Cuttyhunk Chronicles Part 1

I was hoping to start on this blog Sunday evening but elected to just stare at my wife and kids for hours. I am not sure I have ever been gone from home for 6 days before. To be honest, I don’t think I ever want to. My first stop was Cape Cod Canal where I got to hang out with the Hess family, makers of Guppy Lures, our own Dave Anderson and many other celebrities like DJ Muller, Tony O and others. I had stars in my eyes the whole time! Special thanks to Wayne Hess from Guppy lures for giving me a 1 1/4 ounce pencil popper to cast at Canal and alleviate elbow discomfort from tossing heavier stuff. Guys grabbed it from me at Cutty and were a little surprised at just how well it cast for such a small size lure. But then again, when you are knows for pencil poppers like guys from Guppy are , you can bet that they put it a lot of thought and testing into it


Then it was off to New Bedford to hop on a Sea Horse water taxi and off to our annual Cuttyhunk trip. You probably noticed that I was gone and no, I don’t ever give advance notice. First of all, I never let people know that I am not home, and two, I just prefer to kind of sneak out to places instead of announcing to the world. That way when I get skunked ( a usual occurrence last few years) I get to leave with a tail between my legs without anyone noticing….That is not joke


Anyway, hanging with Hess brothers was cool and fishing with Dave Anderson was awesome too. The Canal action was nowhere near where it should have been but plenty of people were there which was cool if I wanted to take pictures. Unfortunately they were not catching and wind was coming at 30mph out of northeast with rain nonstop. Did I already  mentioned there was no fish? I spent two full days there and one morning and seen about 5 fish caught at most. I’ve heard some have done well, but I was not there to see it. I did get to Interview the Guppy guys for a future SJ issue, got some decent footage (did I mentioned there was no fish?) and that was basically that.


Few  things always amaze me about the Dig Ditch.


One. Bikes

It is just crazy how many bikes rigged for fishing are at the canal. Hundreds and hundreds. Big ,small, tricycles, rigs that put some cars to shame. Awesome



If you wear waders AND particularly if you wear a belt with pliers, boga, pork rinds, ets…you look like a Googan. I am not kidding. Maybe googan is a wrong term but you definitely look like an out-of-towner. You stick out like a sore thumb. White  boots with felt or studs, sneakers, korkers, studded flip-flops…anything but waders.



Stick shads…Mother of God there are so many of them hanging off the rods!

No, I do not see people use that where I fish. Almost never. Yeah,  there will be one guy here going “I use them!”

Yes you do…and 99% of people do not. Why? I have no idea but I swear on my mother that they do not. And if anyone tells you that everyone on LI uses stick shads I will tell you besides testing some Sebille personally I have never, ever seen anyone using one. Again, I must have seen 200 over two days being tossed into the Canal. All shapes and sizes. Patrick Sebille must be thrilled..


After two days, it was time for me to bid adieu and head over to New Bedford to meet my usual crew, Ray, Charlie, Boggie and Buoy Tom (formerly know as Yo-Dude). This time we were joined by Bill Wetzel who was taking the same scheduled Sea Horse Taxi with his crew. In his crew were a fellow who set up the trip but had to cancel at last minute. So  Bill was now traveling with a buddy instead of two. Unfortunately his partner got a word of father-in-law having a  heart attack in Florida and he had to leave after the first night which left Bill alone for the next two nights. As you will read, Bill did not only not get lost, but ended the trip with the biggest fish amongst all of us. After carrying around a bag of live eels for three days he nailed his fish on ****** lure….just bustin, you’ll find out what plug in due time.


Since I was on the road for few days before meeting my crew, I was not able to bring any food as I did not wanted to lug it around the canal in my cooler. I stopped by Charlie at CMS Enterprise tackle shop in New Bedford and asked him for the nearest seafood store. Few minutes later, I purchased five live lobsters for the crew and the captain John Paul got his Sea Horse water taxi pointing towards the promised land, Cuttyhunk, MA.


To say that I was uneasy on a ride over would be understatement. Two years ago I did not even got a bump over three days and last years we arrived during some stupid tropical storm, Andrea I think, which dumped so much rain that we fished in water that looked like chocolate milk for three days. Needless to say I got skunked for a second consecutive year. Thankfully on both of these trips guys in crew got few (just not I) but it was starting to wear on them too. Besides, the canal was dead (usually a good indicator), it was cold winter, everything seemed few weeks late and we were going the earliest date ever. A call from Bonnie that informed was that fishing sucked and if we wanted to reschedule did not help. But there we were…on the way to one place that fulfilled all my dreams and then some over the years. The Promised Land


23 comments on “Cuttyhunk Chronicles Part 1

  1. Matt H

    Thanks for sharing Z… I’m leaving for Cutty this week (1st time going)… Hope the fish are still there!

  2. bigfishlarry

    I wear waders at the canal….and I do not care what anyone thinks! 😉 I might be one of a handful that actually get in the water instead of casting from 15 feet above the water!!! 😉

  3. dm

    What’s up with Bill, he’s got a new hat? I was on the island last year during that storm, got some pictures of the surf the next morning…crazy. And you weren’t the only one who got skunked there last year!

  4. Blondterror

    I am also a wader guy at the ditch… I have a few spots where you can fish in the water with good footing

  5. mark m

    Thanks for the honest report. Fishing is tough right now. I have plenty of family in New Bedford and the Cape, a couple friends in Cutty too. Always a good time for a barbeque and dreaming….

  6. Jim O

    That Sebille in the picture was not a Sebille. It was a knockoff that is available at several shops around the canal . You can tell by the colors they are slightly off. They still work . Waders are acceptable on the canal but only in certain locations, otherwise you don’t really want to get in the water.

  7. Louis DeRicco

    Hi Zeno……Rob does not go any more?
    It is a shame, but the “no fish” story is like a recurring nightmare. Cutty is not what it should be, the Cape is not what it should be, Martha’s Vineyard is not what is should be……….. and we can certainly say that Montauk is not what it should be………
    Let’s all hope that something gets done at the ASMFC this year and, in a few years, we can again look forward to those great trips to the fabled bass waters of New England.

    1. robert

      Hey Lou,

      i could not get out this year, i started a new job and my vacation days are limited. Last year was a skunk for me also. i brought out 2 buddies and they will not be coming back!! LOL

  8. witchhunter

    There’s no place like home ,there’s no place like home,
    there’s no place like home click your corker heals and you should
    have been at home – we’ll I was home only got to see them weight in
    37,43,48,54 lbrs not catch them ! Well not yet any way . Z there is no place
    Like home ,the sea weed only looks greener !

    Bill Jakob

  9. derek r

    ive been fishing the canal for 20 years,waders are acceptable,there are a few places you need them, like the mudflats off bell rd. ,the start of the scusset jetty, and a few locations along the canal. you just need to be xtra careful you don’t go in over your head. you wont make it I promise, but most just wear boots with studs. its easier riding the bike. when the canal is on there is no better place, the sebile magic swimmers are fished on top so they make a wake like a fleeing baitfish. you guys on long island should try it . you def. need current though to fish them right

  10. derek r

    oh ya and the hess family is the class act on the canal, there isn’t a better group to fish with.and my favorite pencil

  11. matt viggiano

    Hey Z i think i remember someone saying to me on the southside of MTK “ya know you have to set the hook right?”………LOL.I wish we could do it again.I’m glad your elbow is not in so much pain and you get to fish.

  12. Joe GaNun

    Nice read, sounds like a great time. CH is definitely a bucket list location,yeah I started a list now that I’m less young. BTW…”wet suits are for guys who don’t know how to cast”….isn’t that a quote from someone who was on the island when you were ? Hmmmm!


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