Pro Talk: Big Swim Bait Techniques for the Cape Cod Canal

Posted by Capt. Ross Gallagher on

15 Minutes with: Kevin Gould

Here’s what we learned…

Location: Cape Cod Canal

Tides: Last two hours of west (outgoing) tide at sunrise. Fishing always seems to be good on this tide.

Approach: If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see stripers chasing mackerel against the rocks. When they are feeding in close, a very fast but steady retrieve is ideal for drawing a strike. When fish aren’t showing on top, long up-current casts are used to stem the tide.

Rigging Selection: 3oz Barbarian Jig Head – this is an ideal weight for Canal current and depths.

Bait Selection: Hogy® 7inch Thumper Tail Swim Bait.

Why this bait? It fits the profile of small mackerel that run in the canal. With a 3-ounce head it is easy keep the bait deep in the water column and in the strike zone. The over sized paddle transmits vibration through the entire body, resulting in a more lifelike action, more like a herring or mackerel. This Hogy bait is very attractively priced compared to similar baits – a definite advantage considering how many baits you will lose in the canal.

Colors: Tinker Mack or Live Herring.

Retrieve: Once the bait it cast up current, allow it to sink to the bottom and quickly pick up the slack, allowing the bait to barely make contact with the rocks. It’s a tricky balance, hugging structure without snagging. Snags are inevitable, but if you’re not bouncing it right along the rocks, odds are your bait won’t be seen by the fish.


Rod: 11’ Century 1327 Spinning Rod

Reel: Shimano Stella 14k

Line: 50-pound test Power Pro braided line.

Leader: 60-pound test mono, connected to running line with Alberto knot

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