The Elizabeth Islands make up a breathtakingly beautiful 16-mile-long archipelago stretching southwest from the southern tip of Cape Cod. They sit roughly halfway between Martha’s Vineyard and the coast of mainland Massachusetts. The Elizabeth Islands are ridiculously fishy, having rocky shores, deepwater holes, current-swept reefs, and protected flats. They not only host huge numbers of fish, they also host huge fish. Two of the three state-record striped bass were caught along the Elizabeth Islands.
Anchoring the Elizabeth Islands is the island town of Cuttyhunk. In the late 1880s, a group of business tycoons established a fishing club there, which later drew visits from Presidents. You can still fish in the shadow of the “Bass Club” today, catching big striped bass on flies and plugs (instead of live lobster – the preferred bait back in the day). Off the coast of Cuttyhunk is the famed Sow and Pigs reef, a feeding ground for resident and migrating striped bass and bluefish.
The other main islands comprising the Elizabeths – Nashawena, Naushon, and Pasque – feature submerged boulder fields at the base of 100-foot cliffs, crescent-shaped coves with bright sandy beaches, and clear-water mixed-bottom flats. Between the islands are three “holes” – deepwater cuts that trade water between Buzzard’s Bay and Vineyard Sound. Quick’s Hole, Robinson’s Hole, and Wood’s Hole are hot spots for breaking fish, especially bonito and false albacore during their fall run. The Elizabeth Islands are an unforgettable “bucket list” location for saltwater anglers. We’re fortunate to have them in our backyard.