September 23, 2004
Marblehead: Strange days on the North Shore as anglers, terns and seagulls wonder when and if the typical fall surface feeds will happen. Fishing up around Castle Rock and the lighthouse has yielded a few fish, but nothing to write home about. Anglers have found both bass and blues in the deeper water around Gerry and Brown’s Island. There has been some activity for surfcasters off Devereux Beach, with mostly smaller stripers being reported.
Salem: Anglers fishing the Salem Willows Pier and also from Winter Island report decent action for striped bass, but it’s not red hot just yet. Bluefish have been reported just outside the harbor and anglers fishing near Coney Island with live and cut bait have reported some large striper catches.
Beverly: Fishermen have found fairly spotty action along the Beverly coast, with some fish being caught by anglers trolling tube n’ worm rigs just off shore. Trolling deep diving swimming plugs has proved productive for bluefish as well. Anglers targeting flounder have continued to do well.
Cape Ann: Manchester Harbor continued to be home to small schools of herring which anglers have been successfully using as bait in deeper water. Singing Beach offered only spotty action this week, with the fish showing inconsistently. One report did have schoolies in the wash at dusk with fly anglers picking them off with some frequency. In Gloucester, reports had small bass on the Ipswich Bay side of the Annisquam River over the last week, as well as off Wingersheek Beach. Fly and spin anglers fishing along Shore Road in Magnolia have reported sporadic striper activity, with a few bluefish in the mix. Anglers fishing in deeper waters off Halibut Point have landed some large bluefish trolling big lures on wire. The Essex River has yielded some fish, but again folks are scratching their heads wondering about the yet-to-start Fall run. Tuna activity has been slow as well offshore with some fish being seen surfacing, but not staying up for any length of time. Party boats continue to do well for ground fish.
Ipswich: I fished from Crane Beach last week and was frustrated by a pod of surface feeding bass just out of my casting range. I did manage several small bass, all taken on an olive and green clouser fly on a sinking line, but wished I could reach the frenzy out in front of me. Bluefish have been at the mouth of the Ipswich River this past week; however the striper fishing has been a bit slow.
Newbury: Anglers fishing the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge has continued to attract walk on and drive on surfcasters in search of the big one. Anglers reported spotty action, but those fishing at night have managed some fish into the twenty-pound range. Fishing on the Parker River and Plum Island Sound has been slow.
Newburyport / Plum Island: A large, well defined cloud deck was hanging over the mouth of the Merrimack on Sunday as the 43 degree air lapped at my face. The sun did not warm me until mid-morning, but the fishing was decent along the AYC moorings and further out by Can # 11. In fact, one fish hit a slow drifted sluggo extremely hard, and then the line went limp. Upon inspection, the hook on the lead-head was bent, so there are some big one’s out there! Anglers continue to flock to Plum Island Point to fish, but the action is somewhat sporadic. Clams and sea worms drifted on the bottom seem to be the best bait. Outside the mouth, bluefish continue to be caught, mostly by those trolling large lures on wire. Some big fish have come from the 20-40 foot depths. Many anglers are still in search of Tuna and there were some sightings south of the Isle of Shoals, but most of the action seems to remain to our south in Cape Cod Bay. Party boats have reported good action for their patrons.
Salisbury: The Salisbury beach front remained quiet this week, with no traditional signs of any fall activity. Bluefish have been caught by boat anglers fishing off Salisbury beach, but surfcasters report little action. The State Reservation yielded some fish this week, mostly for those using bait, but the action has not been red hot by any measure.
Seacoast, NH: There has been a bit more activity around Seabrook, Rye and Hampton, mostly with small bass. I saw several fish landed at the Rye Harbor State Park on Wednesday, and reports also had fish off Foss Beach, just outside Hampton Harbor and along Hampton Beach. Further north, fish have been feeding at the mouth of the Piscataqua, although again, most of the fish have been schoolie sized. Bluefish have also been more active this week along the New Hampshire coast. The Isle of Shoals continues to draw anglers in search of blues, bass and the elusive bluefin tuna.