5 Pre-Season Prep Tips To Help You Catch More Fish Around Cape Cod in 2023

Are you ready to hit the water and catch some big fish this upcoming season? Before you do, make sure that you’re prepared and that you complete your pre-season prep. This article will provide five effective tips to help ensure that your fishing trips are successful this upcoming season!

Understand Your Local Fishing Area

If you want to be successful in the upcoming fishing season, it’s important to understand the fish and bait in your local area that you are hoping to target. Different fish species prefer different types of bait, so it’s important to know what kind of fish you’re trying to catch and what they like to eat. The same goes for baitfish – different species of baitfish are more attractive to different predators. Do some research on the fish in your area and what kind of baits they respond well to.  Great resources are blogs, podcasts and past fishing reports.  Do some of the research so you are prepared for when the fish arrive!

In addition to knowing what kind of fish you’re targeting and what kind of bait they prefer, it’s also important to understand the habitats in your area. This is very true around Cape Cod.  An example is that the striped bass arrive on the South Side of the Cape first and then work their way into Cape Cod Bay and the Monomoy Rips.  Again, do some research on the fish in your area and find out where they like to hang out. This information will help you choose the right spot to fish and increase your chances of success.  Leverage your local tackle shop, look for Spring Fishing events and research on-line.

Prep Your Gear

No matter what type of fishing you do, it’s important to take some time at the beginning of the season to prep your gear. This will help ensure that you have a successful and enjoyable season. There is nothing worse than getting out on the water and having gear failure.  This is one of those areas you can control by doing your prep work. Here are some tips to get you started:

– Inspect your rods and reels for any damage or wear and tear. Repair or replace anything that is not in good condition or have it repaired by a professional.

– Clean your tackle box and organize your lures, hooks, weights, etc. Throw out anything that is old or damaged.  Replace hooks and connections so you don’t lose that trophy fish!

– Check your fishing line for nicks or breaks and replace if necessary.  I tend to replace all my line every year.  If you can learn how to do this yourself, it can be a big cost saver!

– Make sure all your other gear is checked and in good shape.  If you fish from a boat, check all your safety gear, check your fire extinguishers and their expiration dates, check boat lines, etc.  Don’t take your safety for granted!  If you fish from shore, check your waders and headlamps, check your gear bag, etc.  If you’ve hiked a beach to get to your lucky spot, nothing worse than finding a hole in your waders that lets the cold water in.

By taking the time to prep your gear before the season starts, you’ll be setting yourself up for success when you hit the water.

Learn the Rules and Regulations

If you want to be successful in the upcoming fishing season, it is important that you take the time to learn the rules and regulations that apply to your desired fishing area and species. Don’t assume that everything is the same.  I would say the exact opposite, they seem to change every year! These rules and regulations are put in place by state and federal government agencies to protect fish populations and their habitats. Not only will following the rules make you a more responsible angler, but it will also increase your chances of catching fish. To find out what rules and regulations apply to your fishing area, you can check online resources such as the website for the state wildlife agency or the website for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  I also use an app called Fish Rules so I can confirm throughout the season. Don’t forget to have your licenses updated and that you are current with all your paperwork.

Know Your Fishing Spots

One of the best ways to catch more fish is to know your fishing spots. But they can change from season to season, especially around Cape Cod.  If we’ve had a stormy winter, then sand bars can shift and one of your honey holes from last year may have changed.

Also, do some prep and try out some new spots or target a new species that has been on your list.  Do some research to find out where are the hot spots for those fish.  Research maps to understand the structure in those areas to give you the best chance of success on the water.  Lastly, if you fish from a boat, make sure your fish finder is working properly and ready for a new season.

Get Familiar with Weather Conditions

To be a successful fisherman, it is important to know what kind of weather conditions you will be dealing with. Find two or three weather apps related to fishing that you can trust.  Start checking them 3-4 days before your fishing adventure. This will give you an idea of what to expect in terms of temperature, precipitation, and wind speed or if it is even possible to go that particular day. Understand how and if the conditions may change while out on the water on your specific date.

Knowing what the weather is going to be like can impact how you fish, where you fish and what species you may target that day.  Two apps that I use are Fishweather and Buoycast to help me stay on top of the weather and changing conditions

By being prepared for the worst, you increase your chances of having a successful fishing trip.


Fishing around Cape Cod can be an incredibly rewarding experience if you come properly prepared, and by following these five pre-season prep tips. Besides being a great way to connect with nature, it is also a great way to relax and have fun with friends and family. So, let’s get out there this season and make some memories!  I know I am excited for the 2023 season and our prep work is well underway to make for a great season!

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