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Cape Cod Beach Fishing

by Jon Pye
(Liverpool, England)

Question: My wife and I are traveling to Cape Cod in June from England and I would like to try some beach fishing. We will be staying mid-Cape. Could you let me know any spots that are good and what its like for night fishing, and the names of bait and tackle shops.

Kindest Regards,

Jon Pye

Dee's Reply: Hi Jon - Great timing for your trip to Cape Cod! By the time you arrive, the Striped Bass and Bluefish will be here in good numbers.

During the spring, the Stripers and Blues tend to hang pretty close to the shore soaking up the sun and gulping down a belly-full of sand eels.

Last spring was a little odd, in that we didn't have the huge volume of bait fish we're accustomed to seeing. But we still managed to catch a good number of Stripers in the 40+ inch range and lots of Blues weighing 6-8 pounds and up. And we caught many of them in less than 2 feet of water within easy casting distance from shore.

Regarding fishing spots ... hmmmm. It's really tough to say what spots will be producing at any given time.

On the Nantucket Sound (south) side of the mid-Cape, you can usually count on the beaches, jetties and fish piers in West Yarmouth, South Yarmouth, West Dennis and Dennisport to produce some real nice fish.

On the Cape Cod Bay (north) side of the mid-Cape area, Sandy Neck in Barnstable is a pretty reliable spot, as are the beaches near Sesuit Harbor in Dennis.

Lots of folks love night fishing on Cape Cod. But I must admit that I'm not one of them, simply because my hubby and I are usually on the water by 6 a.m. or earlier whenever possible. By the time the sun sets, we're ready for a warm shower and some real food.

However, we do have friends who fish the beaches at night and haul in some big fish. So if that's what you plan to do ... go for it! Just be sure to take some warm clothes with you. It can get pretty chilly near the water on Cape Cod in June.

Okay. On to your question about Cape Cod fishing tackle and bait shops.

In the mid-Cape region, we like Riverview Bait & Tackle on Rt. 28 in South Yarmouth. You'll find everything you need there, including live bait and a good selection of lures.

Plus, if you strike up a friendly conversation with anyone who works there, you'll likely get some good insights into where the fish have been biting and what lures/bait they've been hitting best.

Hope this helps! Please feel free to write again with any other questions.

Tight Lines,


P.S. Just to let you know: Massachusetts has a saltwater fishing permit requirement.

Here's a link to my page about Massachusetts fishing licenses, and a link back to the Cape Cod Fishing section of my site for lots more info.

Comments for Cape Cod Beach Fishing

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Summer Surf Fishing, Hyannis Area?
by: Dean NJ

Any ideas where to go and what species are being fished for off the beaches in the Hyannis area? Bait being used?....My wife and I are headed up for the week, starting this friday 7/22/2016... I planned on checking with the local bait shop but just saw your page and wanted to get the inside tips... Sometimes bait shops don't like to help the tourists catch fish.. LOL..

Dee's Reply:
Hi Dean -
I giggled when I read your comment about bait shops! Actually, the shops around here are pretty good about telling the truth on what's biting and where.

If you'll be staying in Hyannis, there are a couple good bait shops there: Powderhorn (210 Barnstable Road) and Sports Port (149 West Main Street). The folks at both places will give you the low-down - if you ask nicely. ;-)
What can you catch off the beaches around Hyannis this time of year? Casting from shore, you might tie into bluefish and maybe (if you're lucky) striped bass.

The water in Nantucket Sound is pretty warm right now - around 74 degrees. So it's unlikely you'll find any big stripers. The big 'uns "go deep" when the water temps get warm. There are still some schoolies around, though.

Blues are less fussy about water temperature. It's not unusual to find snapper blues marauding the beaches around Hyannis Harbor and Lewis Bay all summer long.

What equipment to use? When you're casting from the beaches and jetties around Hyannis, you're not going to be fishing in big surf like you would on the Atlantic Ocean side of the Cape. So gi-normous surfcasting gear isn't necessary, IMHO.

I'm a big fan of 1/4 and 1/2 oz. silver Kastmasters (or similar sized Hopkins), with or without a bucktail. Small to medium pencil poppers are a good option, too.

I'd recommend tying on a short length of light wire leader. That'll prevent bluefish bite-offs, and it won't spook any stripers that happen to be in the area.

Moving right along ... if you're planning to do some bottom fishing, then squid or sea worms will work just fine for bait.

What will you catch when fishing low in the water column or on the bottom? Scup, maybe some small sea bass (the big 'uns of those have recently gone deep, too), and probably a sea robin or two. Fluke are also a possibility.

Last but not least ... where to fish?

If you enjoy jetty fishing, give the breakwater at the end of Kalmus Beach a whirl. Schools of snapper blues sometimes hang out in that area, and scup are also a good bet there.

If you're more adventurous, you could also make the trek out to the end of the Hyannisport jetty. I won't do it, because the jetty is raggedy in spots and the boulders can be pretty slippery. But I see people out there catching fish every time we pass by.

So if you're an intrepid jetty guy, go for it. Just be sure to watch the tide. Parts of the jetty go underwater around high tide.

For beach fishing, head over to Craigville Beach in Centerville. It's only a few miles outside Hyannis - not too far for you to travel.

There's a designated swim area at Craigville Beach. Don't cast anywhere near the swim area. Instead, walk up/down the beach in either direction.

As you're facing the water, walk to your right to go toward the mouth of the Centerville River, or walk to the left to go toward Halls Creek.

The mouth of the River and the mouth of the Creek might produce snapper blues for you, and maybe a small striper or two or three. Early morning and evening is generally better than mid-day at this time of year.

The other specie you might catch in the Craigville Beach area is Spanish mackerel. I haven't heard of any macks "Spannie-Macks" showing up in Cape waters yet. But we're getting toward the time of year when they begin making an appearance.

Small silver lures and small pencil poppers, with a quick retrieve, often do the trick for macks.
Like blues, the macks are toothy, too. So a bit of wire leader is once again in order!

All righty, that's about it from me for now. (Can you tell that I could talk fishing all day? LOL!)

I hope this information helps. Have tons of fun on your visit to the Cape. And if you have more questions, or if you want to know about other nearby areas to try, feel free to ask!

Tight Lines,


by: Dean NJ


Dee's Reply:

You're welcome!!

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