June 19 2022

Monomoy Rips Fishing Techniques

by Edward Kooyomjian

*This article was originally published on July 11th, 2021.

The Monomoy Shoals, located off the southernmost tip of Monomoy Island, encompass a unique topography made up of pebbles, cobblestones and shifting sands. 

In fact, constant change is embodied by the term Monomoy Island. Currently Monomoy is a true island, but throughout history there have been times when Monomoy was connected to the mainland.

Image from Google Earth

In late spring and summer, the tip of Monomoy offers what I believe to be a truly unique fishing experience. The fishing can be intense and there is something for everyone.  

When I go fishing at Monomoy there is no shortage of variety. On my 21' Steiger Craft I bring spinning gear, trolling outfits, and fluke setups.

You will see all sorts of different boats fishing the rips. Pictured here is the author's boat - a 21ft Steiger Craft.

There are also guides with flats boats who bring customers fly fishing for blues and stripers, as well as bonito and albies later in the summer.  

Larger down east charter boats can also be seen at the rips, fishing wire line with jigs or umbrella rig setups. If you can dream up a way to fish, it is very likely there is a technique that you can employ out on the shoals!

In this writeup I want to focus on some of the specific techniques unique to Monomoy where the position of your boat relative to your position on the rip is critical to success. These are the techniques that I most often utilize when fishing this special area of Cape Cod.

Monomoy Rips Fishing | Geography

Monomoy acts as a dividing line between the shallower, generally warm waters of Nantucket Sound and the much colder, deeper waters of the Atlantic Ocean.  

Images from NOAA

Your first encounter of this ‘barrier’ will be when you ride out to the shoals and the temperature drops 20 degrees on any given day.  On many days, the ride out will be a t-shirt, but when you reach Monomoy Point a sweatshirt is required.  

The abrupt meeting of these waters and temperatures can also result in massive fog. This fog is certainly worth noting and paying attention to, especially if you do not have radar on your boat. 

Many of the shoals and popular fishing spots off Monomoy have names. Over the radio and in tackle shops these specific areas of the shoals are simply spoken of in the first person.  

The primary shoals are as follows...

About the author 

Edward Kooyomjian

Eddy 's been fishing Monomoy for the last 15 yrs. He's a regular contributor inside our forum, sharing updates and tips on a variety of subjects. Recently Eddy began selling his bottom fish rigs which have become popular on MFCC. His company is Monomoy Tackle.

  • This is really useful information. I come over from Hyannis and avoid point rip as it’s super intimidating and instead head all the way to the 14 can as there is usually a nice rip like there then work my way north through the rips near the channels. It’s only my second year out here so I’m pretty cautious as the published depths on the maps are useless.

    • I think you’re being smart by erring on the side of caution. The rips can be a dangerous place for sure. Thanks for the comment Alejandro and I’m glad you found the article valuable. ?

    • Alejandro, I agree with Ryan that it is best to be cautious. The currents and waves have to be respected. There are some days where the rips are tame and you can practice fishing less rods or even no rods and getting familiar with the navigation and how to trim and work the throttle. If you have questions I’m happy to help. Thanks for reading and I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  • One morning about 15 years ago I decided to take a walk along the beach from Chatham Light. Ended up going to the end of South Monomoy and back, 16 miles in total. Lots of fog, seals, and a 6 foot long Tuna that had been washed up onto the beach. April Fools Breach and the new Southway make that impossible today.

    Watch out for Point Rip! It can be really nasty.

  • Cousin Eddy nailed it here. By far my favorite technic is the trolling technique. Definitely the fishiest place on earth and can be dangerous at first so like Eddie said try to go with someone first. Thank you Cousin for writing this, it is very well put together, you nailed it.

  • The info provided is first rate. I have fished these rips several times over the years. I will only add to please watch your drift to other boaters. Be courteous and everyone will get along just fine, if your new out here, sit back and watch. You will learn by watching. Be smart. These rips are fast and sometimes those waves are fast at 8 to 10 feet. Enjoy the water and have a great day.

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