July 22, 2004
Marblehead: While it may not exactly be the summer doldrums, fish have become a bit picky in the waters around Marblehead. Anglers fishing the beaches at night have reported decent catches on both live bait (eels) and chunk bait. (herring) Soft plastics and popping plugs tossed along the rocky shore at night have also produced fish for persistent anglers. Fish are still being landed around the Harbor, Light House Point and Castle Rock; you just need a bit more patience than earlier in the season. Bluefish are getting easier to find, but mostly in the smaller variety and a few flounder catches have been reported in the harbor.
Salem: Similar to many North Shore locales, Salem has seen a slowdown in bass activity, but as usual, those who put in the time are still landing fish. Again this week, fishing around Baker’s Island has been productive for anglers fishing both live and cut bait. Bluefish cruising along the shore, as well as in the harbor have pleased anglers with their acrobatic abilities. Anglers fishing the Danvers River have found fish, especially around the flats. Flounder fishing remains somewhat slow.
Beverly: Anglers targeting flounder have reported decent catches just off the beach. Bluefish to nine pounds have been caught along the Beverly coast, with spin anglers pulling them in on metal (Hopkins, Kastmaster, etc…) and top water lures (Ballistic Missile, Ranger, etc…) Daytime bass activity has slowed, but fishermen venturing out after dark, have done well.
Cape Ann: Small striped bass are still available somewhat readily along the Cape Ann coast, but finding the big bass will take some time. Singing Beach in Manchester has been home to a few reported surface feeds over the last week, but nothing fast and furious. Bait anglers have reported some catches from the beach as well, using sea worms and cut herring. While not in large numbers, flounder have been reported just off the Manchester coast. There have been a few schools of mackerel and Pollack off the Gloucester and Rockport with bass in pursuit. Large profile baitfish flies stripped fast have been working well, as have soft plastics. The Essex River has slowed considerably, although bluefish have been resident in numbers. Party boats are doing well with good size cod and haddock coming back to the dock.
Ipswich: Nat Moody at First Light Anglers in Rowley reported decent numbers of mostly small bass around Crane Beach and Steep Hill Beach. He did say that there were a few bigger fish in the mix, with sight casting to these big bass a possibility, utilizing a sparsely tied Ray’s Fly, or similar sand eel imitation fly. There are plenty of 3-5 pound bluefish all along the ocean front and in the rivers.
Newbury: Reports have a mix of bass and greenheads off the Parker River NWR beaches over the last week. Anglers fishing sea worms and cut herring have reported decent sized bass from Parking Lot’s 6 and 7. There are good numbers of bluefish along the beach, as well as in the rivers and the Plum Island Sound.
Newburyport / Plum Island: Bass have become a bit fussy over the last week, especially for anglers with an aversion to bait. We did manage a few bass on Rapala Skitter Pops over the past week, but had steady action anchored just off the Toothpick with cut herring rigged on a long leader with a small egg sinker. Boat anglers fishing with live eels on Joppa Flats and around Woodbridge Island have reported keeper size bass. Fly fishermen fishing the early morning hours from the sand bar at Plum Island Point have reported decent catches over the last week. You’ll need a fast sinking line to get your fly down quickly in the fast moving current. Bluefish have been available at the mouth of the river (from the jetties) as well as along the ocean front. The commercial season opening has certainly increased the company you will see on the water. Party Boats have done well with Cod and Haddock, but dogfish continue to annoy at times.
Salisbury: Fishing the Salisbury ocean front has been good for those willing to hit the beach in the pre-dawn hours or after dark. Sea worms and herring have worked well for bait anglers. Fishing the river from the State Reservation has been good for both bluefish and bass. Anglers tossing metal lures and soft plastics have done well, as well as those using bait.
Seacoast, NH: Anglers fishing the mouth of the Piscataqua River with live eels have done well with bass into the thirty pound range. Bluefish have also been at the mouth, all the way out to the Isle of Shoals with some large choppers in the mix. The lower Piscataqua and Little Bay have also been producing good numbers of keeper sized bass.