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Fishing East Of Chatham During July

Ryan Collins

During the heat of summer on Cape Cod, the waters east of Chatham are deep and cold, especially compared to the shallow and warm waters of Nantucket and Vineyard Sound.

Not far offshore the bottom drops off considerably and depths of 100 feet are located within just a few miles of the beach. A strong and swift ocean current mixes cold water and nutrients, attracting a melting pot of different species of fish, mammals, sharks and birds. 

I first fished east of Chatham when I was in my early twenties, and compared to other areas of the Cape, the waters east of Chatham are still relatively new to me. However in the past decade I’ve learned a lot about the fishery (and the fog).

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In this post I will focus on the month of July, which is when I most often find myself making the trek to Chatham. We’ll discuss bluefin tuna, whales, bait, general areas and other tips I feel are worth mentioning to anyone fishing east of Chatham this July.

I’m fortunate to have grown up on the beach, and I’ve been fishing since kindergarten. I have great family, friends and fishing experiences to be thankful for. Just being out there is enough-catching fish is just a bonus!

  1. There’s nothing like going out of Ryders Cove and going past Chatham light in the wee hours of the morning! Quintessential Cape Cod!

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    1. Well said Leslie 🙌🏻

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  2. That looks like the “Ezyduzit” in your cover photo Ryan. That’s the boat that Greg Skomal uses to tag White Sharks. Bill Chaprales is the Captain. Ava and I ran into him once on his lobster boat on his way out of Sandwich Marina. He is a lobster fisherman when he is not tagging sharks.

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    1. Yes it very well could be. I took that photo east of Chatham a few years ago and I know they were in the area that day.

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  3. I used to launch out of Stage Harbor and then go out the Old Southway to get to the open ocean. The route to get out sounds similar to that from Ryders Cove, a narrow winding channel surrounded by flats. When the tide comes in and the flats are covered you have to follow the channel markers precisely or you will soon be surrounded by water less than 2 feet deep. You’re right about the fog Ryan. One day the fog came in so thick that I couldn’t see 20 feet away from the boat which meant I couldn’t see the channel markers or even the shore. Luckily I had put the channel markers in as waypoints on my GPS so I was able to follow those marks back to Stage Harbor. On the way back I picked up two other boats who had no idea where they were or how to get back. It was a little parade through the fog all the way back to Stage.
    If you fish the west side of South Monomoy be careful of Point Rip. It can be really nasty!

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    1. All I can say is thank god for GPS and radar!

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