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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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Old 02-19-2006, 06:37 PM
Reelangler Reelangler is offline
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Question Canal and Cape Advice for July

Frank, I've read a couple of your books this winter. Good reading. The family and I are going to spend a few days in late July in Mass.(South Plymouth). I was wondering if you could impart some wisdom/advice. I plan to fish the canal one evening but don't know much about the area. Likewise we will spend a day driving through the Cape. Do you have any favorite areas on the Cape for the fishing or the veiws? I don't need exact spots but maybe a general area to head as the sun goes down. I usually bait fish, but I plan to bring plugs and maybe some eels on the trip. Thanks, Rob
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Old 02-20-2006, 11:37 AM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Canal and Cape Advice for July

Headquartered where you are, the Canal is a very good location for your fishing. I would fish there at the east end at low tide on the Boston tide chart after dark. If you must drive, you should probably see Chatham Light in Chatham where you can walk down on the beach. Again, two hours before low tide after dark until slack. You can also walk out onto Nauset Beach South Island, I think. I say it that way because the topography there is changing. You could also go to Herring Cove or New Beach at the bitter end of Rt 6. But I would underline the Canal because that is both productive and close. The Cape's charm is very reduced now and you beneift from staying closer to camp. Don't get tangled with early AM or evening commuters as they are all three feet from you, going 80, on the phone with a cup of coffee.
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Old 02-20-2006, 04:08 PM
ONSHORE ONSHORE is offline
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Default Re: Canal and Cape Advice for July

I'd echo everything Frank suggests and add a couple more.

Take a ride down to the Cape Cod National Seashore Visitior Center in Eastham. They have interpretive exhibets and a lot of information for the whole family to enjoy. From there, it's only a mile to Coast Guard Beach and the north side of Nauset Inlet. You can get a brochure and more information about it from http://www.nps.gov/caco
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Old 02-20-2006, 05:37 PM
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tattoobob tattoobob is offline
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Default Re: Canal and Cape Advice for July

There are some great places in Plymoth also I would find the closest Bait & Tackle shop and get info.
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Old 02-21-2006, 06:30 AM
Reelangler Reelangler is offline
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Default Re: Canal and Cape Advice for July

Thanks for the help. One last question: Should I bring extra rigs? Is the canal snag prone? Thanks again, Rob
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Old 02-21-2006, 09:31 AM
ONSHORE ONSHORE is offline
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Default Re: Canal and Cape Advice for July

Oh, yes. The Canal is not snag-proof as there is much rip-rap with seaweed along both sides.
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Old 02-21-2006, 10:21 AM
DeeJay DeeJay is offline
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Default Re: Canal and Cape Advice for July

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reelangler
Thanks for the help. One last question: Should I bring extra rigs? Is the canal snag prone? Thanks again, Rob
"Snag-prone" is a bit of an understatement

If you're going to try to anchor bait to the bottom, that's best done at slack tide and about a half hour either side. On a running current, the best way to fish bait is to drift it with a one ounce rubbercore or egg sinker helping to get the chunk down a bit.

One place you can bottom fish for quite awhile---find your way to the "bulkhead" area at Sandwich, near the marina. You can hold bottom pretty good with 5 oz between the bulkhead and the power plant.

If you fish artificials, plugging is pretty easy. The current does a lot of the work for you. I know Frank isn't a fan of the Gibbs "bottle plug" but the Canal is one place where they can be effective, as they'll run 4-6' under the surface. Don't retrieve them--cast, let them tighten in the current, and just let them drum on a tight line. Fish darters (I prefer them to bottle plugs anyway) the same way. Save the metal lipped swimmers for slack and dying currents.

The best artificials to use in the Canal are things you can get to the bottom--bucktail jigs, eelskins, heavy metal like Crippled Herring, and heavy weighted plastics. But, there is a learning curve and be prepared to leave a bunch behind
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Old 02-21-2006, 03:13 PM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Canal and Cape Advice for July

Everything above is true. be ready to fish as deep as you can; have some poppers for the top and in some places even sub-surface swimmers will do a job. The Canal is seven miles long, has two banks, some bridge shadows and some secondary rips and eddies. If you wanted to write a book about the Canal, research would take 30 years. I could tell you more but I would have to kill ya.
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Old 02-21-2006, 03:33 PM
Reelangler Reelangler is offline
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Default Re: Canal and Cape Advice for July

I appreciate your time and attention. I will be sure to bring at least double of everything; even though it will only be a few hours of fishing. There again 2 hrs. can quickly turn into 4 hrs., etc. etc. etc. Hey, maybe I won't even have to pack my waders? Rob
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Old 02-23-2006, 03:48 PM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Canal and Cape Advice for July

Stop at the Red Top bait while you are there. It is a nice store that is professionally managed and they know the Canal and how to fish from shores. Parts of the cape are nice and the nooks and crannies at both Canal ends have some awesome sturcture that, in the deep of night, can and do hold the wiley stripah.
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