Hidden away on Cape Cod’s western edge, Falmouth is the quintessential tourist town, with sandy beaches, a pretty harbor, and easy access to the local islands. To an angler, all these things just mean “good fishing”, and Falmouth fishing charters do not disappoint. Local reefs are home to delicious food fish like Black Sea Bass and Tautog. You can also find hard-fighting Bluefish and Striped Bass hunting in the shallows. Giant “Gorilla” Bluefish are a local specialty and even the most experienced angler will struggle against the size of local Stripers.
So it’s all inshore fishing, you ask? Not at all! Head out past Martha’s Vineyard and you can enjoy awesome big game battles against Bluefin Tuna and Sharks. You can also run into Yellowfin Tuna and White Marlin when the water is warm enough. If that’s still not enough for you, you can head out on an extended trip to the Canyons to do battle with Blue and White Marlin, monster Tuna, and some of the biggest Sharks you’ll see outside of the movies. Falmouth has it all.
The main fishing season runs from May through October. Stripers are the first on the scene, arriving as early as April as they make their way through the Cape Cod Canal. After that, you have six solid months of rod-bending action. A huge range of species pack into the local waters to gorge themselves on migratory Squid and Herring. Sharks spend the whole summer offshore, and just as they get ready to move on, Bluefin Tuna hit their peak.
By late October, most of the action has died down and the migratory species have moved on. Falmouth fishing charters don’t always stop in the winter, though. You can find trips running year-round, braving the cold winds and high waves in search of flaky white fillets of Cod, Pollock, Haddock, and Halibut.
Types of fishing
Fishing in Falmouth is quite different to the rest of Cape Cod. You won’t find the inshore Bluefin mayhem that Provincetown and Chatham are famous for. But don’t think for a second that you’ll be missing out on the action. Local charter guides have have been honing their skills for decades to make sure you get the most out of your trip, and boy do they deliver!
Trolling for Stripers
Striped Bass are the poster child of the Cape Cod inshore scene. Vast numbers of Schoolie and Cow Stripers flood the shallows each summer, and the Cape Cod Canal has become their favorite expressway. The mouth of the canal erupts in late summer with thousands of south-bound Stripers, making it almost too easy to catch trophy-sized fish. The Elizabeth Islands also have their fair share of action, although you’ll need an experienced captain to guide you through their strong currents and submerged rocks. Don’t worry, experienced captains are easy to find here.
Bottom Fishing for Black Sea Bass
Black Sea Bass are one of the tastiest and most prestigious food fish this side of the Tuna grounds, and Falmouth is the best place on the cape to catch them. Local spots like the Hen & Chickens, Coxens Ledge, and Mishaum Ledge will let you bag your limit in no time. You can also find Tautog, Scup, and Winter Flounder lurking in and around these reefs. You won’t go hungry, that’s for sure!
Fly Fishing for Bluefish
Falmouth is visited by a ton of great fly fishing species. Stripers and Bluefish top the bill, but Bonito, False Albacore, and Spanish Mackerel can also be caught nearby. What makes things special is the sheer number of large, “Gorilla” Blues that hunt the local coves for Menhaden in the hot summer months. The added bonus is that all the species mentioned above are within easy reach of each other, and can be targeted in a single day.
Deep Sea Fishing
12-hour, overnight, and multi-day trips are common in Falmouth, taking you well past the Islands in search of monster pelagics. Head south to target Yellowfin Tuna and White Marlin around the Fingers, or blow straight past them and out to the Canyons. Here you’ll find Blue and White Marlin, Bluefin Tuna, and several species of pelagic Sharks. You may need to sail through the night to get there, but you definitely won’t regret it.
Need to Know
You’ll need a saltwater fishing license to fish from shore or on a charter. These can be purchased online or can be bought from approved vendors locally. The Cape Cod area has very strict limits and seasons for its top species, which your captain can talk you through ahead of your trip. You can find out all the specifics here