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Destination Cape Cod: Upper Cape Part 2


By Gene Bourque

Buzzard’s Bay

Through Woods Hole passage to the west is Buzzards Bay and the Cape shore from the Hole to the West End of the Canal, and this entire stretch can feature some terrific fishing. The water is warmer in Buzzards Bay through the summer so it may not hold as many really largestripers, except perhaps near the Canal where the twice-a-day shot of colder water through the Canal from Cape Cod Bay keeps things interesting. The other problem along this shore is that thing you’ve heard me mention over and over in this article: access – or the lack of it. If you’ve read part one of this story, you’ll remember that I mentioned there are places that one or two cars may be parked but that I would not reveal them. I’m not trying to be coy here, but the fact is, illegal parking and trespassing has led to many closures of areas on the Upper Cape in the last few years and I don’t want to encourage overuse of what’s left. I will say this though. Some of these areas can be found with a little legwork and by asking the right questions at local tackle shops (after dropping some cash on equipment, of course!). Get yourself a good local map and do some exploring.


Quisset Harbor

The closest area to Woods Hole on the Bay side is a beautiful conservation area called The Knob, at the end of Quisset Harbor Road. A year of so ago I might not have mentioned this area but with a major Boston newspaper calling The Knob one of the 25 best kept secrets on the Cape in a recent Sunday magazine supplement, I guess the cat is out of the bag. Parking is problematic here during daylight hours, especially in the summer, and the area is officially closed from sunset to sunrise. However, if you arrive just before dawn or fish in the spring or fall you shouldn’t have any problems. There’s only room for a few cars and while there is no charge for parking, you WILL be ticketed and possibly towed if you park in the posted areas.

So is it worth the effort? Absolutely. Quisset Harbor is one of the most scenic on the Cape and the woods from the parking area to the small hill that just out into Buzzards Bay that is The Knob have easily traversed paths that lead to fishing areas along the harbor, to the beach beyond and end at The Knob. I prefer to walk along the harbor and cast as I go, then cut over to the beach and cast around the rocks on either end. The rocky shallows on the south side of The Knob are definitely fishy and I’ve seen some huge stripers cruising here when I fish the harbor in my kayak. Plan to arrive just before dawn and fish your way out to The Knob. Even if you don’t have much luck, I promise you will not find a prettier place to fish.

Not far away off Sippewissett Road is a town beach called Wood Neck. This is strictly a spring and fall spot because during the day in the summer the beach is for residents only, and a chain is put across entrance at night. But in the fall I often hit Wood Neck if the wind is blowing from the south or southeast because casting will be easier there than at some of my other Buzzards Bay-side spots. There are shallow sand and gravel flats off the beach and the outflow from a small marsh behind the beach delivers bait to stripers and blues. I’ve never caught a really substantial fish here but I’ve heard from reliable sources that big bass make their way into the marsh if there is a late night high tide. Again, don’t attempt this place during the summer but put it on your list for the fall.


Chapaqouit Beach

The best access on the Bay side of Falmouth is at Chapaquoit Beach in West Falmouth. Right now the town is still allowing parking there at night and in the off hours but the beach parking lot is for those with a resident’s beach sticker only during the day. There’s not much structure here for most of the beachfront but walking and casting, especially during the early morning or evening in the fall can yield some decent bass and blues. You’ll also often see albies working off here in the fall,  just out of casting range unfortunately. Behind the beach is West Falmouth Harbor, a favorite among fly and light tackle anglers. The harbor features a huge worm spawn event in the late spring but timing is everything because it is a short term event. I look for it in late May when there is a late afternoon low tide and the weather has been warm and sunny.

To the north is Old Silver Beach, another very good bet that is also (like Wood Neck) chained off during the summer during non beach-going hours. The outflow of the marsh and the two small jetties area prime spots. Big fish are taken here in the fall by the bait fishermen and I’ve done well with black Hogys here just before dawn. Tide is important at this spot – and hour or so just after the turn at high tide after dark is perfect.


Monk’s Park, Bourne, MA

From this point to the West End there is very little access to the shore. A sticker is required to park in any of the public areas in the town of Bourne like Monk’s Park (off Shore Road) and at Monument Beach. Both of those areas can have very good fishing in the fall though, and parking regulations are relaxed.

So there you have it. Some starting points in my home area, Upper Cape Cod. As I mentioned in the last issue, if you’d like to learn more you can order my book Fishing New England – A Cape Cod Shore Guide, which features more than forty spots around the Cape that offer good fishing and reasonable access. If you fish from a boat, you may also want to check out my other guidebook about this area, Fishing New England

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