What Is the Best Time to Fish the Cape Cod Canal?

If you’re looking for a prime spot to fish in the Northeast, the Cape Cod Canal is a popular destination. The canal runs for 7 miles from Cape Cod Bay to Buzzards Bay and is well known for its abundance of striped bass, bluefish, and other species.

However, not all times of day are created equal when it comes to fishing the canal. In this article, we’ll explore the best time to fish the Cape Cod Canal and why.

The Tides

One of the most important factors to consider when planning your fishing trip to the Cape Cod Canal is the tides. The canal experiences two high tides and two low tides per day, which can greatly affect the behavior of fish.

Outgoing Tide

During an outgoing tide (when water is flowing from Cape Cod Bay towards Buzzards Bay), baitfish are swept out into open water where larger predator fish await. This makes it an ideal time for anglers to Target striped bass and bluefish that are feeding on the baitfish. Outgoing tides typically occur during daylight hours.

Incoming Tide

During an incoming tide (when water is flowing from Buzzards Bay towards Cape Cod Bay), baitfish are pushed towards shore where they seek shelter in rocks and other structures. This can make it more challenging for anglers to locate feeding predator fish but can still be a productive time for fishing if you know where to look. Incoming tides typically occur during nighttime hours.

The Time of Day

In addition to considering the tides, anglers should also pay attention to the time of day when planning their fishing trip.

Sunrise and Sunset

Sunrise and sunset are often considered prime times for fishing as many predator fish tend to feed during low light conditions. During these times, shadows cast by structures along the canal can provide cover for baitfish, making them more vulnerable to predator fish. This can make for some exciting topwater action as striped bass and bluefish chase baitfish to the surface.

Night Fishing

Night fishing can also be productive in the Cape Cod Canal. Many predator fish are more active during nighttime hours and may be less wary of lures or baits. Additionally, fishing at night can provide a peaceful and serene experience as you listen to the sounds of the water and watch shooting stars overhead.

The Season

Finally, anglers should also consider the season when planning their fishing trip to the Cape Cod Canal.

Spring and Fall

Spring and fall are often considered the best seasons for fishing in the canal. During these times, striped bass migrate through the canal to spawn in freshwater rivers.

This can make for some exciting angling as large schools of striped bass move through the area. Additionally, bluefish are often present in large numbers during these seasons.


Summer can still be a productive time for fishing in the Cape Cod Canal but may require a bit more effort. As water temperatures rise, fish tend to move towards deeper waters where temperatures are cooler. This can make them more difficult to locate but not impossible.

In conclusion, the best time to fish the Cape Cod Canal depends on several factors including tides, time of day, and season. By considering these factors and doing your research ahead of time, you can increase your chances of having a successful fishing trip in this popular destination.

Photo of author

Daniel Bennet