June 16, 2005

Bigger Fish Moving In

Frank Dwyer
June 16, 2005

The fishing has definitely improved this week as the warm weather heated up local waters. The last few cool and rainy days have not put a damper on the action as anglers have had excellent results throughout the North Shore.

Mackerel and Herring are on the move and bigger fish have been caught as they chase these baits in closer to shore. Live-lining these baits will weed out the small fish and allow you to target bigger fish.

Marblehead: (4 hooks) Excellent fishing around Marblehead has been pleasing both spin and fly anglers this week. Surfcasters working the rocks off Castle Rock have done well, especially at night with large plugs as well as cut bait. Fly rodders with sinking lines and larger bait fish imitations have done well on bass in the 20”-30” range. Boat anglers working off Brown’s Island and Gerry’s Island have done well for bass with cut bait and live mackerel.

Salem: (4 hooks) Salem Willows Pier has been attracting fishermen all week as striped bass have continued to cooperate with both bait and lure anglers. Flounder fishing is still good just outside the harbor. Boat anglers have reported larger bass around Bakers Island. Cod and haddock fishing remains strong.

Beverly: (4 hooks) Small herring continue to school up in Beverly Harbor while mackerel are readily available for those willing to look. Fishing off West Beach continues to be a good bet as fish have been corralling bait in close to shore. Fly and spin anglers have reported decent catches with more and more keepers in the mix. The Beverly Fishing Pier has been attracting many anglers as the fishing has improved. Flounder remain plentiful.

Cape Ann: (4 hooks) No major complaints—except for the last few days of cold weather—from fishermen targeting the Cape Ann area. White Beach and Singing Beach continue to produce good numbers of bass for surfcasters. I was on White Beach recently and saw a kayaker nailing fish after fish on the fly, just off the beach. Gloucester anglers have also reported an up-tick in activity as the Annisquam and Little rivers continue to yield good numbers of striped bass. Boat anglers in search of striped bass have found plenty of mackerel to live-line and have been finding bass from the Eastern Point to Emerson Point and off Thacher Island. Stripers have been cooperative in Rockport as anglers have found fish off most of the beaches as well as in deeper waters off Halibut Point and Andrews Point. The Essex River has also been producing good numbers of bass as sand eels and silversides have been chased by these hungry fish. The Party Boats have been catching good numbers of cod and haddock off Tillies and Stellwagen with a few Pollock and Cusk in the mix.

Ipswich: (3 hooks) Crane, Pavilion and Steep Hill Beaches are all active with striped bass as surfcasters and boat anglers alike enjoy good fishing around Ipswich. Fishing at the mouth of the Ipswich River as well as in the deeper waters of Ipswich Bay has been quite good as bait has been plentiful with striped bass in pursuit. I fished an evening last week at Crane’s and was treated to many bass, up to 36 inches, all taken on six to nine inch sluggos twitched on the surface.

Newbury: (3 hooks) Boat anglers have found good action for striped bass in the Parker River around Cape Merrill as well as in Plum Island Sound. Top Water Plugs, swimming plugs and sluggos have all produced good sized fish as has cut bait. Several fish over 30 inches have been taken this past week.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (3 hooks) The fishing is getting better every day around Newburyport and Plum Island. I’ve had success on both day and night trips over the last week, with some bigger fish getting to the boat at night, including a 38” fish that fell for an eel dragged slowly on the bottom of Joppa Flats. Upriver fishing continues to be good, with the waters around Ram and Carr Island still producing good numbers of bass. Fishing from the mouth of the river, out to the MR Buoy and all the way down to Emerson Rocks has also been good at different times for bass. Plum Island Point and the front beach are also yielding good numbers of bass, with many keepers in the mix. The pressure has increased dramatically over the last two weeks for both shore and boat fishermen so please try to remember to be courteous to those around you and to leave nothing behind. Also, I mention this every year, but boaters should not anchor in the channel, as this is not only illegal and stupid, but also quite dangerous. Party boats have been delivering the goods to their patrons with excellent catches of cod, haddock and pollock.

Salisbury: (3 hooks) Beach weather is here—well it was-- so the Salisbury ocean front is mainly an option early morning or late afternoon and evening. This may be a blessing, as the fishing has been quite good off the beach at those hours. Bait fishermen as well as those plugging the ocean have landed good numbers of striped bass. The State Reservation has been jammed with campers, so the river front has been quite crowded but those fishing with clams, worms and cut mackerel have all done well.

Seacoast, NH: (3 hooks) No shortage of bass in New Hampshire now as the fish have made their presence known in northern waters. Seabrook, Hampton and Rye have all been hot for bass, with more legal fish being landed. Bass have been reported off Jenness Beach and Foss Beach as well as in the Hampton River and off Hampton Beach. Further north, fishing at the mouth of the Piscataqua River has seen a few surface feeds with decent sized bass underneath. Also, fishing around New Castle and in Great Bay has been steadily improving with good amounts of bass being taken.

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