Billingsgate Shoal #439

Billingsgate Shoal

If you’re looking for a consistently great spot to fish for striped bass in Cape Cod Bay, look no further than Billingsgate Shoal. This shoal is a hotspot for stripers. While Billingsgate has its ups and down throughout the season, its ability to hold sand eels in the area will always hold fish.

Billingsgate Shoal expands about 5nm from the entrance to Wellfleet harbor. The shoal itself is relatively shallow rarely going deeper than 15’ in depth. The deeper (and fishy) waters surrounding the shoal range from the upper 30s top 50’ in depth. Billingsgate is unique in that there are so many opportunities for different styles of fishing. For example, the skinny waters on the shoal are fantastic for light tackle and fly angling but the deeper areas around Billingsgate shoal itself are conducive to vertical jigging and lead core and wire trolling.

Here’s a few tips to get you started:

  1. Billingsgate can often get crowded with boats so, like all hot spots in cape cod bay, it’s good to get their early, especially on mornings when peak tides overlap with twilight hours. On a busy Day at Billingsgate, you’ll find may boats deploying many different techniques from topwater casting, trolling large amounts of wire line, speed trolling the surface for bluefish, live eels and even flyfishing. Please be aware of this and respectful to your neighbors.
  2. Watch for birds diving on surface-feeding fish. Both stripers and bluefish feed on the surface here, especially at first light. Sand eels are the primary forage so cast soft plastics, slim profile swimming plugs, sand eel jigs or flies.
  • Approx. Lat & Long:  41°50.1’ N, 70°09’ W (Southwest End)
  • Best tide:  Outgoing; action slows at slack.
  • Hazards:  Few. Many boats may be trolling in the same area.

WATCH: Jigging for Striped Bass at Billinsgate Shoal.