Cape Cod’s beaches, marshes, rivers, creeks, and freshwater ponds offer anglers an abundance of opportunities to fish from land. Anglers on foot can take advantage of miles of shoreline while kayaks are ideal for the protected harbors and bays.
The beaches and shorelines of Cape Cod and the Islands are perfect for casting, wading and bait fishing. Fishing piers like Dowses’ Beach Fish Pier in Osterville and Smuggler’s Beach Fish Pier in South Yarmouth offer ocean front fishing that’s accessible to everyone.
Surfcasting in Cape Cod is popular along the east facing shorelines, especially Orleans’ Nauset Beach and Truro’s Ballston Beach, where the surf is just right for stripers out cruising the breaking waves. Wading offshore works well in other areas, like Wellfleet’s Grand Island and Brewster’s Paine’s Creek Beach, where troughs between sandbars offer cover and trap an abundance of food for predatory fish.
Martha’s Vineyard hosts a five-week striped bass and bluefish fishing “derby” each fall that attracts thousands of anglers, a testament to just how good the fishing is on the island. Chappaquiddick, just a short ferry ride from Edgartown, offers a wide variety of shore fishing spots with heavy surf on the Atlantic side and saltwater ponds inland.
On Nantucket, the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge and Cisco Beach are popular surfcasting destinations with ample bluefish, false albacore, and bonito as well as the occasional striper, while Eel Point and Madaket Harbor are ideal for wading and fishing the tide flows.
The numerous ponds, marshes, and rivers across the Cape and the Islands, as well as the Cape Cod Canal, provide for just about every other type of fishing. All along the Canal, from the Maritime Academy and the railroad bridge to Scusset Beach State Reservation, popular spots offer easy access and a chance to catch stripers, bonito, false albacore and more.
At Pamet Marsh near Truro, anglers can try their luck along the shore of Pamet River or out on the flats as the tide recedes. Paw Wah Pond at Orleans, Scorton Creek at Sandwich, and Chase Garden Creek at Yarmouth Port also provide pedestrian access, though it helps to have a kayak or canoe to get to the best fishing holes.
Several freshwater lakes and ponds across the Cape are stocked with trout including Lovell’s Pond at Barnstable, Scargo Lake in Dennis, and Long Pond in Yarmouth, to name just a few. Some of the best freshwater fishing on the Cape is at Nickerson State Park, where the ponds are stocked with trout and anglers have been known to hook the occasional bass.
On Martha’s Vineyard, the Mud Creek watershed feeding into Lagoon Pond, the Menemsha Creek inlet to Menemsha Pond, and the Tisquam River feeding into Town Cove offer unique inland fishing experiences. On Nantucket, look for opportunities where Hither Creek feeds into Madaket Harbor, at Millbrook Creek on Polpis Harbor, along Fulling Mill Creek on Nantucket Harbor, and where Abrams Creek flows through Shimno Pond.
Regardless of where you choose to try your luck, for best results, visit a local bait shop first. The friendly pros can steer you in the right direction when it comes to finding the best local fishing spots, what tackle to use where, and what not to do.
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