How To:

How To Fish Pencil Poppers At The Cape Cod Canal

Author: Sean Oneil

Massachusetts Striped Bass From Land

Massachusetts Striped Bass From Land
Me with a nice striped bass caught on a pencil popper!

How I Target Stripers From Land


When I fish the canal I am most productive on pencil poppers. I don’t worry about colors much but I do think of the profile and size of the bait that is present. Most of the time it is mostly mackerel. And sometimes smaller bait like peanut bunker and silver sides are chased by the bass and blues. If I see mackerel I will use a mackerel colored popper. Other than that I use white plugs. 

I catch more than 75% of my fish on pencil poppers poppers while fishing the canal. I like to fish guppy pencils and Cotten Cordell pencil poppers both in mackerel or white like I said said earlier. I choose weights between 2 and 3 ounces. I find those have the most action in the current. When there are smaller bass or smaller bait in the canal I throw something smaller like a 1 1/2 oz popper. 

Rod & Reel Setup

I fish my pencils on a 10”6’ tsunami rod. It is a lighter action so I can really work the popper the right way. I spool my rod and reel with 50lb bull buster braid

How I Work My Baits

I cast the popper up current towards 2 o’clock. I put the rod between my legs and start reeling slowly with quick pumps of the rod. You want the braid to look like an natural bait struggling in the current. Most of the time the bass strike the plug and miss it the first time. After that I speed up the retrieve a little bit as if the popper was trying to get away from the fish. Once I do that the bass usually hit it again and that time they are usually hooked. Then you can reel them in and take a picture and safely release them back into the canal. 

Thank you for reading and I hope you can get to the canal and use these tips to catch a hard fighting striper this season and the upcoming seasons. 

Tight lines - Sean Oneil

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