May 12 2022

Early May Haddock Fishing Report


I've really been looking forward to haddock fishing this spring, so when I got a text from My Fishing Cape Cod member Eddy Kooyomjian asking if I wanted to go haddock fishing with him on May 6th, I jumped at the opportunity!

Haddock are a beautiful bottom dwelling fish with delicate white meat that you'll find on restaurant menus throughout Cape Cod and New England. Over the last couple of years I've really taken an interest in eating what I catch, so I was very excited to get underway and harvest some fresh seafood.

During this trip Eddy and I enjoyed perfect flat calm conditions.

We'll talk more about the general area we fished later in this report.

During most of the year haddock remain offshore in deep water. However during the spring they will often move in shallower, which makes them easier to target from a small boat. We'll talk more about some general areas where you can find haddock later in this report.

Haddock are not surface feeders like bluefish, stripers and tuna. Instead you will find vast shoals of haddock carpeting the bottom as they feast upon clams, shrimp, worms, small fish and much more.

My Fishing Cape Cod member Eddy Kooyomjian of Monomoy Tackle (left) has a 21 foot Steiger Craft which I've now fished from on two occasions. During our first trip together I captured some eye opening underwater footage of sea robin schools which you can check out here.

The past few days on Cape Cod (from May 7-11) have been gale conditions with rain and strong winds from the northeast. However, on May 6th it was the "calm before the storm" and Eddy and I hoped to make the most of this small weather window.

Upon arriving we noticed a fleet of perhaps 30 boats. Some of the boats were anchored, while others were drifting. Eddy chose a spot where he has done well in the past and we started getting ready to fish. Suddenly we heard a splash and a loud spout noise off the starboard side - it was a whale!

Minke whales can live for up to 50 years and weigh 20,000 pounds. Current threats facing minke whales include entanglement in fishing gear, climate change, ship strikes, ocean noise, whaling and plastic in the ocean.

I'm not sure exactly what species of whale it was, but I think it could have been a minke. Endangered Right whales also visit Cape Cod during this time of the year, so we made sure to give the whale plenty of room, and keep our boat speed below 10 knots, just in case. 

There was absolutely no wind, and conditions were so silent, that we could easily hear people's conversations on the boats around us. The boat off our bow soon began hooking up, and Eddy and I waited in eager anticipation for the first haddock nibble of the day.

With regards to biting baits, haddock are sometimes slow to make up their mind. During this trip I captured over 7 minutes of underwater haddock footage which I will share below in the members-only portion of this report.

Haddock are a fun fish to catch but they don't fight nearly as hard as other species such as tautog or bluefish. When you hook a haddock you want to slowly bring the fish to the surface to avoid tearing the hook from the haddock's soft mouth.

Over the next couple of hours Eddy and I managed to boat 18 keeper haddock, a 23 inch codfish (which was released) and an oyster toadfish. It ended up being a terrific morning on the water and I went home with plenty of fresh haddock fillets which I've been sharing with my family.

In the rest of this members-only report we'll dive deeper into the technique, bait and tackle we used to catch the haddock. I will also share with you never-before-seen underwater video of haddock biting our rigs.

During this trip I encountered the best haddock fishing of my life, and the fact that I was able to harvest the fish and enjoy my own locally caught seafood was the icing on the cake!

About the author 

Ryan Collins

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!

  • Great article I am one of those smaller boats I’m going to be targeting haddock Thursday evening and Saturday morning hopefully with a little luck I can bring some fresh fish home
    Thanks again for the great article

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