The 9 Best Striper Fishing Towns in the Northeast

In the Northeast, there are towns where striped bass fishing is a way of life.

Greetings From Striper Town

In the Northeast, there are towns where striped bass fishing is a way of life. In these towns, mounts of giant stripers can be found not only in the local tackle shops, but in the local pubs. The latest fishing reports are traded as currency on the docks, on the beaches and at the breakfast joints, and when the bass are running, every third car will be racked with surf rods or towing a boat.

MONTAUK, NEW YORK
montauk

Every striper fishermen needs to experience the madness of the Montauk Fall Run. The frenzy of the bass, bluefish and false albacore blitzes spills over into the town itself, with the very mood of the locals rising and falling with the latest fishing report.

Montauk offers something for every type of striper fisherman. Fly and light-tackle anglers chase blitzes in small boats off the point, while trophy hunters drift eels in the rips. Surfcasters can work the day shift to cash in on the wild blitzes under the lighthouse or they can burn the midnight oil to target a cow.

Hit the Beach
Montauk Point State Park

Montauk Point State Park
2000 Montauk Highway, Montauk, NY

Every bit of shoreline in Montauk has the potential to produce great fishing, but visiting anglers need not look further than “The Surfcasting Capital of the World,” Montauk Point State Park. Ample parking, easy access, and outstanding fishing make this the most popular surf-fishing spot on Long Island. The lower lot has a festival atmosphere during the fall run as fishermen tailgate between tides. During sunrise and sunset, crowds of surfcasters gather under the lighthouse and in nearby Turtle Cove to get their shot at the schools of blitzing stripers moving along the shoreline. A number of lures will work at Montauk, but whatever you do, don’t forget the bucktails and darters.

Eat Up

Shagwong Restaurant
774 Montauk Highway, Montauk, NY

While you’ll find better food at a cheaper price at any number of Montauk restaurants, it’s worth visiting the Shagwong for a bowl of chowder and a cold beer after the sun sets. It’s at this time that many of Montauk’s visiting fishermen descend on this pub to do the very same. Outside of the tackle shops, Shagwong is the best place to hear the latest gossip surrounding Montauk’s striper scene. After finishing your soup, swing by Pizza Village for some takeout on your way back to the room so you can get an early jump on the morning bite.

Wok 'N Roll

Wok ‘N Roll
716 Main Street, Montauk, NY

While the Chinese food here is okay, the true appeal of this place lies in its “You Hook’em, We Cook’em” slogan. Take your freshly caught striper to Wok ‘N Roll, and they will prepare it in one of ten ways, all of which are delicious.

Launch the Boat

Gone Fishing Marina
67 East Lake Drive, Montauk, NY

While there are a few boat ramps in Montauk, this is the only option for non-residents. There is parking at the marina for your truck and trailer.

Stay

Harborside Resort Motel
371 West Lake Drive, Montauk, NY

Fishermen trailering their own boats to Montauk will appreciate the close proximity to the launch, the ample parking for trailers and the boat washdown area at Harborside Resort.

Bait Up
Montauk boat launch

Paulie’s Tackle
131 Edgemere Street, Montauk, NY

Stopping by Paulie’s is a must for visiting surf-fishermen. Buy a couple bucktails, get the latest scoop from Paul, and linger just long enough to hear some fish stories and lies from Montauk’s colorful cast of local surfcasters.

Montauk Marine Basin
426 W. Lake Drive, Montauk, NY

You’ll find the latest news on the East End’s boat-fishing scene at this well-stocked marina.

NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND
Newport, RI

Newport is known for mansions and sailboat races, but a surfcasting subculture exists in this seaside town. Boat fishermen, too, find themselves right in the heart of the action when leaving from Newport, with bunker-filled Narragansett Bay, countless rocky points and coves, and Block Island all within striking distance.

Launch the Boat

Fort Adams State Park
Newport, RI

This concrete slab boat ramp has nearby parking and good access to Newport Harbor and the East Passage of Narragansett Bay.

Eat Up
Flo's Clam Shack

Flo’s Clam Shack
4 Wave Ave, Middletown, RI

Home to the finest fried whole belly clams in Rhode Island, Flo’s is always worth a visit when fishing in Newport. While waiting for your order, skim through the assorted memorabilia tacked to the walls, and you’ll find black-and-white pictures of some truly impressive stripers taken from Newport waters.

Bait Up

The Saltwater Edge
1037 Aquidneck Ave., Middletown, RI

The Saltwater Edge is one of the best-stocked tackle shops in New England. With walls full of striper plugs, surfcasters can always count on the Edge to have the latest hot lure in multiple colors.

Hit The Beach
Brenton Point State Park

Brenton Point State Park
Ocean Ave., Newport, RI

The surf fishing here is not for the faint of heart. Slick rocks, big waves and swift current make it hard on the fishermen, but paradise for the fish. Hit Brenton when warm summer temperatures force stripers from Narragansett Bay into the cool waters of the ocean, and you’ll have a fish story worth telling to the crew at The Saltwater Edge.

BUZZARDS BAY, MASSACHUSETTS
Cape Cod Canal

The preferred form of transportation for fishermen in Buzzards Bay is the bicycle, preferably outfitted with rodholders and pedaled along the service road of the Cape Cod Canal. This man-made waterway has been serving as a shortcut for vessels, and fish, since 1914, and a devoted group of striper fishermen descend on the town, and the Canal, every year starting in May.

While the Canal cuts through several towns, Buzzards Bay, with its iconic Railroad Bridge, may be the most recognizable. It’s also home to Red Top, a shop that has been serving Canal fishermen since 1949.

Hit The Beach
Cape Cod Canal striper

The Cape Cod Canal has easy access and some of the best shore-fishing for stripers in the entire Northeast. Fishermen will find ample parking on both sides of the Canal, and finding stripers can be as easy as looking for birds and breaking fish.

The early morning tides in the days following the new or full moon have the potential to produce great fishing from May through November. Fishermen line the shores of the Canal and cast pencil poppers, swimming plugs and soft-plastic jigs to intercept the stripers riding the currents of the “Big Ditch.”

Bait Up
red-top

Red Top Sporting Goods
265 Main Street, Buzzards Bay, MA

MACO’S Bait & Tackle
3253 Cranberry Hwy, Buzzards Bay, MA

Eat Up
Leo's Breakfast Restaurant

Leo’s Breakfast Restaurant
249 Main Street, Buzzards Bay, MA

After the morning bite in the Canal dies down, many fishermen move to Leo’s for a morning bite of their own. The parking lot fills up with trucks sporting rod racks and Canal cruisers, and the details of the morning’s fishing are shared in hushed tones over hot coffee, bacon and eggs.

CHATHAM, MASSACHUSETTS
Chatham

From restaurant signs to weathervanes to the bumper sticker on the car in front of you, you can’t drive a block in this small Cape Cod town without seeing a representation of the striped bass.

The surf fishing in Chatham waters has been poor in recent years thanks to the burgeoning grey seal population, but the boat fishing is better than ever. Huge schools of stripers move between the cool waters off Nauset Beach and the turbulent waters of the Monomoy Rips, feasting on sand eels, herring, squid and mackerel. The fishing heats up in late June and carries on through September. Diamond jigs are the lure of choice off Nauset, but in the Monomoy Rips, live eels, fresh squid and soft-plastic stickbaits bring the most bass to the boat.

Launch the Boat
Ryder's Cove Boat Launch

Ryder’s Cove Boat Launch
46 Ryder’s Cove Rd, N. Chatham, MA

During the commercial striped bass season (approximately late June through late September), visiting fishermen must obtain a Ramp Use Permit online or at the Harbormaster’s office no more than 24 hours in advance. The permits cost $20 per day, and no more than 40 are issued on a daily basis. Parking is limited, and purchase of the Ramp Use Permit does not allow use of the residents-only parking areas.

NEWBURYPORT, MASSACHUSETTS
Newburyport

Plum Island, the Merrimack River, Joppa Flats and access to some of the fishiest shoreline structure in the Northeast make Newburyport the place to be if you just can’t wait for the fall run to start. Big stripers feed heavily on hot August nights, and boat and shore fishermen hook up by using live eels, live and cut mackerel, and big plugs.

Bait Up
Surfland

Surfland Bait and Tackle
30 Plum Island Boulevard, Plum Island, Newbury, MA

At the heart of Plum Island’s fishing community lies the more than 50-year-old shop, Surfland Bait and Tackle. Surfland stocks everything from live eels to lobster pots and is one of the premier rod-and-reel repair stores in the region. It is worth stopping in the shop just to look through the photos of 50-plus-pound stripers—proof of how productive the waters around Plum Island can be. 

Launch the Boat
Cashman Park Boat Ramp

Cashman Park Boat Ramp
Newburyport, MA

This state-of-the-art boat-launching facility has parking for 136 trailers. It is open 24 hours a day throughout the striper season, with the exception of the first Saturday in August, when it is closed for fireworks. There is a small fee for parking and launching.

Hit The Beach
Plum Island

Plum Island

Located less than five miles south of the New Hampshire border, Plum Island offers boundless shore-fishing opportunities. Unlike most fishing points along Boston’s North Shore, access around Plum Island is very angler-friendly. The Merrimack River gives this area life, producing forage, current, structure and tidal flow as it courses from the White Mountains of New Hampshire to the Atlantic Ocean. The combination of these factors attracts both stripers and surfcasters in big numbers every season.

CAPE MAY, NEW JERSEY
Cape May

Cape May is known for its Victorian homes, antique shops and Sunset Beach where tourists comb the sands for “Cape May Diamonds.” The real gem in this quiet town is the fishing. With one of the busiest fishing ports in New Jersey, Cape May is a hub for offshore fishing, with many big-money tournaments based out of the South Jersey Marina in the summer months.

During the spring and fall, however, striped bass are the talk of the dock.

The spring belongs to the surfcaster, as stripers leaving Delaware Bay swim near the beaches as they round Cape May Point. Fresh surf clams and chunks of bunker on fish-finder rigs will get the job done. In the fall, boat fishermen have their chance, as monster stripers follow schools of bunker into the sloughs and channels of Delaware Bay. Anchoring up and chunking with fresh bunker provides one of the best shots at catching a 50-pounder in New Jersey.

Bait Up

Hands Too Bait and Tackle
970 Route 109
Cape May, NJ

Launch the Boat

Spicer’s Creek Boat Access
3rd Avenue, Cape May, NJ

Cape May’s public boat launch provides easy access to both Delaware Bay (through the canal) and the ocean (through Cape May Inlet). This concrete ramp has ample parking and enough water for launching at low tide. There is a fee to launch at Spicer Creek.

Hit the Beach

Poverty Beach
This 2½ mile sand spit on the south side of Cape May is a popular spot for surfcasters to dunk bait for big stripers during the spring migration.

SEASIDE PARK NEW JERSEY
Seaside Park

Fishing is so engrained in the Seaside Park community that there is an annual kids’ “Fish Hat Parade” to raise awareness about the health of our oceans. This town is a major tourist destination in the summer, but striper fishing runs deep among its residents and visitors.

When the tourists leave and the stripers return in the fall, Seaside Park does a quick transition from summer vacation spot to surfcasting paradise. The most popular spot in Seaside is Island Beach State Park, where fishermen can drive or walk to access some of the best surf fishing in the state.

Bait Up
Grumpy's Tackle

Grumpy’s Tackle
906 NE Central Ave, Seaside Park, NJ

Don’t let the name fool you. Grumpy’s is a great spot for fresh clams, the latest hot lures and useful, friendly fishing advice.

Stay

Island Beach Motor Lodge
Central Avenue, Seaside Park, NJ

Located just outside the entrance to IBSP, the Island Beach Motor Lodge offers reasonable rates during the fall run.

Eat Up
Betty And Nick's Luncheonette

Betty and Nick’s Luncheonette
807 SW Central Ave, Seaside Park, NJ

Attached to Betty and Nick’s Bait and Tackle, and located just outside Island Beach State Park, you can stop here for a breakfast sandwich and a dozen clams before hitting the beach.

Hit the Beach
Island Beach State Park

The sandbars of Island Beach State Park fill up with stripers in the spring and again in the fall. Clams are the most popular bait in the park, but during the fall when schools of stripers and baitfish move along the beach, diamond jigs, needlefish plugs and soft-plastic stickbaits will take fish.

Visiting fishermen can buy a three-day permit to drive on the beach ($75 for New Jersey residents, $90 for non-residents), provided they have a four-wheel drive vehicle and the proper equipment.

HIGHLANDS, NEW JERSEY
Highlands

This small fishing village has been a destination for fishermen since the turn of the 20th century, due to its location at the mouth of the Navesink River and close proximity to Sandy Hook. Fishermen, whether shore or boat, have great access to some of New Jersey’s best striper waters while staying in Highlands.

Boat fishermen are within striking distance of the Shrewsbury Rocks, a large natural rock formation that extends eastward from Monmouth Beach. These rocks serve as a staging ground for migrating stripers in the spring and fall, and fishermen target bass in this area by drifting live bunker or trolling. Raritan Bay spots like Sandy Hook and Ambrose channels are good areas for targeting migrating stripers, especially with live eels after dark.

Bait Up
Giglios

Giglio’s Bait and Tackle
1123 Ocean Ave. Sea Bright, NJ

Before heading out to Sandy Hook, surfcasters should swing by Giglio’s for the latest report and a few custom plugs.

The Tackle Box
1134 State Route 36, Hazlet, NJ

Whether you’re trolling the oceanfront or casting clams from the Raritan bayshore, you’ll find what you need at The Tackle Box.

Launch the Boat

Atlantic Highlands Municipal Marina
Atlantic Highlands, NJ

This large concrete boat ramp has trailer parking available, but getting there early is recommended. Launching at the marina requires a small fee.

Hit the Beach

Gateway National Recreation Area
Sandy Hook, NJ

Gateway National Recreation Area

Fishermen staying in Highlands are a short drive from the Sandy Hook Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area. Stripers and baitfish moving in and out of Raritan Bay pass close to the beach at Sandy Hook, making it a top spot for surfcasting. Anglers planning to fish after dark must purchase a nighttime fishing pass at the Entrance Station or Lighthouse Keeper’s Quarters.

COLD SPRING HARBOR, NEW YORK
Cold Spring Harbor

This old whaling town still has a maritime feel, especially when the bass are running.

The fishing lights up in the early spring as stripers move into the warming waters of Oyster Bay to feed. Light-tackle and fly-fishermen will enjoy fast action with schoolie bass and the occasional keeper, but don’t be surprised if schools of adult bunker bring in some larger bass. The striper fishing out of Cold Harbor can be good right through the summer, especially for boat fishermen chunking with bunker out in the Sound. In the fall, the stripers move back in and stay as late as Thanksgiving some years.

Launch The Boat

Cold Spring Harbor Ramp
Route 25A, Cold Spring Harbor, NY

Non-residents are required to pay a $20 launching fee, but this ramp provides easy access to Oyster Bay and a straight shot to Long Island Sound.

63 on “The 9 Best Striper Fishing Towns in the Northeast

    1. Bob merchant

      Never fished up there do all of my rock fishing in the Chesapeake bay in Maryland so I need to say Stevensville MD.

      1. William

        Amen to the Pier! Guy caught a 40lb-er last night!

      2. William

        Heard Pigs are out in fierce quantities today March 26th, 2016 at Marine Academy.

      3. Hayden

        Love that you call them rockfish. I used to live in MD, but I never got to do any fishing there. What’s it like?

    2. Bob

      Maine and N H….. ? Is in the North East ..looks like your magazine is for Mass/holes

      1. Ken

        Saco bay. Old orchard beach saco scarborough maine. We have them all summer and dont have to wait till spring and fall migrations. They are here all year. Saco bay tackle in saco maineis a great go to for all types of fishing. Tuna striper etc. why does everyone forget to include us mainahs

    1. drdrool

      you mean where world record stripers are pulled from? nope, terrible place for stripers.

      I joke, of course.

    1. Josh

      Tell ’em Chris, better off not on the list – don’t want fishermen flocking.

      1. Gary Routenberg

        Where in Nahant, I’m close by and not exactly sure where to go, thanks!

  1. Sam

    Betty and nicks has been the hub of seaside park fishing since forever. Glad to see they got mentioned as a restaurant, but also an excellent bait shop as well!

  2. Gary Sheperd

    You guys stay fishing in your spots!!!! Last year I couldn’t get out as much as I usually do. In 5 trips I put 3 – 50 lb. plus fish in the boat. We don’t count the 40’s!!!!! Good luck!!!!!

  3. Thom Pelletier

    How can you compile a list of the best striper towns in the NE and leave out Narragansett, RI?????
    Or not mention Quaker Lane Bait & Tackle, RI’s oldest, most popular and most well stocked shop.

      1. Ken

        I agree. Old orchard and saco are amazing fishing and tourist spots. I live in old orchard and to answer your question. Higgins beackh. Goosefare brook in ocean park and the jetti at the mouth of the saco river are my fav spots. Cows can always be found below the dam at saco island. Absolutely no fishing past the line o.n the rocks. Unless you want a bad run in with the wardens lol. I havent even seen maine in that report even though we dont have to wait for spring and fall. All sizes of stripers are here all season. Ive even spoken to charter captains in kennebunk and ogunquit and they even catch in the middle of the winter. Im not paid for anything but saco bay tackle in saco maine is a must. They even have a giveaway for the first 40+ striper brought in every year.

    1. Chris

      Are you kidding not including Provincetown and across the bay in Barnstable.

    2. Eugene Spring

      Where are you on this.? One of the best and long time written about Bass havens, I and several of the all time “surf rats” including Steve McKenna and Art Lavalle of ACME-Tackle and Tim Coleman ( former editor of the Fisherman Magazine, God rest his soul); all have 50 +lb bass from shore. I guess no one noticed that Dave Pickering ( over 50,00 bass from shore) is a main staple in the Northeast fishing shows year after year? According to Dave, you guys did a fishing show with him??? I think you need some help on this one.

    3. Quentin

      How about Bristol RI
      And
      Lucky’s Bait and Tackle in Warren RI. Nicest and knowledgeable group I’ve ever met.

  4. John kistenmacher

    The state of Maryland offers some of the best striping fishing on the East Coast. Northeast river. Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. Pulled many a big striper From these locations. Thought they should be mentioned

    1. Michael Savini

      The article is specifically about the northeast, so they didn’t include Maryland.

  5. Sheldon Nickerson

    Bay of Fundy Canada. Along the shore line of the Bay of Fundy n a few rivers that flow into the Bay of Fundy. Places like Lower Five Islands Nova Scotia, Economy Nova Soctia are places that I have fished n caught a few legal fish (26.8inches long n above) . There are a one camp ground that I go to that you can fish right of the beach face ( Lower Five Island).

  6. Fishtheworld

    They can’t list every town guys. Fun list though, and great info on each place!

  7. Bob Mackinnon

    Plymouth Harbor. Boat, kayak, or from the jetty. Gets hot late April and stays good through October.

  8. Skip Tilton

    Cuttyhunk Island, MA. Come on out and see why it’s been on top of the leader board for decades.

  9. Stephen ridlon

    Old orchard beach maine or York beach Maine for some surfcasting!

    1. Chris Mccaff

      I am headed to Old Orchard in a couple of weeks and I am fairly new to surfcasting. Do you know of any particularly good areas to fish from the beach? Any tips on bait or rigs you’ve used there? I need all the help I can get!

  10. Captain Joe Fitzback

    When fishing Chatham, stop in Chatham Bait and Tackle, all tyes of gear and bait. Also maps to the best spots for tides .just up the road from Ryders cove at 1082 orleans rd.
    You won’t be disappointed

  11. Captain Joe Fitzback

    When fishing Chatham, stop in Chatham Bait and Tackle, all tyes of gear and bait. Also maps to the best spots for tides .just up the road from Ryders cove at 1082 orleans rd.
    You won’t be disappointed .
    From tuna gear to the largest selection of Saltwater flies.

  12. Blue Pirate

    Add Forked River NJ.
    Forked River Tuna Club.
    Shops:
    Lacey Marine
    Grizz’s bait and tackle
    Fisheries:
    Barnegat Bay
    5 minutes west of Barnegat Inlet for the best coastal striper fishing in NJ
    Restaurant: Captains Inn & Tiki Bar

  13. Chris

    Naragansett RI is a Striper town no doubt about it! Many diehards there. . As for spots to fish anywhere from Cape May to Plum Island Mass can be productive for trophy Bass. Got to put in your time and scout and work at it. Its way more satisfying to catch at a spot that you found with knowledge and hardwork rather than reading about a spot on the internet.

  14. Jeepsrs

    The list stopped short of the top two striper towns.

    #1. New Shoreham, Rhode Island AKA Block Island.

    #2. Cuttyhunk Massachusetts

  15. Joel

    Susquehanna flats – Upper Chesapeake Bay – This is where all the big Sow bellies are heading – Launch boat Anchor Marine – Bait up Herbs Bait N Tackle – Plus Barber Shop – Eat up at Woody’s Crab House –

  16. David R

    What about Connecticut? I live up here in Westbrook, and honestly this is where world class Striper fishing is at, go off the coast of Duck Island at South West reef where the world record Striped Bass was caught back in 2011, you’ll be impressed. Westbrook is a hot bed for all kinds of fish, especially the big ol’ bass.

  17. bobm

    rocky, slippery, not for faint of heart… Beavertail Park, Jamestown, RI… deep and fishy

  18. Brandon F

    What about New brunswick, nj there is great Fishing and great hookers and great H

  19. Chuck

    All great spots great articale cant burn every spot guys . Good fishing up and down the coast for sure!

  20. Todd Eccleston

    Fire island lots of shorts ,but two 30lbs in thanksgiving!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Wayne Stauffer

    Delaware River can be good in spring. Got a 53 in with a girth 33 in few yrs back. Short season though. All catch-N-Release

  22. Wayne Stauffer

    Delaware river can be good in spring. Short season though,water warms fast. All catch-n-release. Must use circle hooks. Gamewarden will check

  23. Johnny london

    It’s been said thebest striped bass is the harbour in Norwich,ct in may check it out.j.l.

  24. Will

    Block island definitely holds the biggest fish. Perfect geographical area. Drop offs, shallow and deep. BEST kayak spot I think. Ferry RIDE is nice.

  25. Johnny M

    South Boston power station in Boston great for stripers. Outer banks,the islands on the flats sows big sows

  26. stephen williams

    I fished Plumb Island this year only because I won in a lottery. The Island belongs to a small bird called a plover. It is an outragous waste of money to remove the ability of people to drive onto the beach and fish only to let a bird mate on the beach! Let the liberals change everything and you will have to request permission to do everything

  27. stephen williams

    you cannot get to plumb Island becouse a bunch of liberals made it the breeding grounds for Plovers. millions spent on protecting Pluvers? Please someone do something !!!!

  28. Bryan U

    Add Upstate NY. Hudson River at the Federal Dam between Troy and Green Island. They run up to spawn and it is good fishing. Boat fishing gets crowded, but shore and surf casting are great there as well.

  29. Edward Makuck

    Just goes to show you, most of these stories are written by people who do little or no fishing outside their home port or are influenced by $$ from bait shops and charter boats. To leave out the CT shoreline, Narragansett/Block Island and Cuttyhunk/ surrounding islands really illustrates the lack of knowledge of the person who wrote this article. Check the monthly results for the Striper Cup. NJ is almost non existent in the standings and yet rated here as the best state by far. LOL

  30. Chris L

    You all gotta fish with Capt Dave on the Queen Mary. Amazing boat and captain. THE BEST!!

  31. Rick

    Watch hill RI is nothing short of amazing in the east pocket. In the fall it boils with bass blues bonito and falsies pounding acres of trapped bait

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