Massachusetts Saltwater Fish Spotters Guide

Massachusetts is one of the best places in the US to go saltwater fishing, and you won’t be lacking in choices here. Long time anglers know what’s out there, but if you’re new to the area, the following guide will help you identify the most common fish you will come across. Once you’ve got your gear from Eat My Tackle it’s time to go fishing.

Striped Bass

Striped bass are the most common, with sizes ranging from a pound to the large ones weighing at 60 lbs. You can find them along estuaries, bays, reefs and inshore bars around the middle of April until October. The best baits to use are spoons, spinners, eels, jigs and sea worms. Light to heavy tackles will do fine but you can also go for boat trolling or cast from the shore.


If you’re looking for some challenge, try the Bluefish. You can find them along estuaries, bays, tide rips and the coast from June to the middle of October. You can use any type of fish as well as spinners, plugs and jigs, but they’re not going in without a fight. You can cast from a boat or shore using standard fly fishing gear.


Also known as black fish and white chin, you can spot them along breakwaters, jetties, bays, the whole coast and in the shore. Unlike other fish, the tautog doesn’t move far from where they are born and usually proceed inshore. The prime season for tautog is from April to November and you can use clams, crabs and shellfish for bait. A traditional or spinning rod will do fine, and fishing from the shore or a boat produces good results.


The weakfish resembles a trout and you’ll usually find them along the striped bass during feeding time. The months from June to September are when you’re most likely to spot them along deep water drop offs, sandbars, bays and channels. Shrimp works well as a bait and so does squid, eels and mackerel. Casting from your boat or the shore will do fine as will drifting and still fishing.

Black Sea Bass

The Black Sea Bass can be seen along the shores during the spring usually near Cape Cod Bay, the border from Rhode Island to Buzzards Bay and generally around places where there’s wrecks, rocks, reefs and other structures. The best time to catch these is from May to September using green crabs, clams or cut squid. As for methods, the best way to go about it is bottom fish from a sea vessel.


Scup is one of the easiest fish to catch, making them ideal for beginners (and scup tastes good too). The best time to catch scup is from May to October along the Rhode Island coast and to the south of Cape Cod. The best lures are sea worms, squids and clams, while light to medium tackle works best off piers and jetties.

So there you have it, the most common types of saltwater fish in Massachusetts! 

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