The Hook Up!

When customers come in to The Hook-Up! Bait & Tackle they are amazed by the photos on our "Wall of Shame".  Sure the pictures of 900 lb Bluefin Tuna demand respect, but "H-O-L-D--O-N", what are those pictures of 15 lb Broodstock Salmon, monster Brown Trout, fat Rainbows, 6 lb Largemouth Bass, huge Smallmouth and Yellow and White Perch that would make an ice fisherman's jigg'in finger twitch?  They are a snapshot of the GREAT FRESHWATER FISHING FOUND ON CAPE COD!

Well, I finally had a chance to fish with the guys over the weekend.  Dealing with a broken ankle for the last eight weeks sucked, to say the least.  Having a cast on and riding a small scooter made venturing from the house all but impossible.  Now, with physical therapy, I am on the road to recovery.  We decided to fish Flax Pond on Sunday (3/18).  All of the ponds have been stocked, twice already, for a complete list check the MASSWILDLIFE WEBSITE.  Capt. Corey and Winslow made it a “TEAM HOOK-UP!” event. 

We set up at first light, and as the sun rose it revealed a beautiful spring morning.  Trout were rising everywhere!  Our friend Tyler Brundage showed up with his dad and some friends. Tyler’s dad said they were “killing em” the night before.  This was not the case on Sunday.






Dan takes his chances with this monster that Corey hooked into at Baker's Pond. 











We had the usual variety of baits, from shiners, crawlers and PowerBait.  Capt. Rich landed a small rainbow and a colorful brown trout, but the trout action was slow.  The smallmouth bass action was much better.  The fish were in shallower water and were snatching our shiners off of the bottom.  We caught about 5 or 6 smallmouths.  Capt. Rich employed some “Old Age and Treachery” to come up with three smallies, one a 3 lb. 8 oz. fighter!  These tough fighting acrobatic fish can really be fun to catch.  I do believe these fish were active because water temperatures are raising fast and the pre-spawn activities are underway.  So, if the trout action is picky try targeting the bass. 

Hopefully I will be out more and more as my leg heals and will try to give you more freshwater reports.  Until next week, see you On the Water. Lt Dan


                                                    Dan tries to keep warm at Sheep Pond 1/22/2012

Today was supposed to be our ice fishing tournament at Pilgrim Lake but as you can see the only ice was around the edges.  It does not look like we will have much if any safe ice this year.  Dan is headed to his old stomping grounds in central Mass where they have safe ice.  The fishing was s-l-o-w with only a few small perch and one trout.  The fishing has been tough the last few weeks.  We really need ICE!  Capt. Rich


Anglers, the freshwater fishing continues to be red hot!  The water temperature is 39 deg. And some very large trout are cruising the shorelines looking for baitfish to help them fatten up before winter.

Over the weekend the whole crew (TEAM HOOK UP) got together gathering, once again at Cliff Pond, Brewster.  Capt. Rich, Winslow, Capt. Corey (special guest appearance) and myself fished the backside of the pond.  Ice was forming on the rod guides as the temp was only 28 deg.  This made casting and reeling difficult.  Shiners and crawlers were on the menu.  Early on we were getting “perched out”, with lots of 9 – 10” yellow perch biting.  As the sun got higher the trout action picked up.  Capt Rich banged  a few rainbows and landed a 2 lb 2 oz brown that looked to be the pool winner until Winslow beached a 2 lb 8 oz brown and took the prize.

Winslow and I fished a few hours Monday morning and I caught a “fat” rainbow over 3 lbs.  The last few weeks have given up some pretty nice trout.  They must be holdovers from recent fall stockings.  If you are looking to catch some big trout, now is the time to do it… Lt. Dan




      Capt Rich "I thought I had it made"!




                                                                ....and the winner is!

 Tyler continues to bring in some big fish from Cliff Pond.  Browns and Rainbows.  Way to go Tyler!


Hello freshwater lovers!  It’s been a while since my last report, but my last few outings have not been much to write about, a couple of trout and bass here and there that was about it.  It is now December and it really has not been that cold.  Water temperatures are still in the mid forties with no sign of ice in the next few weeks.  This past Sunday, (12/4), Capt. Rich, Winslow and myself decided to “try again” at Cliff Pond in Brewster.  The wind was south 5 – 10 mph so we opted not to use the boat and fished from shore.  We arrived at 6:00 A.M. and it was cold (32 deg.).  Ice was forming on the guides as we began to set-up.  The water was flat with fog forming as the air was much colder than the water, beautiful. We fished mostly shiners, both on the bottom and under slip bobbers.  It was a slow start but as the sun came up the fish started to chomp.  I had one fish take my bait – fought him – he dropped the bait not once but twice and as I reeled in my bait he attacked into two feet of water and inhaled the bait. For a third time!  The fish was a 3.1 lb brown trout.  I had one trout take my bait and swim around for awhile not even pulling the bobber under.  I set the hook and reeled in a 3.1 lb rainbow with beautiful colors.  I went on to catch 6 or 7 more trout.  I was finally getting some revenge as Capt Rich had kicked my butt the last two times we fished.  (SOME CONTENT EDITED BY THE WEBCOMMANDER). 


                 DAN WITH NICE BROWN                                                                                   TYLER GETS INTO A NICE TIGER TROUT

Typically we wear waders to cast out as far as possible but the majority of strikes came when the bobber had drifted closer to shore in only two or three feet of water.  I would guess these fish were cruising the shallows looking for small baitfish. 

Rich set up the Weber grill and Winslow broke out the burgers and beans to top off a nice day of open water fishing.  What is it about HOT baked beans on a cold December morning? 

Broodstock salmon are usually stocked this time of year, so let’s keep our fingers crossed.  Also, anyone thinking about ice fishing this year…we have a wide variety of tip-ups, jig-sticks, scoops and even Jet Sleds in the store so stop in and get in on the fun.

We have an ice fishing tournament scheduled for Jan 22nd at Pilgrim Lake so pray to the ice gods for cold weather.  I look forward to ice fishing every year and it is loads of fun for everyone!  Tight Lines – Lt Dan


Winslow & I took advantage of a nice day and fished Cliff Pond (by boat) for the first time this fall.  There was a bit too much wind for a cod trip so we decided to take an easy day at Cliff.  We started off trolling and picked up a few rainbows on a flutter spoon and an Al Gagg's whip it eel!  We then set up on the shore, (out of the wind), in an area where we had seen signs of fish.  PowerBait took a few trout right off the bat but then it slowed a bit Winslow was slamming rainbows on PowerBait, but I was not doing much.  As always, on Cliff I had a shiner under a slip bobber looking for the big one and it finally paid off.  This big brown took the bait and made my day.  As the salt water venue fades we shift our efforts to freshwater and are thinking about ICE!  Get out and have some fun.  We are blessed with so many varieties of opportunities to pursue our passion here on Cape Cod.

Wow!  The saltwater season is winding down although the tuna are still making news.  Dan & I participated in Jimmy Ilkovic's Bass tournament on Sunday, Oct. 16th.  We were greeted by 30 knot winds that whipped across Great Pond in Eastham.  We had never fished Great Pond and Jimmy took us to the woodshed with two big bass.  Despite the wind we all had a good time and that is what it is all about.  Next year Jimmy!          Capt Rich



          Capt. Corey with a nice Cliff Pond Brown Trout                      Capt. Rich with a hefty Sheep's Pond Salmon



                        Sunrise at Cliff Pond


                               What did Forest Gump say about where the sky ends and the earth begins?

                                            A TIP FROM CAPT RICH

Dan often mentions my SLIP BOBBER in his articles and asked me to describe it for you.  So here it comes.  The slip bobber is a bobber that allows you to place the bait at any depth, while still maintaining the ability to cast.  There are many variations of this set-up but this is my preference.  The secret to the slip bobber is the "BOBBER STOP"  the one I use is a tiny rubber stop, that you place on your line.  It grips the line and will not pass through the bead above the bobber but will pass through the rod guides when casting.  Here are the things needed and steps to putting a "SLIP BOBBER" together.


First - Run your line about 8 inches through the wire loop where the Bobber Stops are stored (see illustration below)

Second - Place a bead on the line

Third - Run line through the Slip Bobber.

Fourth - Tie on a swivel

Fifth - Add an 18" fluorocarbon leader and hook.




Once the Bobber Stop is on the line lubricate it and slide it a distance from the hook that represents the depth you want the bait.  After you cast, the line will slip through the bobber until the bobber stop hits the bead and your bait will be at the depth you want.  You can add a split shot down near the bait if you want to keep the bait down or let the bait swim.  This is my #1 set up for Broodstock Salmon.  Good Luck, Capt Rich

 DAN'S TIPS                                                                       




I spoke a little about The Worm Blower a few weeks ago. It is an awesome tool to add to your arsenal of freshwater gear. For very short money ($3.69), it can definitely help you fill your limit or just add to the overall amount of fish caught. There are a few different ways to float a worm off the bottom. I like to thread a 1/4 to 1/2 ounce barrel sinker up the line. I prefer to use only 4 to 6 pound monofilament. Then place a split shot, to stop the egg sinker, at the distance above the bottom that you want the bait, and finally a circle hook.  Capt Rich likes to add a Fluorocarbon leader and uses a Spro Swivel as the stop for the egg sinker.  The Fluorocarbon is not only transparent below water but abrasion resistant to rocks, stumps, and the fish teeth.

When baiting the worm I start from the tail end hooking it 2 to 3 times close and exposing the remaining 3-4 inches to be filled with air. Just stick it in and squeeze some air in. Test it in the water before casting to be sure it floats. Casting the rig is a delicate procedure. You do not want to whip it out causing the worm to fly off and having to re-bait. Myself and the guys prefer to wear chest waders to allow for more casting distance. After casting, allow the worm to settle, place your rod in holder, and slowly reel in any slack line. Be careful not to drag the barrel sinker on the bottom. This will cause the sinker and bait to get snagged up in weeds. Your worm will now be floating about 15-18 inches off the bottom. We like to attach a type of strike indicator (a bobber attached to a paper clip). Hang the paper clip on your line between the first and second rod guides and when a fish strikes it will either go up or go down if the fish is swimming towards you. Raising the rod when the line is going out  will hook the fish, especially when using circle hooks. Circle hooks are designed to self hook the fish without you having to forcefully set the hook . Capt. Rich prefers another method similar to mine where he places a SPRO Swivel below the egg sinker as a stop instead of the split shot.  Both methods are shown below.





         Strike Indicator



Fishing Report Cape Cod | Bass Fishing Cape Cod | Shark Fishing Cape Cod | Tackle for Sale