Photo Gallery: The business of the Chatham Fish Pier

Jul 26, 2023 | A Day in Photos

Dogfish is one of the most plentiful catches in Chatham during the summer.

Since hundreds of thousands of people have flocked to the Chatham Fish Pier to see commercial fishermen unload their catch, many have seen the sights captured in this gallery. But for us, the excitement and bustle of the fish pier never loses its allure.

People used to say that fish smelled like money. They still do, and the pier feels like community. The fish pier represents pride in the past, values of the present, and promise for the future.

The pier is fishermen leaving wages in the ocean to help tow in a fellow captain; a pre-school girl on the deck leaning over and clapping when she sees fish come flying down the chute; thousands of pounds trucked to markets around the nation and shipped around the world.

With the Chatham Bar all but impassable except at high tide, boats like the Carol Marie come in all around the same time.

Low tide means a bevy of seals line up on the sand bar across from the pier.

Captain Mike Woods brings in skates, pictured, and dogfish.

Brandon Vieira, who manages the fish pier operation for Red’s Best, layers fish with ice before they are shipped off-Cape.

There are four offloading spots. The bay next to Red’s Best is currently used by fishermen who truck their own fish, or work with a trucking company.

Commercial fishermen also unload on the side of the pier.

Hundreds of people a day watch fishermen unload.

Aunt Lydia’s Cove is also popular with tour boat operators and paddleboarders.

This summer has been foggier than in years past.

Even with thick fog and a shoaled harbor, the fish pier is busy.


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