Cape Cod fishing piers are a great way to get out and try your luck in the bountiful waters of Cape Cod without the challenge of navigating rock jetties and sandy beaches or the cost of hiring a charter. For anyone with limited mobility, in a wheelchair, or with other disabilities, fishing piers can be the best way to get in on the Cape Cod fishing experience.
Piers attract fish, providing cover and harboring bait. While most anglers use bait when fishing from the piers, lures can be effective, too. On a pier, you can get by with a shorter pole than required for surfcasting, and you may not need so much specialized gear. A good rig is always essential, and it’s wise to bring a bucket, a drop net, sunglasses, an easy-to-carry chair, and mosquito spray. If you plan on bait fishing, be sure to pick up some eel, squid, mackerel, or herring from a local bait shop on the way. They’ll be happy to fill you in on what’s biting, what they’re biting, and where the action is while you’re there.
Top 12 Cape Cod Fishing Piers
1) Scusset Beach | 20 Scusset Beach Road, Sagamore, MA 02562
The Scusset Beach Fish Pier offers accessible saltwater fishing along the Cape Cod Canal. The long pier provides plenty of room, and people often catch schooling stripers, scup, and more by just dropping a line in the water. Parking is available at the pier, and access fees apply in the summer months.
2) Stone Pier at Woods Hole (Falmouth) | Woods Hole, MA 02543
Down in Falmouth, the Stone Pier at Woods Hole on Great Harbor is another popular fish pier. Located behind the aquarium and the NOAA marine fisheries library, anglers can catch bluefish, striped bass, and even false albacore in the deep waters around the pier. The parking lot lights attract fish at night, including some sizeable stripers drawn in to feed around the pier.
3) Dowses Beach Fish Pier (Barnstable/Osterville)
A large beach parking lot makes the Dowses Beach Fish Pier an easily accessible location. You do have to pay to park here, but parking is free if you are an Osterville resident or it’s after 6 pm. The inlet to the bay provides a great opportunity to catch scup.
4) Parkers River Sportfishing Pier on Rt 28 (Yarmouth)
This spot is great if you are trying to avoid the beach crowd during the summer months. Head over to the pier between 9 am – 11 am for the best results. You’ll have the opportunity to catch striper and bluefish.
5) Bass River Fishing Pier at Wilbur Park (Yarmouth)
The pier at Wilbur Park on High Bank Road offers a chance to catch striped bass, sea bass, bluefish, and fluke that make their way up the river to feed.
6) Smugglers Beach Fishing Pier| South Yarmouth, MA 02664
Smugglers Beach is a great place to fish with kids or individuals with accessibility issues. The parking lot is close to the pier and typically has parking available. From the pier at Smugglers Beach, you can catch scup, sometimes fluke, and occasionally striper or bluefish.
7) Schoolhouse Pond Fishing Pier (Brewster)
You can catch freshwater fish from the Schoolhouse Pond Fishing Pier in Brewster, where there are smallmouth bass, trout, bullhead, and a few striped bass. This 23-acre kettle pond offers fairly good visibility with only an average depth of 20 feet, allowing you to see what you are trying to catch.
8) Nickerson State Park (Brewster) | 3488 Main St, Brewster, MA 02631
At Nickerson State Park, the fisherman’s landing near the Cliff Pond boat ramp has a small accessible fishing pier where you can catch rainbow, brook, and brown trout. The pond is restocked twice yearly, so a fresh supply of fish is always ready to be caught.
9) Memorial Wharf (Edgartown) | 50 Dock St, Edgartown, MA 02539
When fishing from the wharf, you can catch scup and occasionally sea bass, sea robin, and even blackfish. While the spot is easily accessible, the On-Time ferry runs back and forth from Chappaquiddick, resulting in frequent disturbances.
10) Oak Bluffs Fishing Pier | 6-8 Seaview Ave, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557
The 317-foot fishing pier on Oak Bluffs Harbor is Massachusetts’ largest recreational fishing pier, and it provides opportunities for striped bass, bluefish, mackerel, and fluke. Make sure to get there early due to its length and popularity, and it can get crowded quickly.
11) Nantucket Town Pier | 34 Washington St, Nantucket, MA 02554
Nantucket Town Pier on the north shore of Nantucket Island overlooks Nantucket Sound, the feeding grounds of striped bass, sea bass, bluefish, fluke, mackerel, and more. The pier is near a popular docking spot, so that it can get quite crowded and noisy in the afternoon.
12) Nut Island Fishing Pier (Plymouth) | Island Ave, Quincy, MA 02169
Located on Hough’s Neck, the Nut Island Fishing Pier is a beautiful spot to cast out. While fish are abundant here, the real showstopper is the sunset and sunrise views you’ll get while being here.
Saltwater Fishing Permit Required
If you are fishing in ocean waters (including the Cape Cod Canal) from Cape Cod fishing piers, you’ll need a saltwater fishing permit if you’re over 16.
The permit is just $10 for everyone under 60 and free for anyone over 60 or disabled. Saltwater permits from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire are valid on the Cape.
If you’re 15 or older and fishing in a freshwater lake or pond, you’ll need a MA freshwater fishing license.
Prices range from $7.50 for a 3-day resident license to $32.50 for a non-resident annual license and are free for MA residents over 70 or disabled.
More Fishing Spots in Cape Cod
Are you looking to venture out from the Cape Cod fishing piers? Check out our article on Cape Cod fishing boat rentals to take your fishing adventure out to the open waters. Additionally, with spring well underway, you should check out the best spring fishing on the Cape Cod Canal.