July 1, 2004
Marblehead: Fishing around Castle Rock and the Lighthouse has been good for both bait and fly fishermen. Anglers reported mostly sub-legal striped bass activity, but plenty of it. Chunk herring or mackerel has been working well for bait anglers with sinking lines and bait fish imitation flies being the order of the day for fly anglers. Devereaux Beach continued to produce for anglers with the best action after dark.
Salem: Fishing in the Danvers River and in Salem Harbor has been productive over the past week and although most of the action has been on school striped bass, some larger fish have been in the mix. Anglers fishing with bait off the Salem Willows Pier have found fish to be willing to bite. Flounder and Bluefish have been less active.
Beverly: Fishing from West Beach over the last week, as well as just outside Beverly Harbor has improved with striped bass reported to be more active. Kernwood Bridge and Ober Park have both improved over the last week for both bait/spin fishermen and fly anglers.
Cape Ann: Singing Beach in Manchester-by-the-Sea has continued to fish well, especially after sunset. Top water plugs at dusk have been known to cause quite a stir and of course, no respectable striped bass can resist an eel! The Ipswich Bay side of the Annisquam River has been fishing well over the last week with buck tail jigs, sluggos and bait all producing fish. Fishing off Rockport and Halibut Point continued to please anglers targeting bass in deeper waters. The Essex River continued to be home to numbers of striped bass and bluefish; however the action was not fast and furious. Cod and Haddock action remains steady.
Ipswich: Crane Beach had large numbers of bass cruising the sand bars this past week. While these fish can be finicky at times, some nice fish were landed, including bass to 20 pounds. Steep Hill Beach and Pavilion Beach have also fished well over the past week with occasional bluefish blitzes noted by surfcasters.
Newbury: The Parker River National Wildlife Refuge has opened Parking Lot 1 and hopefully more beach front will be accessible to fishermen soon. Plum Island Sound has been slow over the last week, while the Parker River has been somewhat consistent for striped bass, even if most of the fish are sub-legal. Bluefish have not been quite as prevalent over the last week, which may indicate they have started the move to deeper water.
Newburyport / Plum Island: Fishing has been good around Newburyport and the Merrimack River estuary. Last Saturday’s fog did not deter hearty anglers from venturing out onto the river. I stayed up river and we were lucky enough to boat two bass over 20 pounds, both on top water plugs with 12 lb. test spinning gear. Earlier last week, a forty pound bass was weighed in at Surfland Bait and Tackle on Plum Island, so the big bass are in and eating. Fishing with a live eel on Joppa Flats at night is also a good bet. Cod, Haddock and Pollock fishing from the party boats continues to offer consistent action. Flounder action has been decent, while Bluefish have been spotty.
Salisbury: The Salisbury ocean front has produced a few striped bass surface blitzes over the last week, with a few big fish in the mix. Anglers fishing the Merrimack River from the shores of the Salisbury State Reservation have continued to do well with stripers on the end of the outgoing tide and first part of the incoming tide. Flounder fishing remains good just outside the mouth of the Merrimack as well as off the beaches with an occasional bluefish in the mix.
Seacoast, NH: Fishing the rocks off Rye as well the Hampton River and marsh has seen consistent striped bass fishing, although most fish have not been keeper sized. Further up the coast, and in the Piscataqua River, striped bass fishing has been good for both spin and fly fishermen. Bluefish have been scarce close to shore, however bigger blues (to 10 lbs.) have been reported around the Isle of Shoals.