September 30, 2004
Marblehead: Things are looking up, at least compared to last week. The recent hurricane remnants were not that helpful mid-week, but this coming weekend should provide good fishing. Surfcasters fishing near the lighthouse on Neck have done well with stripers in the last week. I saw a few keepers taken there with my own eyes this week. Most anglers are using bait but some fish are falling for plugs and large rubber shads. Devereux Beach has also yielded stripers this week, again mostly for the bait crew. Bluefish remain available, but in deeper water and mostly on the troll.
Salem: Striper fishing has been steady around Salem this week, with some fish close to trophy size being landed. Anglers working the waters around Winter Island have reported good striper activity. Spin fishermen have done well with large popping plugs and needlefish while fly anglers have been landing fish consistently on large baitfish flies presented on a sinking line. The Salem Willows Pier has also been home to a few striper catches and bluefish remain available outside the harbor.
Beverly: Stripers have blitzed West Beach a few times this week, with excellent surface activity and willing striped bass. Flounder have also been plentiful around Beverly with the best action around West Beach and Mingo Beach. Anglers targeting flounder have had the best results using sea worms as bait.
Cape Ann: Good numbers of flounder have been reported just outside Manchester Harbor over the last week with many anglers catching their limit. In addition, surface feeding schoolies have been pleasing anglers in Manchester Harbor, mostly at dawn and dusk. In Gloucester, bluefish have been plentiful at the mouth of the Annisquam, with most of the fish being landed on deep trolled swimming lures. Bluefish activity was also strong around Gloucester and Magnolia Harbors while stripers, mostly on the small side, have become more plentiful over the last week around Cape Ann. Fishing has also picked up in the Essex River, as the fish have been actively feeding on sand eels on the surface and taking small popping plugs, sluggos and sparsely tied sand eel imitations. School bluefin tuna reports have been a bit more consistent, with most of the activity out in Ipswich Bay and on the troll. Party boats report decent numbers of cod, pollack and haddock, with some pesky dogfish getting in the way.
Ipswich: Crane, Pavilion and Steep Hill beach have all been yielding bass within casting range, as the fall run seems to finally be getting under way. Fish have been available along the beach, and at the mouth of the Ipswich and Essex rivers. Small popping plugs have been working well for spin fishermen, and sparsely tied flies like Ray’s Fly and the small epoxy sand eels. Bluefish remain in the mix.
Newbury: Anglers trolling 9’er rigs and tube n’ worm set ups have reported larger bass catches in Plum Island Sound. In addition, the Parker River has also heated up with several surface feeding pods of striped bass reported over the last week. The crew fishing the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge had high surf to deal with part of this week, but night-time catches continue to yield keeper sized bass. Clams, sea worms and cut bait have all been working well. If history is any measure, surface feeding bass should be crashing the beach over the next two weeks.
Newburyport / Plum Island: The last week has seen the activity around the port increase. I was out twice this past week and pleasantly surprised by the availability of both stripers and bluefish. Fishing upriver of the Route 1 Bridge has found actively feeding schoolies off Carr, Eagle and Deer Islands. Fish have been taking sluggos and Fin-S’s for spin fishermen and sand-eel imitations for fly anglers. Further towards the mouth, Joppa Flats has been heating up with willing fish feeding quite nicely, mostly on the outgoing tide. Fishing around the AYC moorings as well as along the dike and Woodbridge Island has been good for feeding bass. Surfcasters working the point have reported an up-tick in activity as striper catches have increased this past week. The last two hours of the outgoing tide seems to be the favorite of the locals. Bluefish have been caught from the Toothpick out to the MR buoy, with most of the fish being landed on deeply trolled swimmers. Tuna have been more evident over the last week with landings in the 30-50lb range reported. Most activity has been reported around Stellwagan Bank and Jeffries Ledge. Party Boats have had a good week, landing plenty of cod and haddock for their customers.
Salisbury: Bluefish remain off Salisbury Beach, and trolling swimming lures has landed plenty of these aggressive fish over the last week. A few fish have been landed off Salisbury Beach, mostly on bait, with anglers hoping the annual surface feeds will start soon. There have been plenty of bass being landed at the mouth of the Merrimack by anglers fishing from the State Reservation and off the North Jetty.
Seacoast, NH: Stripers have been cooperating this week for anglers fishing in the Seabrook and Hampton areas. The railroad bridge in Hampton has been heating up as anglers fishing with both bait and lures report good bass landings. In Rye Harbor, anglers fishing from the Jetty have reported decent activity for small stripers and some bluefish. Further to the north, anglers have done well with striped bass around the mouth of the Piscataqua as well as into Great Bay, with some bluefish still in the mix. Some larger bass are being landed around the Isle of Shoals, and some tuna have also been reported in the area.