From Tackle to Techniques: Everything You Need to Know About Striped Bass Fishing on Cape Cod

Cape Cod is a fisherman’s paradise, and when it comes to catching striped bass, this sandy peninsula offers some of the best fishing opportunities in the world. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or just starting out, there’s nothing quite like reeling in one of these magnificent fish while on Cape Cod. But before you head out with your tackle box and rod in hand, there are a few things you’ll need to know about striped bass fishing on Cape Cod if you want to increase your chances of success. In this blog post, we’ll cover everything from the best techniques for catching striped bass to where and when to find them on Cape Cod

Introduction to Striped Bass Fishing on Cape Cod

Whether you’re a seasoned fisherman or someone who’s just getting started, striped bass fishing on Cape Cod is an experience you won’t want to miss. The Cape is home to some of the best striped bass fishing on the Eastern Seaboard, and with a little bit of know-how, you can be sure to have a successful trip.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about striped bass fishing on Cape Cod, from choosing the right tackle to perfecting your technique. By the end, you’ll be ready to hit the water and catch some fish!

Types of Tackle and Gear Needed for Striper Fishing

There are a few different types of tackle that can be used when fishing for striped bass, but the most common is probably are artificial lures that are made to look like the bait in our local waters.  The striped bass here on Cape Cod forage on a variety of bait, like sand eels, mackeral, pogies, sand worms as an example.  Trying to pick a lure to match those types of bait, will help your success rate!  Don’t be afraid to ask your local bait shop for ideas!

Other types of tackle that can be used include jigs, spoons, and live bait rigs. Jigs are usually made of metal or plastic and have a weighted head that helps them sink down into the water. Spoons are similar to jigs, but they are usually made of metal and have a concave shape that causes them to spin as they fall through the water. This action often attracts fish, making spoons a good choice for lure fishing on the troll. Live bait rigs typically consist of a weight, leader, and hook, with live bait like mackeral or pogies being attached to the hooks.  This can be slow trolled or dropped down in the water column on a drift.

The type of gear you need for striper fishing will depend on what type of tackle you plan on using.  Most commonly used set-ups here on Cape Cod are spinning reel and rod or a conventional reel with troll rod.

Best Places to Fish for Stripers on Cape Cod

Cape Cod is one of the best places in the world to fish for striped bass. Every year, thousands of people come to Cape Cod to try their hand at catching these hard to catch fish.

There are many different spots on Cape Cod that are good for fishing for stripers. Some of the best spots include:

The Cape Cod Canal: The Cape Cod Canal is a man-made waterway that runs through Cape Cod. It is one of the busieststriper fisheries in the world. Striped bass can be found here all season long, but the best time to fish is from late May to early June, when the fish are migrating up from southern waters.

The Monomoy Islands: The Monomoy Islands are a group of small islands off the southeastern coast of Cape Cod. They are renowned for their excellent striper fishing. The best time to fish here is from mid-June to mid-July, when the fish are feeding on baitfish that congregate around the islands.

Cape Cod Bay: From Barnstable Harbor to Billingsgate Shoal to Provincetown, depending on the time of year and where the bait is located, will determine where in the Bay you need to fish.  Pay attention to water temperature too, as in the heat of summer, the fish will travel to deeper and cooler water.

Popular Techniques to Catch Stripers in the Area

There are many popular techniques for catching stripers in the Cape Cod area. Some of the most popular include trolling, jigging, live bait fishing, and fly fishing.

Trolling is a popular technique for catching stripers in the Cape Cod area. This involves dragging a lure or bait behind a boat as it moves through the water. Trolling is an effective way to cover a lot of ground and to find fish that are actively feeding.

Jigging is another popular technique for catching stripers in the Cape Cod area. This involves using a lure that is weighted so that it can be jigged, or bounced, up and down in the water. Jigging is an effective way to attract fish that are suspended in the water column or near the bottom. You can vertical jig or be trolling with wire line and jig while moving.

Live bait fishing is also a popular technique for catching stripers in the Cape Cod area. This involves using live baitfish, such as pogies or mackerel, as bait. Live bait fishing is an effective way to target fish that are feeding on smaller baitfish.  Some of the bigger fish can be caught in this manner.  Local regulations require you use a circle hook when using live bait.

Fly fishing is also a popular technique for catching stripers in the Cape Cod area. This involves using flies, which are small artificial lures that are designed to imitate various types of insects and other small prey items. Fly fishing can be an effective way to target fish that are feeding on small baits near the surface of the water.

How to Properly Handle and Release Caught Fish

If you’re lucky enough to catch a striped bass while fishing on Cape Cod, there are some important things to keep in mind when handling and releasing the fish. First, know the rules and regulations. For 2023, only fish between 28-35 inches can he kept.  Only one per angler per day. Second, know how to properly catch and release the fish so you can increase the chances of them surviving. It is best to try to always keep them in the water.  If you want to take a picture, be prepared before pulling the fish out of the water and return it as quickly as possible. If you need to remove the hook, do so carefully and avoid squeezing or pinching the fish too hard. Finally, when releasing the fish back into the water, make sure to do so gently so as not to damage its scales or fins. By following these simple tips, you’ll help ensure that any striped bass you catch will be healthy and able to swim away safely.

Tips & Tricks for a Successful Day of Fishing

1. Get an early start: The early bird gets the worm, as they say. Getting out on the water early will give you the best chance at catching striped bass.  The end of the day works well too.  Avoid the heat in the middle of the day.

2. Use live bait: Live bait is more effective than lures when it comes to fishing for striped bass. Try using bunker, mackeral, pogies, or eels as bait.  Many bait shops can sell these to you.

3. Fish in areas with structure: Striped bass are often found near areas of underwater structure, such as reefs, wrecks, and ledges. Fishing in these areas will increase your chances of success.

4. Keep your eyes peeled: Pay attention to your surroundings and look for signs of striped bass activity, such as surface-feeding fish or diving birds. These can be clues that fish are nearby.

5. Be patient: Don’t get discouraged if you don’t immediately hook a fish. Striped bass can be finicky, so it may take some time before you’re successful.


Fishing for striped bass is a popular pastime at Cape Cod and a great way to spend time in nature. With the right tackle, techniques, and knowledge of the area, you can have an enjoyable and rewarding day out on the water. Whether you are just beginning your fishing journey or looking to up your game, this guide has provided all the information needed to make sure that you get the most out of striped bass fishing on Cape Cod. With these tips in mind, grab your gear and go find yourself some fish!

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