The snow has melted away, and the waters are beginning to warm, which means spring and summer are just around the corner in New Bedford. While it’s not quite time to break out the water toys, anglers are already flocking to Buzzards Bay hoping to reel in the first catch of the season.
Spring Fishing at Buzzards Bay
Just like birds, striped bass migrate south for the winter, spending their time in the slightly warmer waters down south. But as their food sources move north when the waters warm, so too do the stripers. By late April, “schoolies” of young fish are typically found searching for food near the mouths of harbors and coves, with big schools of stripers back in the bay around mid-May.
Our Favorite Spots
The Buzzards Bay fishing reports are a great place to get inside information from local fishermen, so they’ll give out-of-town visitors a good idea of where the fish are biting as spring transitions into summer. But there are a few tried-and-true fishing spots that have been good to every angler in New Bedford.
Cape Cod Canal
No boat fishing is allowed at Cape Cod Canal, so anglers flock to the shores with their rods and reels, hoping to snag the big one. Stripers, bluefish, mackerel, tautog, and many more are plentiful at this spot. There are plenty of public access recreation areas along both sides of the canal, with the most popular spot being at Herring Run Recreation Area, where river herring gather for migration in spring.
Smaller schoolies arrive in the marshy areas of the Westport River in early spring, but anglers looking for the big stripers will find plenty of them in May as they follow the river herring upstream. The state boat ramp is a convenient launching point, offering easy access to the mouth of the river and in-river fishing destinations like Ship Rock and Gooseberry Island. Locals have also reported great catches from the bridges of Hixbridge Road and Route 88.
Fort Taber Park
The mouth of New Bedford Harbor teems with stripers and tautog in the spring and summer months, and Fort Taber Park offers the perfect destination for catch-and-release fishing. A lot of bottom feeders are found in this area, and the high levels of PCB pollution found in New Bedford Harbor mean these fish are at risk for toxins, so the EPA warns against eating them. Still, the fish are there, and there are many offshore destinations like Great Ledge that can be reached by boat in minutes.
When you’re ready to cast our a line, stop by Standard Marine Outfitters for all your fishing and boating supplies. Fill out our online contact form or give us a call at (508) 990-7917 to get in touch with our experienced staff today.