September 16, 2004
Marblehead: The Fall run has not quite measured up to years past yet, but hopefully that will mean a later season for us all. Devereux Beach has offered decent fishing over the last week, with anglers doing well at night with bait and a few surface feeds at dawn also being reported. Just outside the harbor there have been reports of decent sized bluefish willing to take most offerings when you can find them.
Salem: Large bluefish have been tearing it outside the harbor and some in the 15 pound range have been landed. In addition, boat anglers trolling a tube n’ worm set up have done well with keeper sized bass. Striped Bass fishing off Winter Island continues to be fairly consistent, with nice sized fish being landed. Flounder have been moving as well, with local anglers finding them a bit easier than in weeks past.
Beverly: There have been a few surface feeds reported over the last week in the vicinity of West Beach and the Landmark School. The fish seemed to be chasing small pods of bunker; however the bait has been far from plentiful in the North Shore waters. Anglers fishing around the Salem/Beverly Bridge as well as from the Beverly Fishing Pier have done well with bait for striped bass. Pods of bluefish have also been patrolling the area.
Cape Ann: Surfcasters fishing off Singing Beach over the past week have found a mix of bluefish and striped bass activity. Herring have been in Manchester Harbor over the past week and anglers able to take these fish and live-line them have done well with some larger striped bass. In Gloucester, anglers have done well for bluefish off both Good Harbor and Wingarsheek Beaches, with the fish taking typical offerings like Ballistic Missiles, Rangers, and most any other top-water plug. Fishing off Halibut Point has yielded some larger striped bass, mostly on bait. Further north, the Essex River has been picking up in activity, but like most locations, it just does not feel like the Fall run is underway. Anglers in search of Tuna have found a few of these “footballs”, but most of the activity seems to be to our south in Cape Cod Bay. Cod and Haddock fishing have been strong for the party boats.
Ipswich: Action around Ipswich has been good, with fish cooperating with shore anglers fishing Pavilion, Crane and Steep Hill Beaches. A mix of blues and stripers were reported to be feeding furiously on the surface at the mouth of the Ipswich River earlier this week with the fish feeding on a mix of sand eels and silversides. Fly anglers reported better fishing from the beaches, with sinking lines and bait fish imitation flies working well.
Newbury: Surfcasters working the shore at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge have seen good numbers of striped bass over the past week, with the best action seeming to be from Emerson Rocks down to Sandy Point. I was fishing off the reservation from a boat last weekend and got into several pods of 8-12 pound bluefish. Plum Island Sound has picked up over the last week, and while the fishing is good, it’s not phenomenal just yet.
Newburyport / Plum Island: There are fish to be found around Newburyport, but like most spots, fishermen are waiting for the fall migration to really get underway. Stripers have been available to anglers fishing Joppa Flats from both shore and boat, with the outgoing tide being the most productive. While there have not been many surface feeds evident on Joppa over the last week, fish have been taking top-water plugs, as well as rubber and plastics rigged on lead heads. Fly anglers have also reported better fishing off Joppa. Fishermen fishing from Plum Island Point have also seen decent activity for stripers, but most fish have been sub-legal sized. Sea worms and clams have been working best for bait fishermen, with buck tail jigs and sluggo type offerings working well for spin fishermen. Fly anglers braving the sand bar have also reported decent outings for schoolies. Boat anglers fishing just outside the mouth, out to the MR buoy and along the Plum Island Beaches have found good sized bluefish, some upwards of 12 pounds. Party Boats continue to return with good numbers of Cod and Haddock, while those in search of tuna have reported spotty action.
Salisbury: Most anglers fishing in Salisbury have been fishing the Merrimack from the State Reservation. Results have been similar those across the river, with small striped bass taking clams, sea worms and lures. If history is any guide, surfcasters would do well to work the ocean beaches in Salisbury in search of stripers feeding close to shore as the fish start to feed aggressively for their migration south.
Seacoast, NH: Still fairly quiet along the Seacoast, but some fish are starting to show. Seabrook and Hampton anglers have had to work hard to find a few small schoolies, with not much bait evident. Bluefish activity seems to have remained to the south. Further north, anglers in Rye and Portsmouth have reported finicky fish with some activity on school sized bass. Anglers fishing in the Piscataqua River as well as around Pierce Island have also reported some activity with small stripers, but like most in our area, hoping the action busts wide open soon. Fishermen making the run to the Isle of Shoals have reported some larger bass with bluefish in the mix.