August 7, 2010

Cod Fishing

Captain Billy leads us to the promised land!

I try to make sure I catch up with the good captain at least once a year, and usually in August. Cod and haddock are the species of choice, and Capt. Billy sure knows where to find them. But don't even ask him where he goes because these are his spots searched out and found over the last 45 years. "Just go east between 30-40 miles and look for the X that marks the spot." laughs the Captain. "Even Elmer isn't allowed near the GPS. And no picture of me either. I want a to quietly go to my spot and be able to catch decent numbers of fish." "Keep an eye on the other guy!" isn't just Elmer's mantra. So when you see other boats start to glass you, move away. And never bring in a keeper where the other guy can see it. Always bring it in on the "other side".

4AM and we were on our way. It takes a while to get so far out and the wind was picking up from the ssw. "As long as I get a good ride out I don't worry too much about the waves. We're cod fishermen, and the North Atlantic is where we fish, so expect all kinds of weather conditions here and be prepared for sudden changes." warned the Captain.

Brother James once a religious fisherman, never misses a trip with the Captain.

Here's the proof!

The waves were pounding us as we first set out the lines but it wasn't long before we had fish in the box. Pollock in the 10-20 pound range and cod in the 8-12 started filling the box. Occasionally we boated a cusk in the 4-8 pound range. We were hoping for some bigger cod and some haddock. We got the cod but not one haddock. "Haddock have been scarce in the areas I have been fishing." said Billy. I (Elmer)had a lot of trouble keeping my feet at times due to the 3-6 ft. waves and boy did I hear it. "First time out here Elmer" My lure of choice started with the 21 ounce towel rack jig. While I was catching fish, I only had one on the "jig". So I changed to a 20 ounce silver bank sinker, squid presentation and it did the trick.  As luck had it, I had the biggest fish of the day and there was my jig firmly in it's mouth "How much does it weigh Elmer and be honest now." cried Rick the first mate. "33 pounds!" I said. "One of my all time bests for cod." There were others we caught that had your arms cramping from the looooong haul up too. We didn't quite fill both fish boxes, but considering the rough seas we still had many, many pounds of beautiful boneless fillets. Captain Billy did a masterful job maneuvering the boat, keeping us in the best position to hold bottom and many times we all hooked up at the same time. Despite the waves kicking my butt all around the boat, it was New England Cod Fishing at it's best!

Thank You Captain Billy!


DUO remains as hot as the weather

August 2010

Nephew Jeff gets in on the action!

Ken shows one of the many good size haddock caught!

See the story

The Duo fish the waters from top to bottom and below!

Beautiful Duxbury Bay Quahogs and Littlenecks


Elmer and Jimdogg join flounder fleet aboard the kayaks.

Winter flounder return to Boston Harbor and adjacent waters. Fishermen from Quincy Yacht Club report good numbers of the flatfish being caught with fish in the 2-4 pound range not unusual. We missed the peak season in May and June but still managed to catch 8 fish between us.

Great day on the water! Drifting with sea worms and squid strips does the trick. Between George's Island and Rainsford Island to attract the most fishermen. Just outside of Hull Gut also holding flatties.

 Captain G-No Kelly

of the

"Irish Ayes"

Flag Ship of the "Bite Me Bait Co"

"I am still looking for someone to blame for getting me into this mess." laughed the Captain. "I put them on the spot and the boys and girls haul them in. That includes me too!"

Today we went exploring. With Billy Bob and Elmer and the Captain we went out to check some of the numbers we had for spots that have held fish over the years and went away somewhat disappointed.  The flip side is, there were plenty of fish to be had and the fleet will lead you right to them. We ran into a number of the better charter boats out of Green Harbor fishing the same old numbers so we knew we were in the right areas. Stellwagon Bank, however is a fluid thing. Storms and currents change the "structure" of the bank from year to year. A good fish finder will help make the job easier. One thing is certain though, the flow across the bank often dictates where the fish congregate. Whales are another sure sign of where to fish in the spring. You can always find the cod fish under the whales. The whales are chasing sand eels and so isn't everything else. 2010 has seen pollock in good numbers and the charter boys thank the fish for saving some of the trips. If you want to catch pollock in numbers, then put a hook on 300 feet of line connected to a bottle of some sort. Hook one of the first pollock caught and release it on the bottle. It will return to the school and you can "fish the bottle" as we say. Cod are still available and Elmer caught his biggest, (15lbs) of the year. If you don't know where to go, then follow the "fleet". But don't fret about breaking away and trying new spots. We caught cod, haddock and pollock today and the fish were all well above legal limits.

Elmer on board

the "Irish Ayes"

Elmer's  towel rack jigs

May 15, 2010

Bite Me Bait Co schedules Boston Mackerel Massacre

"How many do you want Captain?" called the Admiral. "Fill the boat, and send us home" called the Captain. And it wasn't long before we filled the order.

I can't believe we caught so many in such a short time." said AC

The fish were there and even though the water was rough we managed to boat close to 300 macks between the 3 boats we had in the area. The mackerel are everywhere right now. There is no need to venture too far from port to catch them. Sunday May 16th Billy Bob went back out and caught another 300 fish with Rockland computer whizz Dave of LCT Computers, Rockland Center.

Speaking of Rockland Center, no fishing trip starts until we have breakfast at Anita Marie's in downtown Rockland. Owner Vivian Anastasia has a crackerjack crew that serves us well, making sure we are ready to spend the day on the water.

The Fab 5!

"These women are top shelf!" said  owner Vivian in the light blue, "We love the Bite Me Bait Co gang. "There are in everyday, 365 days of the year!" said Vivian. "I thank the "boys" for all the fish they send my way. But I have to ask Mike, my husband, "How come we don't catch all this fish?"

Thanks to Captain G-No and the crew for doing a great job in tough conditions.

We did get one 25 inch cod on one of Elmer's new cod and fluke stones. Rock Bottom  still managed to fill the boat using Gerry and AC as fill men. Flann had a blast, catching fish after fish. "I'll be a little sore tomorrow." said Flann. "But it was well worth the effort."

Cod Season is open and the fish are out there!

Rock Bottom has the hot hand at the bow with a limit of cod and a few nice Pollock. The Capt. pulled his weight and Elmer and Billy Bob and Jimdogg, managed to get a few into the box.

See the story here.


Captain Patry and the Cathy Ann join the cod/pollock melee.

Saturday April 24, 2010

New member to the cod fishing team Dan Lee shows off his first cod ever!

See the story.

Going into the first week of May the cod are still running hot on Stellwagon for those that get on a good drift. Pollock are still there with the cod in spots, haddock are still spotty. "Both the "Irish Ayes" and the "Cathy Ann" report that "Filling the cod quota is no problem."

Captain Dave Patry


Elmer's cod and fluke stones.

It's tough being the guy who is always losing gear. In some of the rougher weather I have lost as many as 4 Norwegian jigs and they aren't cheap. Lose a couple of the Captains and........well you can see where this is going. So I set out to make a jig that is inexpensive, but catches fish too. Well I looked at my weight bucket and it was empty so I looked up Capt. Bill from Quincy Yacht Club and he provided me with enough weights to fish with for the season. Then I set to work. As you can see it isn't hard to do. A couple of stainless eye bolts, epoxy (2 part) and a split ring and a hook. I spray painted mine metallic silver in the end. I dabbled with different colors but the silver seems to work the best. Some I rigged with the eyes buck tail style. They all catch fish.

Have to keep the shades down so no one will know my secret.

Towel rack cod jigs

Here's the proof!

Cod, Pollock, and Haddock all fell for Elmer's towel rack jigs


Nov. 21, 2009

Green Harbor Dredging Underway!

Green Harbor, Marshfield, Massachusetts

Hip, Hip, Hooray. From the breakwater to the basin, Green Harbor is to be dredged in the upcoming months. Boat users at all levels are happy. Charter Captains and Lobster Captains are grateful.  "Having enough water during the times of minus tides to get in and out will be a big boost to all." said Captain Dave Patry of Cathy Ann Charters. Lobster men and sail boaters won't have to worry about laying over in the mud. "It's a win win situation." continued Capt. Dave. "Can't wait for next season to enjoy the difference."


Elmer catches trophy starfish


Rough seas make for hard fishing.

Catching the limit didn't work out today. Mackerel are still in abundance within the three mile cod limit. And we took some home to eat as these were large fish. "I had one for lunch when I got home and it was delicious." said Elmer.  We only scored 1 "keeper" cod for the day compliments of Jimdogg. There were plenty of throw backs in the 20-22 inch range and the Sea Robins were numerous. Rock Bottom hog tied a few dog fish from his perch on the bow, but scored many of the biggest macks. Elmer caught a nice winter flounder (13 inches) but sent it back to grow. The Captain worked hard to find fish but the ground fish bite was slow. We should have fished down current of the dredging barge's dumping zone.   That's an all you can eat bonanza for ground fish. Billy Bob offers up the benediction for our safe return.


All in all it was a good day on the water.

Elmer's jigs are the best!


November 1, 2009

Winter Cod Restrictions in Effect

2009 Cod Season

"Irish Ayes" finds Two fish per person limit easy to fill!

"Eye of the Wompanoag" holds macks and cod!


Captain G-No and the "Irish Ayes" in Cape Cod Bay

The day started rainy and windy, but we didn't have far to go. State waters only go out 3 miles, so we had to work the local ledges. Plenty of mackerel in the water made our job easy. Find the mackerel and you will find the cod underneath. We caught plenty of 22-25 inch fish that were released to be caught next year. You can afford to be picky, taking the larger fish, but keep in mind there is a 75 pound limit per boat. The fish varied in color from light (off shore cod)to really dark reddish brown(in shore cod). The flesh was solid and without worms.

Dawn spreads it's light on Mid Autumn's Day
Nov. 1st marks the beginning of the second half of Autumn and the beginning of the winter cod season.

Various jigs, crippled herring, Norwegian jigs, and "Rock Bottom's" creations worked equally well. Teasers took many fish with large black sluggos bringing in the two biggest fish of the day. At times we used two teasers with a  weight to hold the bottom. We did lose some serious gear today due to the rough seas and Elmer went home with two broken poles too. The mackerel were large, strong, and plentiful. Dogfish were also in good supply and bothered everyone equally. Baby lobsters showed up in the stomachs of some of the cod.


Jimdogg got the big one at 10 pounds in 70 feet of water.

The "Boys" show off their inshore cod.

Elmer and Capt. G-No have the last fish race, which included the biggest tangle of the day, and many of the best laughs.  The Captain had the bigger fish. Too bad it barked. With our limit reached, we went home early enough to watch the 2nd half of the 1 o'clock football games.

Nov. 8, 2009
Finding fish easy for Capt. G-no and the "Boys"
Newbie Chris got his first cod ever and was proud to do it.

The early morning wind made for some difficult drifts but we still managed to pull out some keepers. Then the wind dropped and we got on a great drift where we got most of our limit for the day. Plenty of shorts went back and the dogfish were less bothersome than last week. Sculpins made a strong showing though. Mackerel remain the key. Find them and the cod will follow.

Billy Bob gets a nice one and Elmer shows a dark phase fish. Rock Bottom cruises in behind the "Irish Ayes"  to the boat ramp in Green Harbor with his quota on board. The local Eider Ducks weren't impressed.
Go to Division of Marine Fisheries. for complete information!


Cod Season Open in Gulf of Maine

April 1,2009 marks the opening of cod fishing north of Cape Cod and the 42nd parallel.  A (24 inch minimum) ten fish limit is still in force and has been extended to all New England waters. However fish in the southern zone need only be 22 inches long. Early spring is a great time to go deep water cod fishing. Whales abound in the best fishing spots and cod can usually be found near where whales are feeding. Don't forget the haddock, they can be found the same way.

Scituate Harbor, the lobster boat Pamela B. awaits the call.

April 26, 2009

Near perfect day as cod and haddock take the bait.

The wind was kicking around a little as we pulled up to the Green Harbor Marina to launch. We were early and in by 5 AM and on our way. Elmer's friends from the Quincy Yacht Club recommended trying the northern end of the bank so off we went. Good choice. The predominant bait fish in the area were ocean herring. So jigs and teasers (green) were the order of the day. We immediately hit codfish, taking ten fish, most in the 6-12 pound range. We threw back a few shorties, but most of this bite produced quality fish.

Sticking with our tried and true method of finding fish, (Keep an Eye on the Other Guy!)  We had plenty of company. There were boats all over the water with large and small fleets covering the area. The western edge at the "elbow" held the cod we were looking for. The whales were in the area all day with many feeding on the herring and sand eels that congregate there. It was cod and haddock all day with everyone pitching in. Rock Bottom played front man today at his perch on the bow.  The Capt. was busing manning the net making sure the catch stayed the catch. Late morning the wind died and the seas went to calm. The haddock bite turned on and we added another ten to the hold.  A total of 30 fish were caught but we tossed a lot of "keeper" haddock back as we will only take fish 22 inches and over. 19 inch fish (haddock) are too small to take.

The Viking Superstar came a long way from Montauk, Long Island to catch cod and haddock.

Plenty of whales to watch along with the beautiful gannets soaring and diving all around us. The ever present seagull's cries added to the ambience of a rare April day on the "bank".

Captain G-No still has the Sea Robin touch, though this is a small one by the Capt's standards. Always serious when underway, the Captain, thanks the powers that be for a great day on the water and a hold filled with quality fish!

Cod Fishing

Captain Dave Patry Speaks

Like most of our fishing trips we start with breakfast. Breakfast in Rockland means "Anita Marie's." Proprietor Vivian Anastasia caters to the fishing crowd and will often show up early (4am) to make sure we are full and ready for a day of fishing. The coffee was hot and the eggs done to perfection. It was a portent of things to come.

See the Story

Click on the link below to begin the journey.


Cathy Ann supplies one fine 2009 Cod fishing season to their clients

Every outing leads to a great cod harvest!

June 3, 2009

Capt. Dave Patry is all smiles as the cod keep coming. "One of my best years ."  says the Capt. " Everyone caught fish!"

Cod fishing at it's best!

Capt. Dave enjoys the catching, while Bud pulls in the pool winner!

"Jimdogg" leads the crew this day and "Billy Bob" held up his end too!

Bite Me Bait Co  cashes in on the bank for 2009

Cod fishing stays hot! Frances Fleet shadows "G-No" and the "Irish Ayes"

Rhode Island based outfit a good value for the ticket price.

Tell them we sent ya!

"Rock Bottom" hauls away another nice Atlantic Cod

May 31, 2009

Cod fishing remains steady on Stellwagon Bank

Mackerel invade the inshore waters from Plymouth to the New Hampshire border

"Rock Bottom", the "Earl" and "RG" (retired guy) load up on mackerel in the "Bass"O"Matic outside of Green harbor. Bait coffers are filling up quickly.

Jimdogg takes species champ during mackerel madness. Mid week afternoon hits the jackpot. With the cooler filled with macks, we turned to jigging the bottom to see what we could catch. Jimdogg came up with the most different fish with a Sculpin taking top honors.  Elmer caught his smallest Atlantic Cod ever.

Jimdogg even hauls up a pollock along with many, many mackerel. Fish were flying with near nonstop action. "This is like flipping eggs at Anita Marie's" said

. It wasn't long before we had a hundred fish in the cooler. Elmer even landed a schoolie on a #4 Sabiki hook.

The "Irish Ayes" shines on the "Bank"

May 31, 2009

G-No hits the hot cod corner and leads the crew to another great day cod fishing on the bank. Sand eel teasers do the job for the Capt.  Jigs and teasers of various sorts and even cut bait worked. New cod fisherman Dave, of LCT Computers in Rockland center, had a great day and went home with plenty of fish and lobsters (bought off the boat in Green Harbor) to share with the folks at home. We wouldn't let him keep the Sea Robin.

"Billy Bob" lost at Ouija pretzels and had the mate's duties most of the day, doing a yeoman's job with the net. He had his share of keepers in the box too.

 "Elmer" had a steady day with the cod and caught a few macks too.

"Jimdogg" had the hot hand with the mackerel today catching most of the 35 fish we took home. Fresh mackerel on the grill is a great way to end a great day!

As great minds think alike. The first boat we ran into on the bank was the "Cathy Ann" out of Green Harbor. Here Elmer receives hand signals from Capt. Dave Patry describing the proper drifts to set up on. Looks like it's drift #1.

The "Boys" give the Captain a well deserved rest!

photos by "Jimdogg"

June 14, 2009

Atlantic Cod fishing remains good. Northern Stellwagon Bank produces again! Captain G-No puts the cod crew on a great drift. Despite rain and gillnets, the "Irish Ayes", and Captain Gene Kelly's crew filled the fish box to the max. Most fish were in the 25-27 inch range, but on one drift we hit the bigger fish. And in a very short time everyone hauled in 4-5 fish in the 8-15 pound range. The Capt. had the biggest fish of the day for the second week in a row. Nice job Captain G-No.

The Captain says to Elmer, "Who's Mr. Cod now?" Jimdogg says, "What about me?" Elmer just laughs and throws another into the box. Meanwhile we see Rock Bottom fantasy fishing on the bow.

"I've got you now Mudguaard!" shouted G-no. "Why, do you have 4 fish on two hooks? replies Elmer, as he hauls in three fish on two hooks. "Yeah, well haul in this one." says the Captain at the end of the day.

It was another banner day with almost everyone catching their quota. We released 2 times as many fish we kept, with many of those near or slightly over 24 inches. A couple of dogfish cost Jimdogg some of the Captains gear and late in the day we were using 2 pound jigs to hold bottom. In 6 hours we landed over 100 fish with non-stop action. "They were hitting everything we dropped on them. " said Jimdogg. "The key was to start jigging 30 feet from the bottom and letting line out slowly as you jigged till you hit the bottom. I had one on almost every drop using this method."

June 20, 2009

"Irish Ayes"

flounders on Hospital Shoals

Potential bad weather on the banks, brings Capt. G-No

and the "Boys" into Boston Harbor to chase winter flounder. Recent reports spoke of plenty of decent fish in the  Hospital Shoals area just south of Rainsford Island. The fog lay heavy on the water when we set out from Tern Harbor. The sun made a ghostly appearance, and after a short benediction by "Billy Bob", we set out.

It was a slow trip through the fog to where we wanted to be, but we weren't in a hurry anyway. With the radar guiding us we were soon through Hull Gut and on the fishing grounds. Elmer and the Capt. confer on the best place to start the drift. And soon we had our quarry. Winter flounder need to be 12 inches long to take and there is a 8 fish per person limit.

We boated 22 keepers in just a few hours and threw back quite a few also. Billy Bob retains his skulpin crown with a beauty. We had plenty of friends appear after the fog lifted, and Jimdogg just loved the ride in after another successful day on the water.

Billy Bob is all smiles as he catches his first winter flounder. "I get to mark one more salt water fish off my list." said Billy Bob. "They are a fun fish to catch and very tasty too!"





Cod, Haddock, Flounder  2008

While the weekend weather is keeping small boats at home, those that do get out to the banks are being treated to some fine fishing. Dave Patry, Captain of the "Cathy Ann"  out of Green Harbor, Marshfield MA, reports catching hundreds of fish and the limit of keepers when he can get out. Cod can be found near Farnum's Ledge with a fair amount of keepers amongst the fish caught.

Winter flounder can be found in Boston Harbor and surrounding waters, most notably in the area Hospital Shoals, George's Island, Peddock's Island and the channel edges by Deer Light. My sources from the Quincy Yacht Club said the fillets are fat and tasty. It wasn't too long and we were there to try the waters. Winds made drift fishing difficult and Capt G-No found some good anchoring spots near the shoals and picked up a half dozen keepers on the morning tide. Grand Poobah Rock Bottom shows a big smile for  a great weekend.

G-No led a party of Bite Me Bait Co executives to Stellwagon aboard the "Irish Ayes" where they caught plenty of small cod along with a number of keepers.  Throw in a couple of haddock and plenty of whales to watch and you have a great day.

Rock Bottom and Capt. G-No show off the haddock while the birds and whales feast on sand eels and other baitfish

Secret flounder spot to try is on the Pig Rock side of the channel divide at Peddock's and Sheep Islands. Do it during the week to avoid the boat traffic on the weekends. Get up on the edge of the flat just out of the channel.  A mackerel chum pot on the bottom increases your chances.


Pogies are in Duxbury Harbor. Schools hanging in the channel from the 8 and 10 buoys to the outer harbor and Bug Light.


Rock Bottom searches the skies for signs of birds and fish breaking!

Tinkers and flounder hang in the harbor and out beyond the Gurnet.


Green Harbor, Marshfield, Massachusetts

Lots of small cod under the schools of mackerel. But there were some nice keepers too.  Capt. G-No and the "Irish Ayes" took  the Bride, Billy Bob and Jimdogg off the Marshfield coast where there is plenty of mackerel action. The tinkers were being chased around just outside Green Harbor, Marshfield Massachusetts. With a report from Rock Bottom and Elmer, the "Irish Ayes" crew sent a few jigs down to check out the situation. The bite was immediate. Everyone caught a keeper or two with the Bride setting the standard for the day with a 13 pound fish. And the rest of the crew chipped in too. "I was surprised to catch such a good fish so close to shore." said Deb.

G-No shows the keeper, while Elmer throws back a weeper at 23+ inches.          The "Irish Ayes" on the prowl!

Grand Poobah Rock Bottom and Flan take a break from the constant action.


Cod and Ground Fishing 2007

Jimdogg with a nice 15 pound Atlantic Cod!

May has brought hope for cod fishing on the banks. The NW corner of Stellwagon has been producing some nice fish. Jimdogg, G-No, Billy Bob and Rock Bottom caught quite a few fish over the holiday week end. Fish were plentiful but many were under the 24 inch limit. Some big cod did show up however.  Following a proven strategy the boys found where the whales were feeding and sent their gear to the bottom.  Keepers were 1 out of every 5-6 fish caught. Jigs and teasers were the rig of the day.

     G-No and Billy Bob show off a couple of the nice fish that came their way. At times we fished in 285 feet of water. Everyone got their limit on Memorial day with a good catch 0f 8-12 pound fish. Very few haddock were mixed in with the cod but other radio traffic spoke of  good haddock catches by some boats.  Again there were fish being caught all day and everyone went home tired and happy.


Captain G-No and "Bite Me Bait Co." I T specialist, show some nice fish taken from Stellwagon!  

Hey don't forget Jimdogg!

 Photos by "Jimdogg" and "Billy Bob"

A link to a Boston Globe Article About Stellwagon Bank



Cod Fishing Regulations

Cod and Ground Fishing 2006

G-No with a nice 25 pound fish.

April 2006 Cod Fishing  Early April weather can be iffy at best in the Gulf of Maine and inshore waters. This morning we hit the weather just right so a trip to  Stellwagon Bank was in order. Our trip started well before dawn with a 4am breakfast at Anita Marie's in Rockland center. As we sat at the counter awaiting our food, the initial plan was laid out. "Who has the binoculars?' asked Elmer. "Keep an eye on the other guy."  we all said and laughed.  Talk of  where to look for the fish, depths, water temps, and of course the "What color teaser is best?" debate. So with bellies full and spirits soaring, Capt. Gene Kelly had one last gear check ,and with the "Irish Ayes" in tow, we headed for Green harbor.                                                                                                                                          

Keep an eye on the other guy and you can catch fish.


Jimdogg with a nice cusk.

Soon we were launched and headed out the channel  . We searched some of the old hot spots along the way starting with the area near where the "H" buoy used to be. There wasn't much doing so it was off to the banks NW side. There were a few boats in the area and as we worked our jigs along the edge, we glassed them to see if anyone was getting fish. We landed and released a few small cod and worked our way south along the inside edge to the deep ledges near where the bank bends south. Still no luck with big fish. So up onto the top of the bank we went.  We boated only a few haddock and were beginning to wonder where were the fish.

There were plenty of whales working to the south and by their behavior we knew they were feeding. "Lets get up ahead of the whales and see if the cod are chasing the same bait" called Elmer.  The water was just teeming with sand eels  so we changed strategy. Wherever we saw bait breaking the surface, we sunk our jigs to the bottom and picked up a lot of nice codfish there.  If you want to pick up pollock more often, bring your jig up off the bottom and jig it up and down through the lower 30 feet of water. Often they are suspended above the cod and haddock and just under the bait fish. Big cusk and Wolf fish were always a welcome sight. Good tasting whitefish.

We managed to get 3 more trips in before the rains and storms of May ruined the rest of spring.

Yankee Fleet Trip


Looks like it's going to be a good day leaving Green Harbor.

Capt.Geno points us East abord the "Irish Ayes"

A little "rolly" on the banks

Gino caught this wolf fish, ugly and lookout for those teeth.

Nice artwork Rock!!

How deep is it? Keep reeling!!

Rock Bottom with a keeper cod

Billy Bob with a couple cod

Capt.Gino taking care of dinner.

All in all a great day.Thank's to Gino and "Irish Ayes".

Stellwagon and secret spot #1

Here we are 35 miles or so east of Boston Light as the sun comes up on another beautiful August day. Temperatures in the 80s and winds are light. Today Capt. Billy a friend out of Houghs Neck,  is going to show us how to "Jig the Edges". Summertime is usually a slow time for the ground fish we seek. These fish include cod, haddock, pollock, cusk and others.  Capt. Billy explained that the area that we were in looks relatively flat on the fish finder, but his GPS was equipped with the best charts and they showed us contour lines of little rises and drop offs. Some very subtle, others a little more dramatic. "The trick is to set your drift along one of the contour lines and try to stay on it." explained the Captain. "It doesn't need to be much of one to hold fish. Ten yards either way and you may not get fish."  Well let's get in the water and give it a try.

Today's rig is an 11 oz Norwegian style jig and small white grubs. The leader was 50 lb test with a loop at the end to attach the jig to. Just like hanging a weight. A small drop loop 14-20 inches up to hold the teaser and your golden. "We will get plenty of haddock today and they've been hitting white of late." So with Gannets diving all around us we headed for the bottom. "If we don't get any hits in 10 minutes we move to the next line." "Don't waste time in any one spot if the fish aren't hitting." Said Billy. Well, Jim and I barely made the bottom when we both had fish on. With line peeling out we knew we had big pollock on. And sure enough I pulled a 20 lb beauty out of the water, Jim had a couple of 15 lb fish and Capt. Billy hooked up with another 20 lb fish. We were fishing in 250 - 300 feet of water east of Stellwagon Bank. And hauling fish up from that deep is work. But very enjoyable work. We then hit some cod and haddock. So on the first drift we took the 4 pollock , 4 haddock, two cod to keep and threw back 10 fish. I was convinced. Our sister boat with other members of the Bite Me bait Co. on board were fishing the same area without the benefit of contoured charts and caught only 5 fish all day.

Nice pollock and cod by Elmer and Rock Bottom

Keeping your line straight up and down in the water column is very important. One way to do this is to keep your stern into the current and put the engine in reverse and use the engine to slow you down.  Another trick is don't over jig. Short slow strokes work as well if not better than long sweeping strokes. Often when leaving my pole in a rod holder to help land another fish I would be hooked up when I came back. "Bait will work well on haddock here too" said Bill.   "But the dogfish are around and they just waste your time."


A beautiful day on the water came to a close and we started the long trip back to the dock. Between the three of us we boated 30 haddock, 4-7lbs, 20 cod, 7 - 12 lbs. 4 pollock, and 2 cusk .  We threw back as many and we didn't take any haddock less than 24 inches.  These ground fishing techniques work well here and can save your trip by filling the cooler. So get an "Edge up on the other guy" and make sure your chart plotter has the contours lines needed to make your fishing trip a success. One of the hardest things to get done is the pictures. When fish are hitting no one wants to take the time to snap photos.

      Some of the fish we caught at different times out on and beyond the "Bank"

story by Elmer Muguaard photos by Billy Bob, Rock Bottom and Jimdogg