Commercial Fishing Day Frustration and Daddy Mac Success

By Captain Ralph Wilkins 

The inshore striped bass fishing was consistently good all spring this year out here on the Cape, but with the commencement of the commercial striper season and the lack of keeper fish in many locations, the fleet developed quickly off the coast of P-town. I’ve seen a big difference in fish attitudes on the commercial days, which happen to be Monday and Thursday. The steady boat traffic seems to push the fish from the Wood End bar to Race Point and back all day long. They don’t bite well for the majority of the day. Since I typically like fishing a spot where there are NO other boats, the overcrowded edge doesn’t really excite me. I wonder why? What was the state thinking with this “two days a week” rule?

Seems like Daddy Mac Lures is responsible for many guys getting dialed in on the Cape this season, with their line of various size jigs resembling the “sand eel,“ which 
is one of the favorites of the local striped bass population. I actually had a good day with their Daddy Mac swimming lure, the Viper—it’s nailing all my big keeper bass. 
I troll it on wire with a one oz. egg sinker rigged out in front about 4 ft. WOW can those lures really swim. Check their video out and you will see what I’m talking about. Incredible life-like action with an internal rattling system, and they are made from Kevlar so the 4x hooks can tolerate 60 lbs. of drag (thinking tuna next). In the days to follow we had great success with live lining macks. That’s honestly my favorite way to fish for stripers on the Cape, but I do miss the clam belly days that we had many years ago in Jamaica Bay, Brooklyn for sure.

On the days the bass don’t cooperate, there’s always plenty of our good friends the macks. Plenty of action on JUMBO macks off long point towards the Wood End bar and most days on the backside by the race.

Hurricane Arthur has held us up a week or so by dropping our water temp from 68° F to 48° F overnight. Luckily the strong southwest breeze sustained for a couple days and quickly pushed the temps back up where they should be, and the bass returned.

So far the tuna are scarce for the rod and reelers. The harpooners are picking away, but definitely no bonanza. Hopefully by the time we publish we are well under way with bluefin tuna 2014. Good luck to all my fellow bluefin guys. After last year, I’m hoping the only way to go for us is up! Good luck, stay safe!

Captain Ralph Photo 1
Mason Sandel and family, along with nephew Al and two 38” bass.

Captain Ralph Photo 2
Captain Ralph’s custom-modified HBomb umbrella rig with a DaddyMac Viper swimming lure proven deadly in the race when fish just won’t bite.


Captain Ralph Wilkins HeadshotRalph Wilkins is a contributing editor for Coastal Angler Magazine. Wilkins is captain of the Odysea and popular cast member of National Geographic Channel’s hit television show Wicked Tuna. Email Captain Ralph at, visit his website at, and be sure to like “Captain Ralph Wilkins” on Facebook.