Nantucket Flats Fishing
Spending a day on the idyllic shallow waters around Tuckernuck and Muskeeget is hard to beat. Add the thrill of stalking stripers in shallow waters, and you have a perfect package. When you put the entire process of spotting a fish, casting to it, hooking it, and bringing it to the boat, you will feel the greatest thrill fishing has to offer...any part of this package can be unforgettable!
Our flats boat - Roccus – is an 18’ Maritime Skiff that is perfectly suited to fishing Nantucket’s flats. A higher profile (side walls) than its southern counterparts allows us to fish in the sometimes windy conditions of Nantucket and take her further from port to expand our fishing potential. This ability is critical in Nantucket where wind and light conditions vary, and fishing the flats depends on good visibility – both of which can be diminished by wind and clouds. In times of challenging conditions, the flexibility Roccus gives us is invaluable and has been responsible for some of our most memorable trips. While fishing the flats is primarily an arena for fly-fishers, we’ve had great success with ultra-light spinning gear and can also explore the areas beyond the flats that are more suited to spin fishers. Flats fishing has been popular for decades in places like the Florida Keys and the Bahamas. While Bonefish, Permit, and Tarpon have long been considered the pinnacle of flats fishing, Striped Bass are quickly attaining the same level of respect among fly-fishers. In fact, many anglers agree that Striped Bass are their favorite species to stalk on the flats.
Until the late 1990s, you would have been laughed out of a tackle shop if you wanted to look for stripers in the shallow waters known down south as flats. Bass were generally a deep or rough water fish and only a few lucky souls knew they traversed the shallow sand flats throughout Cape Cod. In the late 1980s, a friend of Capt tom let him in on the secret that would change the face of Nantucket fishing.
For years, Capt Tom and his son Jason would sneak onto the flats on their old 17' whaler rigged with fly rods and clam rakes. Any time another boat came near, they would drop their rods and begin raking for clams. Until the early 90s, this was the only pressure these beautiful fish felt. Slowly, several of our clients expressed interest in fly-fishing and conversation about the flats grew.
Capt Tom was hesitant to add a flats boat as he questioned the sustainability of Nantucket's flats. As rumors of Stripers on the flats began circulating along parts of New England, Capt Tom knew his secret would be discovered, and he decided to let his clients be among the first to fish Nantucket's flats. Fortunately, our flats have shown amazing resilience to the growing fishing pressure and continue to offer great fishing.
In the beginning, we primarily waded the flats, but one of our earliest flats clients - Jimmy Buffett - convinced Tom to add a flats boat to his fleet. Roccus joined our fleet in 1996 and runs proudly as the first flats boat on Nantucket. We would love to share this special part of the island with you.