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Top Fishing Charters in Boston


Fishing in Boston

Boston is one of the country’s oldest and most important fishing towns. Commercial fishing has been a big deal here for centuries and Boston fishing charters are becoming more popular year on year. And that’s not surprising. The area sees huge summer migrations of Striped Bass, Bluefin Tuna, Sharks, and more. Even in the colder months, you can find Winter Flounder and offshore food fish like Pollock and Haddock.
 
Boston is much more than just a fishing hotspot, though. The city has a huge arts and cultural scene, with famous galleries and museums by the dozen. Spend a week in town and you’ll struggle to scratch the surface of what Boston has to offer. If you’re like us, that’s probably because you’ll spend the whole time at sea.

Fishing Spots

Boston has great fishing right on its doorstep and plenty of hardened deep sea fishing guides to take you further afield. Your trip will be very different depending on where you go, of course. With that in mind, here are a few of our favorite spots to help you decide how to spend it.
 

Boston Harbor

If you don’t like long journeys, you’ve come to the right place. The Striper fishing Boston Harbor sits on is some of the best in the state. Huge Cow Stripers spend half the year here, some weighing well over 40 pounds. And it’s not just Striped Bass. Quincy Bay was historically known as “Flounder Capital of the World”. Flounder fishing in Boston Harbor is still incredible, with both Summer and Winter Flounder around in big numbers.
 

Stellwagen Bank

Boston deep sea fishing is unmissable for a list of reasons. Stellwagen Bank is very high on that list. Head out 30 miles or so and you hit one of the best Bluefin battlegrounds this side of the Outer Banks. The Bluefin season starts in June and gets better and better as the summer goes on. Tuna are drawn here by large migrations of Herring and Squid, as are several kinds of pelagics Sharks. If that’s not enough, you have whales, dolphins, seabirds - everyone wants a slice of the action.
 

Ocean Ledges

The only problem with Stellwagen Bank is its sheer popularity. Conveniently located between Boston and Cape Cod, charter boats descend on the area from every direction. Break with the pack and fish further afield and you’re bound to be well-rewarded. There are many ocean ledges heading northeast out of Boston and they’re all teeming with fish. Jeffreys Ledge is the first port of call, with Haddock, Pollock, and huge Mako Sharks.
 
After that, it's a case of the further the better. Fippennies Ledge is heaven for Shark anglers, with Makos, Blues, Threshers, and Porbeagles hunting along its edges. You will also find Haddock, Pollock, and Halibut here. What, you thought the Sharks came for the scenery?

Fishing Techniques

You don’t need anything fancy to catch big Flounder. Top and bottom rigs baited with seaworms and dropped out on light spinning tackle will do the trick. You won’t have to wait long for the bite, either.
 
Striped Bass can be caught in a variety of ways. Live-lining for Linesiders is almost too easy and can get you on some seriously-big fish. If you fancy something with a bit more finesse, try throwing topwater plugs or spinners. And of course, you’d have to be mad to miss fly fishing Boston Harbor. You’ll be battling both Striped Bass and Bluefish, so pack a sturdy 9-weight and some tasty-looking streamers.
 
Artificial lures are a great way to target Bluefin Tuna. Jigs have become a go-to Tuna tactic on Stellwagen Bank. Throw them on the surface for top-feeding fish, or drop them down for some vertical jigging. If you fancy covering more ground, you can also troll dressed baits or lures, watching the birds to get ahead of the fish.
 
There’s only really one way to catch a big Shark - Heavy tackle, wire leaders, and blood in the water. You can chum with a slick or with live bait to devastating effect. You can also find chunking charters heading out to the more remote ledges in search of 500-pound monsters.

Need to Know

Licenses are usually included on fishing trips in Boston but you should always check when you book. Despite the name, you can’t catch Cod anywhere north of the cape these days, and any Tuna over seven feet stay with the boat. Your captain will advise you on all the important fishing seasons and catch limits during your trip, so you don’t need to worry.
 
What you do need to think about are the basic essentials for your trip. Hat, shades, sunscreen, and an extra layer for when the wind kicks up. You should also consider taking Dramamine or similar medication if you suffer from seasickness. The waters around Stellwagen Bank may be protected, but they can still get pretty choppy.

Boston Fishing Seasons

January is a great time for Winter Flounder in Boston. If you want to embrace the cold, the annual L Street Brownies swim offers great fun for a certain type of person. It sure is a spectacle, anyway.

Head offshore to target Pollock. Haddock, and Halibut or stay in the harbor to fish for Flounder. The Boston Science FIction FIlm Festival also takes place in February, if you want to escape the cold.

The Winter Flounder bite drops off in March, but there are much bigger flatfish offshore. Target Halibut on a full day trip and you'll also reel in some tasty Haddock and Pollock. Better empty the freezer!

The annual Patriot's Day Parade re-enacts the Paul Revere and William Dawes' famous midnight ride of 1775. This was where the American Revolution began and people are rightfully proud of it!

May kicks off the summer fishing season with spring Stripers swarming the shallows and big Bluefish in the bay. Fluke are also in season and make for some of the best eating around.

The offshore action finally gets going with the arrival of the first Bluefin Tuna. Stellwagen Bank is at its best in early summer, before the waters get too warm. So get out there and grab one.

July is a great time for Shark and Tuna fishing, while inshore the bays are full of trophy Stripers. Boston's Fourth of July celebrations are incredible, too. People take independence seriously here.

August is your last chance to catch Black Seabass before the season closes. Take a break from the fishing and you can enjoy Boston Carnival, a Caribbean sensation with fun for all the family.

Pretty much every major species is on fire in September. Sharks, Tuna, Stripers, Bluefish, Fluke, Tautog - the hardest part will be choosing what to target!

The water is full of boats in October, and not just for fishing charters! The annual Head of the Charles Regatta rounds off the summer season with a series of exciting rowing boat races.

Big game dreams have to be put on hold as the bluewater bite drops off. There's still great food fishing, though, with Winter Flounder, Pollock, Haddock, and Halibut available year-round.

Ring in the new year with Boston's First Night festival. Enjoy an evening of music, dance, food, fireworks, live comedy and art exhibitions. Boston's cultural side really shines through the winter darkness!

Boston Fishing Calendar

Boston
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Top Fishing Techniques in Boston

  1. 1 Deep Sea Fishing

Top Targeted Species in Boston

Bass (Striped)

Bluefish

Flounder

Tuna (Bluefin)