Surf, Sand and Super Fishing

Cape Cod National Seashore

Right now, some of the year's biggest striped bass are gorging in the surf off Cape Cod. Grab a rod and explore 40-plus miles of pristine sand shores, overlooked by historic lighthouses and towering clay cliffs. And take your shot at a 40-plus-pound striper.

The Fishing Target sandbars and deeper holes with live eels, yellow Chicken Scratch Bombers, or black eel patterns and white-and-yellow Deceivers. For boaters, bluefin tuna cruise within a mile of the beach in October. Look for fish splashing beneath feeding birds, and be ready to move fast. Cast Grand Slam squid lures or large white-and-olive streamers.

Hotspots For big stripers, Capt. Joe Fitzback of Top Rod Fly & Surf Shop (508-945-2256; www.capefishingcharter.com) recommends Head of the Meadow Beach, Chatham Inlet, and Balston Beach. Guide Tip "If you're surf-fishing for stripers, spend part of the day scouting structure," Fitzback says. "Look for waves breaking over sandbars and for the darker water of deep holes. Mark these spots on a map or GPS, then come back at night for the best fishing."