Your Mileage May Vary

In the past week, there’s been a great discourse on the state of the fishing at the Canal going at the Forum. To summarize, some are making the assertion that things haven’t been as bad as the reports might dictate. The problem with this is that almost universally, those that are saying it hasn’t been “that bad” or even that “this is one of my better seasons” haven’t been fishing in the past month at the canal. The most telling statement is this one from BB1 who made the following observation:

I did read the OTW canal reports from Mike @ M&D, Bruce @ Canal, and Red Top the last few months….along w/ people that know how to fish that went down there, the were not very impressive!

Personally, when I see the folks that have a financial interest in the fishery noting that it’s slow, specifically Red Top, that says something to me. No offense meant to those guys, but they’ve got an incentive to put as much lipstick as they can on that pig. It’s as if the Chamber of Commerce has suggested you might want to leave your wallet at home.

Bob G. notes that a saltwater license will probably cut down on the number of guys fishing the canal, and in many ways transform saltwater fishing to a local sport. I’d also add that, to large part, gas prices have already done this. Coming from Central Massachusetts, I can tell you I think twice before hoping in the truck now, and that is the absolutely unkindest cut of all.

I suspect we’re going to see a huge upsurge this winter in the number of used boats for sale. The gas prices this season have definitely given us all pause, and we’re undoubtedly going to see a lot of the casual boaters opting out of the sport. Luckily, that will probably create a lot of opportunity for those of us in the market.

Another thing that gas prices have changed is that I’m now even more confident that for the fly fisherman who only gets on the water a couple of times a month, chartering is the way to go. Running your own boat has become so much more expensive, it just doesn’t make sense unless you’re able to go out a few times a week. Chartering also gives you a few very powerful bonuses:

  • You don’t waste your time and cash on boat maintenance
  • You have a pro with daily on the water knowledge of the spots you’ll be fishing
  • You’ve got a motivated pro working to ensure your safety, success and happiness
  • You’ll improve your skills as a fisherman working with a pro

In the long run, I think it’s going to make a lot more sense for many of us to charter.

That’s it for this week, be sure to send in those reports!


Mark N. Cahill has been writing and editing for since 1995. He started fishing in the mid-1960's and caught his first striper off World's End in Hingham in 1966. From there on in it was an obsession. He loves fishing for tuna, and fly fishing for striped bass. In a pinch, anything with fins will do...

Posted in Cape Cod and the Islands, Fishing Reports

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