Obviously, one of the most important things is to take care of the tools of the trade. It’s pretty easy and simple, but increases the longevity of both rods and reels and keeps them in good, functioning shape.
After every use, all rods and reels (and lures that were used), get washed down with freshwater. For the rods and reels, after I’m finished washing the boat with Orpine boat soap, I’ll take a cloth and just quickly wipe down all of the rods and reels with the sudsy water. This provides an added measurement of getting all the salt off the tackle, but helps with removing Mackerel scales that quite frequently end up everywhere you touch.
When putting the rods and reels away for the season, I’ll mix up a batch of soapy water, and wash everything again. Next, I’ll dry everything with a rag. All the reels are removed from the rods, and line stripped off. Next, I’ll spray all rods and reels with Corrosion X. This helps prevent any corrosion from salt that might’ve ended up in sneaky places. After I do this to the rods, I put them away for the season.
For the reels, I’ll break them down and re-grease all the gears and drags with Cal’s Universal Drag and Gear Grease. This is the most time consuming, especially with 30-40 reels to do. Usually, I’ll take a handful a couple night’s a week and do them after dinner while watching some television. Every couple of years, I’ll bring my reels into Goose Hummock in Orleans and have them break them down and completely go over everything. This isn’t as necessary for folks who don’t use their gear as much as I do, but it’s always good to do to make sure your gear is in good shape. The last thing you’d ever want, is to have your drag seize up with you have that 50lb. Striped Bass or 800lb. Bluefin Tuna on the end of the line.
Fishing Cape Cod Bay isn’t necessarily a secret. There are tons of publicly available spots, and those are the majority everyone fishes. Captain Segull charts show most of these spots. With that said, I’ll break down my favorite spots to fish.
The first is Barnstable Harbor channel. This is an awesome place to fish, both incoming and outgoing tides. Primarily, we will fish with live Mackerel that we jig up in 40-60 feet near the Barnstable Harbor Bell Buoy.
Once we have our bait, we will go check out the channel and all of the holes in it and see where the fish are. In an incoming tide, we will start at the #2 can and drift all the way to the point of Sandy Neck. On an outgoing tide, we do the reverse and start at the point of Sandy Neck and drift out to the #2 can. There’s no one spot in the channel that holds Striped Bass all the time. They move with the tide and you’ll be able to figure out their movement after a couple drifts.
Second spot is in front of Corporation Beach in Dennis. You can either drift Mackerel here, or troll them on lead core line very slowly. I like to fish this area in a dropping tide. One thing to consider is to not get too close to the shore. There are a ton of very large rocks and boulders throughout the area. Stay in the 20-foot range and you will be fine.
Third spot is in front of the Cape Cod Canal with live Mackerel. Essentially, you do the same thing as in Barnstable Harbor, and drift through the channel markers. The Striped Bass will funnel in and out of the canal, depending on the tide. One thing to consider is that you cannot fish in the canal. If you enter the breakwaters, Canal Patrol will hail you on the VHF and tell you to leave the premise immediately. So, fish it with caution and don’t get into the canal.
Fourth spot is Billingsgate shoals off of Wellfleet. This is a huge area, shown on the Captain Segull chart. There’s a number of different ways to fish this area from trolling umbrella rigs, jigging bucktail jigs on wire line on the edges, to top water feeds. The technique of fishing can change daily, but the area holds so much bait and fish that it’s always worth it to check out.
As said earlier, there’s a ton of fishing spots. The ones above mentioned, are where I fish primarily, with occasionally Provincetown, where you could write an entire book on how to fish around there. Check back to our fishing reports on the blog to follow the fish and see where we’re fishing. Please use the screen shot below for some refence points!
It’s been a pretty busy off-season on the backend of Cape Cod Bay Outfitters this winter. A number of updates have been made to our online presence as well as the boat and fishing gear, and we’re more than excited to show them off and start using them!
First, we had a new website created that offers a much more functional and fun layout. We’re pretty happy with the results. All of our social media pages have been updated and we are ready!
On the boat front, the most obvious thing we’ve done is painted it! Hours and hours of sanding the hull and old paint off, primer, and finally topcoats were applied. Gone with the old blue, in with the fresh white. In addition, the inside of the boat was repainted white.
The boat has also had a new dash panel installed with another Raymarine MFD and second VHF radio added, new fuel lines and valves, and hatches installed providing better access throughout the boat.
All that’s left is some typical maintenance items on the engine and we’re ready to roll. We’re saving that for the first week of April and then we’re ready to hit the water for some Haddock.
Finally, we’ve gone through all of our fishing gear, replacing guides, cleaning/lubing of reels, and put fresh line on all the reels.
We’re really excited to get the season underway and hoping that our guests are as well!