The Complete Guide to Cape Cod Fishing

Studying Time: 9 minutes

Stretching 65 miles out from the mainland into the ocean, it’s hardly a shock that Cape Cod’s fishing scene is up there with the perfect within the nation. Heck – it even has a fish species in its title! This peninsula boasts centuries of angling custom that some even say return so far as the Vikings. So with out additional ado, let’s get began. 

You’ll must cross a productive fishery simply to get onto Cape Cod – the Cape Cod Canal. Then, a complete world of fishing opens up. You’ll discover prized fish on all sides of this beautiful cape, with 1000’s of anglers getting out on the water each day. There’s even the addition of some freshwater fishing grounds, as you possibly can see above. 

What fish can I catch in Cape Cod?

The checklist of fish you possibly can catch in Cape Cod is sort of countless. Hit the sounds, bays, flats, and even head out to the center of the Atlantic, and also you’re certain to catch what you need. Among the most scrumptious fish on the East Coast and loads of prized sport fish name these waters residence, so put together to get your fish on!

Cod and Haddock

There was no manner we may begin a bit on Cape Cod’s fishing targets with out mentioning its eponymous fish. Cod, together with its just-as-tasty cousin Haddock, will be discovered aplenty off the shores of the Massachusetts coast. Nonetheless, you’ll be restricted within the north of the Cape from catching Cod a lot of the 12 months.

From Nova Scotia to Norway, these are two of essentially the most sought-after creatures within the North Atlantic, and for good cause too. Their chicken makes for every kind of scrumptious seafood dishes. The most effective half about concentrating on them in Cape Cod, nonetheless, is that you could go after them year-round. Head offshore from January via December and get your fill of fish to take residence. 

Striped Bass

Simply as we couldn’t omit Cod, Striped Bass is one other must-have on the checklist of Cape Cod fishing prizes. This East Coast favourite is the state saltwater fish of all of Massachusetts’ neighboring states, and it stays a primary goal for many anglers, even in “The Bay State.”

Regardless of falling sufferer to overfishing within the mid-Twentieth century, this inhabitants has been recovering because of strict laws lately. Most anglers favor to catch and launch them for that function, however you possibly can nonetheless take one residence to benefit from the fruits of your labor.

Come Could via October to focus on these beauties in Cape Cod, with the bays and the canal providing loads of angling alternatives. Whether or not sluggish trolling within the deeper waters or fly fishing from shore, you’re in for an unimaginable battle!


The Bluefish is usually neglected in favor of some extra frequent desk fare. However, fortunately, Cape Cod fishing professionals respect this hungry critter for precisely what it’s. Whereas they could not require as a lot ability to land as a few of their extra skeptical associates, Bluefish will chew at something. 

Whether or not you’re a newbie in search of your first catch, or a eager angler hoping to check your expertise, few different fish are as versatile. Hit the shallow waters of the flats and bays from Could via October, and also you’re certain to return throughout loads of these beauties alongside Striped Bass, Flounder, and Scup.

Bluefin Tuna

If Cod and Haddock are the preferred fish within the North Atlantic, then Tuna should be the preferred worldwide. These creatures are sought-after in each ocean and so they provide up extra than simply award-winning costly meat. Come to Cape Cod in summer season and get your fill!

Prepare for motion, adrenaline, and unimaginable rewards once you goal Bluefin, the biggest Tuna species. These cold-blooded fish can survive in chilly waters, so that you’ll wish to head anyplace from 30 to 80 miles offshore to get your fish on. Settle in for the battle of your life, as you jig deep right down to entice the chew, and nearly get thrown overboard when the Bluefin takes your bait to the deep. 


Whereas a Tuna battle will keep within the thoughts endlessly, nothing fairly compares to battling it out with a Shark. The ocean’s largest predator is harder than something you’ve ever examine, and also you’re certain to get the pulses racing if you happen to hook one among these beasts. 

There are many Cape Cod fishing fanatics who’re comfortable to point out you the ropes of fishing for Sharks, because of the quite a few species that come by all year long. Goal Porbeagle Sharks nearshore everytime you need, whereas Threshers come shut from June via October. Nonetheless, if you happen to’re in search of the catch of a lifetime, peak summer season is the time to go after perilous Mako and Blue Sharks. 

And Extra!

If that hasn’t whetted your urge for food for a Cape Cod fishing journey, you’ll be glad to know that the checklist is way from over. There have been loads of different contenders for our shortlist above, however we merely couldn’t match all of them. 

The summer season and winter Flounder inhabitants means that you could just about goal these tasty creatures year-round, whereas Black Seabass, Tautog, and Scup are all additionally obtainable inshore. In the meantime, Pollock and Atlantic Mackerel add to the ever-growing menu of fish yow will discover offshore in Cape Cod, with Mahi Mahi and Wahoo displaying up within the deep, too!

Cape Cod Fishing: How and The place 

With so many creatures on provide, the subsequent query is, “The best way to catch them?” Thankfully, there are many skilled guides to take you out, together with a variety of hotspots so that you can search out by yourself. 

Shore Fishing

When most individuals consider fishing, the very first thing they think about is sitting by the water with a lunchbox and wiling away the day. Properly, if that sounds proper up your road, then Cape Cod’s fishing alternatives gained’t disappoint. 

Cape Cod Canal is the preferred shore fishing vacation spot on the peninsula. This slim physique of water is right for casting into from shore, with loads of prized fish passing via as they make their manner from northside to south (and vice-versa). Whereas Sandwich’s Scusset Harbor, positioned on the northern mouth of the canal, is all the time crowded with anglers, there are many different spots alongside the canal, too. 

And that’s not it! Throughout the cape, you’ll discover a vary of seashores, inlets, and jetties that are perfect for establishing camp for the day. Hit Dowses Seaside for the best-kept Scup fishing grounds, or Wellfleet’s White Crest Seaside the place you’ll discover the breeding Stripers and loads of Bluefish, too. After all, you may additionally be part of the sun-seeking vacationers on Previous Silver Seaside, and mix your angling journey with some bathing.

Kayak Fishing

(Flickr, MyFWCmedia, CC BY-ND 2.0)

Fishing from a kayak is an ever-growing fad all world wide, and Massachusetts isn’t any exception. A Cape Cod kayak fishing journey can show to be very fruitful, to not point out extremely enjoyable. Prepare for a exercise earlier than you even take into consideration fishing, as you utilize nothing however your power to get to the candy spots, earlier than casting away.

Actually, a kayak will be the perfect mode of transport, relying on the place you wish to go. These mild vessels will hold you afloat in even the shallowest of waters, in order that they’re very best for getting you to the flats and rocky bottoms – which is the place the fish like to cover! Rent one or deliver your individual, and set off seeking Seabass, Tautog, Scup, and even Bass, as you discover out the true which means of “working up an urge for food.”

Get together Boat Fishing

For those who’re on a funds or are alone and fancy some firm, Cape Cod social gathering boat fishing is a good way to get into it. In all main port cities, from Provincetown to Falmouth, you’ll discover some massive vessels able to take you out to the bays. These boats come absolutely geared up with every thing you want for a productive day, so all you must do is settle in and benefit from the trip.

Widespread in all of the East Coast’s bays, social gathering boat fishing gives one thing for everybody. Captains and tour guides can run journeys that embrace some sightseeing or whale anticipating the youngsters, with others centered on getting essentially the most out of the water. No matter you resolve on, you’ll be sharing your expertise with like-minded people. Who is aware of? You would possibly even make a good friend!

Constitution Fishing

There’s no higher solution to uncover saltwater fishing than by boat, and constitution fishing on Cape Cod will get you to the spots that you just can’t entry by yourself or by kayak. They’ll even take you additional than any social gathering boat may handle! Not solely that, however a non-public constitution will see you reside the excessive life, as you head off to sea with simply your nearest and dearest, and the open ocean at your mercy.

Your skilled captain will know precisely the place to go to seek out the fish, and also you’ll be capable to combine it up and go after a variety of various creatures. For those who’re seeking to fish the center of the Cape Cod Bay within the north, or the gorgeous Winery Sound within the south – a constitution is the one manner. 

It goes with out saying that you simply’ll want a constitution for a Cape Cod deep sea fishing journey. Head to the deep waters on the Stellwagen Financial institution and even additional offshore, and get your palms on scrumptious Cod and Halibut, together with the largest creatures the ocean has to supply.

Freshwater Fishing

Whereas Cape Cod’s fishing highlights undoubtedly lie in its entry to the ocean, there’s nonetheless the possibility for some freshwater favorites, too. Spanning 339 sq. miles, the world lends itself to every kind of wildlife, with ponds and streams providing a lot to the freshwater angler.

When Striper season is over, many saltwater anglers head over to the ponds and lakes to get their palms on another Bass species. These underdeveloped fishing grounds present an escape to nature, with Nickerson State Park providing up among the finest spots.

Hit up Higgins and Cliff Ponds for Smallmouth Bass, together with Brook, Brown, and Rainbow Trout. In the meantime, Flax Pond will provide up some beautiful Tiger Trout on your consumption too. 

When’s the perfect time for a Cape Cod fishing journey?

We’ve already let that summer season is the perfect time to return fishing on Cape Cod, with most fish on provide from Could via September. Nonetheless, there’s by no means actually a foul time to return. The year-round Haddock and Cod inhabitants implies that, if you happen to’re capable of finding a dry, calm day, you possibly can even expertise a fruitful fishing journey in winter. 

However, if you happen to’re considering of bringing the household alongside, why not mix your trip with another in style actions? Come within the following months and reap the benefits of a variety of festivals, shows, and rather more:

  • June: Whereas Stripers replenish the canal, Sandwichfest lights up its northern mouth, with food and drinks, music, and humanities and crafts. In the meantime. Dennis’ Clambake and Wellfleet’s Restaurant Week will mild up your pallet.
  • August: With the youngsters off faculty, the seashores of Cape Cod are calling your title. Mix a fishing journey with the Naukabout Music Pageant or the Provincetown Carnival for some colour. 
  • October: The Indian Summer season that’s now turning into an increasing number of frequent in Cape Cod requires time to rejoice. Be part of the Wellfleet Oyster Pageant so as to add to the enjoyable!
  • December: ‘Tis the season, so why not benefit from it? Courageous the chilly and luxuriate in Falmouth’s Vacation by the Sea or Chatham’s Christmas Stroll, together with a visit to land some warming meat.


Sure! Earlier than embarking in your Cape Cod fishing frenzy, you’ll wish to be sure you’re updated on the most recent guidelines and laws. For those who’re saltwater fishing from a constitution or a celebration boat – you gained’t want a license. Fish from shore, a kayak, or your individual vessel, although, and each angler over the age of 16 will want a license. Seize yours on-line, whereas these of you over 60 will be capable to apply for a free allow. 

There is some excellent news, nonetheless, for residents (or eager anglers) of neighboring states. For those who maintain a New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, or Maine saltwater fishing license, then you possibly can fish these waters without cost!

For freshwater anglers, you’ll want a license whichever manner you plan on fishing. This time, all anglers over the age of 15 might want to purchase a allow – though MA residents aged 15–17, or over 70, can get a free license. Get yours right here!

As all the time, there are many dimension and bag limits which are continuously in flux. Cape Cod’s fishing laws are so complicated that there are even completely different laws for north and south Cape Cod. Keep watch over MA’s newest limits right here, and be sure you’re fishing throughout the legislation. 

Why Cape Cod?

Cape Cod is undoubtedly one of many gems of the entire East Coast. With historical past courting again to colonial instances, breathtaking coastlines, and unimaginable fishing, why would you wish to be anyplace else? Come fishing on this little piece of paradise and never solely will you get your palms on some trophy fish, however you’ll head residence with rather more.

Have you ever ever been fishing right here? How was your Cape Cod fishing expertise? Tell us within the feedback beneath.

Leave a Comment