October 7, 2004
As we get deeper into Fall, fish are still being caught along our shores, but surely we are in the twilight of the saltwater season. Sure, there will be fish to be had on Cape Cod and in Rhode Island’s waters until late into the Fall, but the weekly reports here will stop until April or May of next year. By then, our cabin fever will have reached its annual apex and we will once again be ready to patrol the waters in search of fish.
It has been my pleasure to provide you with the fishing news this season and I truly appreciate your readership and emails. While the list would be too long to print here, I would like to thank everyone who has helped in providing reports during the season. Enjoy the Columbus Day weekend and get out there and fish!
Marblehead: Surface feeding bass have been reported at Devereux Beach as well as off Castle Rock. Some bluefish have been mixed in as well. Large popping plugs for spin fishermen and large bait fish imitations for fly anglers have worked well. Stripers have also been active around Browns and Ram Islands with chunk baits and eels working well.
Salem: Plenty of stripers around Salem Sound, off Winter Island and around the harbor. Mackerel have been reported in local waters, with blues and stripers in pursuit. The water temps are still hovering around 60 degrees, so hopefully the good fishing will continue for a few more weeks.
Beverly: West Beach was home to some fine fishing over the last week, with several mornings beginning with surface feeding bass and blues well within casting range. Fly anglers with large flies and spin anglers working large plugs have done well. Ober Park and Kernwood Bridge are also producing fish.
Cape Ann: Manchester Harbor had an influx of mackerel this past week and triggered good bluefish and striper activity for anglers lucky enough to be there. Singing Beach and White Beach have also proved productive for both bait and lure fishermen and flounder remain available just outside the harbor. Gloucester Harbor also had a hectic moment during the week as bluefish and stripers followed a large school of mackerel into the harbor for quite a feeding frenzy. The fish were taking all manner of lures thrown their way. Bluefish remained near the mouth of the Annisquam, as well as off Wingaersheek Beach. Front Beach and Cape Hedge Beach in Rockport have had a few surface feeds this week as well. The Essex River has also been fishing well this week, mostly for sub-legal bass, but they have been plentiful. Further offshore, some tuna still being reported being seen and caught for anglers in pursuit of these speedy fish. Cod and Haddock remain plentiful for party boat customers.
Ipswich: There has been good fishing from Crane and Steep Hill Beach this past week with stripers and blues within reach of anglers casting from shore. Large popping plugs as well as swimming lures have worked well for these aggressively feeding fish. Fly anglers have reported some decent catches close to shore, with sparsely tied clousers and deceivers working well.
Newbury: Several reports indicate the fishing on the National Wildlife Refuge beaches has been productive, but not completely consistent. A few sunrise surface feeds have been reported from Parking Lot 3 and Parking Lot 7, with popping plugs being pursued actively by striped bass. Anglers fishing at night have reported keeper size catches, mostly on chunk bait and sea worms. Action in Plum Island Sound has been good as well, with both blues and stripers being caught.
Newburyport / Plum Island: I fished from shore on Thursday and was pleased to find small bass close to shore off the front beach on Plum Island. More exciting was the cloud of birds, with feeding fish under them, just off the MR buoy. A quick switch from shore to boat, and I was in a large school of bluefish willing to take my Striper Swiper plug on every cast. The action was consistent for over an hour, as the blues churned up the water in a scene that finally resembled Fall fishing in New England. Joppa Flats has also been producing stripers on the outgoing tide, with the fish being landed on the small side. Bluefish have been available for shore anglers fishing off Plum Island Point as well as at the base of the south jetty. Striped Bass fishing in the river at Plum Island Point has also been decent, with most fishing being taken on sea worms. Anglers fishing offshore for Tuna have reported decent sightings and activity in Ipswich Bay, while Cod and Haddock fishing remained strong for the Party Boat fleet.
Salisbury: Fishing from Salisbury Beach has had its moments the past week with a few blitzes allowing shore fishermen to land fish from the beach. In addition, fishing from the State Reservation has yielded good numbers of bass, mostly on bait. In addition, bluefish have been caught from the toothpick to the end of the north jetty, with some anglers targeting bass losing their set up to the toothy creatures as they cruise by.
Seacoast, NH: Seabrook and Hampton have had their fair share of fish caught over the last week, but the action has not been as consistent as in other locations. Anglers fishing from North Hampton beaches have reported some surface feeding activity close to shore. In addition, locations around Rye, including Odiorne Point State Park and the Rye Harbor Jetty have been producing fish. Around Portsmouth, anglers fishing the mouth of the Piscataqua as well as around the Navy Yard have done well with stripers over 30 inches. Great Bay has also been heating up. Offshore, tuna have been reported around the Isle of Shoals, as well as some larger bluefish and striped bass.