters 9-22 Weekend
 · Giant Bluefin Tuna - Now or Never !

August 2002
 · Brian's Comments
 · George's comment
 · Good Fish are Far to Find !
 · Dick, Howie & John

July 2002
 · Raffle winner gets 25 and 27 pounders !!!
 · Looking for More !
 · Squid at Bears'es - Bluefin @ Crab ledge
 · Bass Breaking outside the Chatham Inlet

June 2002
 · Bearse's, Monomoy east, & High Bank
 · Monomoy Tip Rips Producing Nice Bass
 · Strong Island - Home to BIG Bass !
 · ASK and YOU shall receive !
 · Pleasant Bay - Use Live Herring !

May 2002
 · Early Spring Means Early Good Fishing
 · Big Bass Eating Herring ! !

April 2002
 · LATE APRIL - Windy and cool
 · Taxes Paid - Now Get the Boat Ready !!!!

February 2002

January 2002

December 2001
 · Decembrrrrrrrrrrrrr Cod !!!
 · November Cod Fishing Has Slowed

November 2001
 · Bass, Blues & now COD !!
 · Giant Tuna

September 2001
 · I Lost a BIG One !
 · Big Bearse's Bass are Back ! !
 · September Swells
 · Labor Day Bass, Cod & Tuna

August 2001
 · Tuna fishing slow - Bass red Hot !!
 · Mid August

July 2001
 · Sunday crowds on the water
 · Why I am a Charter Captain
 · Bicknell Charter caught 47 fish !!
 · Todd's Comments ........
 · Barneys comments ........
 · Barney's birthday 42 incher
 · Consistent Bigger Fish Showing

June 2001
 · Bears'es Rip Produces First Big Fish
 · East of Chatham
 · June Tax day
 · Bluefins close to the beach
 · Breaking fish in PB Tuesday eve.

May 2001
 · Pleasant Bay
 · Another Published Fishing Story
 · May 20 - 51- 53 degrees
 · Beaches, Nantucket sound, CC Bay all have fish !
 · They are finally back !!

April 2001
 · Mayday - still slow ! My published Rips Story !
 · April Anticipation

March 2001
 · March 13 Fishing Report
 · Show Trip Raffle Winner

February 2001

January 2001
 · Customer's Comments
 · January Affirmations

December 2000
 · Some 2000 Customers comments

November 2000
 · November Report

October 2000
 · October report

September 2000
 · September Fishing at its Best !
 · Fall Fishing Begins !
 · Dave's trip and comments - Thanks Dave !

August 2000
 · Capeshores Charters on TV Tuesday Night !
 · It was "THE BALLS" !!!
 · An Over 40 Fish Trip !!
 · Two really nice fish !!
 · "Blackened" Bluefish and Stripers Recipe
 · This is Why I Love What I do !
 · Noreaster in August ? ? ?
 · Latest fishing - T shirt winners
 · I LOVE what I'm doing ! !

July 2000
 · BIG FISH ! Really Big !
 · Weather Kicked Up - Fish Still Here !
 · Non-stop Catching and Releasing
 · Big Fish for Young and Old ! !
 · Small Tides = Finicky Fish
 · More-further-and Bigger ! fish !
 · Bassing red hot - Cod lukewarm

June 2000
 · A "Boomer" of a Day
 · Engine in - New winner - Bigger fish

May 2000
 · Almost a Keeper !!
 · Reports are confirmed !!
 · May 1,

March 2000
 · No Fish Yet

Fishing Instinctively by Captain Bruce Peters

I found the spot almost accidentally. I was returning to Chatham Light from a morning fishing the rips east of Monomoy Point, and was following along the beach just outside the breakers. Usually, I would run a straight course from the rips to the buoy off the Chatham entrance, but today I had chosen to take a more exploratory path home. Just north of the inlet in between the two Monomoy Islands, I started noticing the bait. I could see vast schools of sand eels dimpling the surface as my skiff skimmed along. A flock of cormorants were working offshore of me, with a scattering of gulls overhead of them. On the beach, just above the wrack line, hundreds of gulls were standing there, as if they were waiting for something. I suspected that I was a witness to either the end or the beginning of something big. Being slack water, I knew that if there were fish under all this bait they would show better when the tide started running. An occasional bass could be seen in the breakers, so I spent most of that afternoon poking around the sandbars and the beach. As the tide dropped, two or three channels became exposed where I could go in between the bars to a calmer, deeper lagoon on the shore side of the bar, and I marked them with my loran. Beaching the boat, I grabbed my rod and a couple live eels and started walking the edge of the bar. I saw many small pods of keeper bass that day in the surf line and I caught a couple of fish, but I remember seeing many, many more than I caught. In leaving that day, I knew something was wrong, but wasn’t sure what it was. It was if the fish too, were waiting for something more. Rowing out to my skiff this morning, I pondered what had been a long week of waiting for the right conditions I suspected should be for those fish to bite. I believed the fish I found that day, would bite with the ideal combination of low light and a moving tide. Suspecting the brightness of the day I had observed had put the fish in a finicky mood, and some connection between those gulls on the beach and the sand eel concentrations, my intuition told me to go explore it. I had been there through the dropping tide in the afternoon that day with less than ideal results, so I wanted to try the rising tide in the morning. I needed the combination of the rising tide to coincide with the coming of dawn, giving me just enough daylight to see the breakers, yet not too much light to put the fish off. I hoped the big schools of sand eels would still be there. Last night’s low tide was at 2:27 am on the Chatham bar. Give or take a quarter hour, maximum flood would be at around 5:15 am. Planning to be there early, I was leaving my mooring in Pleasant Bay with plenty of time to spare to pick my way through the channels in the dropping tide. I left the running lights off to retain my night vision. Comforted by the solitude, and the tranquility of the calm night waters, yet exited about the prospects of having this beach to myself with a bucket of fresh eels, I headed down the bay and towards the cut. Once past the narrows, I opened her up towards the bluff of the golf course and Dogfish Bar. Turning the corner towards Strong Island, I could see fairly well now that I was away from the lights of the houses. The current was ebbing pretty strong, allowing me to pick my way along the center of the channel by watching the direction of the tide on the lobster buoys. Once abreast of the Chatham fish pier though, I slowed my homemade flat-bottomed skiff down. The year before, I had run aground at high speed on this bar with a dropping tide. That was a lesson I’d rather not repeat. I had to unload all my fishing gear, fuel, fish box, and battery out of the boat, take the outboard off and hump the boat back to the water, now 40 yards further away and then load all the stuff back into the boat again. Abreast of the south edge of Nauset Beach, I turned west towards the rock revetments and the channel there, and took my time to get my bearings. The current was rushing through the narrowed waterway, looking really fishy. I noticed a brief flash of light over against the rock wall, a popular fishing spot. The skiff that was fishing there also had his running lights off, and upon hearing my engine, was flashing at me to warn me of his presence. I slowed to an idle and looked it over, thinking it looked pretty good. It even smelled fishy. There are times when I get a sense or a hunch about a spot or a place, some call it “reading the water” others even try to teach this skill, but mostly its the subconscious remembrances of fishing spots we’ve visited before. An important thing I’ve learned is not to discount these hunches or premonitions as they are your natural fishing instincts telling you what to do. I now noticed another boat there and with me that would have been three, so I decided to keep going. I suspected that there were fish there though, and it is always hard to leave fish to find fish, but this morning I was acting on a bigger instinct that there was something waiting for me more distant. Idling slowly till I was well out of their drift, I throttled up and headed out into the cut. Now, I was more than halfway out, past the lighthouse, I could hear the surf on the bar. Cutting my engine, I listened carefully for the size and location of the breakers as I drifted out the channel. I could hear the water rushing against something getting louder and louder as the boat drifted closer to it. The blackish green can buoy at the end of the beach spit on the Chatham side materialized out of the gloom. I dug the spotlight out from under the seat and plugged it into the socket. It would be needed to find the radar reflectors marking the channel around the bars and to see the breakers. The swell seemed to be a foot, with an occasional two footer, small enough to cross but big enough to not risk taking your eyes off of. The “C” Buoy’s periodic moaning, together with the fact I could not see the interval of the blinking light, told me there was fog just outside the breakers. This is normal for the Chatham and Monomoy area in early August and I was glad to know it was there, as it kept many fishermen home and provided some cover for me. If the fish were at the spot, I didn’t want any company. The fog also reduced the amount of light hitting the water and hopefully keeping the fish biting longer. Carefully, I threaded my way in between the bars and the breakers as I made my way out, and once past the last radar reflector, headed south and again was following the beach down towards my new-found spot in between the beach and the bar. With excited anticipation, I hoped they would be there again! I motored on in the increasing grayness of the approaching dawn, paralleling the beach. On occasion, I would shine the spotlight onto the beach, looking for the telltale gulls that I hoped would be waiting there. I was beginning to have my doubts when I saw the first group. Then there were more! As I went further along, I was increasingly encouraged by the numbers of gulls I saw on the beach. You see, I had figured out that as the tide dropped on these bars the night before, the sand eels dug themselves into the exposed sand to wait for the next rising tide. As the gulls walked the bars feeding on the occasionally exposed sand eels, the bass were also waiting for the water to again rise over the exposed sand eel laden flats. I did not know for sure what the connection was, only that I suspected it had to do with the low light. I could now make out the darker shadows of the waves as they spent themselves against the shoreline. I could see where they formed, but did not break on the deeper channel in between the bars. Checking the loran, I saw that I was on the numbers and turning shore ward, I passed through the opening into the lagoon. As I beached my skiff against the sandbar in that gray August dawn, I had no idea it would be anything like it was. I could see stripers boiling on both sides of the boat as I crossed over the bar. They were here all right, hundreds of them, no thousands, and I had it all to myself! Hurriedly I anchored the boat behind the bar, and grabbed my scrub pad and my eel container and put a half dozen into it. I’ll pass his tip on to all - I use a 3M scrub pad, (the green ones) to grab the eels. After you try it, you won’t use a cotton rag again ! My rod, a custom 9 foot slow action baitcaster, and Garcia 6500 C3 was rigged with 15 lb monofilament, a black ball bearing swivel, 30” of 40 lb leader and a 4/0 black octopus hook snelled to the leader. Gathering up my stuff I pushed he boat off the bar into the lagoon, kicked the anchor deeper into the and started running for the surf. There were stripers everywhere I could see fins sticking up here and tails out of the water there. They weren’t exited or boiling or even moving fast, it was as if they were just rolling in the shallows. I fumbled for an eel and dropped it into the sand twice in my excitement and haste. Finally, I got it on the hook, a nice lively one and lobbed it out. I didn't even have to get my feet wet as these fish were in less than 18 inches of water. I had a pickup right away and set the hook. This fish sat there for a second, as if not believing he was hooked, and then sped off through the ranks of his buddies, scattering them with his efforts. With my light outfit it was touch and go for awhile with me giving, and then him giving until I finally led him ashore in the shallows. As I fought the fish, I noticed just how many stripers were there. It was unbelievable! In 25 years of fishing, both commercially and recreationally, on two coasts, I had never seen this many large fish in one location! Some of the bass were in the 10 to 13 pound range, most were 13 to 18 pounders, and some like the one laying at my feet, were 22 or 24 pounds. I released that one, and probably 15 more that morning, eventually taking one home for the barbeque. As the morning progressed, the behavior of the fish changed as the amount of light increased. When I first arrived, the stripers were just rolling along with their backs out of the water. Then it seemed that they were mostly in a head down position, with their tails out of the water as the feeding activity increased. On every cast I would have an immediate pickup, as if the fish were waiting for the bait. That lasted till about 8:00 am that morning. (Other days I have seen them shut off from feeding at 7:00.) From that period on the fish became more and more selective, turning away from the bait after inspecting it. I could clearly see the fish turn, look and then reject my offerings. I tried small rubber sand eel imitations as well as the live eels and it didn’t seem to matter, the bite was over. I feel that there are several reasons for the change. The natural bait disperses from the flats as the light increases, the fish can inspect the live eel better with the increased light, and realize that it is not a sand eel, and the shallowness of the water with the increased light of the day makes the gamefish shy. If there is a point to this story other than to share with you this experience, it is to affirm you to have enough confidence in your intuition to go with your instincts. On the day I found this spot, if I had kept to the original course from the rips, I would have never learned what I did about that spot. Or if I had stopped at the rock wall on the way out of Pleasant Bay that morning, I might never have experienced seeing all those stripers standing on their heads slurping sand eels off a deserted bar on a foggy Chatham morning. I have learned to take a differing way home sometimes, keep my senses open for what I may learn every day and to go with my instincts. Observations noted during the time you are on the water, are stored in the memory, guiding you to do what you feel is “the” thing to do at that time. If you can trust those recollections or hunches to guide you, then you will truly be “reading the water.”

ps: North Monomoy is no longer an island , having closed up at the beach under Chatham Light, allowing adventuresome beach fishers to now walk to this spot.

Captain Bruce Peters - - 508 255-0911

Captain Bruce Peters
Capeshores Charters