May 13, 2005

Stripers beginning to show

Frank Dwyer
May 13, 2005

The last few days of warming weather should help those in search of newly arrived striped bass. The first reports of mackerel and herring being caught have been coming in and I would imagine the coming week will see an increase in activity in most of the waters off the North Shore.

Marblehead: (2 hooks) Rumors of newly arrived striped bass bearing sea-lice being caught in the Marblehead area have been heard this week. Anglers have been working the areas around Castle Rock and Devereux Beach, as well as the harbor. Soft plastic shad imitations seem to be the bait of choice for spin anglers, with some using fresh cut bait. In addition, flounder catches continue to please anglers willing to work for their limit.

Salem: (2 hooks) Anglers heading offshore in search of cod and haddock have been rewarded with larger fish over the last week with more 20 pounders in the mix now. Fishermen working the areas around the Lead Mills and Winter Island should do well in the coming week as newly arrived stripers begin to feed.

Beverly: (2 hooks) Fishermen have been trying their luck from West Beach and the Beverly Fishing Pier, and although the reports are not stellar, some school-sized striped bass are being caught. In addition, anglers working around Baker’s and Misery Island have reported some activity.

Cape Ann: (2 hooks) Flounder fishing continues to be good along the Manchester shoreline. Anglers have been working Singing and White Beaches, with some success with hopes that the warming trend over the next few days will bring an influx of new bass. A few bass have been taken in the Little River in Gloucester and the Annisquam should be heating up as well. I saw birds preying on bait earlier this week at Wingaersheek beach in Gloucester and the stripers won’t be far behind. Fishermen in Rockport have been trying the waters around Halibut Point and Long Beach with limited success. Anglers fishing the Essex/Castle Neck system have reported an increase in striper activity, with more reports of sea lice-ridden (newly arrived) bass being taken.

Ipswich: (2 hooks) The water has warmed a bit over the last week and anglers working the Ipswich River as well as the area beaches have reported limited success, but at least fish are being taken. Anglers fishing the Neck have taken some fish from the Eagle Hill River. Crane and Pavilion beaches have been slower to heat up, but should soon.

Newbury: (1 hook) The Parker River water has risen above 50 degrees and more striped bass are showing up because of it. Plum Island Sound and the waters off Sandy Point are just scraping at 50 degrees, so the fishing should get better over the next week. The Parker River National Wildlife Refuge beaches remain closed for the nesting piping plovers.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (1 hook) Shad action continues to be good at Rock’s Village, with a few striped bass in the mix now too. Anglers fishing off Deer Island, or poking around Eagle and Carr Islands by boat have found sporadic striper activity. Anglers trying their luck on Joppa Flats have not had as much success as those a little further up river. Some reports have had fish foraging along the ocean front on Plum Island, however the weed in the water has made fishing a challenge. Plum Island Point continues to attract crowds of fishermen, but the fish have been slow to arrive. Cod and Haddock fishing have been quite good for the party boats and offshore fishermen.

Salisbury: (1 hook) Anglers have been crowding the Salisbury State Reservation to catch the last of the outgoing tide and the beginning of the incoming tide in search of fresh fish. Fishermen do well utilizing soft plastic shad imitations as well as using seaworms on a fish finder rig. Fly fishermen will do best with a fast sinking line to ensure getting down to the fish in the fast moving current.

Seacoast, NH: (1 hook) Seabrook, Hampton and Rye have all been slow in showing signs of activity, but that is slowly changing. The Hampton River and surrounding marshes should begin to fill with newly arrived striped bass over the next week and reports have a few fish being plucked over the last week. Further north in the Portsmouth area, fish will lag a bit behind those in more southern waters.

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