Fishing The Cape Cod Canal

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Hits can come at any time when lure fishing, from the first seconds the lure hits the water to the very end of the cast. Always try to keep some tension and try to feel what the lure is doing. If it feels suspicious, strike!

Canals tend to demand accurate, short-range casting. Quite often this will be a case of a simple underarm swing or side casts and with practice you’ll be able to drop your lure on a sixpence. Another useful skill is carefully checking or ‘feathering the line, by gently applying your index finger to the reel spool as the lure touches down. This helps accuracy and also saves your expensive lures from ending up in bushes and snags.

Fishing The Cape Cod Canal Photo Gallery

Any areas of cover or structure are worth exploring. Depth changes, such as where the bottom drops away around lock gates and marinas, are often key. Another crucial zone on canals is the ‘shelf on each side. All predators like the sloping sides of man-made channels. These are like corridors, the slope itself offering a degree of cover from which to patrol and attack. Two absolutely classic areas to get that bone-jarring hit are as the lure drops or dives down the far slope, and at the end of the cast, as the lure comes over the near slope over the head of a waiting attacker. Pike will often hit at the last second so never be in too much of a hurry to lift the lure clear of the water at the end of each cast.

Your retrieve itself can vary immensely: from a painfully slow ‘death-warmed-up speed with soft or jointed lures, right through to a fast, pulsating affair. Either way, it’s worth remembering that every lure is different and every fishing day is different. With practice, you’ll be able to get your lures working just as you like them. Little twitches and pauses create a ‘stop-start injured fish feel; sometimes a simple, steady retrieve works better.


With any lure, the key is in finding a ‘taking retrieve. In plain English that means working your artificial to give it an ‘action that brings you confidence and excites the fish. With any new lure, a good place to start is with a quick test in the margin by your feet.

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