June 30, 2004
The warm weather over the last week has not yet pushed fish to deeper water, but if the warming trend continues, expect to work a little harder in your pursuit of striped bass. Bluefish have moved in quite heavily over most of the north shore, and while they may hinder your search for bass, they can be a fun catch on their own.
Overall, the fishing has been quite good over the past week with a nice mix of bluefish, striped bass and flounder for inshore anglers, while cod, haddock, pollock, cusk and wolfish are all being caught by the offshore crowd. Mackerel are readily available in all the usual spots and the July 4th Weekend should be an excellent one for fishing.
Marblehead: (4 hooks) Flounder fishing has remained strong for anglers off the coast of Marblehead, with slow drifts bouncing sea worms off the bottom working best. Anglers fishing off Castle Rock have done well with both fly and spin rods. Sinking lines and large baitfish flies are the rule for fly fishermen while all manner of bait and lure has been working for the spin casters. Bluefish and striped bass have also been taken from Devereux Beach.
Salem: (4 hooks) Mackerel continue to be readily available in Salem Harbor. Fishing from Salem Willows Pier as well as off Winter Island has been quite consistent with bait fishermen landing fish well into the 20 pound range. The Lead Mills is also fishing well, again, with bait anglers landing the bigger fish. Anglers fishing at night have done well at the Kernwood Bridge. As with most of the area, bluefish have been carousing just off shore, most in the 4-8 pound range.
Beverly: (4 hooks) The Beverly Fishing Pier has been popular as the warm weather has settled in our area. Most anglers use bait from the pier and do quite well. Anglers fishing around Baker’s Island have reported larger bass hanging in the rocks. Anglers have done well with a tube ‘n worm rig around the island and also with live mackerel and pogie’s, which are also showing up in more numbers. Flounder fishing along the Beverly coast has continued to please anglers in search of this delicious table fare.
Cape Ann: (4 hooks) Mackerel and pogie’s are quite abundant around the Cape and anglers have been doing quite well live-lining either of these for hungry striped bass. In Manchester, anglers casting from Singing Beach have reported larger fish, especially at night, with most using cut bait, clams or sea worms. Around Gloucester, fishermen have done well off Eastern Point, Milk Island and Thacher Island as larger striped bass have been taking up residence. Live or dead lining a whole pogie or mackerel will weed out the smaller fish and hopefully attract that linesider we are all hoping for. Wingarshaeek and Good Harbor beaches have also been yielding fish at night and the Annisquam continues to fish well. Bluefish remain in large numbers around Gloucester, so if you’re getting cut off, perhaps a wire leader is in order. Fishermen working the Rockport and Essex water have reported similar numbers of bass and blues. Party Boats continue to produce good numbers of ground fish from Stellwagen and Jeffrey’s.
Ipswich: (4 hooks) The mouth of the Ipswich River has had several mornings this week with a mix of blues and bass feeding on top, with birds overhead. Boat anglers have been having a good time hooking up on most every cast. Pavilion, Steep Hill and Crane Beaches have all been fishing well, mostly in early morning or evening hours.
Newbury: (4 hooks) The Parker River National Wildlife Refuge beaches remain closed except for a small section of beach at Parking Lot 1. Typically the beaches begin to reopen sporadically in July, but don’t expect full beach access until mid to late August. Plum Island Sound has been fishing quite nicely, with a solid mix of bass and blues now available. Anglers fishing with top water plugs, metals, and plastics have all done quite well. The Parker River has also been yielding fish, but has not been as consistent as earlier in the season.
Newburyport / Plum Island: (4 hooks) The fishing around the Port has been excellent over the last week, but the pressure has also been quite intense with many boat and shore anglers targeting the waters around Newburyport. Upriver, fishing from the Route 95 Bridge down to the Route 1 Bridge continues to yield good numbers of striped bass. Anglers fishing cut bait in the deeper holes have done well for keeper sized bass. Fishermen drifting on Joppa Flats continue to land good numbers of striped bass with an occasional blue fish in the mix now. The drift on the outgoing tide on the flats seems to produce the best numbers of fish. Fly anglers with sinking lines do quite well, once a fly pattern and color is identified, which can take some time. In addition, top water and swimming plugs have been producing as well as sluggos rigged on lead heads. On Plum Island Point--which apparently has become some people’s personal dump site—fishing continues to produce good numbers of bass, with many keepers now in the mix, if you can stand the mess. Here’s my annual plea; please leave the beach as clean if not cleaner than you found it. Bluefish have taken up residence at the mouth of the river and have been caught by anglers from the MR buoy to Emerson Rocks. Plum Island Beaches continue to yield striped bass and surfcasters are now able to reach blues from shore. Party Boats are doing well with Cod, Haddock and Pollock.
Salisbury: (4 hooks) Bluefish and Bass have been hooked by anglers surfcasting off Salisbury Beach. Try a ballistic missile for some long distance casting and swimming action that bluefish can’t seem to resist. Surfcasters fishing from the banks of the Salisbury State Reservation have done quite well for good numbers of keeper sized bass and some bluefish.
Seacoast, NH: (4 hooks) Good fishing action for the “Live Free or Die” crew as bass and blues have taken up residence along most of the New Hampshire seacoast. Anglers fishing out of Seabrook and Hampton Harbors have reported good numbers of bass, most interested in live or fresh cut mackerel. Bluefish have also been showing up in larger numbers. Further north, fishing the Rye and Portsmouth area has continued to please both shore and boat anglers. Like the party boats to their south, the ground fishing has been good off the New Hampshire coast.