July 29, 2004
Marblehead: Plenty of bluefish in the waters off Marblehead, however our striped friends continue to be a bit picky and tougher to locate. Anglers casting bait around Castle Rock and Light House Point have landed some striped bass in the past week, mostly in the wee hours or after dark. Bluefish have been abundant for both shore and boat anglers with some bruisers to 15 pounds being reported. Boat anglers off Marblehead have faired a little better as the fish have moved to deeper (cooler) waters.
Salem: Anglers fishing the Salem-Beverly Bridge have reported decent catches of bass, mostly for those fishing at night. Eels and cut bait have worked well, while those tossing lures and flies have had a tougher time. Bluefish have been abundant for both shore anglers and those fishing from boats. Salem Willows Pier has produced both bluefish and striped bass for anglers willing to put in the time. Anglers casting chunk baits off Winter Island have reported some decent bass catches as well.
Beverly: Flounder have become harder to find as dogfish continue to annoy anglers, but plenty of bluefish for those interested. Anglers fishing just outside the harbor have reported marauding bluefish, many located after having a cut off while fishing for stripers. Fishing from the Beverly Fishing Pier has been sporadic, but some blues and stripers are being landed.
Cape Ann: Fishing off Singing Beach has proven slow, but anglers willing to fish at night or early in the morning have reported bass that are still cooperating. Bluefish have blitzed the beach a few mornings as well, but boat anglers have had more success off Manchester with the toothy ones. Surfcasters fishing Cape Hedge and Good Harbor beaches have had success with both bass and blues. Fishing the rocks off and around Rockport has been productive in the early morning hours and at night. Anglers using live eels in those rocks have landed keeper size bass over the last week. The Essex River has slowed down, with bass becoming harder to find, and sporadic bluefish activity also reported. Offshore, cod and haddock fishing has been good, with the dogfish not as much of a nuisance as a few weeks ago. Rumors are becoming more frequent and credible regarding school bluefin tuna sightings and catches.
Ipswich: Plenty of bluefish around Ipswich Bay and along Steep Hill and Crane Beach. Pavilion Beach has also seen bluefish blitzes over the last week. Striped bass have continued to be somewhat elusive, but anglers trolling tube and worm setups have reported bass catches in deeper waters.
Newbury: When the Parker River Wildlife Refuge has its “No Refunds, Greenheads are Here” sign posted, you know they are not kidding! Nonetheless, anglers braving the threat of being mauled by these flesh eating flies have reported bass and bluefish catches from the currently open beaches at the Refuge. No changes since last week, as Parking Lot 1, 6 and 7 are open for surfcasters. Bluefish have been hitting Ranger type lures as well as metal lures like Charlie Graves Tins or Hopkins. Stripers have been hitting sea worms as usual, but you’ll need a small float to keep the skates off your line. The Parker River and Plum Island Sound have seen plenty of bluefish over the last week.
Newburyport / Plum Island: Fishing the Merrimack River upriver of the Route 1 Bridge has been good for anglers tossing cut baits into some of the deeper holes off Carr, Eagle and Deer Island. Joppa Flats has been home to decent striped bass fishing, even as we enter the traditional “slow down” period. Fly anglers wading on Joppa have had a harder time over the past few weeks, but fish are still being caught for the persistent angler. Bluefish have been caught up on the flats as well, but the main action with the choppers has been right at the mouth of the Merrimack, or along the ocean front. Some big bluefish mixed in with the typical 3-5 lb fish. Surf fishermen fishing the ocean front have landed decent sized bluefish from the beach and anglers using bait have enticed striped bass to their line. Party boat action remains decent off Plum Island for bluefish, cod and haddock. As around Cape Ann, school bluefin tuna rumors are beginning to gather momentum.
Salisbury: Shore anglers fishing the river from the State Reservation resembled a picket fence from afar this past weekend, but anglers willing to deal with the sometime shoulder to shoulder conditions have reported catching good numbers of schoolie sized striped bass along with some good sized bluefish. Boat fishermen have done well anchored in the fast moving waters just off the Toothpick and Badgers Rock. Cut herring still seems to be the favored bait.
Seacoast, NH: Fishing off Seabrook, Rye and Hampton has slowed a bit, however a few surface feeds with bass and birds overhead have been reported just outside Hampton Harbor. Plenty of anglers were fishing the Railroad Bridge in Hampton when I drove by this past weekend, and one angler had a nice bend in his rod. Anglers fishing around Portsmouth continue to land good numbers of bass in and around the Piscataqua. Isle of Shoals still has reports of good bass and bluefish activity.