The Hooter #447
The “Hooter” is an area named for the fairway buoy that marks the end of Muskeget Channel off
the Southeast corner of Martha’s Vineyard. The groaner buoy makes a “Hooting” sound as it
bobs up and down, hence the nickname. The Hooter itself in not really the fish attractor, it’s
more the shoals in the area around the Hooter and along with the sharp drop-off at the end of
The Hooter starts fishing in Mid-May when the squid draw the bass and blues into the rips but is
most known for the best fishing during the Dog Days of summer as the water warms in many of
the shallower inshore spots forcing fish to find cooler waters. The Hooter is the perfect place as it
is the nexus between the warm waters of Nantucket Sound and the cooler waters of the deep
In late July, when the shallow shoal water temps really heat up, the massive amount of bait found
here draws in Atlantic Bonito and False Albecore. Bonito and albies are common targets in this
area. While fishing for these smaller tunoids, hooking into larger Bluefin tuna is a fairly
common and exciting bonus.
The Hooter is a long run from almost every port. The good knews is that you travel a lot of fishy
areas to get there such as Wasque, Horseshow Shoal, Hedge Fence depending on which direction
you’re coming from. Since this area holds such a variety of species you can choose to fish this
area pretty much any way that you prefer.
Some tips to get you started:
- The most common tactics include sight casting plugs and soft baits under birds. Many
fish hold in or around the shallow ups, and just either side of the shoal.
- In the rips, particularly on a south bound tide, trolling is a standard, especially early in the
morning with tubes weighted for stripers with wire line, lead core or trolling weights.
- Equally as popular, speed trolling plugs along the rip lines and in open water in the area
either side of the rip later in the season is a sure-fire way to hook into bonito and false
- At the later stages of either tide, large stripers can be targeted on the bottom using wire
line or vertical jigs dropped to marked fish on the finder.
- The Hooter is a very family friendly spot to fish in that the action is always good for
something! Here’s a light tackle trolling video we did when we just trolled small Hogy
Sliders in open water for a mix of trolled sea bass, bluefish, stripers and fluke. If albies
and bonito where in the area, we would have caught them too!
- Approx Lat & Long: 41° 15.007′ N, 70° 26.168′ W
- Best tide: Either Tide/Moving
- Hazards: High Flyers, Logs, Debris