OTW TV Pollock Fishing Stellwagen Bank

Last week we were blessed with a November day that felt more like May with temperatures in the 60s and winds light and variable for most of the day. Captain Rich Antonino of Black Rose Fishing met us at Green Harbor marina in Marshfield, Massachusetts and an hour later we were drifting over 380 feet of water east of Stellwagen Bank. With cod season closed, the plan was to target pollock, a more aggressive relative of cod and haddock that will slam metal jigs and fight like heck as you try to move them off the bottom.

By the time we arrived, a few boats were already drifting the area, catching pollock two at a time on jig and teaser rigs.

Massachusetts Deep Sea Fishing Pollock
OTW Contributor Capt. Bobby Rice lands a double-header of pollock.

Capt. Rich grabbed a lightweight Okuma Andros jigging rod and reel and sent a 10-ounce Sting-O PBJ jig down to the bottom. While demonstrating how to work the jigs, Capt. Rich hooked up with the first fish of the day, a 15-pounder that went right into the fish box.

Captain Rich Antonino holds pollock
Cat. Rich Antonino of the Black Rose holds one of the day's first pollock.

OTW publisher Chris Megan was up next, and for the next couple of hours until the tide slacked, the action was pretty consistent, with several double- and triple-headers on pollock from 10 to 20 pounds.

Chris Pollock Fishing
OTW publisher Chris Megan with a 20-pound pollock that slammed a Sting-O PBJ jig.

It took me a few drops to get the feel, but after missing the first few fish I started to connect and put a few pollock on deck.

A stellwagen pollock
OTW editor Kevin Blinkoff holds a deepwater pollock destined for the fillet table.

While the pollock hit the jigs hard and fought with violent headshakes, it seemed like a subtle jigging action with a tight line right on the bottom produced more hits than a fast jigging action or a quick retrieve. Adding a simple teaser fly also increased the number of hookups.

Pollock on teaser
A simple teaser fly above the jig also drew strikes.

As we were drifting, Chris spotted a broad-shouldered shark that we assumed to be a porbeagle – a cold-water shark that would be at home in the 52-degree waters – cruise past the stern of the boat about a foot underneath the surface. Capt. Rich took a small live cusk off his line and pegged it on a circle hook underneath a balloon and fed out line from an Okuma Makaira sharking set-up. Minutes later the clicker started screaming and Chris took the rod. We were shocked that the taker wasn’t a porbeagle but a small blue shark that provided some excitement and a spirited flight.

Blue Shark fishing Massachusetts
Capt. Rich releases a blue shark that ate a live cusk on a shark rig.

After that exciting diversion, we got back to loading up on pollock fillets to take back to Dave “Pops” Masch to cook up using some recipes from his Cooking The Catch cookbook. We even caught a few redfish – also known as ocean perch – a member of the scorpionfish family that is covered in venomous spines! Capt. Rich handled those carefully and we’ll see how Pops has a recipe for them.

A pollock and two redfish caught on stellwagen bank
The day ended with a cooler full of pollock fillets and a couple redfish for good measure.

With plenty of footage for an episode of On The Water TV, producer Matt Rissell put down the camera and got in on the action.

Stellwagen Bank pollock fishing
OTW TV producer and cameraman Matt Rissell (left) put down the camera and got to see what it's like to pull a 15-pound pollock out of 380 feet of water with a lightweight jigging outfit.

Many thanks to Capt. Rich Antonino of Black Rose Fishing for a great day on the water.

8 on “OTW TV Pollock Fishing Stellwagen Bank

  1. Karl Berggren

    Looks like a great day ! ………hope to see the action on an upcoming episode.

  2. Leon Hull

    Great job! I’m looking forward to watching the TV espisode!

  3. Fisherooni

    Big pollock are a ton of fun. They readily bite, they fight well, and the meat, while nothing remarkable, is good white flesh for frying, chowder, etc. The population is healthy so more anglers should go after these fish for fun and food. Leave stripers off the dinner table.

  4. Jim Reilly

    Rich is one of the finest. Those are some monsters. Hoping to get one more trip to Jeffries Ledge. And looking forward to a November 20 tog trip with Jason Colby.

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