May 27, 2005

Right Season, Wrong Weather

Frank Dwyer
May 27, 2005

Many of my friends who like to golf as much as I like to fish have been complaining—as most of us are—about the lousy weather we have been experiencing. It appears the forecast should be improving for the Holiday weekend so we can all get out an pursue our interests, be it chasing a little white ball around a large grassy area, or looking for fish around the North Shore.

The weather has created very light pressure in most North Shore spots, and while the going has been tough, some decent fish have been landed. Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

Marblehead: (3 hooks) Fishing around Marblehead Neck and Castle Rock has not been for the faint of heart. If you can find a lee in the wind, then you may just find willing bass. Flounder reports have been sparse due to the weather, but if things calm down for the weekend, flounder should remain in and around Marblehead.

Salem: (3 hooks) Winter Island continues to produce bass for those willing to brave the weather. Anglers with light spinning gear and jigs or rubber shads have done well casting into the wind. Anglers fishing with bait from the Salem Willows Pier had been landing bigger bass before the weather turned, and fishing should be good once things calm down.

Beverly: (3 hooks) The Kernwood Bridge area has been producing hungry striped bass for anglers casting from shore. With the wind this past week, fly anglers have had a tough go of it, while those casting small swimming lures, jigs and sluggo type lures have done better. Fishing off West Beach has slowed with the inclement weather, but as with most spots, it should heat up again quickly.

Cape Ann: (3 hooks) Flounder fishing had been quite good around the entrance to Manchester Harbor and around House Island prior to this week’s weather. Bass activity off the beaches in Manchester has slowed, however a few reports of landings have been heard. In Gloucester, the Little River has been yielding more bass as has the Annisquam. Fishing from the beaches in Gloucester has been difficult, while Cod and Haddock fishing has slowed due to the weather. The buoy at Stellwagen Bank was reporting 9-15 foot waves on Thursday. School bass have been reported to be cooperative off both Long Beach and Pebble Beach in Rockport. Those fishing the Essex River by boat have reported schoolies taking refuge upriver from the weather, allowing for some decent catches this week. There are some mackerel and herring around, but not in large numbers yet.

Ipswich: (2 hooks) Fishing in the Ipswich River and at the mouth has produced schoolies over the last week. Fishing off Cranes Beach has improved, with a few decent surface feeds reported during the week. Pavilion and Steep Hill have also been yielding school bass willing to bend your rod.

Newbury: (2 hooks) I drove by the Newbury Boat ramp off 1A earlier this week and wish I had a rod in the car. A good sized pod of bass was working an undetermined school of bait with birds overhead, well within casting distance from shore. Fishing in Plum Island Sound had been improving however reports have been scarce this week due to the weather.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (3 hooks) I finally got the boat in the water last Friday and had decent fishing all weekend long. Even in the wind and rain on Sunday, we found willing fish on an incoming drift not far from the Captain’s Lady. In two hours time we boated over 30 fish, most under the magic 28 inch mark. The nice thing was that there were only 2-3 boats working the same pods of fish, which is one of the positives you can take from the lousy weather. In addition, working upriver of the Route 1 Bridge, around Eagle and Carr Islands has also yielded fish over the last week. Joppa Flats has also increased it fish output for both boat and wade fishermen. The ocean beaches on Plum Island have been quite rough, with only sparse activity reported. Plum Island Point continues to attract crowds 2 hours before low tide, right through the first part of the incoming tide. George at Captain’s Fishing Parties on Plum Island reported that he’s been baby sitting the boats for the past week, but up until the weather change, the action had been quite good.

Salisbury: (2 hooks) Fishing the Salisbury side of the river by boat, around the Toothpick and the State Boat Ramp, has been productive for the past week. Shore anglers do well from the shores of the State Reservation using bucktail jigs, sluggos and sea worms.

Seacoast, NH: (2 hooks) The Rivers around Seabrook, Hampton and Rye have seen alewives become active, which usually means bigger fish will follow. The Piscataqua River and the Great Bay Estuary have also become more active as stripers have been caught by both lure and bait anglers. Before the weather change, reports had decent Cod and Haddock action off the Seacoast.

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