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August 01, 2012

Nantucket Bass Ride

The shoals and reefs off this legendary island offer superb striped bass fishing action

Going Live
We dropped down live scup on spinning rods, and although the bites didn’t come as fast and furious as with the wire line, we did manage to catch and release some larger fish over the same Sankaty Head rocks. Once again, the strikes were awesome, and the fish all appeared healthy and well-fed.

Over the course of three days, DeCosta led Andresen and me to dozens of stripers and a huge school of small bluefish, a ton of fun on light spinning gear. Nantucket offers great sce-nery, lots of history and a world-renowned resort atmosphere. Of all the places I’ve been fortunate enough to chase striped bass, this is my favorite.

Andresen summed it up best as our trip wound to a close: “Having a chance to fish with two ultimate pros who are great old friends in one of the most beautiful places in the world, at the best time of year, makes for a pretty great trip!” I couldn’t agree more.


Striper season begins in early summer and runs well into the fall off Nantucket. We visited in September, but there’s great action in other months as well. Water temperature and the presence of baitfish are the key factors in whether the bass will be around in great numbers, so a little research can help you maximize your chances of success.

The Nantucket Boat Basin serves as everyone’s base of operations when fishing Nantucket. The Boat Basin has comfortable accommodations on site but is also affiliated with several fine hotels and restaurants in town, just a few short blocks away. DeCosta and other captains charter from the Basin, and if you prefer to bring your own boat, the marina offers all marine products and dockage for almost any size boat, and outstanding customer service.

What: Striped bass and bluefish.

When: June to November.

Where: Nantucket Island, Massachusetts.

Capt. Bob DeCosta
Albacore Charters

Nantucket Boat Basin

Trolling for stripers with wire lines involves using conventional rods, while live-baiting usually involves spinners. Wire-line rods benefit from special guides designed specifically for use with Monel wire.

Rods: Conventional medium-action wire-line rods, 20- to 30-pound spinning rods.

Reels: Medium conventional reels capable of handling Monel wire, 6000-class spinning reels.

Jigs: Andrus Jigs (Richard Andrus, 856-825-1782) or comparable parachute jigs from 1 ounce to 6 ounces in the color of your choice and tipped with pork rinds. With live bait, 4/0 to 5/0 circle hooks.

Leaders: Between 3 and 25 feet of 30- to 100-pound nylon monofilament, depending on water clarity. When bluefish are thick, tie on a short (3-foot) section of 150- or 200-pound mono.