The Fish


We catch a wide variety of fish, so we felt it would be nice to show you the types we typically go for. Keep in mind that some fish are more seasonal than others.

Fluke & Flounder


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The Midnight Fleet supplies spearing for bait but it is always a good idea to bring some Squid along for the trip. Change your squid strips frequently as well as your spearing if you don’t get any bites.

Catching Fluke is really fairly simple, just drop your line to the bottom of the sea floor and then stop letting out line by locking your Reel; as the boat drifts along, remember to keep bouncing your Sinker. All you really need is a plain Hook, Sinker and some bait, but for the more adventurist, it may be a good idea to carry some artificial bait with you as well. A good selection of different colored 1 1/2 to 2 inch grubs especially white, chartreuse, purple, yellow and red could significantly enhance your catching when fluke get locked on a color. Slide one up the hook shank to the eyelet and fish it in conjunction with your squid and spearing combo.

When fishing is slow, I start changing colors until I find something that gets a response. Another great artificial bait is Berkley Saltwater Gulp products especially the swimming minnows or mullet in 3 or 4 inch sizes, white or chartreuse. I have seen people catch good numbers of fluke on these with no other bait especially with the chartreuse color. Tip one of these gulps on a 2 – 4oz Spro Bucktail and adding a teaser hook to your rig is proving to be a deadly combination for catching fluke!

Good Luck, remember that the Mate are there to help you if you have any question or need assistance.



Blackfish


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Blackfish are hard fighting, tough on tackle, and excellent on the table. They are one of the best species available in the fall. Anglers are particularly successful from October through December, when Blackfish are concentrated in the greatest numbers along shorelines. While the best fishing is centered on Cape Cod, Blackfish can be caught all along the Eastern Sea Board from Cape Ann to Delaware. Blackfish are caught either from a boat at anchor or by casting anywhere along rocky shorelines. Anglers use bait such as a large piece of sea worm, whole or halved crabs (green, whites, rock, hermits, or fiddlers), and pieces of conch, snails, or cracked clams.

A rod with “backbone” is required to catch this battling fish. Most anglers choose a medium-action spinning or conventional rod with 40 to 50-pound test line, and use a “no hardware” 2 hook rig with a sinker tied to the bottom.

It is important to stay alert and do not bounce your sinker, this is a skill of being patient; lower the bait into the water until it reaches the bottom. All slack line should be taken in as soon as the bait stops sinking. Once a fish picks up the bait, let it tap once or twice, and set the hook hard, lifting the Blackfish away from the bottom before the fish goes back into the depths and the line becomes entangled in rocks.

DO NOT TO BOUNCE THE SINKER!

Good Luck, remember that the Mate are there to help you if you have any question or need assistance.


Black Sea Bass


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The Midnight Fleet supplies Clam for bait but it is always a good idea to bring some Squid along for the trip. Change your Clam frequently as well as your Squid Strips if you don’t get any bites.

Catching Black Sea Bass is really fairly simple, just drop your line into the bait reaches the bottom of the sea floor and then stop letting out line by locking your Reel; as the boat drifts and or is anchored, remember to keep bouncing your Sinker. All you really need is a Hi/Low Hook setup, Sinker and some bait, but for the more adventurist it may be a good idea to carry some artificial bait with you as well. A good selection of different colored 1 1/2 to 2 inch Minnows especially white, chartreuse, purple, yellow and red could significantly enhance your catching when Black Sea Bass get locked on a color. Slide Minnow up the hook shank from Head to Tail into it’s under belly and fish with conjunction with your squid and Clam combo.

When fishing is slow, I start changing colors until I find something that gets a response. Another great artificial bait is Berkley Saltwater Gulp products especially the swimming minnows or mullet in 3 or 4 inch sizes, white or chartreuse. I have seen people catch good numbers of Black Sea Bass on these with no other bait especially with the chartreuse color. Tip one of these gulps on a 2 – 4oz Spro Bucktail and adding a teaser hook to your rig is proving to be a deadly combination for catching fluke!

Good Luck, remember that the Mate are there to help you if you have any question or need assistance.



Striped Bass


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Striped bass eat a variety of foods, including fish such as alewives, flounder, sea herring, menhaden, sand lance, silver hake, tomcod, smelt, silversides and eels, as well as lobsters, crabs, soft clams, small mussels, sea worms and squid. They feed most actively at dusk and dawn, although some feeding occurs throughout the day. During the midsummer they tend to become more nocturnal.

Angling after dusk or dawn provides the greatest success most of the season, but night fishing is often best during the midsummer. Anglers are most successful when fishing the shoreline in areas where tidal rips, strong currents or wave action create turbulent “live” water in temperatures ranging from 55 to 65 degrees F.

When surf fishing the beaches with swimming plugs and live eels many anglers prefer the 10 to 12 foot surf rod and conventional reel spooled with 30 to 40 pound test monofilament line. However, a medium to heavy spinning rod with 12 to 20 pound test monofilament line is considered ideal by many anglers for plugging, jigging or offering bottom fished baits to bass. Lures are attached directly to the line with a snap swivel. When bait fishing, the preferred rig consists of a pyramid sinker attached to a fish finder and about 2 feet of leader with a brightly colored float attached close to the hook. The float keeps bait away from bottom dwelling crabs, dogfish and skate.

Live lining of herring, porgies or mackerel can be a very productive means of taking large bass. A fairly stiff boat rod with a conventional reel is the preferred rig. Bait fish are hooked through the back or snout using either a single or treble hook.

Good Luck, remember that the Mates are there to help you if you have any question or need assistance.


Bluefish


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Bluefish Anglers fish from boat or shore along nearly every harbor entrance, town dock, beach and jetty. Wire leaders are a must in order to prevent hooked fish from cutting the line with its sharp teeth. Anglers use a variety of plugs, sand eel type jigs, squid like or mackerel like lures when casting or trolling. Porgies, Mackerel, Bunker or eels are the preferred live baits. When these are not available, many types of cut bait also do well such as Bunker.

With most fish, the quality of the flesh and thus the flavor, will be best if the bluefish is bled, gutted and iced as soon as possible after capture. Bluefish filets can be marinated in acidic foods such as vinegar, lemon or lime juices, or wine, or they can be cooked with fresh vegetables such as tomatoes and onions. These methods will lighten the flavor as well as retain the oils that confer the full healthy benefits associated with eating fish.

Good Luck, remember that the Mates are there to help you if you have any question or need assistance.



Porgies


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Porgies feed frantically and fight energetically when hooked, thereby providing angling enjoyment for the entire family. This little scrambler is especially fun for children, as a school of actively feeding scup typically provides non-stop fishing action.

Porgies provide particularly exciting battles when anglers use either a medium-weight spinning or lightweight surf outfit carrying a 10 to 20-pound test line. Some anglers prefer jigging small lures, but the overwhelming majority prefer bait fishing. A typical rig includes the following. A bank sinker is tied to the end of the line. One to two Snelled Hooks are then tied to Line 6 to 10 inches above the sinker and we use clams as bait, but you also bring along Squid strips because they last well through the frantic attacks a school of scup will make upon baited hooks. Although scup are quick to grab bait, they are difficult to hook. For greatest success anglers need to become adept at setting the hook as soon as the tip of the fishing rod shows the slightest dipping, or at lifting the baited hooks gently off the bottom to induce fish to strike sharply rather than allowing them to nibble at the bait. Upon finding a school of actively feeding scup, some anglers lower the bait to the bottom, count to five and set the hook, rather than risk having their bait stolen while waiting for the subtle nibble of the fish. Scup do not spoil as quickly as many other fish, which must be immediately cleaned or placed in ice. Still, timely icing and cleaning is recommended in order to enjoy the full sweetness of this species’ flavor.

Good Luck, remember that the Mate are there to help you if you have any question or need assistance.


Cod


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The Midnight Fleet supplies Clam for bait but it is always a good idea to bring some Squid along for the trip. Change your Clam frequently as well as your Squid Strips if you don’t get any bites.

Bait up your hooks with plenty of clam or Squid. I prefer the pieces that have a good portion of the “strip,” which is the stringy membrane also cut the Squid into strips. Cod Fish aren’t that particular there’s no need to worry about hiding the hook or having a pretty looking presentation. You want it to stay on the hook and you want it to stand out down there.

Now drop it to the bottom. Make sure you have solid contact with the bottom. If your line starts to float out after you’ve hit the bottom you may need more weight, I personally don’t. Once I hit bottom I keep it there tight to the bottom. I keep my line taught and try and move it as little as possible. I will even move my rod with the boat as it rides the swell to keep my sinker firmly on the bottom.

I’ve noticed two distinct different bites or hits from cod. One is a slight tap, like you’d get from a porgy. The other is a solid tug, like someone underwater has grabbed my line and yanked it two feet back. I always set my hook on the latter. If I’m getting lots of the tapping variety I try and let the fish take it a bit ‘till I feel the weight of the fish, or at least a more solid hit. Most of the time if you try and set the hook on the first tap, you’ll swing and miss, which has a good shot at leaving yourself without bait. Believe me, I swing and miss a ton. It’ll take a couple tries to get the touch down.

Good Luck, remember that the Mate are there to help you if you have any question or need assistance.


Thanks for Reading


There are many other types of fish that you can end up with while fishing with us. We’ve had everything from Sea Robins to small sharks come up on the boat, so if you hook something give a mate a call and he’ll help you get your catch on board. Please remember that we adhere to the laws regarding what you can take home, so if its too small just enjoy the fight the fish gives you, take a pic, and we’ll send it on its way.