Chatham Lighthouse Beach

There are tremendous possibilities for catching a truly memorable striped bass here, although in recent years the fishing has declined due to a huge seal colony on nearby Monomoy Island. The seals are quite adept at stealing fish from anglers’ lines so it is essential to land any fish as quickly as possible. However, this beachfront and the inside passage (the outlet to Pleasant Bay, the largest bay on Cape Cod) have long been know as a premier fishing spot on the Cape. A long hike along the beach out toward the ocean will reveal myriad and ever-shifting channels and bars that are striper highways. Any standard striper lures work here, with the Hogy Original Series (7-inch and 10-inch), Hogy Sand Eels and Hogy Skinnies excellent choices. In the summer and fall, fishing is best in low light conditions. Two interesting possibilities if you choose not to fish on the outside are working the shoreline inside and the area on the opposite side of the long spit, a deeper hole known as “The Bath Tub.” There are plenty of sand eels in both locations and fishing well after dark will minimize the chances of dealing with seals.

Special Note: The waters off Lighthouse Beach and out to the oceanfront have held great white sharks in the summer in recent years. While the chances of encountering one are very slim, wading is not advisable.

Location: Off Main Street/Shore Road at Chatham Lighthouse.

Parking: The parking area directly above the beach is limited to ½ hour and this is vigorously enforced, especially in the summer. The only other options are parking downtown on Main Street and walking to the beach (about ½ mile) or taking the free shuttle that runs in the daytime during the summer from downtown.

Access: Easy, directly off the short term parking area, but a fairly long walk either to the inside or outside areas is necessary.