my fishing cape cod logo

Fishing Provincetown

Fishing in Provincetown, Massachusetts goes back centuries, to the time before the Pilgrims. Ancient fishermen once landed mammoth cod, door-size haddock and a variety of other valuable fish species right off the P-town coast.

The fishing today may not be as incredible, but its still pretty darn good. Just a few years ago there were several 1,000 pound giant bluefin tuna caught within sight of Provincetown's Race Point Beach. Large schools of bass and blues also show up at Provincetown throughout the course of spring, summer and fall.

As with most Cape Cod fishing spots, Provincetown fishing changes from season to season. I recall one year where the bass schools were so dense that my sonar began to malfunction. The next summer I couldn't find a fish anywhere. I guess that is what keeps fishing in this area interesting.

Fishing in Provincetown

fishing provincetown

Provincetown is famous for its surfcasting. Decades ago, before the seals, surfcasters would on occasion catch 50 pound bass, 10 pound bluefish, pollock and even tuna from shore. Can you imagine what that must of been like?

The shore fishing is a bit more challenging these days, but if you log in your time you can still find a good bite. It does not happen often, but bass do push bait right up onto the beach here.

If you get lucky you may witness a scene like the one in the below video, which I experienced during 2013.

Bluefish are pretty common at Provincetown too. We often catch them while trolling tubes along the drop off, which is located just offshore.

provincetown fishing

The bottom of the sea floor off Provincetown plummets from 20 to more than 150 feet deep. The structure here is like a sheer cliff edge, just located underwater.

Atlantic mackerel, herring and sand eels are common here. There's a strong current that runs right along the drop off, which definitely helps the fishing.

Provincetown Fishing Tips & Strategies

For bass and blues from shore, night time is definitely the right time. Swimming plugs and live eels are good choices. During the day chunking or fishing fresh dead sand eels is a good idea.

Keep an eye peeled for tuna because they swim incredibly close to shore here. Some summers the tunas are plentiful with many footballs and giants in the area. Other years are less productive.

Trolling spreader bars or soft plastics like Slug-Gos and Hogy's along the surface is a good way to target smaller bluefins.

fishing in provincetown

The most common way to target giants here is to anchor up in deep water and start chumming. It's usually not too difficult to jig up live bait like mackerel or whiting.

Fish a live bait down deep under a balloon or along the surface using a kite. You may have to spend an entire season floating out there before you get bit, but when you do get a bite there's a good chance the tuna will be huge.

provincetown fishing massachusetts

More Info on Fishing Provincetown

If you need more information on Provincetown fishing you can always reach out to us via the MFCC Facebook page.

Stay tuned to the membership side of the blog for more articles and videos about fishing in Provincetown. You can also check out the below fishing reports for first hand accounts of fishing this area:

In Conclusion

When you cast a line from a Provincetown beach, you are in essence casting a line at the edge of America. Fishing Provincetown is a unique and sometimes wild experience.

Visiting Provincetown, its shops, restaurants and bars is also a pretty wild and unique endeavor. The town has a lot of character and you never know what you may see next.

If you need any assistance planning a trip to Provincetown then drop me a line at ryan@myfishingcapecod.com.

I'm happy to help - tight lines and take care,

Ryan

provincetown fishing massachusetts

  1. Hello Ryan
    Will be camping in P.town Aug 6-11 being from northern N.H. surf casting is all new to me wondering if you could offer a tackle list I would need to aquire to take a crack at catching some fish from shore
    Thanks
    Jon

    Reply
    1. Hey Jon,

      I would pick up a topwater lure, a swimmer, and a jig. For example:

      Topwater: http://www.canalbaitandtackle.com/guppy-lures-2-oz/
      Swimmer: http://www.canalbaitandtackle.com/canal-magic-swimmer-transparent-white-6-5-1-5oz-165mm/
      Jig: http://www.canalbaitandtackle.com/savage-sandeel-6-1-5oz-se-j160-se/

      I use a 9ft rod for surfcasting the beaches: http://www.canalbaitandtackle.com/lamiglas-surf-pro-xra-9-spinning-1-3-5oz/

      And I use the Van Staal VR175 reel: https://www.themightyfish.com/products/van-staal-vr-bailed-spinning-reel

      Any similar rod/reel combo will work. You just want to make sure you can pack around 300 yards of 30 pound Power Pro Braid (http://www.canalbaitandtackle.com/power-pro-braid-30-lb-300yd-spool-green/) onto your chosen reel.

      For leader I recommend 30lb fluorocarbon http://www.canalbaitandtackle.com/seaguar-blue-label-original-fluorocarbon-leader-30lb-25yds/

      I would also recommend enrolling in our free surfcasting video course https://myfishingcapecod.com/free-surfcasting-video-course/

      Our forum is also a great resource. Post your question in our forum and I’m sure you’ll get many more helpful replies. https://myfishingcapecod.com/forum

      Tight lines!

      Reply
  2. Hey Ryan,
    I will be spending about a week in Provincetown around the July 4th timeframe. Am interested in saltwater fishing from a small boat for a few days. Is it a good time to fish and what can I expect to catch? Do you have recommendations on bait for that time of year and for boat fishing (locations, etc.) Planning on renting from the local marina in Provincetown.

    Thanks!

    Grant

    Reply
    1. Hey Grant,

      July can be a great time to fish. No guarantees, but July of 2014 was excellent in the Ptown area.

      You can target striped bass and bluefish along the drop off Wood End, Herring Cove Beach and up towards Race Point. You could also try for flounder, fluke and other bottom dwelling fish inside Ptown harbor.

      Fresh sand eels, red tube and worm, and A27 vertical jigs with the green tube tail would be great lures/baits to have onboard.

      You could also try jigging up mackerel using Sabiki rigs in the area around Ptown. Mackerel are fun to catch and make great live bait for striped bass.

      I would definitely check in with Nelsons Bait and Tackle during your stay. The guys in our forum are also very helpful.

      Best,

      Ryan

      Reply
  3. I will be staying in Provincetown from Sept 27 thru Oct 3. I want to do some surf casting. Will this be a good time of year?

    Reply
    1. Possibly the best.

      You’ll have great opportunities from shore or from boat Clay.

      Let me know how it goes!

      Reply
  4. Will be in MA for 2 weeks in mid March and interested in knowing from an avid angler such as yourself as to what there may be to fish for. Will be in North Andover and aren’t familiar with the area. Wasn’t sure if any surf or river fishing is good at this time. Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Hey Nick – March is a bit early for most saltwater fishing. If you are real ambitious, you could fish the back waters of estuaries for holdover stripers, however it will take some work to find and catch them.

      Freshwater is probably a better bet. I am more familiar with fishing in the Cape Cod area, however I think any local ponds in the North Andover area would be worth checking out. Largemouth bass might be stirring by then, and depending on the weather you might be able to fish a freshly stocked pond for trout.

      Just check out the Mass Division Marine Fisheries for their trout stocking plans http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dfg/dfw/hunting-fishing-wildlife-watching/fishing/northeast-district-stocking-.html

      Reply

Leave a Comment