Henry Gilbey
Cape Cod - 1010.jpg


Henry Gilbey blog

Striped bass like the Fiiish Crazy Sandeel

Thankfully for Matt we are not sharing a hotel room out here on Cape Cod, because as per usual when I come to the US, I woke up at 2am this morning because of the time difference to home, and as people who have travelled with me will attest to, me and being quiet early in the morning ain’t exactly two thing that go together!! We are staying very close to the Cape Cod Canal, and we got out and fished it yesterday - Matt knows a little bit about it from a few years back, so it was a case of find some good looking spots and chucking some lures out………

Which for the most part were the Fiiish Crazy Sandeels. Matt wants to find out if this lure is a viable design to work with on the US market, and whilst he knows that various modifications will be required to the hooks etc., the best way to find out if striped bass will eat the lure is to get out and fish with them. Pretty early on yesterday morning and Matt hooked a train of a bass that managed to throw the hook when it was charging off against a tight drag. I guess they eat them!! We both landed a small striper each and had a couple more bumps, but signs out here are good - we heard of a 37lb fish from the canal the day before yesterday and reports are of the migration being in full swing and big fish starting to show around here.

The canal is a pretty amazing place. When that current is running you need a fair bit of weight on a lure to be able to work the bottom, and we managed fine with the 220 size Crazy Sandeel on the 90g head, and then as the current slowed down we could start using smaller jig heads. Bigger tides I imagine would require more again. The bottom feels mainly pretty rough, but I didn’t lose any end gear which I think is partly down to the speed at which the Crazy was moving through with the current. I can’t imagine how awesome it would be to see stripers smashing bait in the canal, indeed Matt has already been swimming/fallen in once, and that was without actually seeing fish moving about!!

You can see in the tackle shops what specialist fishing this canal is - when that current is running the local anglers need some serious gear to fish it properly, and they take some serious stripers off the top. I tried a surface lure yesterday without any joy, but the mere thought of that lure swinging around on the current and getting nailed was enough to induce near heart attack status. I am using a really interesting rod out here, the Major Craft X-Ride XRS-1002MH Shore Jigging 10’ 20-60g, and whilst I know that the larger Crazy Sandeel we are using is in theory overloading the rod, it seems to be doing just fine if I don’t go mad. I have actually got hold of the rod to try for pollack in deep water, but it seemed like the kind of tool that might work out here. On bigger tides in the canal you would need a rod that can deal with heavier jig heads I feel, but this X-Ride Shore Jigging rod is cutting it so far.

Matt and I are out on a boat this afternoon and tomorrow morning, and we itching to see if our skipper can get us in front of a load of stripers to then see how effective the Crazy Sandeel and of course Black Minnow might be on them. It’s a Fiiish trip as such out here, and if there is one thing that I must give these French guys credit for, it is the amount of research they do - all the nicest lures in the world don’t mean much if they haven’t been tested out on the actual fish. Whilst I am out here working for Fiiish, it’s like anything fishing related really - a big, big learning curve, but when you hear that a 51lb striped bass was caught and released from the surf the other night, holy cow it doesn’t half get the pulse racing that fish like that are actually possible from around here……..