A Day Of Fishing Off Cape Cod

A Beautiful Day on The Water

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Who caught the bigger fish? Does it really matter? A few of us were lucky enough to go on an afternoon fishing trip with Capeshores Charters thanks to the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance. We left from the Chatham Fish Pier at low tide. Our Captain, Bruce Peters, gave us some insight to the changes in the channels since the past year. We talked about seals and sharks and sunken ships like the location of the Pendleton and the rips and cuts that boats have to cross to get out to open water.

We pulled a few lobster pots and learned a bit about lobster fishing and the struggles the local fisherman have every season. From careless fishing lines to theft to mother nature herself, it seemed as if the odds constantly work against our local lobster-men. A couple of us even learned how to band lobster claws – and only one got pinched! Bruce showed us the “whale friendly” break-away rings on his lobster pot lines that I have heard so much about in recent years.  

Speaking of whales, we were lucky enough to see a small pod of minke whales right off the bow of our boat, the Marilyn S! 

We also fished. Although there were not many striped bass biting that day, we managed to catch 2. The rest of our catch was bluefish (one of my favorites). We learned that a $5,000 computerized fish-finder is no better than a good eye and a flock of birds when it came to locating a school of fish. It was also the first time I got to reel in a blue fish and I had no idea how much they fight. 

Of course if you want a fight, you would hire Bruce to take you tuna fishing. Unfortunately, Bruce told us about the reality between the TV show “Wicked Tuna”. The fish stocks are out of balance in the area. Specifically, Bruce told us about the depletion of mackerel. Without mackerel, the tuna are seeking other food and not gaining the weight a prized fish should have.  Smaller tuna and poorer quality meat drops the price for each catch and thus hurts the fishermen. Balance. We need better balance to sustain the industry for small boat fisherman. 

After a while, the fog rolled in and the fish quieted down. I looked at the smiles on everyone’s face as they day dreamed or swapped stories about the best seafood restaurant on the Cape. I was surprised to learn that one of the guests had lived on the Cape for over 30 years without ever going on a boat to fish! He was as satisfied with seeing the small group of whales as he was catching a few bluefish. He sat with a content smile on his face for most of the trip.

Bruce did a great job answering all of our questions about fishing and oceanography. He was also great coach as we reeled in each fish blended with just enough Cape Cod fisherman sarcasm to keep us all on our toes!

Since we each landed several bluefish, I thought I might share this recipe from the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance:



About Cat Wilson

Cat Wilson is "That Girl" on Cape Country 104 – a Cape Cod native and longtime Cape radio personality. She is a passionate supporter of Military and Veteran causes on the Cape and also hosts local music spotlight program, “The Cheap Seats” on Ocean 104.7.

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