Striped bass is our most sought-after species, providing great sport through catch and release fishing and great eating when you catch a “keeper”. Striped bass is one of the largest fish available to the nearshore angler. Fish range from 1 pound to over 60 pounds.
Location: Whole coast surf, inshore bars, reefs, tide-rips, bays, and estuaries.
Season: Mid April-October
Baits and Lures: Seaworms, eels, squid, herring; jigs, plugs, spinners, spoons.
Methods and Tackle: Casting from shore, boat-trolling; light to heavy tackle.
Mass. Saltwater Fishing Derby Minimum Weight: TBD.
Bluefish are usually ravenous and will strike at just about anything you give them. Watch out for those teeth! They average around 3-7 pounds along the coast and tend to be larger just offshore in the rips. The juveniles, referred to as “snappers,” can be found in the estuaries and are fun to catch with light tackle. In all cases, they put up an excellent fight all the way to your boat or shore.
Location: Whole coast surf, inshore bars, tide rips, bays, and estuaries.
Season: June-mid October
Baits and Lures: All small bait fish, jigs, spoons, plugs, spinners, flies.
Methods and Tackle: Casting from shore or boat (you may want to use a wire leader) with spin and fly fishing gear, trolling.
Mass. Saltwater Fishing Derby Minimum Weight: 12 lb.
The winter flounder (black back) provides good fishing during the cold weather months. They are very accessible and provide the angler with thick fillets to take home.
Location: Whole coast, tidal streams, shallow bays, estuaries.
Baits and Lures: Sandworms, bloodworms, clams, strips of squid.
Methods and Tackle: Chum pot (crushed clams), still-fishing from boats, piers, jetties, bridges, breakwaters; light tackle
Mass. Saltwater Fishing Derby Minimum Weight: 3 lb.
Mackerel are fast swimmers and voracious feeders, which offers the angler many options for catching them. They are also an important food fish for many other species of fish and marine mammals.
Location: Whole coast, deep water to shallow bays, beaches, jetties, canal, bridges.
Baits and Lures: Small bait fish, crab, clams, seaworms, squid strips, jigs, spoons, flies.
Methods and Tackle: Trolling, jigging, casting from shore or boat: light tackle.
Mass. Saltwater Fishing Derby Minimum Weight: 2 lb.