The Beach Times

A Guide to Shellfishing on Cape Cod
Posted by Kinlin Grover Vacation Rentals | Wednesday, November 13, 2019


During your Cape Cod vacation, you might be tempted to try some shellfishing. After all, being able to take the freshest clams, scallops, oysters, and quahogs available anywhere back to your vacation rental for dinner is too good of an opportunity to pass up.

Before heading out to dig, however, you'll need the right permits and tools, as well as awareness of the licensing requirements in every town. It's also essential to figure out where exactly you can dig so that you don't end up on private property.

Here's how shellfishing works on Cape Cod and what you can expect when you get out there.

The Necessary Equipment

Before heading out to do some shellfishing, you'll want the right equipment. Luckily, you'll only need a clam rake, bucket, clam gauge, and shellfishing permit to get started.

You can pick all of this gear up once you get to the Cape, as there are bait shops everywhere, including Chatham, Hyannis, and Falmouth.

While you're grabbing your gear, you might also consider buying some rain boots or hip waders, just to make your experience more comfortable. If you're fine digging and stepping in the mud without them, however, nothing is stopping you.

Getting a Permit

Every town has different permits, so you'll want to figure out where you'll be spending your time first.

In Wellfleet, non-residents can grab a seasonal permit for $85 and an annual pass for $210, while in Truro, non-resident passes are $25 for a week and $100 per year. Brewster will sell non-residents a one-week pass for $20 and an annual permit for $125, and Yarmouth offers annual licenses for $80.

Every town on the Cape has unique licensing requirements, so make sure you don't accidentally cross into another town while fishing.

All licenses are only available at the Town Hall or Town Clerks Office in the town in which they are issued. You can also pick up a list of each town's rules and regulations while you're there, so you don't end up breaking the law.

Generally, permits are good for seven days, although some towns allow you to buy seasonal and yearly passes. It all comes down to how much time you're going to spend on the Cape and how often you'll be clamming during your time here.

When to Head Out

The best time to go clamming starts an hour before low tide. You can look at the tide chart online to see when the best fishing time in your area begins. Look for areas in the water with mounds of sand that have a hole on the top. These mounds are where you'll find clams. You might have to dig about a foot down, but you'll definitely find something if you put the effort in.

Once you find your first clam, you'll likely find a bunch more in the same area. Generally, you'll be able to grab about 15 clams per hour, so it'll take you a couple of hours of digging to come up with enough for dinner.

Remember to use your clam gauge to measure the size of the clams you're keeping, as you're required to put any small clams back.

Feel free to ask locals where the best clamming is located, but don't be surprised if you're not given a straight answer.

Where You Can Dig

Speaking of where the best clamming is found, you'll want to learn where you're even allowed to dig.

In Wellfleet, for example, you can only go shellfishing on Chipman's Cove, Indian Neck, Duck Creek, and the Herring River.

There are seasonal restrictions, as well, as Indian Neck is only open on Sundays and Wednesdays in the summer, but every day during the offseason. Likewise, Chipman's Cove is only accessible between late October and April 30, while Duck Creek is available between December and late April.

Check the website of the community you plan to shellfish in to figure out what types of restrictions you'll be dealing with during your time on the Cape.

Try Some Shellfishing on Cape Cod

While it's perfectly fine to stop by a local fish market to grab some shellfish to enjoy at your vacation rental, there's something special about getting out to Cape Cod's beaches to gather clams and oysters for yourself.

Making an effort to dig some shellfish on the Cape provides you with the freshest seafood available anywhere, and provides you with the satisfaction of knowing that you caught the meal yourself.

As long as you're prepared to get the right permits and follow Cape Cod's shellfishing laws, gathering dinner on the beach can provide you with hours of entertainment.



Activities Cape Cod Cape Cod Fishing Things To Do On Cape Cod

Cape Cod Fishing Charters
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, July 23, 2018


cape cod fishing

When spending time on Cape Cod, it would be downright criminal if you don't spend at least one day on the ocean. After all, the Cape is nearly surrounded by the Atlantic and, as a result, has some of the best fishing on the entire East Coast. Another aspect of fishing on Cape Cod is its diversity, as there are rivers, lakes, and ponds where you can catch smaller fish, or you can head out on a fishing charter in search of a larger species. Even on the ocean, there are various locations, as you can head into Cape Cod Bay, Nantucket Sound, or the deep Atlantic Ocean. For the sake of this post, we're going to look at ocean fishing charters on Cape Cod, as there are plenty of options depending on where your vacation rental is located and what type of fish you want to catch.

After checking into your vacation rental, have a look at the nearby Cape Cod fishing charter companies to see if you can get out there and catch your next meal yourself.

 

Fishing in Provincetown

In Provincetown, Ginny G is one of the top Cape Cod charter fishing companies around. Captain Dave Gibson has been fishing in the waters off Provincetown for over 35 years and brings a wealth of experience if you're looking to catch codfish, mackerel, tuna, bluefish, or striped bass. Since the waters in Provincetown Harbor are so deep, you won't have to travel far to reach the best fishing areas and can spend more time fishing, rather than boating.
 

Ocean Fishing Excursions in Orleans

Dragonfly Sportfishing operates a 23-foot custom SeaCraft vessel out of Orleans, with the boat leaving from a dock on River Road. The craft then heads out into Little Pleasant Bay before venturing into the Atlantic in search of striped bass, bluefish, bluefin tuna, and black sea bass. Whale watching excursions and family fishing trips are also available through this company, and the boat is captained by Mike Bosley. The company also has launch sites in South Yarmouth and Dennis, should you be staying in those areas.
 

Chatham Fishing Charters

Capeshores Charters leaves from Chatham's Municipal Fish Pier and heads to an area that offers some of the best cod and striped bass fishing in the northeastern United States. The vessel, which is a 24-foot lobster boat, travels north off the coast of Nauset or Coast Guard beach, or to Nantucket Shoals in the south, which are both historically fertile fishing grounds. Other fish common in the area include bluefin tuna and bluefish, so you'll have plenty of opportunities to make a catch.
 

Harwich Charter Fishing

Cape Cod Fishing Charters is captained by Art Brosnan and can take groups of up to six people from Saquatucket Harbor in Harwichport to Nantucket Sound and other coastal waters. The boat's four to eight-hour charters search for bluefish, fluke, sea bass, porgy, striped bass, and squid, while ten-hour trips into deeper water for bluefin tuna fishing are also available. The vessel, the Capt'n & Tonaire, is 35 feet long and one of the fastest on the Cape, so you'll spend more time fishing and less time reaching your destination.

 

Yarmouth Fishing Excursions

Shark Shark Tuna departs from Skippy's Pier 1 on Parker's River in Yarmouth and heads directly into Nantucket Sound. From there, you can choose to fish the sound, or head north to the Stellwagen Bank, Cape Cod Bay or anywhere else in the area. The company usually targets bluefin tuna, sea bass, striped bass, porgy, white marlin, yellowfin tuna, and sharks, so you'll have an excellent selection when choosing what to fish for on your day on the ocean.

 

Hyannis Fishing Charter Boats

The Helen H fishing fleet in Hyannis is one of the largest charter companies on Cape Cod, as the company operates five boats between 30 and 100 feet in length. The largest vessel, the Helen H, can handle multi-day trips, as it has sleeping quarters built right in. There is also a sundeck for those who don't want to fish, but still want to experience life on the ship. Codfish, tuna, fluke, sea bass, haddock, and scup are among the fish you can catch on your trip, or you can head out on a whale watching excursion, as well.

 

Fishing Charters in Barnstable

Cape Cod Family Fishing Charters in Barnstable specializes in family-friendly fishing trips so that you can take your kids without any worry. The company heads out into Cape Cod Bay in search of striped bass, bluefish, and tuna and has two boats: The Escape and the Elizabeth B. All fish that you catch will be cleaned and prepared for you to take back to your vacation rental at the end of your tour.

 

Catch Fish in Falmouth

One of the best-known fishing companies in Falmouth is through Bluefin Charters, which operates a 28-foot lobster boat and can take groups of up to six passengers, although larger groups can be accommodated with a second boat. The company offers bluefish, bonito, albacore, and big striped bass fishing close to shore, or fluke, black sea bass and porgy fishing in the deep sea. Shark fishing is also available on longer trips south of Martha's Vineyard.

 

Your Cape Cod Fishing Charters

As you can see, there are plenty of Cape Cod fishing charters available, depending on what you want to fish for and where you want to go. Rates vary, as well, so have a look around to find a sport fishing option that works for you.

Remember that all of your fishing gear is provided with every fishing charter, so you won’t have to worry about packing it from home. Read the website of the fishing charter company that you choose to see what you’ll need to bring on your journey, as most do not provide food or drink unless you make prior arrangements with the captain.

There is usually a place onboard to store any meals that you bring, and many vessels have cooking facilities. It’s also important to pack extra clothes to prepare for changing weather, as the ocean can be unpredictable at times. No fishing license is required in Massachusetts as long as you don’t sell any fish.

Make the most of your Cape Cod vacation this summer by getting out there and experiencing some of the country’s best fishing. If you’ve never gone deep sea fishing before, this is unquestionably the place to try it for the first time.



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