Fishing and Boating

The waters of Chatham are filled with boats of all kinds. Even in the dead of winter there are boats to be seen. Most of these are fishing vessels in Chatham and Stage Harbors. Commercial fishermen go out whether it is cold or not. Only high winds keep them in port. Come spring, the waters blossom with power and sailboats of all sizes and kinds. Small boats have become so numerous that many are kept in dry-stacks and are launched only when they are going to be used. Rowboats, canoes and kayaks are regularly seen on some of the quieter waters. Surf- and sailboarders enjoy the wind and waves.

If you bring your boat with you there is a list of town landings from which to launch. If you don't have your own, you can rent powerboats, sailboats, Sunfish, surf- and sailboards as well as fishing gear in Chatham.

Commercial shuttles will ferry you to Monomoy or South Beach for bathing, birding or surf fishing.

There are also guided excursions to view birds and seals and to visit Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge. Charter boats will take you to catch bass, bluefish and other species in Pleasant Bay, Nantucket Sound and the Atlantic.

Shellfishing for soft-shelled clams is popular. Razor clams and quahogs are also delicious. Shellfish licenses are available from the Permit Department, George Ryder Road.


Some of the most exciting bass fishing anywhere is found in the rips off Monomoy Island and Nantucket. Since the infamous "break through", during which the barrier beach off Chatham was cut in half, the southern end has connected to the mainland of Chatham below the lighthouse. This allows foot access to the outer (South) beach and casting from shore can be done either on the inside or in the ocean surf. There are also many charter fishing boats in the area, so if you're planning to visit and you love to catch citation striped bass and more, visit the Atlantic Panic website and book a charter in advance. Flounder can be caught in salt rivers from boats, the shore or bridges. No permit is necessary for saltwater fishing. Freshwater ponds have fish too but require a license which may be purchased from the Town Clerk.

Chatham has two yacht clubs, Stage Harbor Yacht Club on Stage Harbor and Chatham Yacht Club on Pleasant Bay. They have sailing programs and races each summer that can be viewed from shore.

From mid afternoon on, you can watch Chatham's 60-boat fleet bringing in the day's catch: mostly haddock, cod, and flounder, some pretty sizable, A wooden observation deck provides a good vantage point, and a postage- stamp park with an impressive sculpture by Sig Purwin, The Provider, was added in 1992:

This is a reprint from "Chatham 1997" with kind permission from Thompson's Printing Inc.
51 Finlay Road, Orleans, MA 02653

Stage Harbor Real Estate • 29 Stage Harbor Road • Chatham, MA 02633
Phone: 508-945-0074 • Fax: 508-945-9113 • Email: