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Brewster, MA Fishing: Bountiful Fishing on the Sea Captain’s Town

Brewster, MA Fishing: Bountiful Fishing on the Sea Captain’s Town
Published: Tuesday, October 5th, 2021
Updated on: Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

Once known as the “Sea Captain’s Town” in the 1800-1900s for the sheer number of sea captains who chose the area as their hometown, Brewster is a Barnstable County coastal town coextensive with Cape Cod. It is known for its quaint atmosphere, public beaches, and historic structures. Though it was first settled in 1656, it was only in 1803 that it became incorporated as its own town. It got its name from the ‘pious Elder of Plymouth’, William Brewster, who acted as the first leader of the Pilgrim Colony at Plymouth.

Back in the late 17th century, the town became prosperous thanks to Stony Brook Grist Mill, a water-powered grist and woolen mill around which the Factory Village grew. Today, visitors can still see the grist mill at the well-preserved Stony Book-Factory Village Historic District. Additionally, houses and stately structures built by the sea captains who once called Brewster their home can still be seen around town to this day. Many of them have been repurposed and turned into historic inns and bed-and-breakfasts.

Apart from its well-preserved history, Brewster is known as being bordered by the unique Brewster Flats, a stretch of tidal sand flats along the Cape Cod Bay shores that are rich in marine wildlife. It is also dotted with beaches, ponds, and brooks that all head to Cape Cod Bay. Seeing these, it is no wonder many sea captains were drawn to this part of Massachusetts.  

Brewster Fishing

With its position on the shores of Cape Cod Bay, as well as the many freshwater ponds and brooks running through town, Brewster is a fishing destination no angler should miss.

If you can only choose one specific area to fish in Brewster, your choice should be Brewster Flats. This unique formation is famous for a reason. It is primarily known as a great spot to sight-fish for striped bass, bluefish, and false albacore. You can fish anywhere close to the shore, and as soon as the water recedes, watch out for the fish in any of the channels on the flats. Watch out for any area that looks dark — particularly weed patches or mussel beds where fish can forage or take cover. If you’re fishing on a boat, use a non-motorized one to prevent spooking your catch away. To prepare for fishing on the flats, one of the most crucial things you must do is to check the weather forecast and tide charts to prevent getting stranded during an unexpected high tide. The most popular ways to fish in this area are via fly fishing on a boat or wading and sight fishing.

Fishing the deeper waters of Brewster Flats during a high tide can also be fruitful if you do it on the Paine’s Creek outlet via a kayak or boat. The outflow here attracts plenty of fish, and you will find success here by using sand eels or smaller skinnies for bait. 

There are no boat ramps at any of the town’s saltwater beaches, but you can still go deep-sea fishing for striped bass, tautog, flounder, cod, bluefish, scup, and black sea bass by booking a chartered boat on the harbors surrounding town, particularly Rock Harbor in Orleans, Saquatucket Harbor in Harwich Port, and Sesuit Harbor, East Dennis. 

Apart from the rich saltwater fishing on Brewster Flats, the town is also known for its many freshwater fishing opportunities. Head to the Roland C. Nickerson State Forest Park, the biggest state forest out on Cape Cod. This state park alone is enough to satiate your freshwater angling needs as it has four ponds you can fish from. One of them is Cliff Pond, one of the best in all of Cape Cod for trout fishing. Here you can target brown trout and rainbow trout as well as largemouth and smallmouth bass, either from a small boat or from the shore. Additionally, Flax Pond is yet another pond in the forest stocked with state-raised brook, brown, and rainbow trout. Go for the part of the pond that’s partially shaded for a more productive fishing experience. Lastly, Higgins Pond has pretty much the same stock as Flax Pond, but here you can also find tiger trout, which locals have caught fly fishing.

Apart from the ponds at Nickerson State Forest Park, the rest of the Brewster still has plenty of freshwater ponds that offer productive fishing. On the border with Orleans, there’s Baker’s Pond. It is stocked with trout regularly and has plenty of largemouth bass as well. It’s popular among boat and kayak anglers, though shore casting can still yield great catch. Do keep in mind that parking is limited around Baker’s Pond, so it might be best to get here to beat the crowd.

Sheep Pond is another popular freshwater pond in town. One might even say that it’s perhaps one of the most famous and best because of its cold water habitat, making it perfect for trout. The waters here are crystal clear and have an average depth of 30 feet, the deepest at 64 feet. Here you can target rainbow, brook, brown, and tiger trout, even during summer in what is known as its coldwater zone at 34 to 43 feet. Aside from the trout with which the pond is regularly stocked, the pond is also home to yellow perch, smallmouth and largemouth bass, bullhead, and sunfish. You can easily access this pond via a paved ramp at Fisherman’s Landing Road. 

Apart from knowing the open seasons and bag and catch limits for certain fish species, do note the many other regulations on recreational fishing, especially if you’re fishing in a new area. For example, here in Brewster, there is a 10 horsepower limit on motorized boats. However, this may vary depending on the body of water you’re fishing, so do check first with authorities, especially if you’re bringing your boat.
 

Top 10 Fish Species in Brewster, MA

The top 10 fish species to catch in Brewster, MA include striped bass, largemouth bass, tautog, bluefish, rainbow trout, brook trout, brown trout, tiger trout, scup, and black sea bass.

Brewster, MA Fishing: Bountiful Fishing on the Sea Captain’s Town Fish species
Largemouth Bass
Largemouth Bass fish

Habitat: Lake, Pond, Rivers

Weight: 2 - 22 Pounds

Length: 15" - 32"

Striped Bass
Striped Bass fish

Habitat: River, Lake, Onshore, Near shore

Weight: 10 - 81 Pounds

Length: 20" - 55"

Rainbow Trout 
Rainbow Trout  fish

Habitat: River, Lake

Weight: 1 - 8 Pounds

Length: 16" - 34"

Bluefish
Bluefish fish

Habitat: Nearshore, Onshore

Weight: 3 - 15 Pounds

Length: 15" - 51"

Brook Trout 
Brook Trout  fish

Habitat: Lake, River

Weight: 1 - 10 Pounds

Length: 10" - 34"

Scup 
Scup  fish

Habitat: Onshore, Nearshore, Reef

Weight: 2 - 4 Pounds

Length: 10" - 18"

Tautog 
Tautog  fish

Habitat: rocky outcrops, boulders, jetties