Gloucester Fishing Charters
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Top Fishing Charters in Gloucester
Fishing in Gloucester
Gloucester fishing charters will take you out for some world-class fishing whenever you stop by. These fisheries are brilliant and vibrant, and are home to fish of all sizes and colors, ranging from Bluefin Tuna to Cod and Haddock. Featured in the popular ‘Wicked Tuna’ TV show, Gloucester is where you come to land a massive fish.
The scenic landscape has inspired scores of painters and sculptors. For decades, this port has been one of the most important ones across the entire US and has largely helped the rise of other nearby settlements. Gloucester’s shipbuilding industry is strong and boasts long tradition. Many of the waterfront houses have been turned into well-equipped museums and each summer the town lights up as the annual St. Peter Fiesta celebrations take place.
Here you will find much to admire, from eclectic architecture to culture, from the town’s fleet to the sight of the fish caught as charter boats come back from their voyages.
Gloucester fishing spots
We understand it’s hard not to jump straight onboard and follow in the footsteps of fishermen whose magnificent captures of Tuna have been recorded on camera. But remember that Gloucester inshore waters have a solid offer for you as well.
Gloucester freshwater fishing
It’s difficult to single out the hot spot for Gloucester freshwater fishing. It could be the Annisquam River, Essex River, Ipswich River, Brace Cove, or other numerous creeks and ponds. As you drive down the Yankee Division Hwy, you will see a network of points and islands, connected by water. The scenery is far from being just a sight for sore eyes. Here you will find worthy adversaries for your tackle. Striped Bass are the main prize and put up an incredible fight.
Check out the holes in these rivers and ponds--the Striped Bass can grow super big around here. Explore fishing opportunities around the Brace Cove, just outside the marina, or have a go at the Norman’s Woe or Halibut Point. Please remember that waters that flow over these boulders can be treacherous, so you will need to join an experienced local guide to help you fish.
June to mid July are the best time to get Bass. The rocky shoreline and inshore ledges will prove a real treat in summer time.
Gloucester saltwater fishing
Once you’ve reached catch limits - and it shouldn’t be hard given the richness of Striped Bass fisheries around Gloucester - the road will take you further out. Once you depart from Cape Ann and head towards the Gulf of Maine you will find yourself amidst some of the most impressive fisheries of this side of the US coast. Let’s have a look at these impeccable fisheries.
A sanctuary for a variety of marine life, the Stellwagen Bank has diverse fishing to offer. Blue Shark, Cod, Black Sea Bass, Bluefin Tuna, Cusk, Haddock, Halibut, Pollock, Mako Shark, and more are available for fishing. No permit is required, but you’re asked to follow the guidelines on limits and size. As you’re waiting for the boat to arrive there - and it won’t take long as the northwest border of the sanctuary lies only three miles from Gloucester - enjoy the sight of whales passing by.
Here you will find outstanding fishing for Haddock, Cod, and Pollock. The ledge sits about 30 miles offshore and stretches from the Maine/New Hampshire border down to Cape Ann. These waters are up to 200 ft deep on the ridge surface but plummet even further around the edges. This means fishing is far more than just promising. You will find impressive Haddock, Pollock, Cod, and Flatfish here, as well as a variety of Sharks that range from Mako to Tresher.
Tillies Bank fishes nicely for Haddock and Cod during spring and fall. Hake are abundant throughout the year save for winter months, while Pollock are numerous in spring time and fall. The bank is a rocky spot with superb fishing, and the waters are 150 ft deep, dropping suddenly all the way down to 250 ft. It’s a 10 mile stretch of land, but every bit as rewarding as the water which lies 20 miles from the mainland.
If you want to land Halibut, anglers claim this ledge is where you should go fishing. If you have the stamina to brave some 60 miles to reach productive fishing grounds, go for it. The ledge also fishes incredibly well for Haddock and Cod. Find a captain who offers full day or extended trips to have enough time to properly explore the fishing opportunities.
The farthest away from the terra firma, the Cashes Ledge offers stellar fishing for anglers willing to endure an 80-mile journey from the Gloucester harbour. It produces great Cod, Haddock, as well as some solid Halibut.
How much does it cost?
Distance plays a major role here. On some trips it will take you about 40 minutes to reach the fishing grounds. Hardcore anglers may want to head far, far out to the Georges Bank which will take them up to 10 hours. So, it’s best to decide what you want to catch and then head out.
The standard trips when fishing offshore include full day trips, marathons, and multiday trips. On a full day trip, the captain will take you out to get some Bluefin Tuna, Cod, Haddock, Halibut, or Shark. These trips run about 8 hours and can cost around $1400.
Marathons usually run for 12 hours and give you more time to explore the fisheries. As a rule of a thumb, Tuna trips last 11 hours and more. Marathons cost about $1500+.
Multiday trips give you the most time - if you’re a seasoned angler you will want to have plenty of time to properly explore all the options Gloucester deep sea fishing has to offer.
Most of the charters take up to six people and let you have the boat to yourself. The crew will be fully focused on making your trip worthwhile and will generally supply all the fishing gear you need to land these predators or bottom dwellers.
If want to be fishing on a party boat, you’d need to pay about $90 or more for a half day trip. It can get a bit crowded, but if you want to meet new anglers, thia might be a good choice.
If you decide to stay around the town and explore its coves and rivers, chunking bait around the holes is a good way to entice the fish to come closer to the surface. You can go jigging, casting, or trolling for Striped Bass and Bluefish. These trips are a good choice for newbie anglers who want to experience fishing but still get some bite around these rocky fisheries. The best time is summer.
If you’re looking for some hot action, fishing for Blue, Mako, and Thresher Shark is a great way to spend the day. Use live bait or trolling to get these predators excited and then try to outwrestle them and pull them onboard. Make sure to stay abreast with the latest regulations on Shark size and limits.
Now, if you’re coming to Gloucester for a good bite, Haddock, Pollock, Halibut, and Cod should be the top of your list. You will usually be drift fishing using some quality tackle. Most captains choose jigs, but occasionally bait is also used. If you want sore arms but a tasty meal, then a short chase after Haddock is well worth the trip.
Obviously, Bluefin Tuna are the rockstars of these fisheries. Fast and merciless, they will easily crush your line if you’re not accompanied by a pro who’s landed these beauties before. Trolling with live bait is a supreme technique for these fellas. Chunking—tossing bait into the water— and kite fishing are also quite popular. They can grow anywhere between 50 lbs and 1,000 lbs, so it’s no easy fight, but is purely rewarding.
Need to know
Before you pack your cameras, food, and beverages, there are couple of things to remember. You should dress in layers and bring clothes warm enough for the weather. Also, make sure to bring plenty of water to avoid dehydration. If you’re heading far out, you might want to bring some rubber boots in case of foul weather.
If you want to get some Bass and explore freshwater fisheries, you will need to purchase a fishing license online which you must have with you when you go out.
Saltwater anglers fishing on permitted for-hire charters don’t need a recreational fishing license.
Gloucester Fishing Seasons
The start of the year is a good time to explore the consistent fishing opportunities, such as Halibut, Cusp, and Cod. Party boats love Cod as they guarantee a fun chase.
Fishing can be a hit and miss, but luckily Halibut, Cod, and Cusp make up for a lack of other species and are great to catch. This is a perfect time to explore bottom and deep sea fishing options.
The weather’s improving and fishing will be even better. You can get Halibut, Cod, and some Winter Flounder.
The spring is here and you’re going to love it. Chase Halibut, Cod, Flounder, or go after Cusp. Later in the month you may come across some eager Bass.
Black Seabass are arriving. Get them to come up from the bottom by using cut squid. You can also get Cod, Cusk, Haddock, Mackerel, and Pollock. Go over sandy bottoms for some Summer Flounder (Fluke).
The actions starts heating up. You can get Sharks out there. Later in the month, Tuna will begin to show up, so head offshore and start trolling. If you’re up for something different, chase Wolfish.
It’s Tuna time far offshore. Wolfish are there too, as well as Tautog. The fisheries are on fire you can get Shark, Mackerel, Bass, Summer Flounder, Pollock, Haddock, Cod, Cusk, to name the most prominent fellas.
The fishing is still on fire. Stay around town and chase Striped Bass, or head to offshore ledges for some Sharks. Around offshore banks and ledges you will also find Tuna, and the bottoms offer Halibut.
You will find a steady bite, whether it’s pelagics or bottom fish you’re after. Bluefin and Yellowfin Tuna are in large numbers, followed by Sharks, Mackerel, Pollock, Haddock, Cod, and Cusk.
The fishing starts to slow down, but you can get an incredible Tuna offshore. Pollock are large in numbers, as well as Cod and Halibut. Mackerel are lower in numbers.
If you head far out, you can still get some Tunas, though their prime time is now behind us. You can also get Halibut, Winter Flounder, Cod, and Cusp.
The bad weather can heavily affect your trip. Some days, even the richest of fisheries produce average results. You can expect a nice number of Halibut, Cod, Cusp, and Winter Flounder.
Gloucester Fishing Calendar
What People Are Saying About Gloucester
"Best Flounder Fishing Experience"
book a charter with Morning Tauk Charters! Captain Mike never disappoints! Mike D.
"1/2 day Coastal Fishing Charters trip"
Book Coastal Fishing Charters. They offer several different fishing trips to cover whatever you want to fish for. Awesome Captain and first mate.
Great Trip. First Class Crew. Book with confidence.
"Half Day Trip with Captain Mike"
Later in the season if you want to catch Bluefin and Stripped Bass.
Top Fishing Techniques in Gloucester
Top Targeted Species in Gloucester
- Size 10 to 30lbs
- Food Value Good
- Game Qualities Good
- Habitats River, Lake, Inshore, Nearshore
- Size 2 to 7lbs
- Food Value Excellent
- Game Qualities Low
- Habitats Offshore, Reef, Wreck
- Size 200 to 600lbs
- Food Value Excellent
- Game Qualities Excellent
- Habitats Offshore
- Size 3 to 15lbs
- Food Value Average
- Game Qualities Average
- Habitats Nearshore, Inshore