An island thirty miles off the southern coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Nantucket is a popular tourist destination and summer colony, thanks mainly to its stunning sceneries, charming communities, fun activities, top-tier accommodations, and first-rate restaurants. The small island’s population is around 10,000 during the off-seasons. Still, it swells significantly to five times that number in the summer when part-time residents, as well as tourists from all over the world, flock to the island to enjoy its beauty.
Nantucket was initially a whaling town between 1750 and 1840. In fact, the island is one of the major whaling ports in North America. The island’s whaling industry was even immortalized in Herman Melville's beloved novel “Moby Dick”. Two of the novel’s main characters, Captain Ahab and First Mate Starbuck, are both Nantucketers. However, in the late 1800s, the whaling industry saw a decline due to the increased use of alternative fuels such as coal and turpentine at the onset of the industrial revolution.
Due to this development, Nantucket shifted from a whaling town to what it is today—a popular vacation spot. The “Far Away Land” has now become a major tourist draw, offering top-tier accommodations—from chic hotels and inns to charming rental homes; as well as fun and relaxing activities and attractions—from its picturesque beaches, historical lighthouses and museums, world-class restaurants and boutiques, to exciting water sports including surfing and fishing.
Recreational fishing is definitely one of the most in-demand activities in Nantucket, especially from June to mid-October. That’s because when the waters begin to warm up around the island, popular game fish like bluefish, stripers, false albacore, and bonito start to migrate near the island’s shores to feed on sand eels, herring, and squid. These fish are great for beginners as you can pretty much catch them using light tackle spin or fly rods while fishing inshore—from the beach to the number of docks located around the island.
If you’re looking for some adventure and a bit of a challenge, we highly suggest renting a small boat or a kayak and head out a bit farther from the coast and catch cod, bluefish, and stripers that are a bit bigger and a lot harder to reel in. You can either use a light to medium spinning tackle equipped with 50-100 yards of the line for you to be able to have enough control and power and catch these tenacious fighters. It’s best to hire a seasoned Nantucket fishing guide to know where exactly you can catch the most and the best fish. Hiring a local guide would mean he or she would teach you all the valuable techniques and tricks in landing the different fish species found in the waters around the island.
Now, if you’re willing to push your fishing skills to the limit, we highly recommend targeting huge tuna, sharks, mahi-mahi, and marlin offshore in the open waters of the Northern Atlantic via Nantucket fishing charters. Not only will you be able to catch some of the best fish available out there, but there’s an excellent chance of seeing different types of whales, including humpback minke, finback, and pilot whales.
Several charter fishing boats are operating around the island, and you should do some background check of each one—making sure that the captain and crew have the experience not just in fishing but with providing the best service. Choosing the right fishing charter means choosing the right boat that is well maintained and comes with the right equipment for the specific fish you’re planning to catch. Although you can bring your own tackle, choosing a fishing boat with the right equipment means you’ll be able to continue fishing if any of your gear breaks.
As any Nantucket fishing guide would tell you, the island is practically littered with some of the best fishing locations that are teeming with marine life. For you to have a general idea of why the island is such an angler’s paradise, we list down some of the best spots you can fish in: