We start the season with haddock, a cold, deep water fish that is known for it’s eating quality. While they are found in water “much deeper”, Little Sister targets them in relatively shallow waters 150 to 190 feet deep. The past several spring seasons have been quite spectacular with “easy limit catches” quite often. Sometimes even having the full boat limit before 9am! When that happens we go in early and fish for flounder while the haddock are being cut. Bait fishing on the bottom is most effective but jigging takes them as well.
By-catch includes cod (which we “might be able to” keep one/person in 2022), pollack, mackerel, whiting, ling, cunners, pout, monk fish, wolf fish and cusk.
April and May. Average keepers are 2-5 pounds, some up to 12 pounds. Limit: 15/person/day, 17 inches and up
What made Little Sister famous and a specialty of Captain Jason! These fish spawn in April and then start to feed agressively as the water temps come up to 50 F. Excellent table fare and quite fun to catch. It is with these fish that many people get their introduction to saltwater fishing. Shallow water (6-20 feet average) makes this fishing easy for most people to get the feel. Quincy has long been known for having the best flounder fishing in the world! Sadly, expanded commercial fishing effort over the past 8 seasons has taken it’s toll and the fishing is a shadow of what it was before 2013. Very poor, shortsighted fishery management is responsible for a decline that they should have known would come. We used to throw back any flounder under 14 inches but now, to make the limit we have to keep any legal size fish most days. Bait fishing with chum pots out is standard as well as drifting when the conditions allow.
By-catch includes cod, skates, lobster, tautog and striped bass.
May and June. Average keepers 1-2 pounds, some to 4 or more pounds. Limit 8/person/day, 12 inches and up
While tog can be had in the spring, they are usually puffed up full of eggs then and I would feel bad keeping them so we do not go looking for them until the fall. As the waters cool in the fall, tog group up on structure (boulders, ledges, wrecks and rock-piles) in 20 to 70 feet of water. Dropping crabs on two hook “high/low rigs” or crab baited jigs, we catch our share of these hard pulling fish! If you ever want to see a man cry over losing a fish, tog fishing is for you! Blackfish are rarely far from some structure and the bigger they are, the more likely they are going to get to that hole in the rocks to make you miserable. Did I mention that they PULL HARD? We do win some often enough and the numbers of double digit (10 pound and up) tog speak for themselves. This is the fishing that seperates the men from the boys! By catch can be sea bass, scup, trigger fish, stripers and cunners.
September-November. Average size 3-6 pounds, some up to 15 or more pounds. Limit 3/person/day until 10/15 then 5/person/day after that.
Black Sea Bass
The “summer favorite” when the boat transitions to Westport (Massachusetts) the latter part of June. Also excellent on the table as cooked to your liking as well as highly prized for sushi and sashimi.
Average water depths of 30 to 50 feet allow for light tackle fun with these relatively hard fighting fish! Many days out we do not keep any under 18 inches and sometimes we are trying to top off the limits with only fish over 20 inches! Most trips see several hundred fish released along with limits for all! Bait fishing at anchor over structure is most effective but jigging is even more fun when the conditions allow for it.
By-catch includes fluke, stripers, blues, cunners, blowfish, triggerfish, silver eels, tautog, scup, cod and the occasional bonito.
Until the season closes 09/08. Average keepers are 1.5-2 pounds with some over 4 pounds most days! Limit 5/person/day, 15 inches and up
Cod are among the most iconic fish in the world and the most known and thought of fish in New England. Having said that, the populations of these fish have been over fished for at least the past 25 years and it is not really getting better any time soon. North of Cape Cod (named after guess what), there is a limit of one cod/day “sometimes” but on Coxes Ledge and all the waters we target out of Westport over the summer, the limit is 10 fish/person/day. Mind you we do not get anywhere near that many but on good days we do get 20 to 30 (or maybe a bit more) keepers for the boat. Regarded as excellent eating, cod are sought after in colder waters (100-300 feet deep) all over the world! We target them mostly in 100-130 feet of water on “Coxes Ledge”, “The Hills”, “The Trench” or on some wrecks south of Westport, usually about 45 minutes to an hour out. Bait fishing on anchor or drifting and jigging are both effective. By Catch includes many species, just about anything you can imagine! While “out there”, if the surface water temps are over 70F, we can also stop at “high flyers” to cast for mahi which like to school up in the shadow that the flyer makes. Sometimes we can get quite a few! The ones we get are not big but they are great on the table. The limit is 10/person/day.
July-August. Average keeper cod are 22 inches and up. We get some over 35 and ever over 40 inches at times.
While Little Sister will charter for stripers, most of her striper fishing is done on the way in or on the way out for “other things”. Great fishing is to be had right in The River and it is usually a very small effort to chum a few up from any of dozens of places. In The River, the average depth where we target these fish is 6-9 feet. Daytime fishing is done by chumming and chunking while nighttime fishing can be with lures and/or live eels. We use relatively light spinning gear for these fish and with the sizes of some of them it can be quite challenging to get these beasts to the boat! As there is a “slot size” (28 to 35 inches) for keeper striped bass in Massachusetts, we have to let go all the fish that are under or over the slot. Some days all the fish are TOO BIG!
By-Catch includes sea robbins, scup, bluefish and the occasional fluke.
May-October. Keepers of 28-35 inches are 8 to 18 pounds. We release a lot of fish in the 20 to 30 pound range and some “much bigger”….
FLUKE (Summer Flounder)
As the waters warm in June, fluke make their way inshore and are quite fun to catch as they can attain impressive sizes for a flounder species. When Little Sister heads to Westport near the end of June, fluke fishing is ideal from then and through August. Typically we fish in 40-70 feet of water with jigs and fish strips and until a few years ago we had some very impressive catches. Sadly though, excessive commercial pressure has been making these fish harder and harder to find. Expect to get “some”, with legal sizes from 17 inches and up and average fish from 2-4 pounds, though Little Sister has boated many over 8 pounds. By-Catch includes sea bass, scup, blues, sharks, sea robins and stripers.
Cod & Research
Sea Bass & Striper