As for the best cod boat in New England, Capt. Tom Lukegord, Nicole-Renee, well noted by the late Tim Coleman and Captain Greg of the YANKEE CAPTS. With cod fishing, we are talking history of and on areas and wrecks that were found and fished since the advent of Loran-C.
With cod essentially prohibited north of 42 Lat, you are left with the mixed groundfish bag east and south of the Cape. With the abundance of haddock and pollock, as well as anglers adopting to catching whiting in 60 fathoms, redfish, as well as cusk and a few white hake, it is more about the service a for-operation provides as well as the comfort, which as you get older you will appreciate. Everyone who has fished for a few years in New England will have their favorite operator, and who knows what will happen when Captain Jimmy Walsh gets the AMERICAN CLASSIC operating in 2021. I believe with the increase in halibut in New England waters and hopefully an allowance for wolfish retention in the coming years, I would highly recommend to fish with a couple of the noted charter and party boat operators scattered along the various New England ports to get a chance to catch (I did not say 'land') these species.
Another case in point, I have a friend who worked on a noted fishing boat fleet on the east end of the island, who ended up taking a trip to Maine with his family and ended up taking a shot and fished with Captain Mike on the Nor'easter, and now raves about him. Who would have known until he did his own checking around and fishing with a few operations during his travels, and his comfort zone fit that operation. I will have to admit though, that Captain Nate of the ANNE B is one incredible fishermen whose energy on deck and his humble demeanor is someone I would personally recommend any fishermen to take a charter with....he is that good.
Good luck, and remember to try a few operations on your own from the recommended list. As a few of us know, the captain in the picture above was a great fishermen - and I will add a pioneer too especially when it came to cod tackle, but goodness when he got into a "mood," totes went flying across the deck......