C-MAP Featured Hotspot: The Hooter

Hooter Raster Map
The Hooter marks Wasque Shoal and its drop-off into deep water at the end of Muskeget Channel.
Click on map for hi-res raster map provided by C-MAP

The Hooter is an area named for the buoy that marks the end of Muskeget Channel, just over 3 miles south of the Southeast corner of Martha’s Vineyard. (The buoy makes a hooting sound as it bobs up and down.) What draws fish to this area isn’t the buoy itself but the sandy structure of Wasque Shoal and its sharp drop-off into deep water at the end of Muskeget Channel.

Hooter Vector Satelite map
Mid to late May fish are often found in visible current rips on the edge of Wasque Shoal
Click on map for hi-res vector map with satellite imaging provided by C-MAP

Action at The Hooter begins in mid- to late May when striped bass arriving from the south (and later, bluefish) are drawn to the area to feed on squid and sand eels. The fish are often found in visible current rips on the edge of Wasque Shoal (area A) and can be taken by casting or trolling.

Hooter Bathymetric Map
In warmer water, bass can be found in deeper water off the edge of the drop-off into Muskeget Channel.
Click on map for hi-res bathymetric map provided by C-MAP

As the water warms, bass are more likely to be found in deeper water off the edge of the drop-off into Muskeget Channel (area B) and can be taken by trolling parachute jigs on wire line or by vertical jigging. Remember to stay within the 3-mile line, as it is illegal to target bass in federal waters.

  • Check out some amazing bonus footage that our crew captured of a bluefish spewing sand eels at the Hooter

In mid- to late July, bonito arrive at The Hooter, often a week or more before they are reported inside Vineyard Sound. False albacore will also mix in by August, and bluefin tuna are always a possibility in the deeper water.

Hooter 3d Map
For Bonito, focus your efforts on steep dropoffs.
Click on map for hi-res 3d map provided by C-MAP

Most bonito fishermen use high-speed trolling tactics to target these fish while avoiding bite-offs from bluefish. Rebel Fastracs, Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnows, and other lures that track well at high speeds are popular.

Casting metal lures like Deadly Dicks and Swedish Pimples or Hogy Epoxy Jigs around schools of sand eels under feeding terns will also be effective at times. Use your chartplotter to focus your efforts on the steep dropoff. Usually, you’ll find the bait and the bonito hanging between the 30- and 50-foot contour lines (area C).

13 on “C-MAP Featured Hotspot: The Hooter

  1. Darlene O

    Was wondering what brand of rod & reel was being used in bonito video?
    I am in the market for a new saltwater set-up and the one shown looked like something I would be interested in. Thank you!

    1. Jimmy Fee

      Kevin was using a Quantum Cabo 40 as a reel. The rod was a Quantum Cabo spinning rod, that is no longer available, however any 7-foot, medium-action spinning reel would be perfect for that kind of fishing, both light-tackle trolling and casting to breaking fish.

  2. Pat B


    I believe the reel is a quantum cabo (40 maybe 50), not sure the rod – possibly a
    Shimano Teramar

  3. Paul Megan

    Love our son’ magazine and his TV show. good work, Chris and your staff.

    1. Jimmy Fee

      New Episodes of Season 12 have been airing since late January.

      1. Brett

        Oh wow. My bad, I guess I missed something or maybe saw a repeat and assumed. Thanks again

  4. Steve

    I live in Quincy, need to know where I can fish off shore. On foot meaning no car. Can you help where the fish are

  5. Jim Fournier

    Any idea when your show will be back on Dish Network? We asked them if you were on there, they said yes, we switched providers and then no On The Water!!!? Anything we can do to move it along? I miss watching! It was nice seeing you at the RI Fishing Show in Providence Chris. Best regards, Jim

  6. JohnW

    Really enjoyed this wknd (March 26, 2017) OTW tv show of fluke fishing on Nantucket Shoals. What is the fluke fishing like on Wasque Shoals? Similar? Also, wonder if fluke fishing at southern end of Shoal (where it drops to deep water) on south flowing tide would be good. Have not tried that, but can imagine if sand eels/squid/crabs etc are watching off shoals into deep water, that might be a good fluking spot. Anyone try fishing there for fluke?

    1. Jimmy Fee

      It has all the ingredients of a great fluke spot, John, I’m sure somebody is targeting them there.

  7. AZ

    Caught a fluke last summer while fishing alone and trolling with a rising tide, aka as an easterly tide, for stripers in 5-10 feet of water crossing over the shoals. Had never caught a fluke there before. Got two schoolies that day and released same. Was using 27# lead line and a subsurface Yo-zuri lure.

  8. Paul Scarangella

    Was just wondering if you could elaborate more on bluefin fishing around the hooter. got a 17 footer so not too far but is it possible around the hooter?

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