Gloucester, MA Fishing Reports

Tips for Catching Trophy-Sized Bluefish in Gloucester, MA

Published July 1st, 2024 by Tuna Tail Charters

Gloucester offers anglers the opportunity to target a variety of prized species, including the formidable bluefish. These aggressive predators are known for their ferocious strikes and powerful runs, making them a thrilling catch for any angler. However, landing a trophy-sized bluefish is a true test of skill and perseverance. In this guide, we'll share expert tips and techniques to help you increase your chances of hooking and landing a trophy bluefish in the waters of Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Photo by William McAllister

Understanding Bluefish Behavior

Before we dive into the specific tactics, it's essential to understand the behavior and characteristics of bluefish. These fish are known for their voracious appetites and tendency to hunt in schools. They are attracted to areas with abundant baitfish, such as menhaden, herring, and mullet, and will aggressively pursue their prey.

Bluefish are also highly migratory, following the movements of baitfish along the coast. In Gloucester, they typically arrive in late spring and remain throughout the summer months, providing ample opportunities for anglers to target them.

Key Bluefish Characteristics:

  • Aggressive predators with sharp teeth
  • Hunt in schools, often near the surface
  • Attracted to areas with abundant baitfish
  • Migratory patterns follow baitfish movements

Tackle and Gear Recommendations

When targeting trophy-sized bluefish, having the right tackle and gear is crucial. These powerful fish can put up a fierce fight, and your equipment needs to be up to the task. Here are some recommendations:

Rods and Reels:

  • Heavy-duty spinning or conventional rods (7-8 feet)
  • Reels with a smooth drag system and ample line capacity
  • Use braided line for increased strength and sensitivity

Terminal Tackle:

  • Wire leaders to prevent line cuts from bluefish's sharp teeth
  • Strong, sharp hooks (circle hooks or J-hooks)
  • Swivels and snaps to prevent line twists

Effective Lures and Baits

Bluefish are known for their aggressive strikes, and the right lures and baits can make all the difference in attracting their attention. Here are some proven options:


  • Topwater plugs (poppers, chuggers, and walk-the-dog lures)
  • Metal spoons and jigs (bucktail jigs, diamond jigs)
  • Swimbaits and soft plastics (mimicking baitfish)


  • Live baitfish (menhaden, mullet, herring)
  • Cut bait (chunks of baitfish or squid)
  • Rigged baitfish (ballyhoo, mullet rigs)

When using live or cut bait, it's essential to keep it fresh and present it in a natural, enticing manner. Bluefish are attracted to the scent and movement of their prey, so mimicking these cues can significantly increase your chances of success.

Fishing Techniques and Strategies

In addition to the right tackle and bait, employing effective fishing techniques and strategies can make a significant difference when targeting trophy-sized bluefish. Here are some proven methods:

Chumming and Chunking:

Chumming involves dispersing a slick of ground baitfish or chum to attract bluefish to your location. Chunking involves casting or drifting cut bait or chunks of baitfish to create a feeding frenzy. These techniques can be highly effective in drawing in schools of bluefish and keeping them in the area.


Trolling with lures or rigged baits can be an excellent way to cover a large area and locate schools of bluefish. Once you find them, you can switch to casting or drifting techniques to target specific areas.

Sight Fishing:

During the summer months, bluefish often feed near the surface, creating visible disturbances and commotion. Keeping a keen eye out for these signs can help you pinpoint their location and cast directly into the feeding frenzy.

Tidal Movements:

Bluefish are often more active during periods of strong tidal movement, as the currents can concentrate baitfish and create prime feeding opportunities. Pay attention to tidal patterns and plan your fishing trips accordingly.

Conservation and Regulations

While bluefish are a popular target for anglers, it's essential to practice responsible fishing and adhere to local regulations. In Gloucester, there are specific size and bag limits in place to ensure the sustainability of the bluefish population. Additionally, catch-and-release practices and proper handling techniques can help minimize harm to the fish and promote conservation efforts.

Size LimitNo minimum size limit
Bag Limit15 fish per day

Book Your Trophy Bluefish Adventure Today!

Tuna Tail Charters is passionate about providing unforgettable fishing charters in Gloucester, MA. Our charter guides and top-notch fishing equipment ensure that you have the best chance of success when targeting trophy-sized bluefish.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to battle these fierce predators and experience the thrill of landing a trophy catch. Book your bluefish fishing charter today by calling us at 978-905-6200 or booking your charter here. We are ready to assist you in planning the ultimate bluefish fishing adventure in Gloucester, MA.

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