Plug casting and fly fishing the rips and shorelines around Nantucket is very exciting and has been Capt Tom's specialty since 1971. While other boats have begun to switch from the heavier troling tackle, no one else has the experience or quality boats that lead to Capt Tom's Charters' success and unmatched reputation.
Our inshore trips cover water within casting distance of the shore, the rips throughout the West End, and areas several miles offshore.
In general, our trips allow clients to make fishing decisions with their captain on board. The flexibility and fertility of Nantucket's West End will amaze you.
Fishing The Rips truly sets Capt Tom's Charters apart from the competition. Our boats are specificcally designed to safetly and comfortably fish the rips, and our captains have years of experiencce putting anglers where they need to be for the hook up of a lifetime. There is nothing like fishing the white wter off Nantucket's West End as Striped Bass chase dioriented bait clear out of the water.
When Tom was a newcomer to Nantucket, the predominant (if not only) way to fish for Striped Bass on a charter boat was trolling wire or using bait. When Tom started out, he opted for only casting and light tackle. Initially laughed off, he began to turn heads when he not only began out fishing the old salts, but when word spread about how and where he was doing it.
The rips were where Striped Bass fishing truly became a sport, and fishing them for Stripers is fairly unique to Nantucket - at least Nantucket is the best known for it. Fishing the rips is exhilarating and entirely different than previous techniques. It demands expert boat handling and knowledge of the water. The boat is navigated along (not quite in) very rough water in strong currents in order to give casters a shot at the white water where Bass are feeding.
The two dominant causes of the rips we fish are converging currents and sandbars. When water rushing over a sand bar, depth changes and strong currents create crashing waves known as a rip. As the water crashes through the rips in a tornado of whitewater, small bait fish are unable to swim and are the mercy of the current and crashing waves. Striped Bass, due to their impressive density and strength, are able to swim well within the tumult and make easy prey of the bait.
Fishing the rips is not for every angler or every boat. Our two big boats, Priscilla J. and Purple Water, are designed specifically for this water and handle it impressively. With their wide beam, massive weight, and shallow draft, great power and acceleration, they provide a sturdy fishing platform and responsiveness the captain needs to put you in the fishy waters.
The decision to fish the rips is up to you and the captain, and it will depend on what your party is looking for and the weather conditions. The great part about the rips are that they are spread throughout many of our other great fishing areas so it is easy to try them without any commitment or sacrificing other types of fishing!
(Capt Tom's Charters warns against fishing the rips on your own as they can be dangerous if not fished correctly)
Another great fishing scenario includes the many beautiful shorelines along Nantucket and the Western islands Tuckernuck and Muskeeget. It is a magical combination of serenity and excitement when you're fishing along a pristine shoreline void of boats, cars, or people and all of a sudden a big bass explodes on the surface of the water. Many of our clients are amazed when we tell them to cast towards the shore, and we're only 50 fifty away from the sand, but we often find the biggest Bass only a few feet from shore.
There are certain stretches of beach that have a productive combination of sudden drop-offs, bottom structure, and current dynamics that create very fishy waters on a consistent basis. Fortunately, many of these shorelines are close to home and among other fishy waters so we can enjoy them without sacrificing other options.
As with fishing the rips, Stripers can be caught with a spinning rod or on a fly. We have great luck with both underwater and surface lures, and the opportunity to see a bass attack a surface lure on flat water is hard to pass up.