Cape Cod Fishing Charters: Fishing by Boat on Cape Cod and the Islands
By: Tonya Jean Kelsey
No exploration of Cape Cod and islands is complete without a fish story. The waters surrounding Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and the Elizabeth Islands provide for all kinds of fishing experiences by boat. Whether you’re up for a deep-sea exploit or a relaxing day on the harbor, using heavy casting gear or lightweight fly-fishing rigs, the entire region is rich in fishing targets such as bluefish, tuna, striped bass, black sea bass, scup, cod, false albacore, bonito, even shark and white marlin, just to name a few.
Hiring the Right Cape Cod Fishing Charter
Hire a Cape Cod fishing charter for a day (or more) on the open ocean with a skilled crew to show you the ropes and help land your catch. Most will clean the fish for you and many will even use it to prepare a delicious ultra-fresh meal right on board. Before you make your reservations, though, a little planning and preparation will help you get the absolute most out of your adventure.
Charters are available for all group sizes and ages. Several charters use smaller boats and accommodate up to six people. Look for one with great reviews, a reputation for finding the fish you want to catch. Reel Deal Fishing Charters out of Truro is known for great service and has three boats, accommodating groups of up to 18 people. Down Cape Charters out of Harwich has a charter with room for up to 14 people, and Cap’n Kids Fishing Adventures out of Harwich Port has a knack for entertaining children on their large boat that serves groups of up to 24 people. Helen H Deep Sea Fishing has boats for groups up to 20 or 45 passengers!
How Much Does It Cost for a Cape Cod Boat Charter?
Rates are competitive across the charter companies. You can experience fishing on Cape Cod for as little as $45 per person, which covers Cap’n Kids 2-hour tour, or $70 per person for The Skipper out of Oak Bluffs. These are not private tours, but are great options for larger groups or if you just want to sample the fishing experience. Other charters start at around $400-500 for 3 to 4 hour trips, $600-900 for half-day trips, $1,000-2,500 for full-day experiences, and upwards of $3,000 for overnight, 2-day and longer trips on boats with sleeping quarters. Final cost depends on the size of your group, duration of the trip, size of the boat, amenities and services offered. Shop around to find the best trip for you. Keep in mind that deposits are required, cancellations due to weather can happen, and tipping is additional, encouraged and greatly appreciated.
Be Prepared for a Warm or Cold Weather Day
For the day of your trip, be prepared. Check the weather and dress accordingly, Light colored layers are a really good idea. You’ll want to wear long pants and a sweatshirt in the morning, evening, and all but the warmest late spring or summer days. A windbreaker is a necessity for protection from the ocean spray and chill of an early morning start. A long-sleeved, lightweight shirt will help protect your shoulders and arms from sunburn. Light colors will help prevent overheating – boat decks generally don’t have any shade. A pocket poncho is great for damp weather or unexpected showers, and gloves will help keep your fingers warm. Non-skid rubber soled shoes are mandatory, not flipflops or sandals. Bring sandwiches and confirm with your charter what they will have on board – water, snacks, and so on. If you have never spent much time on a boat, or if you know you are prone to motion sickness, get a treatment that works for you ahead of time. Don’t let sea-sickness ruin your day. Finally, don’t forget the sunglasses, sunscreen, camera, and a safe, even waterproof, bag to keep it in.
Last step, plan to have a great time. Fishing is exciting, catching is a thrill, and your host will ensure that your Cape Cod fishing adventure leaves you with memories to last a lifetime.
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