July 8, 2005
Bluefish have thoroughly invaded the North Shore now and have chased some of the mackerel and herring off, but the fishing remains quite good. Larger bass have taken up residency inshore and anglers fishing at night have the best chance of taking home a hog.
Flounder fishing remains strong across most of our region as does the fishing for Cod, Haddock and other ground fish.
Marblehead: (4 hooks) Bluefish continue to patrol the coast of Marblehead in search of an easy meal and anglers have been taking advantage of their aggressive nature. Trolling deep diving swimming lures or casting large plugs will typically get you hooked up. Bass fishing has been consistent, but mostly in low light hours as anglers utilizing cut bait, sea worms and clams scoring best. Flounder limits are easily attainable just off the Marblehead coast, especially just inside the harbor.
Salem: (4 hooks) The Salem Willows Pier continues to attract throngs of anglers with stripers, bluefish and even a few flounder being landed. Kernwood Bridge has also been fishing quite consistently with anglers drifting sea worms on a moving tide doing best. Fishing off Winter Island has also been quite productive for blues and bass. Mackerel have thinned out but are still available early in the morning for those willing to search.
Beverly: (4 hooks) Large schools of Pogies have been in Beverly Harbor and that is terrific news for striped bass anglers. If you can snag a large pogie and set up a live drift, that’s a very good way of weeding out the smaller fish and getting your self a fish over 30 pounds! Anglers fishing the rocky structures off West Beach and Baker’s Island have done quite well with cut bait and trolling a tube n’ worm rig. Bluefish have chased some fish to deeper water, and using bait in deeper holes inshore is one way to target bass with the blues around.
Cape Ann: (4 hooks) Mackerel have been thinning out around Cape Ann, however pogies have been around in larger schools, enticing bass and blues to chase them. Flounder fishing remains strong off Marblehead as limits have been reached by many anglers over the last week. Blues have been carousing just off the Marblehead coast and striped bass have been hanging in the rocks, especially at night. Anglers fishing the beaches of Gloucester, especially at night, have been rewarded with consistent bass action, some into the 30 pound range. Boat fishermen have done well with bait in some of the deeper holes around Gloucester as some bass have moved to deeper, cooler water. Fishermen reported good sized bass in 30 – 100 foot depths off Halibut Point. Flounder fishing remains strong from Marblehead to Magnolia and large portions of sea worms will work best. The Essex River has not been as hopping as the last few weeks, however anglers fishing for bass in low light conditions continue to land fish. Cod and Haddock fishing has been quite good around Stellwagen, Jeffreys and Tillies as the Party Boats continue to please their patrons.
Ipswich: (4 hooks) Mackerel have thinned out a bit in Ipswich Bay, however pogies have made the move north and have been attracting bass and bluefish. Fishing from Crane and Steep Hill Beach has slowed in the daylight hours but fishing has been quite good for anglers willing to head out after dark. Boat anglers continue to score good numbers of bluefish and bass around the mouth of the Ipswich River.
Newbury: (4 hooks)
Suprisingly, the Parker River continues to fish well in Newbury, with schoolie bass still available during the day and larger bass coming out of the water at night. Boat anglers working the southern end of Plum Island have found good numbers of bass off Sandy Point as well as Emerson Rocks. Bluefish remain strong just off the beaches.
Newburyport / Plum Island: (4 hooks) Fishing around Newburyport continues to please anglers of all methods. Upriver, anglers working some of the deeper holes with bait around Ram and Carr Islands as well as further up river by Eagle and Deer Island report good sized catches of bass. On Joppa Flats, fly fishermen fishing around the moorings of the AYC and near Woodbridge Island have reported good numbers of bass. Larger fish, as with most of our area , are a better bet at night. Top water plugs were the rule for spin fishermen on Joppa last weekend as stripers put their noses up at most other offerings, choosing instead to treat fishermen to the surface explosions that come from fishing on top. Further down river, fishing from the Toothpick to Badgers rocks has been producing good numbers of bass, with a few bluefish also venturing into the river. Anglers drifting with live or dead bait at the mouth of the Merrimack have also done quite well with bass into the 20 pound range. Plum Island Point continues to attract the largest crowds, with good reason as the fishing remains strong, if you can take the company. Flounder have been pleasing anglers just off the Plum Island beaches, with seaworms proving irresistible to the flatties. Bluefish remain just outside the mouth out to the MR Buoy. Party boats continue to bring happy patrons back to the dock as Cod and Haddock fishing has been good. Boat anglers should take note that a new “No Wake” zone is going to be set up in the near future from approximately Ben Butler’s Toothpick to Green Can 11, near Badgers Rocks.
Salisbury: (4 hooks) The RV and Camping season is in full swing and with that the Salisbury State Reservation has been quite crowded with anglers. Sea worms, cut bait and clams have all yielded keeper bass over the past week. Surfcasters working Salisbury Beach early in the morning or at dusk have reported action with both bass and bluefish.
Seacoast, NH: (4 hooks) The seacoast remains hot for bass and bluefish. The mackerel that have thinned out to the south are still around the New Hampshire coast and with that, bass are still in close to shore. Bluefish have started to spread over the area, so the mackerel may push out any day, but for now the fishing from Seabrook to Portsmouth remains strong as bass cooperate with both fly and spin anglers. Cod and Haddock fishing has been quite good just south of the Isle of Shoals as the ground fish action continue to please fishermen.
______________________________________________________________________________Frank Dwyer is the Fishing and Outdoor Columnist for Eagle Tribune Publishing and is a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org