June 17, 2004
Marblehead: Mackerel seem to be a bit spotty but striped bass action continues to be good for those willing to put in the time. Beaches continue to produce for both bait and lure anglers, with bluefish showing up more and more. Night fishing will soon be the rule for big bass, but that’s the name of the game in the summer! Try an eel in the rocks and hold on!
Salem: Flounder fishing continues to please anglers with many catching their limit. A few bluefish have been reported in the Danvers River, while striped bass fishing remains somewhat steady. Salem Harbor has been home to many pods of stripers but unfortunately, most have been small. Mackerel have spread out a bit but anglers using large bait fish imitations are still landing nice fish. Reports from the Bass and North Rivers had good schoolie action with a few big ones mixed in.
Beverly: Bluefish action has increased while bass have become harder to find, but certainly not impossible. Anglers fishing off West Beach have reported decent striper activity as have anglers fishing Beverly Harbor. While mackerel have been spotty, anglers have still been using them as bait with success. Fly rod anglers have started to break out the floating lines to entice surface feeding bass.
Cape Ann: Boat anglers fishing off Manchester-by-the-Sea have done well with live mackerel as well as cut bait, landing some big bass. Anglers fishing off Magnolia as well as Halibut Point have done well with both live and cut bait. Depths to 120 feet have produced some bass in the 30 pound range. Bluefish are also being caught off Halibut Point. Mackerel have been somewhat scarce around the Cape, but Pollock have been showing up in bigger numbers. Reports also have bluefish in the Essex River as well as some decent sized striped bass, with several reports of good surface feeding activity over the last week. Dogfish are here, but Cod, Haddock and Pollack fishing is still pleasing party boat patrons.
Ipswich: I fished from a boat off Cranes Beach this past weekend and landed several nice bass on clam strips. On the ride over from Newburyport, we scared a few pods of fish lounging in the sun in Plum Island Sound, but these fish had no interest in any lures or flies we offered. Shore anglers reported spotty action; however some nice bass have come from Pavilion, Steep Hill and Crane Beaches. Bluefish are also in the mix here. The Ipswich River has been fishing well at dawn, dusk and night.
Newbury: Bluefish in the Parker River pleased several anglers over the last week. As usual, these choppers will pretty take anything you offer, but certainly poppers and metal lures top many anglers lists. Bass action in the Parker, while not quite predictable, has offered up keeper size bass over the last week.
Newburyport / Plum Island: Newburyport continues to offer good fishing, however “night time may be the right time” soon. Drifting the flats this past weekend saw several bass landed, but the action was not quite as fast and furious as weeks past. Larger flies on sinking lines were still the most productive set up with our crew, while sluggos on lead heads also produced. Bluefish have arrived as well, and anglers on Joppa Flats, the ocean front and at the mouth of the Merrimack have reported choppers in the 2-4 pound range. Fly anglers continue to cast away off the sand bar on Plum Island Point for steady schoolie action. Flounder catches are on the increase for those targeting them and Cod, Haddock and Pollock fishing has remained strong.
Salisbury: The riverbank at the State Reservation was lined with anglers this past weekend, most with rod in spike and bait on the bottom. Sea worms, clams, herring and mackerel have all been producing, mostly on the end of the outgoing and beginning of the incoming tide.
Seacoast, NH: Hampton Harbor, and the rivers and marshes around Hampton have seen the bass action slow, but it’s certainly not dead. Fly anglers reported catching sub-legal striped bass in the marsh/estuary; however the action is not as fast and furious in weeks past. Further up the coast, the Piscataqua River, Dover Point and Little Bay all have had excellent striper activity. Off shore, the Isle of Shoals has produced bass into the 30 pound range.