June 23, 2005
By all accounts, this past week was quite good for fishing the North Shore. From Nahant to Portsmouth, fish of all sizes have been caught, including some monster bass in the 20 – 40 pound range.
Bluefish have moved in through most of the area and striped bass, flounder, cod and haddock remain plentiful. If you can get on the water, now’s the time to wet a line.
Marblehead: (4 hooks) Bluefish have been prevalent off the shores of Marblehead as anglers either target them with any variety of top water, swimming or metal lures, or try to avoid them in their search for other species. Fishing from the neck has produced a number of legal bass for both spin and fly fishermen. Night time certainly increases your chances of landing a large fish.
Salem: (4 hooks) Mackerel are in Salem Harbor in large numbers and anglers have been using mackerel jigs to stock up on these baits and then live-lining them in deeper waters for bass in the 30 pound range. The Danvers River continues to produce good numbers of bass, with larger bass being taken at night. Cod and Haddock remain plentiful—and some Pollock--just offshore and at the ledges, while bluefish have showed up in larger numbers.
Beverly: (4 hooks) Fishermen fishing from shore off West Beach (when bathing is not taking precedence), and from boats near Misery Island have landed good amounts of bass and blues. Mackerel—live or dead—has been working well for the bait crowd and is readily available. Flounder fishing remains decent, but skates have become more of a problem. (Put a float on!)
Cape Ann: (4 hooks) Mackerel are thick around the Cape and that’s good news for fishermen as bass (and blues) chase the baitfish closer to shore. Manchester remains a strong spot for Flounder fishermen as limits have been caught by anglers daily. In addition, the surfcasters have been doing quite well of Singing Beach with cut mackerel and herring. Fishermen fishing near the breakwater in Gloucester as well as near Ten Pound Light have done well for bass and blues. Shore fishermen have done well with sluggos and storm wildeyes as well as with cut bait, clams and worms. Rockport has also seen an influx of mackerel and with it, larger bass and bluefish. In Essex, the river has given up a number of larger fish to anglers working popping plugs and large bait fish flies worked with an erratic strip. The charter boats have reported good action on cod, haddock and Pollock with some pool fish topping 25 pounds.
Ipswich: (4 hooks) Excellent fishing of Crane Beach currently, especially at night. Large black flies and dark sluggos have both been deadly on bass this past week. Bluefish have made it to the mouth of the Ipswich River and are scattered all over Ipswich Bay. While they may thin out the bass, they can be a real treat on a fly rod or light spinning rod.
Newbury: (4 hooks) Anglers fishing off Sandy Point, at the southern end of Plum Island, have done well for bass. Seaworms and clams have worked quite well for the bait fishermen while sinking lines and the reliable clouser and deceiver patterns have produced nicely for fly fishermen. Plum Island Sound has also been yielding good numbers of bass.
Newburyport / Plum Island: (4 hooks) There are abundant opportunities for fishermen around the Port at this time with mackerel, bluefish and stripers all plentiful. Upriver action above the Route 1 Bridge remains strong with anglers drifting in boats doing well around Rams and Carr Island. Sluggos and flies on sinking lines work well, as does top water plugs in low light conditions. Plenty of bass have been congregating on Joppa Flats with some days being harder than others to target these fish. Night time seems to be the best on the flats, at least for larger fish, as the schoolies are still quite abundant 24/7. Anglers fishing the ocean front, as well as Plum Island Point have been landed plenty of legal-sized keepers. Bait anglers have been doing well with worms, clams and cut mackerel, while plugs and metals have been attracting both bass and bluefish. Party boats have been producing excellent numbers of cod, haddock and Pollock.
Salisbury: (4 hooks) The good fishing was complimented this week by the arrest of several “poachers” on Ring’s Island for targeting and illegally keeping under sized bass. Let’s hope this trend continues as I think anyone who has fished the area has seen people keeping undersized bass. If you see something suspicious, you can report it to the Environmental Police by calling 1-800-632-8075. Bait anglers have reported fish in the twenty pound range off Salisbury Beach as well as bluefish carousing just off shore.
Seacoast, NH: (4 hooks) There are plenty of bass from Seabrook to Portsmouth now as the fishing has really taken off on the seacoast. Mackerel are now in quite thick and with that many bass have taken up residence. Fishing around Hampton Harbor has been good with larger fish being landed by those live-lining freshly caught mackerel. Further north, anglers fishing around Odiorne Point in Rye have reported consistent bass action from shore and boat. In Portsmouth, the Piscataqua has been alive with all sizes of bass from 14 inch schoolies to thirty pound keepers. Off shore, the Isle of Shoals has produced more bass as mackerel have been around the islands. Bluefish, while not in thick, will be soon.