September 4, 2009 - I have often fielded comments from shore bound anglers concerning the locations they prefer during the fall migration. It seems that their general consensus is to return to the areas that proved successful during the spring, and with this I do not agree. It has been my observation that striped bass do not venture far into estuary systems, behind barrier beaches or retreat in rivers once the migration is fully involved. That is not to assume that campaigning the outlets of these systems cannot be productive, they can and often are.

When striped bass and bluefish (sure to vacate first) instinctively turn their attention southward, they will often pursue the coarse of least resistance, provided enough substance accommodates them during the journey.

South facing surf beaches, particularly during periods of low light, can really come into their own as we approach the middle of September. For many years I rented a house in West Yarmouth for the months of September and October to serve as a headquarters for autumn exploits and can vividly recall many stellar outings. With the south side of South Beach (surf) in Chatham providing the venue, it was so uncommon not to encounter migrating schools of striped bass either in the surf line, or just beyond. This would become such a regular occurrence that it became rather expected, particularly during the month of October.

Here are few of the Cape's more productive autumn venues for shore bound anglers. All locations are easily accessed and are somewhat rudimentary to fish.

Sandwich Harbor in Sandwich- easily accessed by the town beach parking lot. Don't neglect prospecting between the jetties on your left as well as the estuary mouth.

Scorton Creek in Sandwich- easily accessed by Beach Lane. Many bars and depressions during the tidal drop and into the ebb.

Popponesset Point in Mashpee- easily accessed by taking Main Street in Barnstable to the Oregon Beach parking lot. This is also notorious bluefish habitat as well as the occasional bonito flurry.

Stage Harbor Inlet in Chatham- easily accessed by Wikis Way to the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge parking lot. Slammer blues are very common with occasional bonito.

If you need additional information on any of these locales please feel free to contact Jim Bender @ 508.752.4004 or

Good fishing and safe wading,

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