Cape Cod was originally named this by Bartholomew Gosnold, an exploring captain. In 1602, Bartholomew caught a ton of cod near this cape and thusly named it. He even set up a fur trading station here, to trade with the locals.
For centuries, codfish have figured prominently in Cape Cod's history and fortunes.
Although many explorers and fishermen had sailed our waters in the 1500s, Bartholemew Gosnold is credited with the "European discovery" of New England decades later. In 1602, Gosnold set off to explore the coast south of Nova Scotia in search of a passage to Asia, rich in sassafras. He named Cape Cod's coast Cape Cod and made note in his logbooks about the plentiful "codfyshes" which "pestered" his ship.