Late summer and early fall can be some of the best freshwater fishing there is. Many of the fish are starting to venture out of their deep water hiding places to search for food before some of the fall spawns and winter sets in. They can be found in the shallows and on the banks around vegetation looking for minnows, frogs and crayfish. Early mornings around sunrise and evenings just before sunset are the best times to find them. Smallmouth, largemouth, and both brown and rainbow trout are showing up in force this time of year. Perch and pickerel are also still showing up in big numbers and can be a lot of fun but we are going to focus on bass and trout.
Where to fish
Almost all of the “kettle ponds” on Cape Cod will produce fish. Most are stocked a couple of times a year by the Massachusetts Department of Fish & Game with rainbow and brown trout, in the Spring and again in the Fall. They also hold smallmouth and largemouth bass, pickerel, perch and a variety of pan fish. The ponds in Nickerson State Park, Gull Pond and Great Pond on Wellfleet, Pilgrim and Crystal Lakes and Bakers Pond in Orleans and Sheep and Long Ponds in Brewster are just a few in the immediate area that produce great numbers of fish and have many local anglers coming back year after year.
Choose Your Rod & Reel
A 5’ to 7’ light- to medium weight trout rod is going to give you the best shot at the fish. Light enough to make precision casts and big enough to land a big 6 pound largemouth. The St. Croix Ultralight Legend Elite® Series is St. Croix’s flagship freshwater rod series. It has earned near magic wand status with anglers across the globe. It’s the rod that stands steadfast on a mantle; an aspirational stick by which all others are judged. G Loomis E6X Casting Rods are another great option.The new E6X blank material delivers a lighter rod with an increased strength-to-weight ratio and excellent sensitivity. A fusion of high performing proprietary G. Loomis materials with low resin content, reduced scrim, and a higher ratio of high strain rate carbon fiber, the new E6X blanks also features G. Loomis’ advanced Multi-Taper technology, which allowed the G. Loomis craftsmen to produce the most precise action and flex for the intended application.modeled after their fiber-blend and GLX “Trout Series” spinning rods, this dynamic group of ultra-light and light spinning rods cover all the bases for catching trout on bait, lures and most especially… marabou jigs. They all feature fast actions with soft mid-sections and just a subtle hint of power in the butt-sections for long-range casts and positive hooksets. We also carry light tackle rods by Quantum, Tsunami, Berkley and very own Cape Cod Classics
As far as reels are concerned, it’s just a matter determining what you are fishing for. Goose Hummock Pro Staffers recommend the Shimano Stadic FK series. The Stradic FK utilizes Shimano’s latest technology while drawing on ways of the past. Hagane cold forged drive gear gear combined with X-Ship provides a smooth, powerful and durable reel. The sleek G-Free body provides a better weight balance to reduce fatigue. Every part has been designed to improve the anglers experience on the water. Other options include the Daiwa Sweepfire® 2B series which runs the gamut from the heavier 4000’s to the light tackle 1500’s. They also feature the Laguna® ultralight 500 series.
Different styles of lures are going to give you different results.
Frog fishing, besides perhaps the ubiquitous rubber worm; is likely the most popular artificial lure used to catch largemouth bass on Cape Cod ponds. The explosive top water strike and the ability to be fished virtually weedless in vegetation choked, mid summer waters makes the frog an integral part of any bass mans tackle box . With dozens of manufacturers and hundreds of colors and styles to choose from, how do you select the right frog if you want to get started?
At Goose Hummock, the most popular frog baits are the Booyah Pad Crasher Frog and the Spro Bronze Eye Jr. Both are virtually weedless due to the “hook up” design and can be thrown into the thickest mat of lilly pads with out fear of hanging up.On a calm summers eve, both baits create enough of a realistic, natural frog style swim to fool even the wariest bucket mouth. On windier days, when there is a bit of a chop on the water, the Spro Bronze Eye Pop Frog sports a popper style face that allows the angler to create enough of a surface disturbance to get the attention of gamefish. In terms of picking the right color, it is hard to go wrong with the standard bullfrog or leopard frog colors.However, if you are going to get serious about frog fishing, you are going to want to walk the edges of your favorite bass waters and check to see what colorations are most prevalent in these waters. Also, it always pays to have some darker colorations in your box for dawn and dusk fishing as this coloration creates the greatest contrast from the basses upward view perspective.
Some of the other basic categories are
- Jerk baits or Stick baits: These will get a darting action as random jerks are applied while reeling. This will give the illusion of a darting or startled bait fish.These usually mimic the shape and motion of minnows and shiners. Many are equipped with a spoon bill to give a diving action upon the darting action.
- Crank baits & Prop baits: These are designed to mimic a swimming actions as they are reeled in. Prop baits will produce additional splash from the small prop attached to them.
- Drop shots: Designed to bob up and down on the bottom and mimic a feeding bait fish or worm.
- Spoons: Shiny spoons that will produce motion while retrieved to act as an attractant.
- Soft plastics: These can be shaped as worms, shrimp, frogs or crayfish and will produce a lifelike motion.
- Frogs and topwater lures: Usually called “walkers” these can be any bait that is made to resemble a frog or minnow that produce a lifelike motion with random twitching action during the reel.
- Live bait: Shiners and worms are always a go-to for any freshwater angler. Nothing is going to attract a fish more then a live minnow or worm’s scent and motion.
Some of the brands of freshwater lures are;
- Strike King
- Gary Yamamoto
- Live Target
So, whether you are an avid angler or just starting out fishing the freshwater ponds and lakes of Cape Cod, the Goose Hummock can help you get rigged up. Stop by today and see Keith, Danny or Simeon and have them show you the many options so that you too can make the best of the great fall fishing the region has to offer.