Monthly Archives: May 2017

Madaket Harbor Fishing

From mid-may through June Fishing Madaket Harbor is one of the more productive fishing grounds on Nantucket.  It is arguably one of the more under-appreciated fisheries on Nantucket.  So why is Madaket Harbor such a good spot to fish?  1) A ton of water flows through the harbor.  Many people do not realize it, but the opening is 60 feet deep.  That is a lot of water moving through the harbor for the 5-6 hours of a tide cycle.  2) Madaket is incredibly diverse.  Within a three mile stretch you have sand flats, mud flats, mussell beds, eel grass and freshwater outflows.  3) The Northern migration of Striped Bass bring the fish to the island and have the fish intersect with the south shore beaches.  These fish arrive to Nantucket tired and hungry and once they sneak into Madaket Harbor they can warm themselves, belly into the sand to get rid of the sea live, and they can find food.  

One element that makes Madaket Harbor so important to the Nantucket fishery is that  from the South Shore in to Nantucekt Sound there are only two approaches 1) Muskeget Channel and 2) The Opening.  It is important to mention this is a significant amount of the water that fills nantucket sound comes from this opening.  A lot of food and fish come through here.

So where should you fish? Eel point is the goto as it not only has easy access, but it has a sand flat on the north side and a deep drop off on the west side and eel grass on the south side.  It is near perfect for fish looking for a meal.  If you are willing to walk to SMith’s point, past the three houses, there are a lot of fish that hang at the edge of the eel grass and than many of these fish will spend the evening hours in the surf on the outside finding bait that is pushed around.

If you are fortunate enough to get on a boat, Tuckernuck is littered with nooks and crannies that hold a ton of fish.  It is a wild and incredible spot.  



Nantucket Striped Bass Fishing…Slack Tide?

Last week I wrote about the need for the tide to be moving to catch Nantucket Striped Bass.  As a charter fishing captain, I do believe in the predictability of catching fish.  That being said, I love memorable days.  We are put on this good earth to not only create memories, but to seek out memories.  Slack Water brings this possibility.   WHile many point out that bait fish are way more in control during slack tide and that Striped Bass hate working so why would they want to feed during slack tide I would agree.  

Experience though, tells me that some of my best days of fishing have come during slack tide fishing.  For starters as the water stops moving, the fish no longer feel the need to stay on the bottom, so they often rise through the water column.  It is most important though when trying to understand fish, to think through what is happening with the bait.  We all know that the opportunity to eat drives the decisions of Nantucket Striped Bass.  When the tide slacks out the baitfish become more in control and they can now feed rather than follow the current.  The baitfish often feed by working together with their “school” and this provides an opportunity for predator fish to attack.  What is best about this from a fishermen’s perspective is that during slack tide, just like with Tuna Fish, Nantucket Striped Bass often feed on the surface and feed actively and aggressively.  

It is spectacular to be around.  If you are planning a trip, and you have the flexibility to go early try and catch the very end of one tide, sit over a sand bar or an area that holds fish for the slack and than fish the beginning of the next tide. My perfect world of fishing is the very beginning of slack, take the next hour off and than as soon as the tide is moving consistently, fish again….

Take risks when fishing. The opportunity for memories becomes endless.