On our last summer vacation to Cape Cod in August, we were looking for some new Cape Cod activities to experience. We’d always gone mini-golfing a few times, explored the shops, and visited several popular Cape Cod beaches. We decided to book a Cape Cod fishing trip – something we had never done as a family before.
There are quite a few options for Cape Cod fishing trips, with many smaller charter companies located throughout the region. These are typically companies with just one or two ships, however. So, you’ll want to try to book as early as possible, especially if you have a strong preference for time and/or date. Here are some of the things to consider when booking a Cape Cod fishing trip.
Cape Cod Fishing Trips For Your Next Family Vacation
You’ll find many different Cape Cod charter fishing boats throughout Cape Cod, including locations in Yarmouth, Chatham, Harwich Port,, West Dennis, Hyannis, and Falmouth. So, unless you have a very specific fishing experience that you want to have, you are likely to find a company located wherever you are staying.
During our trip, we grabbed a few flyers from a local tourist attraction. From there, we looked at reviews online and then booked the option closest to us. You can also do an online search to see which places are most recommended based on the type of fishing and the amount of time you want to go.
Keep in mind that fishing requires patience, and younger kids may quickly get bored. These typically aren’t quick trips, and once you are out you are committed to the trip. They are also pretty expensive, so you’ll want to make sure that everyone will enjoy the trip. Some companies offer kid fishing trips which are shorter and are better for younger kids.
What Type of Fishing is Available on Cape Cod
Depending on a number of factors like location, length of charter, and time of year, your charter will probably target certain types of fish. Local fish in the Cape Cod bay area includes haddock, striped bass, bluefin tuna, mahi-mahi, bluefish, flounder, pollock, and cod.
Deep sea fishing and bottom fishing trips are also offered and sometimes take place over one or two days. There are also private fishing excursions, and group trips. The group trips are typically more affordable, but you won’t have as much one on one assistance.
When we booked our fishing excursion, we were more concerned about the length of the trip and the available dates, and less concerned about the type of fish. But if you do have a preference, it’s a good idea to review all of the information about the charter before you book.
What To Look For in a Fishing Charter on Cape Cod
When you look to book your trip, there are some factors we recommend looking at. As always, we suggest looking at current online reviews before making your decision. Things have changed quite a bit in the last two years, so current reviews are definitely preferred.
You’ll also want to find out some things before you book. Price is a big consideration, as these trips typically aren’t cheap. With rising gas prices, you may find that your fishing charter has raised prices for the current year, or is charging a fuel surcharge. Always check before committing.
You’ll also want to find out what is offered on the boat. For a longer trip, especially with children, it can be helpful to have a restroom onboard (however rudimentary it is). You’ll also want to know what type of fishing equipment is provided. Most families will want everything – bait and rods – included, and most charters do include these things.
Do you want to take your catch home and cook it? Most charters will filet your catch for you right on the ship. If you are staying at a hotel, you won’t want to bring anything home. But, if you are in a vacation home, this can be a great way to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
You’ll also want to find out what is provided for you. Typically, you’ll have to pack your own snacks, beverages, etc, and you’ll want to be prepared.
Check the weather policy before you go. Most trips will go in the rain, but not if there is a marine advisory.
How to Plan For Your Fishing Trip and What to Bring
These are long trips, so you’ll need to prepare in advance so that you have a successful excursion. You may both be hot and cold during the trip (especially one that leaves early in the morning), so pack layers. Sunscreen and a hat are both essential, as are shoes that aren’t slippery. Make sure you apply the sunscreen before you go, and then bring it with you so that you can reapply as necessary.
If you are prone to seasickness, you’ll want to decide whether or not to take medication. Keep in mind that most options have to be taken in advance so you should think about this before you go.
You’ll also want to pack snacks and drinks. It will probably get hot, so be sure to bring water. You may also want to pack a cooler, especially for longer trips. That way, everything will stay cold.
Taking a Cape Cod fishing trip can be such a fun, unique experience for families. With these tips, you should be able to completely enjoy your excursion, and may even get to take some fish back with you!
Additional resources: Looking for more Cape Cod travel tips? Click to see our guide with town recommendations, things to do, restaurants, and more in Cape Cod.