The Fish and the Grounds
Striped Bass & Bluefish
With outer Cape Cod’s
Nauset & Coast Guard beaches to the north, and
Monomoy Rips & Nantucket Shoals to the south,
we have great fishing in any direction. During the
summer and fall the waters east and south of Chatham
teem with abundant supplies of bait and game fishes.
If equipped with polarized sunglasses, one can usually
observe the fish on the bottom as the boat drifts over
the more shallow rips. At times, large schools of Striped
Bass, Bluefish and small Bluefin Tuna will come to
the surface and can be caught by casting to them. This
can be very exciting for customers (and to the Captain)
with birds wheeling and diving into the feeding fish.
Our season starts in early June with the
early fish being located in the rips near Nantucket.
In addition, a tremendous migration of striped bass
occurs onto the west side of Monomoy and the shoals
or "flats" there. I have seen schools of
stripers so thick one could literally walk on them.
By the first of July, the water temps on the east side
of Monomoy Island and Chatham have warmed enough for
of sand eels to attract the bass around the point,
providing some unbelievable top water fly fishing action.
Bluefish are also very
prevalent in Nantucket Sound in the early season and
as the waters warm they come around the tip of Monomoy
and can be caught with the light tackle off the east
side of Chatham as well. By late August and September,
the blues can be so thick on the inshore spots that
my customers will say "enough!" and direct
me to go find some cooler waters and some
stripers. Some days it can be hard to find the cooler
water in which to catch only stripers, but Captain
Bruce has the experience to put you on the fish.
BLUEFIN TUNA FISHING
The Chatham Municipal Fish Pier is located on the elbow of Cape Cod, jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean where these fish congregate every summer to feed on the teeming bait supply located here. Chatham is halfway between Stellwagon Bank and the Regal Sword area and smack dab in the middle of the most productive bluefin tuna waters on the coast! The famed Great South Channel is just another 7 miles further south. Our typical day is within a 1 hour steam to the best fishing at areas like the Crab Ledge and BC buoy areas. We have a 1.5 hour run to the Regal Sword or north to Stellwagon.
Bluefin Tuna charters cost more, due to the distance traveled, and specialized gear required. The longer versions could be combined with a bass fishing trip, if you still have the energy. There are two basic sizes of tuna, the “school” and “medium” sized bluefin or the “giant” or “trophy” sized bluefin. There is always the chance of hooking a giant, as we fish the very same locations as the smaller sized fish. School Tuna trips start at $1200 for 8 hours or 10 hours for $1500.
Trips specifically targeting “giant” bluefin tuna are 12 hours or more (generally pre dawn to dark) and start at $1800 per day. The added costs are due to different gear, and supplies required, and the preparations prior to your day. We also offer a $3600, two day overnight “bucket list” giant tuna trip that is limited to two anglers. These are very limited as the days set aside for these trips are the optimum for small tides and the very best times of the year, and preparation is key.
The best fishing is usually at the times of slack water (the period of low water movement when the tide changes direction) and dawn or dusk, so to make sure we have the travel time to get to the spot before dawn, departures in the very early morning are common. We can troll, chum, jig, or use live bait for Bluefin tuna that are prevalent in our waters from June through November. Trolling is the famous Chatham squid rigs, a number of vinyl squids rigged in a pattern to instigate a strike. Chumming is drifting with cut bait, such as herring, cod entrails, mackerel or butterfish. Many blue and other large sharks will come to the chum line and be caught. Live bait fishing with a live bluefish, whiting or ground fish is by far the most exciting way to catch a giant Bluefin. ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½
Capeshores Charters provides a minimum of four custom made 8 foot bent butt 130 lb class tuna rods equipped with 130 class Penn International or Shimano Tiagra reels for the Giant tuna. Our standup gear is 80 pound Tiagra reels with Shimano 5.5 foot bent butt stand up rods for the medium sized fish. We go after these larger prized Bluefin Tuna as serious business. My boat is small and these fish are big and powerful. The 80 pound class gear is used with safety harnesses and fighting belts for your safety. We also have a complete arsenal of Shimano spinning reels and Van Stall rods, if you care to try your luck against these fish with light tackle jigging techniques.
The daily bag limits and other regulations on these pelagic fishes are complicated and can change during the season depending on the sizes of the fish and the amount of quota harvested. Please take the time to research these regulations before your trip. The web address for these regulations is https://hmspermits.noaa.gov
Sales of Giant Tuna
A 200 to 1000 pound giant bluefin tuna is a very valuable fish if properly taken care of. The “Marilyn S” is a licensed vessel fishing on the “charter/headboat” category and we still carry a federal Atlantic tunas permits to sell any legal giant bluefin tuna we catch. Federal regulation requires only one Bluefin tuna per year per boat in the “angling” or recreational category. The charter head boat category is a special category that allows the vessel to fish in EITHER the angling or the general category. If we allow the customer to take the over 73” fish home, then the boat is not allowed to take another for the rest of the year. So, any bluefin tuna 73ï¿½ and over will be retained and sold by the boat. These fish, if caught will automatically become the property of the boat. If you wish to catch a giant, I can take you where they are, at the time they are in the area, show you how I would do it, hook you on to one, and even let you reel it in, but I will be selling the fish when we get to dock.
Should your charter be skilled and lucky enough to land a trophy sized fish, I will return 1/3 of the sale back to you (after expenses), and send you a IRS 1099 form at the end of the year.
Check out our tuna videos on the Capeshores Video Gallery page
Whale Watching - Cod etc.
Cape Cod is known for and named after the steadfast cod.
Over the years overfishing and habitat loss has decreased the cod numbers considerably, and
once the commercial gillnetters have their nets on the bottom, its pretty hard to fish most
of the spots with GOOD results.
Capeshores Charters offers very limited Cod fishing trips to the areas to the east and southeast of Chatham, MA.
These areas have local names such as "The Mussels", "The Peaks", "Crab Ledge", "The Figs", "The Shells",
"Bill and Sills" and "The Channel" etc. These areas are further offshore and are a more costly fishing
charter than the inshore fishing charters. Cod trips are 8 to 10 hours long and start at $1050. We can however try
for cod at the end of a tuna charter and many folks do opt for this type of a combination trip.
We do have a fantastic whale show during the summer months and whale watching has been a recent addition to my
fishing charters. The whale watch trips are generally of lesser duration and costs that the fishing charters.
Please email the captain for the latest info and rates.
Captain Bruce has a recreational lobster license that allows him to fish up to 10 lobster pots offshore in the
deeper waters where the commercial lobstermen fish. We have a hydraulic hauler and if the fishing is a little
slow we can always go haul the traps for fun ! I cannot give the charter any of the lobsters because that would
constitute a commercial use of a family permit, which is unlawful. But, we can put your kids in my foul weather
gear and play "Deadliest Catch" and run a string of pots. Hooking the buoy, emptying and rebaiting the trap,
tossing back starfish, crabs, and other surprises can make a slow fishing day more memorable.
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