“Hawgtober” | October is Prime Time for Cow Stripers

October is the month for cows on Cape Cod. The only 60 pound striped bass I know of have been caught during the 10th month, known to some local fisherman as “Hawgtober.” In my lifetime I only know of a handful of 60 pounders that have been taken from the Cape Cod area. If there’s a 60 pounder out there somewhere, then this coming month is the time to catch her.

The key to catching big bass right now is intercepting schools of fish as they migrate south. An even better scenario is uncovering an area where the bass “hang out” for a few days before continuing their migration. Often time’s a school of bass will return to the same hang out areas season after season.

I have heard stories of schools containing 50 and 60 pound bass being spotted and caught in some of these magical hang out spots. Here’s two of my favorite examples.


60 Pounders in Shallow


At the Cape Cod Canal

The first example of huge bass in shallow happened during a cold and chilly night in October of 1998. A fishing buddy of mine, Bill Baranowski, had an experience at the Cape Cod Canal that he will never forget.

As Bill stood there on the rocks three stripers appeared in the lighted area directly in front of him, in just a few feet of water. The first bass was around 15 pounds and the second was closer to 40. The third bass, well that fish was truly massive, and was larger than any striper he had ever before laid eyes upon.

Bill dropped a chunk of pogie in front of the three stripers and watched as one of the smaller bass lunged forward at the chunk. Yet before the smaller fish was able to engulf the bait, the behemoth striper pushed the smaller bass out of the way. The huge bass then turned towards the chunk of pogie, opened its giant mouth, and sucked down the bait.

Bill set the hook and the goliath striper responded by running straight across the width of the entire Canal. After what had to of been the most nerve-wrecking striper battle of all time, Bill landed the bass, which tipped the scales at a whopping 60 pounds.

Since then I have not heard of another 60 pounder being caught from the Canal. Perhaps there’s been a few taken, but I am yet to hear of it.

Click here to read the latest Cape Cod Canal fishing report.

At Cuttyhunk Island

The second example occurred in October of 2003 when the “diving fisherman” Mike Laptew, traveled to the famed Cutthyhunk Island in search of monster stripers. Strong NE winds threatened his trip, but finally he got lucky and the weather cooperated. Mike donned his diving gear, entered the water and sat patiently on the bottom in less than 10 feet of water.

Out of the murky abyss appeared hundreds of bass, some approaching 60 pounds. The massive fish calmly swam right by him, virtually smiling for the camera.

Sound unbelievable? Well it pretty much would be unbelievable, had Mike not documented the entire experience in his video “Stripers Gone Wild.”

Click here to read the latest Buzzard’s Bay fishing report.

My Latest Expedition

I would be willing to bet that somewhere right now on Cape Cod there is a 50 or 60 pound striper hanging out in just a few feet of water. The odds of intercepting such a fish are always incredibly low. However, late September and October provide the angler with a much higher likelihood of stumbling upon one of these massive bass.

Catching a 50 or 60 pounder with my boots planted firmly in the sand or on a rock is a dream that’s kept me casting since I was a little kid.

The other night I traveled to a big fish spot that produced for me back in the spring. Upon my arrival the flood tide had just begun, the NW wind had completely shut off and I could hear the occasional tail slap somewhere off in the darkness.

Click here for the full report...

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