June 4 2018

Fishing The Flats Of Cape Cod Bay During June


Ryan Collins

Cape Cod Bay has some of the most expansive sand flats in all the world. If you look on Google Earth, you can clearly see shallow water sand flats running from Barnstable Harbor east, all the way to Eastham, and then north to Wellfleet.

The flats is one of the most unique environments on the east coast of America. When surrounded by miles of sandbars at low tide, one can feel as if they have been transported to an entirely different planet. 

June in particular is a terrific month to spend some time exploring and fishing the many miles of flats in Cape Cod Bay. The area can produce well no matter if you are fishing from a boat, kayak or on foot. 


It’s also possible to do well over the flats using a variety of different approaches. If you like fly fishing then terrific, because you can most certainly catch fish over the flats on the fly.

Spin anglers can do well tossing large poppers that imitate herring, or they can go ultra light with small soft plastics that mimic sand eels. Folks fishing from boats can live-line mackerel, sight cast, or even snap wire, troll plugs or troll tube and worm along the deep water edge of the flats. 

In this post I’ll share with you some simple strategies, areas worth checking out, and other words of wisdom from my experience fishing the flats.

Specifically we’ll discuss the importance of tides, safety on the flats, techniques, general areas and other advice I feel will be useful for anyone thinking about fishing and exploring this super cool area of Cape Cod. 

  • Ryan, Heading up your way in a week with my son for some fishing. The flats look interesting at the least. Please let me know what would be a good option for us to diversify some other than the canal.

    • Hey Patrick ??

      Are you a member of My Fishing Cape Cod?

      I just searched our member database but couldn’t locate an account for you.

      If you’d like, please sign up and then send me a message via [email protected] and I will do my best to point you in the right direction. ✌?

  • Good piece Ryan- Have you ever tried fishing the flats with the fly rod? Are sand eels the predominant bait?

    Also where are the access points for getting to the flats you are referring to in the blog?


    • Hey Brian – for access points please fire me a direct message in the forum and I will send you some links ??

      I have not yet fished the flats with the fly rod but I definitely will soon. Believe it or not the predominant bait this week were mackerel and squid. However there are always crabs, and during the summer, sand eels.

      • Yes Ryan, great piece especially the cautions about carrying a compass. A couple of years ago one of the guys at goose hummock made that point emphatically. I did some scouting in the off season and got stoked. The flats are literally just down the street from my home in Eastham on the bay side. I’ve fished south sunken meadow half a dozen times last year usually targeting the last 2 hrs of the incoming tide till the first 2 hrs of the outgoing tide without much luck except for feeding the no see ums even when there no breeze ( even with deet liberally applied). Perhaps the hike out at low tide may be productive. I’ve been hitting the small parking lots at beaches in Brewster, but noticed that it’s by permit after 6/15. Do they check and ticket after 6pm ? Eastham does not check after 5-6 pm. If so I too would appreciate alternative parking spots. I’m heading out to Skaket tonight. Thanks, Rich

      • Hey Ryan – i sent you a direct message, hoping it went through as it was my first time using that feature

        • Yep I got the direct message and just replied yesterday.

          Rich you can also send me a direct message in the forum if you’d like and I’ll share with you some access points. ??

  • Great piece Ryan. I could see how one could get caught up in the moment and forget how far from shore they are. Though I’ve never fished there it sounds like an incredible spot.

    • It is a gorgeous spot. If you are nervous about walking out at low tide, then just go at high tide. The flats can be even more productive 2 hours before to 2 hours after the high. Tight lines Mark!

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