May 20, 2005
Things are certainly heating up in our waters as the local rivers and shorelines are becoming more and more active with returning striped bass. I fished several north shore areas this past week with much success in search of feisty schoolie bass. Herring and Mackerel are beginning to show up as well, making things even more exciting.
In addition, I was lucky enough to fish on Wednesday morning in Boston Harbor and had two hours of fun chasing birds and fish around the Harbor. We caught many fish, even a few just above the magic 28” mark. We would have stayed longer but the LNG Propane Tanker was heading into the harbor and the Police chased us to clear the way for the tanker. It’s one of the few times I’ve ever left boiling fish, but it was certainly not my choice.
Marblehead: (3 hooks) Those fishing along the rocks of Marblehead Neck have has success with striped bass willing to take most offerings. Light spinning gear with rubber shad (sluggo) imitations rigged on lead heads have been yielding fish on most every cast. While bigger stripers are in the mix, most are sub-legal. Flounder fishing in and around Marblehead remains strong.
Salem: (3 hooks) Fishing around Salem has improved quite a bit over the last week. Anglers using both artificial lures and bait have been catching good numbers of striped bass. Winter Island and Salem Willows have been active with fishermen all week. Those using bait have done well with large sea worms and fresh cut mackerel.
Beverly: (3 hooks) Anglers fishing the outgoing tide at White’s Fuel Bridge in Danversport have done well targeting stripers with both spin and fly gear. Fly fishermen have done well with sliders, clousers and most other offerings. A few good bass surface feeds have been reported at West Beach, while anglers targeting Flounder have done well too.
Cape Ann: (3 hooks) Surfcasting has gotten better over the last week for those casting from the beaches in Manchester-by-the-Sea. Reports had decent bass activity off Singing and White beach as well as around the Harbor. I caught a small schoolie in the Little River last Friday. I was coming home from an appointment, so if you saw a guy in dress pants and dress shoes casting a line, that would have been me. The Annisquam has also been heating up over the last few days with good activity for bass in the 14”-26” range. Rockport has also had its fair share of schoolie action with fish reported around Halibut Point. The Essex River has also been heating up with many reporting good action for hungry bass on both fly and spin gear.
Ipswich: (2 hooks) Shore fishermen fishing Cranes Beach as well as Steep Hill Beach have reported steadier schoolie action this week, although the action is somewhat sporadic. Fly fishermen near the mouth of the Ipswich have reported decent activity with sliders and ray’s flies on sinking lines. Pavilion Beach should be heating up soon.
Newbury: (2 hooks) Bass catches continue to increase in the Parker River as both shore and boat fishermen have had success locating newly arrived striped bass. While most fish are quite small, they are hungry and put up a good fight on light spinning gear of fly rods. Fishing off Sandy Point has improved this week, with reports of feeding fish patrolling the shoreline.
Newburyport / Plum Island: (2 hooks) Fishing conditions off Plum Island Point as well as the beaches of Plum Island have improved over the past week. Surfcasters working the beach from Atty. May’s to the North Jetty have had decent action with feeding bass. Buck tail jigs, metal spoons and rubber shad imitations have been working for the spinning gear crowd, while sinking lines with deceivers, clousers or sand eel imitations work well for fly fishermen. Joppa Flats and the area around Woodbridge Island have also begun to show signs of life. Cod and Haddock catches continue to improve with many fish over 20 pounds being caught.
Salisbury: (2 hooks) Anglers fishing the Merrimack from the State Reservation in Salisbury have been pleased to find cooperative striped bass cruising in and out of the river. Bait has been working, but anglers casting jigs and assorted other lures have had just as much, if not more luck than their bait using compatriots. Salisbury Beach has also yielded bass to those looking for a less crowded experience.
Seacoast, NH: (1 hook) Seabrook, Hampton and Rye have begun to show signs of life with reports of bass being caught off the beaches as well as in the harbors and rivers. As with most locales, most fish are small so using light gear and smaller lures will work best. Further north, the Piscataqua and Great Bay have begun to yield fresh fish, but the action is somewhat spotty. Anglers report good Cod and Haddock action off the New Hampshire seacoast.