Fishing Monomoy

Monomoy is one of the great natural wonders of New England—a world apart from the rest of Cape Cod, or anyplace else.

Surrounded by Bahamas-clear sand flats, it’s an amazing place to visit by boat, as long as you respect the tide. Many a careless mariner has anchored here, only to find himself (and his family) high and dry for the entire afternoon. Study the charts and tide tables, and make sure you have a GPS in case the fog rolls in, as it often does here, being so close to the chilly open Atlantic.

Just about a half-hour ride from Chatham, Monomoy is known for its incredible striper fishing. The island is home to Monomoy rips, which have gained a well-deserved reputation for being extremely productive, fish-holding currents.

Once anchored, break out the kayaks or a dinghy and explore the wonderland of flats and channels. The crystalline water teems with crabs and baitfish, as well as predators such as striped bass and bluefish. And you’ll likely see a harbor seal or two cruising the shallows.

The rips are created by four sandy shoals off the tip of the island – Stonehorse, Kandkerchief, Bearse and Little Round shoals. Stripers and other gamefish often hang out on the rough side of the rips waiting for the current to push baitfish by.

Anglers fishing the area should look for moving water and keep an eye out for any birds or bait near the surface. Given the number of rips in the area, fishermen may have to move around to find the most productive one.

If you’re trolling a rip, make sure your rig is moving with the current. That way it will mimic the actions of a baitfish. You might also have luck casting with light tackle into a calm section located just before a rip line. Keep your line slack and your bait should tumble into the rip like a baitfish.

When boating in the Monomoy area, remember that currents can be strong and have caused boats to run aground. Always pay attention to how the currents are moving your boat.