November - June
STELLWAGEN BANK COD FISHING
Just 15 miles east of the town of Marshfield, MA lies the relatively inshore fishing grounds known as Stellwagen Bank. It stretches some 18 miles between Provincetown and Gloucester. B-Fast’s cod charter fleet of 30 to 42 foot vessels routinely makes the run to the grounds from November through June in an hour to an hour and one-half. Most of our vessels are "Down-East" hulls with big single diesel engines, heated cabins and a full compliment of the latest navigational/fish-finding electronics and safety equipment. One luxury sport-fishing vessel is available for clients wanting more amenities. All our charter boats are operated by knowledgeable, professional, USCG licensed captains, who spend most of the year on the water participating in multiple fisheries in New England to earn their income.
Stellwagen’s attraction for the local and traveling angler presently is three-fold. First, the aforementioned short run to the bank increases your time fishing. Secondly, the grounds hydrodynamics creates an up-welling of nutrients, fertilizing the plankton, which are the attraction of the abundance of baitfish, particularly herring and sand eels. Third, commercial fishing restrictions have limited the commercial effort and harvest to ostensibly one to two months per year for the past three years. Recruitment in codfish stocks has resulted in numbers of medium cod the likes of which we haven’t seen in years. As a result, traveling anglers are heading home with coolers full of white fish fillets like the "Good Old Days".
On ground fishing charters all bait, quality Penn and Seeker tackle and equipment are provided at no additional cost . Further, we allow the use of the new synthetic braids and do not charge for lost terminal tackle. A personable mate is provided to work the cockpit and fillet the catch on the return trip to Green Harbor. There is no charge for filleting or cleaning the catch. However, a gratuity of between 10 and 20 percent of the cost of the trip for the mate is an industry standard for this service. Recreational charter fishing restrictions on Stellwagen include a 2-hook per line limit, a 21 inch size limit and an absolute no sale provision. We allow trophy fish and a limited number of cod to be landed whole. However, we are insisting on filleting to discourage the sale of recreational-caught cod, which is illegal. Charter and Party-boat anglers are not restricted by the 10 fish bag-limit imposed on individual recreational anglers fishing privately owned boats.
B-Fast’s Stellwagen Bank cod fishing usually get started in November with two vessels working the grounds through the winter months, weather permitting. Four to five charter boats are available in March and up to 10 vessels are employed from April on through the season, which usually winds down by the end of June. Water temperature is the factor that moves the groundfish from the shoals into the deeper water on the eastern side of the bank. The November to June time frame coincides with the seasonal migrations across the bank to the chief spawning grounds along the 20-fathom curve on the western side of the Gulf of Maine (Bigelow & Schroeder, 1953). Our charter boats work cooperatively, communicating with both VHF and cellular telephone to ensure the best service and catches for our clients. Further, given the vagaries of New England weather and the real potential for cancellations at any time during the season, the availability of a co-op network of charter boats ensures rescheduling of weather cancellations. We specialize is arranging multiple-boat charters to service the needs of fishing clubs, associations and corporate outings
Here at B-Fast, your comfort, safety and enjoyment are our primary concern. To that end, we reserve the right to cancel charters that we deem will be unsafe or uncomfortable for the clients, based on the best available data of current weather conditions. Further, we will cancel in a timely manner and endeavor prevent a needless drive to Green Harbor in the event of pending bad weather. In the event that rescheduling is not possible, your deposit will be refunded. Reduced rates at local hotels, restaurant recommendations and taxidermy service round out B-Fast’s commitment to service excellence.