Shark Fishing In Massachusetts

Massachusetts shoreline with lapping waves.
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Shark fishing in Massachusetts can be an exciting and challenging experience, offering anglers the chance to catch a variety of shark species in the beautiful coastal waters of the state. However, with so many fishing spots to choose from and a range of regulations to be aware of, planning a successful shark fishing trip can be daunting, especially for those who are new to the sport. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you navigate the world of shark fishing in Massachusetts. From the best fishing spots to the recommended gear and bait, we’ll provide you with expert tips and tricks to help you increase your chances of success and have a memorable fishing adventure in Massachusetts. So, whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, read on to discover everything you need to know to plan a successful shark fishing trip in Massachusetts.

Best Shark Fishing Spots in Massachusetts

Massachusetts has a variety of excellent shark fishing spots that you can explore. Here are some of the best spots to consider:

  1. Cape Cod Bay: Located in the northeastern part of the state, Cape Cod Bay is a popular spot for catching blue sharks, mako sharks, and even great white sharks.
  2. Martha’s Vineyard: This island located south of Cape Cod is another popular destination for shark fishing. It is known for its large population of blue sharks and occasional great white shark sightings.
  3. Stellwagen Bank: Located just east of Boston, Stellwagen Bank is a fertile fishing ground for many species, including blue sharks, makos, and threshers.
  4. South Shore: The south shore of Massachusetts is home to a variety of sharks, including sandbar sharks and dogfish. Some popular spots to try include Duxbury Bay and Plymouth Harbor.
  5. Nantucket Sound: Nantucket Sound, located between Cape Cod and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, is a prime location for catching blue sharks.

Target these spots during the corresponding season to maximize catch results!

Shark Fishing Martha’s Vineyard Massachusetts

Types of Sharks You Can Catch in Massachusetts


There are several species of sharks that you can catch while shark fishing in Massachusetts. Some of the most common types of sharks found in the waters of Massachusetts include:

  1. Blue Shark: Blue sharks are the most common species of shark caught in Massachusetts. They can be found in the waters around Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket.
  2. Mako Shark: Makos are known for their speed and agility, and they can be found in the waters off Massachusetts from May to October.
  3. Thresher Shark: Thresher sharks are known for their long tails, which they use to stun their prey. They can be found in the waters around Cape Cod and Stellwagen Bank.
  4. Sandbar Shark: Sandbar sharks are a type of requiem shark, and they can be found in the shallow waters around the south shore of Massachusetts.
  5. Porbeagle Shark: Porbeagles are a close relative of the mako shark and can be found in the waters off Massachusetts from late spring to early fall.
  6. Great White Shark: While sightings of great white sharks are rare, they do occasionally visit the waters of Massachusetts. It is important to note that great white sharks are a protected species and cannot be caught or targeted for fishing in Massachusetts.

There are many types of sharks to catch, try to choose the right season with the corresponding species for the best chance at catching your prized shark.

Best Time of Year for Shark Fishing in Massachusetts

The best time of year for shark fishing in Massachusetts depends on the species of shark you are targeting. Here are some general guidelines for the best time to catch different types of sharks in Massachusetts:

  1. Blue Shark: The best time to catch blue sharks is during the summer months, from June to August. They can also be caught in the fall, from September to October.
  2. Mako Shark: Makos are most commonly caught in the waters off Massachusetts from May to October, with peak season being in July and August.
  3. Thresher Shark: Threshers are most commonly caught in the waters around Cape Cod and Stellwagen Bank from June to October.
  4. Sandbar Shark: Sandbar sharks can be caught in the shallow waters around the south shore of Massachusetts from May to October.
  5. Porbeagle Shark: Porbeagles are most commonly caught in the waters off Massachusetts from late spring to early fall, with peak season being in June and July.

It is important to note that the exact timing of the shark fishing season can vary from year to year, depending on factors such as water temperature and weather conditions. Be sure to check the most up-to-date information from local fishing reports and regulations.

Surf Fishing For Sharks In Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Best Baits and Lures for Shark Fishing in Massachusetts

The best baits and lures for shark fishing in Massachusetts will depend on the species of shark you are targeting, as well as the location and time of year. Here are some baits and lures that are commonly used for shark fishing in Massachusetts:

  1. Blue Shark: Blue sharks are often caught using mackerel, herring, or squid as bait. Chunks of fish can be used, or you can use a whole fish and cut it into sections.
  2. Mako Shark: Makos are known to be attracted to fast-moving prey, so artificial lures such as large plugs or surface poppers can be effective. For bait, fresh chunks of fish such as mackerel, squid, or bluefish can be used.
  3. Thresher Shark: Threshers are often caught using live or dead baitfish such as mackerel, herring, or squid. Lures such as large jigs or swimbaits can also be effective.
  4. Sandbar Shark: Sandbar sharks can be caught using a variety of baits, including mackerel, squid, and cut bait. Lures such as jigs or soft plastics can also be effective.
  5. Porbeagle Shark: Porbeagles are often caught using live or dead baitfish such as mackerel, herring, or squid. Large artificial lures such as surface poppers can also be effective.

It is important to note that when shark fishing in Massachusetts, it is recommended to use circle hooks, which are designed to minimize injury to the shark and increase the likelihood of a safe release.

Recommended Gear for Shark Fishing in Massachusetts

When shark fishing in Massachusetts, it is important to have the right gear to ensure a safe and successful experience. Here are some recommended gear items to consider when planning your shark fishing trip:

  1. Rod and Reel: For most types of shark fishing in Massachusetts, a heavy-duty spinning or conventional rod and reel is recommended. Look for a rod with a heavy action and a reel with a high line capacity.
  2. Fishing Line: Use braided fishing line with a high breaking strength, typically between 80-130 pounds, to handle the strength of most shark species found in Massachusetts.
  3. Leader Material: Use a heavy-duty leader material, such as fluorocarbon or monofilament, with a breaking strength that matches or exceeds the fishing line used. The leader should be between 6-10 feet in length.
  4. Circle Hooks: Circle hooks are recommended for shark fishing in Massachusetts, as they are designed to minimize injury to the shark and increase the likelihood of a safe release. Use circle hooks with a size that matches the bait being used.
  5. Gaff and Harpoon: A gaff and/or harpoon can be useful for landing larger sharks. It is important to have the proper training and experience before attempting to use these tools.
  6. Life Jacket and Safety Gear: Always wear a properly-fitted life jacket and have other safety gear on board, such as a personal locator beacon and a first aid kit.
  7. Chum and Bait: Use fresh, oily fish such as mackerel, herring, or squid as bait. Chum can also be effective for attracting sharks to your fishing area.

Use the recommended gear to always be up to the task of landing these hard-fighting creatures. You do not want to be outmatched when hooking into a big shark.

Tagging Brown Sharks From The Beach In Cape Cod Massachusetts

Best Shark Fishing Charters in Massachusetts

There are many shark fishing charters available in Massachusetts, and the best charter for you will depend on your location, budget, and preferences. Here are some popular and highly-rated shark fishing charters in Massachusetts:

  1. Fishtale Sportfishing – Fishtale Sportfishing offers shark fishing charters in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and is known for its experienced and knowledgeable captain and crew.
  2. Yankee Fleet – Yankee Fleet offers shark fishing charters out of Newburyport, Massachusetts, and is known for its spacious and comfortable boat, as well as its experienced and friendly crew.
  3. Mass Bay Guides – Mass Bay Guides offers shark fishing charters out of Boston, Massachusetts, and is known for its personalized and professional service, as well as its experienced and knowledgeable captain.
  4. Adventure Charter Fishing – Adventure Charter Fishing offers shark fishing charters out of Plymouth, Massachusetts, and is known for its knowledgeable and experienced captain and crew, as well as its comfortable and well-equipped boat.
  5. On The Rocks Charters – On The Rocks Charters offers shark fishing charters out of Gloucester, Massachusetts, and is known for its experienced and friendly captain and crew, as well as its well-maintained and spacious boat.

When choosing a shark fishing charter in Massachusetts, it is important to research the charter company and read reviews from previous customers to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Regulations and Licenses for Shark Fishing in Massachusetts

Shark fishing in Massachusetts is regulated by the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) to ensure the conservation and sustainable management of shark populations. Here are some regulations and licensing requirements for shark fishing in Massachusetts:

  1. License Requirements: All anglers aged 16 or older must have a valid Massachusetts fishing license to fish for sharks in Massachusetts waters.
  2. Shark Fishing Permit: In addition to a fishing license, anglers targeting sharks in Massachusetts must obtain a Shark Research Permit from the DMF. This permit is required for all commercial and recreational shark fishing, and requires an application process, payment of a fee, and compliance with certain reporting requirements.
  3. Shark Species Regulations: There are several species of sharks that are protected in Massachusetts waters, including the great white shark and the basking shark. It is illegal to target or retain these species without a special permit.
  4. Minimum Size Limits: There are minimum size limits for several species of sharks in Massachusetts waters. For example, the minimum size limit for a mako shark is 83 inches from the tip of the nose to the fork of the tail.
  5. Bag Limits: There are bag limits for several species of sharks in Massachusetts waters. For example, the bag limit for a porbeagle shark is one fish per vessel per day.
  6. Gear Restrictions: There are gear restrictions for shark fishing in Massachusetts, including the use of non-stainless steel circle hooks, a maximum of 10 hooks per line, and the use of an inline weight system.

It is important to be familiar with all of the regulations and guidelines for shark fishing in Massachusetts to ensure compliance with the law and the conservation of shark populations.

Shark Fishing Jeffery’s Ledge In Massachusetts

Where to Stay When Shark Fishing in Massachusetts

If you’re planning a shark fishing trip in Massachusetts, there are several options for accommodations in the area. Here are some suggestions for where to stay when shark fishing in Massachusetts:

  1. Gloucester: Gloucester is a popular destination for shark fishing in Massachusetts, and there are several hotels and vacation rentals in the area. Some options include the Beauport Hotel Gloucester, the Ocean House Hotel at Bass Rocks, and the Cape Ann Motor Inn.
  2. Boston: If you’re planning to fish for sharks in Boston Harbor, there are several hotels and vacation rentals in the city. Some options include the Boston Harbor Hotel, the InterContinental Boston, and the Seaport Hotel.
  3. Newburyport: Newburyport is a coastal town located near some of the best shark fishing spots in Massachusetts. Some accommodation options in the area include the Compass Rose Inn, the Clark Currier Inn, and the Garrison Inn.
  4. Plymouth: Plymouth is another popular destination for shark fishing in Massachusetts, and there are several hotels and vacation rentals in the area. Some options include the Hotel 1620 Plymouth Harbor, the John Carver Inn & Spa, and the Blue Anchor Guesthouse.
  5. Cape Cod: Cape Cod is a popular vacation destination and is home to several shark fishing charters. There are many accommodation options in the area, including hotels, vacation rentals, and bed and breakfasts.

When choosing accommodations for your shark fishing trip in Massachusetts, consider factors such as location, amenities, and budget. It’s also a good idea to book your accommodations well in advance, especially during peak fishing season.

Expert Tips and Tricks for Successful Shark Fishing in Massachusetts

If you’re planning to go shark fishing in Massachusetts, here are some expert tips and tricks that can help increase your chances of success:

  1. Choose the right time of year: Sharks are more active in Massachusetts waters during the summer and early fall months. The best time to go shark fishing is usually between June and October.
  2. Use fresh bait: Sharks have a strong sense of smell and are attracted to fresh, bloody bait. Some of the best baits for shark fishing in Massachusetts include mackerel, bluefish, and squid.
  3. Use the right gear: To catch sharks in Massachusetts, you’ll need heavy-duty tackle, including a stout rod and reel, heavy line, and strong hooks. Circle hooks are recommended for shark fishing, as they are less likely to cause injury to the fish.
  4. Be patient: Shark fishing can be a waiting game, so it’s important to be patient and prepared to spend several hours on the water. Be sure to bring plenty of food, water, and sunscreen to stay comfortable while you wait for the fish to bite.
  5. Know the regulations: As mentioned earlier, shark fishing in Massachusetts is regulated to ensure the conservation of shark populations. It’s important to be familiar with all of the regulations and guidelines for shark fishing in Massachusetts to avoid fines and protect the fishery for future generations.
  6. Consider hiring a guide: If you’re new to shark fishing or unfamiliar with the Massachusetts coastline, consider hiring a local guide. A knowledgeable guide can help you find the best fishing spots and provide expert advice on tackle and bait selection.

By following these expert tips and tricks, you can increase your chances of success and have a memorable shark fishing experience in Massachusetts.

Boat Based Shark Fishing For Brown Sharks In Massachusetts

Conclusion

Shark fishing in Massachusetts can be a thrilling and rewarding experience for anglers of all skill levels. With a variety of shark species to target and plenty of great fishing spots along the coastline, Massachusetts offers some of the best shark fishing opportunities in the Northeast. However, it’s important to be aware of the regulations and guidelines for shark fishing in the state and to take steps to protect the fishery for future generations. By using the right gear, choosing the right bait, and being patient and persistent, you can increase your chances of success and have an unforgettable shark fishing adventure in Massachusetts.

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