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2019 in Review: A Cape Cod Bay Charter Captain’s Perspective

As I begin collecting my thoughts for this post, I am sitting at the helm of my charter boat the WINGMAN for the last time this season.

My fingers are shriveled, my jeans and boots are wet, and there are scents of wax and detergent in the air from the past several hours of cleaning.

I’ve just completed prepping my boat for winter. WINGMAN is currently tucked in beside my garage and the guys are on their way to begin shrink wrapping.

As I wait, I begin thumbing through my logbook, and I sense a smile creep across my face as I recall wonderful times and great folks I had aboard during the 2019 season while fishing Cape Cod Bay.


Thank You MFCC

During the 2019 season, I fished with many My Fishing Cape Cod members, who now join the many great people I’ve had the pleasure of fishing with over the past few years. 

These members have also become friends!

3-year My Fishing Cape Cod member Mike Marcus (above) fished with Steve several times during 2019. Mike is pictured here with a big bluefish the guys caught in Cape Cod Bay during October. Mike and Steve have since become good friends. You can read Mike's report about this trip by clicking here.

The interesting thing about this diverse group was the common thread that ran through them all...

Everyone I fished with had a love for fishing and time shared on the water with family and friends.

They also had a desire to learn about Cape Cod and the fishing methods we employ.

Diverse Backgrounds

Folks I fished with hailed from 6 different countries and 17 states. Their ages ranged from pre-teen to 70+.

Crews included moms, dads, husbands, wives, grandpas and grandmas, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, buddies, girlfriends, boyfriends and business associates.

What I found most interesting was their varied walks of life. 

During 2019 I fished with:

  • First Responders
  • School Teachers
  • Students (College, High and Elementary School)
  • Doctors
  • Lawyers
  • Carpenters
  • Chimney Sweepers
  • Waitresses
  • Military Pilots/Airline Pilots
  • Veterans
  • Masons
  • Engineers
  • Plumbers
  • Chefs & Bakers
  • Bartenders
  • Corporate CEOs
  • Retirees
  • Golfers
  • College Deans/Professors
  • Marketeers
  • Domestic and Foreign Business Owners
  • Nurses
  • Musician
  • Auto Mechanics
  • Truck Drivers
  • Sup/Kayak Instructor
  • Hairdressers
  • Electricians
  • Day Care Providers
  • Cabinet Makers
  • Homemakers

Many were first-time visitors to Cape Cod.

They had heard how beautiful it is here, with so much to see, and they had also heard about the amazing fishery we have.

The only regrets shared were those who expressed that they didn’t plan enough time on the Cape. 

Viewing and experiencing the Cape through their eyes always makes me appreciate where I live and the business I am grateful to be in.

During 2019 in Cape Cod Bay we were fortunate to have some truly remarkable charters with outstanding trolling and top water action.

Some of the best bluefish and striper fishing I’ve ever been a part of occurred in the bay this past June, July and September. 

Nevertheless, the excitement of those "epic trips" did not surpass the slower memory-maker days, when kids and adults alike, caught their first Cape Cod striper.

It is indeed akin to a rite of passage for some, and something I’ll never tire being a part of. 

Big Thank You To First Mate:
Mark Beal

In 1859, upon a visit to the Cape, Henry David Thoreau wrote that... 

“The duck does not take to the water with a surer instinct than the Barnstable Boy”.

My 15-year-old mate, Mark Beal from Barnstable Village perfectly encapsulates this phrase. It’s not uncommon to see Mark on his bike or skateboard zipping through town on his way to Millway Marina to work a charter.

Mark is in his second season with me and 2019 was a tremendous year for him. 

By season’s end Mark was running the back of the boat, doing the sets, assisting in the landing of fish, as well as connecting, instructing and entertaining the customers. 

We do have to work on filleting fish, but we’ll get there!

Helpful Articles From 2019

During this past season I shared articles here on MFCC about safe boating, wire line fishing, saltwater reel maintenance, and the benefits of keeping a log and networking.

These posts are still available in their entirety on the MFCC website. Simply click the "Read More" button below to access an article in its entirety. 👇

In Conclusion

2019 was an awesome season during which I had the privilege of having some great folks aboard for memorable days of fishing.

Becoming a member and sponsor of My Fishing Cape Cod, and working together with Ryan and Lauren, has been rewarding in many ways, and I am thankful for that.

The author captain Steve Leary (left) with MFCC founder Ryan Collins (right) at the Chatham Squire.

Being welcomed to join “Team Goose” as a Pro-Staff member at the Goose Hummock and receiving great support from owner and captain Phil Howarth and staff has also been humbling.  

A few years ago I made a wise decision to purchase a NorthCoast boat and have since become a Pro-Staff member for Team NorthCoast.  I could not have chosen a more durable, reliable and seaworthy platform for my charter business. The DaPonte family of C&C Fiberglass in Bristol Rhode Island builds and stands by a great selection of boats. It feels like going home each time I visit there.

This will be my last post for this season. They will resume after the first of the year. As always feel free to contact me with questions and suggestions on topics you’d like me to address.

At the end of the day, no matter how big or small your business is, it all comes down to the people and how you treat them.  Thanks to you all.

Happy Holidays! 🎣

Captain Steve Leary

WINGMAN Sportfishing

Barnstable Harbor, Cape Cod


Win a trip with


Steve has generously donated a fishing charter as a raffle item at the February 22 MFCC Breakfast. Attend the breakfast for your chance to win! Click below to learn more & register online.

What do you think?

Let me know by commenting below.

  1. We were lucky enough to win our first trip with Steve and his first mate mark. Brought a couple of friends who have not fished before and we had a great time. So great we booked another one and brought more friends. Can’t wait to get out there in 2020! Happy New Year Steve and to all Mfcc members.

    1. Happy New Year Jeanne,
      Today’s early morning fog here on the Cape reminded me of our last trip. Recall, we had pretty thick fog in spots where we could hear but not see fish smashing on the surface. Then the sun burned off a few layers revealing the tops of the Sandy Neck dunes and acres of fish as far as we could see. I look forward to having you and your friends aboard again this season.

      I’ll be looking for you at the MFCC Breakfast on Feb 22nd.

  2. My daughter Anne and I had a fantastic charter with Captain Steve this summer. In addition to catching monster blues and stripers he took the time to show me how to better use the electronics on my own boat and introduced me to fishing Hootchie lures – I’ve had the pleasure of fishing with great Captains all around the country and Steve is right there with the best of them! I look forward to many more trips on Wingman.
    Happy New Year
    Paul Davey

    1. Hey Paul,
      Happy New Year. Thank you very much for the kind words.
      I look forward to having Anne and you aboard Wingman again
      in 2020. Also, I have a “friend” who would enjoy kayak fishing with you here on Cape Cod this coming season.
      Take Care!

  3. Super nice blog Captain! A nice 2019 recap and very cool on the diversity of fisherman/women!

    1. Leslie,
      I am glad you enjoyed the post.
      As my business grows we get more women anglers aboard who really enjoy the time on the water and fishing.
      Happy New Year,

  4. Fishing aboard “Wingman” with Captain Steve and First mate Mark is a quintessential Cape Cod charter fishing experience. From his meticulously clean boat with well planned gear and knowledge of the Cape waters, the Wingman experience will be a forever memory to cherish. With 3 Wingman charters under my belt I look forward to future charters – every one an extremely enjoyable and fish filled adventure. Steve Leary is a gentleman that loves fishing and making sure his fishing guests have a great experience is his passion.

    1. Thanks so much Mike!
      Happy New Year.
      More adventures to come in 2020.


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