Freshwater Fun

The ponds on Cape have a lot to offer

By Goose Hummock Pro Staffer Dan Jones

Danny Jones showing off the stringer of Rainbows he and Winslow Crocker pulled on a crisp fall afternoon.

Growing up in Western Mass., freshwater fishing was always my passion. After moving to Cape Cod, almost ten years ago, I was excited to begin saltwater fishing for stripers and bluefish that the Cape is famous for. However, I soon found out that the Cape offers some incredible freshwater opportunities, no matter the time of year.

There are over 360 ponds on Cape Cod. The majority of these are freshwater kettle ponds. They can range dramatically in depth. You could walk through some without ever getting completely wet, while others are close to 100 feet deep! Many of these ponds are roughly bowl shaped, feature a steep drop off near shore, and a wide, flat basin.

The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife website features contour maps of many of the larger ponds and lakes. These maps show access points and a list of the fish that were found in the most recent survey, making them a tremendous resource for anglers. Cape ponds offer largemouth and smallmouth bass, yellow perch, white perch, black crappie, trout and more. In the spring, Mass. Wildlife stocks approximately 110,000 trout into certain ponds and lakes on Cape Cod in the Spring and 10,000 more in the Fall. You can obtain a list of these stocked waters from the State’s website. The ponds on Cape Cod surely receive a healthy dose of rainbow, brown, brook, and when available, tiger trout. Freshwater fishing in the heat of summer definitely slows down, especially for trout. Trout tend to stay in cooler, deeper water making them more difficult to catch. This being said, the freshwater fishing in Fall, Winter and Spring can be awesome. Early mornings and late evenings can provide some great action. I like to wade these ponds, casting with assorted lures including spoons, top water lures, and suspending stick baits, all of which are available at the Goose. Large brown trout can be taken even under the cover of darkness. If the fishing is slow, at times I will use live bait, such as shiners or worms (night crawlers), which will catch almost any freshwater fish. If you are fishing with children, using the worms will give the best chance at catching something. Residing in Brewster and working in Orleans gives me freshwater opportunities within a few miles of home or work. Some of my favorite ponds are Big Cliff, Little Cliff, Sheeps Pond, and Crystal Lake, but there are plenty of others to choose from. During the winter months, we do occasionally get safe ice conditions on some of the smaller ponds to do some ice angling which can be loads of fun, but always be sure to check ice prior to venturing out. Ice fishing can be great way to get the family out of the house for some fun and fresh air.

So, while Cape Cod is a great summertime destination, do not overlook off-season venues. Stop in the Goose Hummock and we will gladly give you updated stocking information and point you in the right direction to enjoy your next freshwater angling adventure.