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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 08-30-2018, 04:38 PM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Cape Cod Evolution?

Because I was there, I can assure you that this is not your father's Cape. The seals took over the beaches and the sharks are there to eat the seals. Moreover, the sharks have begun to mistake bathers for seals and now eat, or try, to eat the bathers.

Reflect upon these developments best you can.
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Old 08-30-2018, 10:42 PM
KenFla KenFla is online now
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Default Re: Cape Cod Evolution?

I visited P-Town last month as a normal tourist and not looking to surf cast. Came in from Boston on the fast ferry and then rented a car and drove back to Boston.

We walked around the wharf and town, drove by the P-Town Inn (where the break water used to taunt me to walk to Wood End), Charlie Whitney?s old house, and where Matt Costa?s market and restaurant were on Shank Painter Road.

We saw no ?buggies? with rods and cooler either in town or on all of route 6 heading back (admittedly, I skipped visiting Beech Forest and the actual entrance for ORVs at the Race).

Back in the late 70s and 80s we?d occasionally see a single seal.

Pre 1981 we were able to drive right past Wood End light and to just short of Long Point. Even for a few years post 1981 we had much access in the back south of the Mission Bell to Pilgrim Heights and High Head and from Head of the Meadow toward Ballston. Heck, today you often can?t even drive by the Traps on your way to the Race and Hatches and instead are forced to drive on the pole road through the dunes.

What the seals haven?t ruined, erosion and the Park Service have taken away. Top Knot couldn?t even park and sell his wares at Herring Cove today where much of the parking lot has been washed away.

Compare these access maps, just three weeks apart this summer. What little access there is changes almost daily because of nesting birds. The birds existed back then, of course, but at least you could get lost on the backside when the Race was tight.
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Old 08-31-2018, 11:31 AM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Cape Cod Evolution?

NPS has ruined P-town just as I predicted would happen when I wrote "20 Years" in 1989. The government gets its fingers in everything. It would be, at least on paper, sound like a good thing but it never is. When our kids visit P-town they come home saddened and disillusioned with all the change. Surfcasting is dieing on Cape Cod. That entire life style has been bludgeoned by over-regulation, striper conservation, seals, and secret wine and cheese local fraternities patronizing the Park Service. Imagine, I warned of this 30 years ago. I also said in one of the books, "nothing stays the same."
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Old 08-31-2018, 03:15 PM
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Default Re: Cape Cod Evolution?

The state of Masss. does not need the revenue of out of state visitors patrolling the sands of Cape Cod . Rich Republicans blockade the beaches by pocket owning the political seats . It’s a private club where Mercedes & Bentley rule not 4x4 ORV . I’ll never go back 4x4 travel
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Old 08-31-2018, 07:53 PM
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akoller akoller is offline
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Default Re: Cape Cod Evolution?

I suspect there is a connection between the loss of access to ORVs and the seal explosion. My guess is the constant vehicle traffic limited the areas the seals could nest. In 2006 I drove an ORV out to Great Point Nantucket and there were a few seals but the area was still fishable. The next year it was closed to plovers and when I walked out to Great Point there were hundreds of seals sleeping at the point.
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Old 09-01-2018, 08:45 PM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Cape Cod Evolution?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HookI View Post
The state of Masss. does not need the revenue of out of state visitors patrolling the sands of Cape Cod . Rich Republicans blockade the beaches by pocket owning the political seats . It?s a private club where Mercedes & Bentley rule not 4x4 ORV . I?ll never go back 4x4 travel
That Mass is a dump makes a person wonder if more states than not are not similar. I always say that there are too many Democrats but it would probably be no different if Republicans were at the helm. On the Cape, locals don't want us on the beach. They want to feel free to roam naked, which is important to them, and we want to fish for stripers which is important to us. Compromise? That is not done in Bassachusetts.
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Old 09-02-2018, 09:57 AM
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Default Re: Cape Cod Evolution?

NPS is also trying very hard to ruin A.I. VA. They want the Island to turn back to nature. I see losing the ORV section. Sad.
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Old 09-02-2018, 11:26 AM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Cape Cod Evolution?

ORVs have always been unpopular, probably because they are used by "outsiders". Locals are joined by government men who regulate in favor of locals. Thus, beach closures follow. My wife and I don't feel this pinch anymore because the life style inspired by commercial fishing is now dead. Sure, they still allow striper sale but it is so heavily regulated as to render it pointless. Don't think this overregulation is an accident; government knows exactly what it is doing. Next, and it takes no talent at all to anticipate, watch the government screw up the Cape Cod Canal.
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Old 09-03-2018, 09:03 AM
KenFla KenFla is online now
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Default Re: Cape Cod Evolution?

Makes sense. Aided, probably, by over 40 years of protection under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.


Quote:
Originally Posted by akoller View Post
I suspect there is a connection between the loss of access to ORVs and the seal explosion. My guess is the constant vehicle traffic limited the areas the seals could nest. In 2006 I drove an ORV out to Great Point Nantucket and there were a few seals but the area was still fishable. The next year it was closed to plovers and when I walked out to Great Point there were hundreds of seals sleeping at the point.
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Old 09-03-2018, 11:28 AM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Cape Cod Evolution?

Never forget the sharks on the Cape now which we never had back in the day my books were written about. Today I would never, ever swim out to the bars or wade on the bars like we did then. Longnook, where I caught one of my 50s, a guy was attacked by a shark and nearly killed. The Cape has had multiple sightings this year that have been increasing. We did not have seals or sharks in those days. We never even thought about that stuff back then. The only enemy we had were other surfcasters who dropped a dime on you if you caught more stripers than they.
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Old 09-03-2018, 11:50 AM
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Default Re: Cape Cod Evolution?

Remember back then that "conservation" of sharks and/or seals were just in their infancy. So many sharks were taken, seals were taken, that the total populations were way down. As Ken mentioned the MMPA has made an impact.



The Great White juvi population up at the Cape has doubled since last year... at least by the measures they use to track which, of course, are fraught with inaccuracies.


Juvi Great Whites are in the 8-10 ft range, so not a small shark by any sane measure, and Juvi sharks are known to experiment more, eat more fish (which apparently has caused a lot of reports of angler's stripers being taken by sharks).
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Old 09-03-2018, 09:15 PM
ccod16 ccod16 is offline
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Default Re: Cape Cod Evolution?

The government in all reality will someday step into the Canal and screw things up. To much poaching, litter , chaos between fisherman. Be it locals or tourists major problems exist. I have given up on outer beaches many years ago. Canal is the place to fish on the Cape. Best Canal fisherman can do is show respect , obey the laws , and have fun!!!!
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Old 09-04-2018, 10:30 AM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Cape Cod Evolution?

In the 1970s sharks were that last thing on surfcaster minds. We waded, swam and fished without the slightest concern for sharks. The way it is today out there I don't think I could even fish, especially at night! And I would no more fish in the day than I would fish from a boat. Nothing stays the same.
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Old 09-06-2018, 12:05 PM
isleomaniac isleomaniac is offline
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Default Re: Cape Cod Evolution?

Never mind tagging those sharks, should be sticking a harpoon in them.
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Old 09-07-2018, 09:38 AM
SALMONMEISTER SALMONMEISTER is offline
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Default Re: Cape Cod Evolution?

Deb and I were at the Cape a couple of weekends in the last month. Only got to fish a little...caught just a few schoolies on topwater (Rebel Jumpin' Minnow...a better lookin' Spook). Fished the flat, shallow, almost featureless...and very warm water...areas a few miles west of Chatham Inlet. You'd only see an occasional lone seal, and usually far out. Chatham Inlet to Nauset Inlet there are as many seals "people watching" as there are people "seal watching"! My one friend says, " We need more Eskimos here..."
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