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Ask Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is recognized as an authority on surf fishing for striped bass. He is the author of six books and hundreds of magazine articles. Frank is a member of the Outdoor Writers of America and lectures throughout the Northeast.

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  #1  
Old 09-21-2007, 01:04 AM
Windcheater Windcheater is offline
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Default Cape Cod Canal

I fish the Canal 3 to 4 nights a week from June through October and I have often wondered about some of its fishing history. I am 27 and have been going to "Church" ( my pet name for the canal) for the last two seasons. Please feel free to answer any of the below questions, or add any tidbits of its history that you please.

Does anyone know the largest striper ever caught in the canal proper?

Has there ever been any recorded catches of tuna or any other deep ocean dwellers that might have been passing through?

What are some strange sightings you have seen?

At what spot did Ron Arra cast across?
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Old 09-21-2007, 02:08 PM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Cape Cod Canal

Just meeting the protocols but I know there have been untold fifties taken there. I have seen "bass" chase whiting that to me were too big to be bass. The break/chase was like a mule falling from the bridge, then skipping for 75 feet. Did Ron ever cast across?
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Old 09-21-2007, 05:10 PM
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akoller akoller is offline
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Default Re: Cape Cod Canal

The 50s are there and I think they are caught and might go unreported. I saw a 45 weighed in on June 2, the same morning I saw a fish the same size swim right in front of me, going reeeeal sloooow and of course not interested in anything. There are probably about 2 fifties per year reported. The biggest I know of was the 60 lb Halloween fish but I don't know when, probably the 80s.

Keep in mind that boats can't fish the canal. As Frank always says that would be 10x the fifties taken. So if there are 1-4 50's per year from shore, taken in the most difficult place there is to land a striper, that would mean dozens if the boats could fish it. Probably many fifties are hooked and the angler is left with only a story and no fish...
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Old 09-21-2007, 05:51 PM
Cap'n Bigass Cap'n Bigass is offline
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Default Re: Cape Cod Canal

Arnold Laine was a Canal regular before he moved on to the Outer Cape. In the late 1940's he had a 44 fish day at the Canal. Back then bass averaged a bit smaller than in later years and his were in the 18 to 25 pound range, with a few larger.

CL
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Old 09-21-2007, 06:07 PM
Windcheater Windcheater is offline
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Default Re: Cape Cod Canal

The biggest I have heard of was a guy named Henry Santoro, who caught a 58 1/2 lb striper during one of the old Red Top canal classics.

I have read that 3 men have casted across the canal, Ron being one, but I am not sure who the other two are.

I love the canal, and am toying with the idea of writing a book strictly on the history of fishing it. Maybe there is one already? I would love to know. Maybe Frank could write it.................
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Old 09-21-2007, 08:00 PM
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Endorfin Endorfin is offline
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Default Re: Cape Cod Canal

There's a great book on the building of the canal, from it's opening in 1914 until the Army Corp of Eng. took it over.
Stan K fished it alot after the war,(WW2) and he took a 49 lber, and knew of others who took 50's...( He said back then it was mostly sandy, without all the mussel beds etc...that you could work a bucktail across without getting hung up.)
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Old 09-23-2007, 11:04 AM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Cape Cod Canal

Nah, I don't know enough about the canal to write a book on it. Also, I like to think that winging it in writing is not my style and research is just too much work. I say, if you can't write it from what is already in your head, leave it for somebody who does. I'm taking the beans out of the jar. These days, I'm pissed with outdoor writing. (I'll get over it.)
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Old 09-24-2007, 04:01 PM
MarkO MarkO is offline
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Default Re: Cape Cod Canal

I've heard the stories of veteran canal guys getting spooled very very quickly by fish that are most likely school bluefin tuna passing through. There are definite mysteries in the canal and I like to keep them as mysteries, otherwise the cynic in me says "it's all BS"
Unusual things Ive seen there: bluefin tuna, seals, dolphins, a humpback whale.
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Old 09-24-2007, 05:20 PM
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akoller akoller is offline
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Default Re: Cape Cod Canal

Last October I was fishing there at slack and nothing was happening. Then there was a gigantic splash right in front of me. It reminded me of how Frank compared the sound to a mule being dropped from the bridge. I have no idea what it was but it it was big. I was thinking - was that a tuna? Maybe just a large bass. Who knows.
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Old 09-24-2007, 05:40 PM
Merlin Merlin is offline
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Default Re: Cape Cod Canal

The canal is a real wild card with no boundaries. From the times I was there and visiting the New England Aquarium, and that little museum between the bridges, I found out the largest ever lobsters have come out of there. I have seen a US Navy destroyer struggle going against the flow almost to the point of being out of control and whales pass through taking a short cut I would imagine.

Makes sense to me that the sky is the limit fishing there.
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Old 09-25-2007, 09:19 AM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Cape Cod Canal

I suppose that a huge splash could be anything. But if I had to make a guess about what makes a huge splash, I say a striped bass. Years ago, back when I was somebody and no Rhode Islander would dream of screwing around with me, when something huge blew the canal up, a guy would cast close to it, it would take and it wasn't a flippin whale or a Destroyer Escort, it was a stripah. So just shut up.
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