Chatham Fish Pier
Chatham is noted as being a fishing village and many of our year round residents earn their living by fishing, shellfishing and allied occupations. While in Chatham, you MUST go the Fish Pier on the corner of Shore Road and Barcliff Avenue and watch the fleet come in with the day’s catch somewhere between noon and 3 p.m., depending on the tides. Please park only in the upper lot and do take some pictures of the catch…and the ever attendant seagulls! What do the fisherman catch when they go from 3 to 25 miles off shore? Of course they catch cod!...but also flounder, dogfish, lobster, halibut and pollock, bluefish and sometimes tuna. Tuna season is a real bonus time for some lucky fishermen! There are people from the Japanese market waiting for the tuna boats to come in and the first thing done is a test of the amount of fat the tuna has. This is done by cutting a piece of the fish above the tail. A fish with the desirable amount of fat is greatly prized in the Japanese market…and paid for accordingly!
"In only 24 hours, our Chatham tuna may be enjoyed as sashimi in a restaurant in Tokyo!"
While refrigerated trucks are waiting to take the fish to major cities, we can enjoy this wonderful feast here in our local restaurants! Now if this is making you envious of all the fun our hard working fishermen are having, please look on the right side of the home page of my website under charter fishing boats…and you too can be out there fishing! Striped bass and tuna seem to be the popular quests. A real bonus of this is the common but awe inspiring sightings of whales very near the fishing boats!
When you are visiting the Fish Pier, do notice the Fishermen’s Monument in honor of our proud and independent fishermen and women. In 1992 after an international competition, the entry of Sig Purwin of Woods Hole was chosen by the fishing community. The sculpture entitled “The Provider” shows a strong hand pulling a net filled with all the various species of fish and shellfish that make our area famous for the best fish on the Atlantic Coast!
Our lighthouse has a long history of helping sailors avoid the treacherous Chatham Bars and still functions as well as being a scenic attraction at the end of Main Street overlooking Pleasant Bay, North Beach and the ocean beyond. There is parking overlooking the beach and our now famous break in the beach which occurred in 1986. The sands are ever shifting there and the break moves constantly, making navigation through it a challenge. The Coast Guard is an important presence in Chatham and their brave members have performed many rescues in the area. The Coast Guard station is right there at the foot of the lighthouse. If the weather is windy, various flags are posted indicating small craft warnings, gales and up to hurricane force winds.
"At Christmastime, the Coast Guardsmen put a huge wreath on the lighthouse."
For more information on the lighthouse, please see my link on the right side of my webpage.