Monthly Archives: April 2017

Nantucket Striped Bass Fishing… Moving Water is necceary

Nantucket Striped Bass Fishing is what most clients dream about when booking a charter. As a charter boat captain I schedule my trips to leave the dock when the tide is just starting to move.  I do this because we are told that we catch more fish when the tide is moving.  Why you ask, its fairly simple: Striped Bass like all other species that need to feed themselves hate to work, they like the bait brought right to them.  That’s why fish stay near rocks or on the backside of sandbars or in holes, they want to eat as much and work as little as possible.  Bait is difficult to catch, unless a current is moving and the bait is out of control.

This is even more true with the ocean’s superfood…squid.  Squid truly are the ocean’s super food.  Just about every pelagic specie eats squid at some point in their life cycle.  The issue with squid and Striped Bass, is that Squid are hard to catch and in the open water, in fact, many argue impossible.  But with a moving current, especially one that moves at 5-7 knots, the squid don’t stand a chance and the Striped Bass now have the advantage.  Especially over a shallow offshore rip where the squid can not go up or down.

Nantucket Striped Bass Fishing is awesome… but it is different than many other places. In Block Island the Stripers hang around the rocks and you must use weight and fish off the bottom.  In the Canal, the fish are on the bottom behind all the boulders waiting for the bait to flush past them like in a river.  Off Cuttyhunk fishermen use cut nait to attract the bass out from the depths.  Nantucket Striped Bass Fishing is different as our deepest stretch of water is 30 feet, we have very little rocks and we have a TON of squid, which is a bass’s super food.  So to catch these fish, we must find them when they are at their most aggressive. Bass are at their most aggressive early in a tide cycle and when the bait just shows up.  There are times when you see fish get explosive when the tide lays down, and while that situation is epic…its not consistent.


For more info check out the following article

Bill Fisher Outfitters…Who is our perfect customer?

When we receive a call from a customer looking for a Nantucket Fishing Charter, we rarely sell ourselves before asking the customer some questions.  You see, if we take the right person fishing, we know that that person will be a customer for life.  In five years we have grown from 1 boat to 5 boats.  This is not luck nor marketing, but providing customers with a great experience.  That being said, we know that we are not 100% perfect.  We do know if someone is the right fit to fish with us and the fishing isn’t perfect, that customer will understand, but rarely, if we take the wrong customer can we win them back.

So who is the “wrong customer?” This actually has nothing to do with personality or whether they treat people poorly…(We don’t want those people fishing with us anyway) but understanding a clients expectation.  When you fish with Bill Fisher Outfitters, we make you work.  We take you to where the fish are, we will teach you to cast, but ultimately, the success of the experience falls on the fisherman, not on the captain.  Often the spots we take customers is bumpy or uncomfortable, but we do this because the fishing is worth it.  If someone wants a casual boat ride and just wants to troll and be part of the action, we are not the guys for you.

This does not mean though, that we are the Nantucket Fishing Charter for just the die hard… we are not.  We like to think that we service the die hard, but love fishing with the person/people/families that want an authentic fishing experience.  We want people to come with us and feel as if they are part of the experience.  That what they are doing is unique and that they are gaining a skill and learning the whole time.  If you are a hard core fly guy who wants a 30 lber we can do that… If you are a dad who wants to take your kids and wife and teach them what Fishing Nantucket is all about, we are your guys, if you simply want to get on the water for a few hours and pick your feet up and watch the boat catch fish, look elsewhere.  At BFO, we will put you to work, but you will love it, assuming you are willing.  That is the Nantucket Fishing Charter outfit that we are.

Most importantly though, when you get off the boat, we don’t want this to be a check the box experience… We want this to be a trip you talk about.  Whether we catch one fish or 30, we want it to be memorable and we will work to make sure it is.

Tight Lines,


The 5 best beach fishing spots on Nantucket in June

The 5 best Nantucket Beach Fishing Spots in June are…

  1. Eel Point
  2. Coatue (inside)
  3. Coatue (outside)
  4. Cisco
  5. Hoiks Hollow

I can not believe I just create a list of the best Nantucket Beach Fishing spots and didn’t include Great Point.  There are a number of great Nantucket Striped Bass fishermen who are going to crawl out of their grave and come find me.  The truth though, is that Great Point doesn’t really light up in June much anymore, or at least not for the last 3-5 years.  Yes, the outside of Great Point can be excellent, but if the outside of Great Point is excellent, than Hoiks Hollow will be out of control.

To best understand the above list of Nantucket Beach Fishing Spots, one first needs to understand the pattern of bait around Nantucket.  In June, the sand eels have yet to arrive, the island has the first run of squid, crab are plentiful and a variety of small herring and other hatchling baitfish have pushed into our waters just ahead of the stripers.  In june, the blues are just showing up, but they are mostly on the south side.  The Striped Bass too are mostly on the South side and than swing around through madaket to the warm refuge of the flats/eel point/ and the harbors.  

The Striped Bass start their migration north in the early Spring coming from the chesapeake, and Hudson mostly.    It is rumored that they follow a certain temperature water, but that isn’t exactly true, they are more following the creation of bait that gets moving chasing the algea growth of the warm water.  The big fish simply follow the food.  But Fish that are migrating in the Spring are more focused on feeding and exploring than simply moving, so when Striped Bass hit Nantucket they tend to stay for a few weeks as the water is warm, relative to the open ocean, and the food is plentiful, again due to the warmth of the water relatively and the outflow of freshwater produced from the island.  So the first Striped Bass tend to arrive in May on the South Side and they quickly find the warm waters mentioned above.  Eel point is such a great fishery because it is the highway of fish coming to the northside of the island from the South Shore.  Any fish trying to get to Nantucket Harbor, needs to go via Eel Point.    

After the fish get to the warmer, easier to navigate, and food abundant North Shore, they tend to either go into the harbor to forage or to the beaches of coatue to warm themselves.  This is why I mention both.  If you are fishing Nantucket in June fish either side of high tide around 2nd point and head to the beach for the low part of the tide.  On the outside you will have the opportunity to sight fish.

The last two on the list are Cisco and Hoiks Hollow.  Cisco is where most of these fish show first and so while fish that have been around for awhile tend to head North, those that are just showing up tend to hit the South Shore.  As the month moves on and the smaller fish move North, the large fish tend to stay on the South Shore as the bait piles up and it becomes easy feeding.  On a good June, the East side of the island gets a separate push of fish that somehow missed the island, hit the eastern sandbars and push in to find food.  Luckily for us, when they push in, they find the east side of the island…most notably Hoiks Hollow.  Go fish any of the above locations and you stand a good chance of having a day/night to remember.


A few other great locations


Nantucket Surf Casting : Some ideas to help you get on the water

As most of you are finding out, we love cool videos. We do not mind watching videos from all over the world, but videos of home tend to make us the most happy.  While our bread and butter is fishing from the boat in Nantucket Waters, all of the guides love to put their feet on the beach.  Nantucket Surf Casting for Bass, Blues, and Albies  is an experience more need to be a part of.  SO many talk about fishing from the Nantucket Beach’s, but not enough do it. Too many think Nantucket Surf Casting is intimidating. 

The hardest part about becoming a good surf caster is simply starting…  Surf casting is intimidating.  Lots of questions arise right away, what beach should I go to? when in the tide cycle should I go? When in the day should i go?  When I get to the beach where should I start casting? should I use a surface lure or subsurface lure….

In this article I do not have a hard and fast answer to all of these questions, but I do have the answer that should calm your nerves.  The best time to surf cast is when you can, the best location is where you can, the best lure is what feels right and most importantly have fun doing it.  Of course I have over-simplifed, but like so much else in life, we all want success right away and we all want the answers to problems others have spent years solving.  All of the great fisherman share one common trait, they have logged time on the water.  The only way you will know when in the tide cycle a bass will make its way into the west lobe of polpis harbor is to be there over multiple tide cycles. Try the rise, try the fall and try dead tide. Everyone always says fish when the water is moving.  I don’t disagree if we want to play statistics, but some of my best outings have been on slack tide.  on the slack fish are no longer controlled by the tide, but they are now free to round up the bait and sometimes this leads to fantastic fishing.  Point being, always be trying something new.  Over time, you will discover little tricks that make fishing more productive.

The one “trick” I will let you in on when surf casting from Nantucket is never fish just one spot on the beach.  I always suggest to people to move your feet slowly while you cast.  This will allow you to cover LOTS of water.  When you hook up on a fish, stay put for a while and see if another shows.  When you hook up, try and understand why.  No beach is a straightline… are you on a point or a curve in?  you must understand what you are doing and why.

Nantucket Surf Casting can be frustrating.  Don’t let it be, let it be enlightening.  Don’t compare yourself to others and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Beach Fishing Video

What Fishing Lures do you recommend for Striped Bass on Nantucket?

What Fishing Lures do you recommend for Striped Bass on Nantucket?

In the Shallow water (Nantucket Waters such as Nantucket Harbor or Madaket Harbor): you should fish lures that move the water and creates some action on the surface, for example, sluggos, spooks, or poppers. In the shallow waters (harbor etc…) these fish are very explosive and look up as well as down.

In the deep water, something that will create some noise and attract attention: Bombers/swimmers, lead heads, poppers.

From the Nantucket Beaches: Bombers tend to be a go to, in recent years, soft plastics and lead heads have made a big push.  Super Strike Darters are the new lure that people have been using quite a bit.

*** We highly recommend that you are always prepared with multiple types of lures though.  If you notice something is happening on the surface and you only have a diver, that takes away an opportunity to have some fun.  You also want to make sure you have two of every lure that you love.  The Reason why… is if something is working, and you lose it, you want to make sure you have another if something bad happens. You also want to have variety in case you know fish are there and they do not like what you are throwing.

*** My other major recommendation is when you get to where you are going to fish, slow down and try to understand what the fish are doing, how they are feeding, the patterns they are moving in and how you can best connect with them.  Too often fishermen get excited and just throw blindly, without thinking that they are targeting a live fish that survives based on patterns.  If a fishermen can learn to understand these fishes patterns and learn to imitate the baitfish than the opportunity to catch is boundless…