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August 5, 2005
There are plenty of choices for North Shore anglers as the fishing season continues to roll on. Bait fish continue to be somewhat plentiful and anglers are scoring good catches from both shore and sea.
Larger bass have been caught mostly at night by those utilizing live baits like eels, or large cut baits. Bluefish continue to patrol our shoreline while groundfish and tuna await those looking to get off shore.
Marblehead: (4 hooks) Pogies remain around Marblehead Harbor, but you need to get out early to find them. Live-lining these favorite striper baits has been yielding fish into the 30 pound range. Fishing around the Neck has improved for bait, spin and fly fishermen.
Salem: (4 hooks) Early-risers report consistent Pogie catches in Salem Harbor and success can be had live-lining or chunking these fish. Bluefish are available inside and outside the harbor and have been quite aggressive. Winter Island and Salem Willows Pier continue to attract throngs of anglers.
Beverly: (4 hooks) Fishermen trolling tube-n-worm combinations in the Danvers River have been catching good numbers of striped bass. Fishing around the islands just off West Beach has also proven quite productive for bass. A live pogie set up on a balloon rig has been deadly around the rocks. Bluefish continue to please anglers on light spinning and fly rods as the fish get fatter as they continue to feed.
Cape Ann: (4 hooks) Flounder have been somewhat scarce, however persistent anglers have found them in Manchester and off Magnolia. Tuna are now in quite thick around Stellwagen Bank as well as 10 miles off Thacher’s Island. Anglers have reported success trolling for these speedsters as well casting plugs and mega-bait jigs to pods that appear on top. Striped Bass fishing continues to impress anglers at night with many fish in the 20-30 pound range coming out of the Annisquam and off the beaches. Bluefish continue to wreak havoc around the Breakwater and anglers trolling large, deep-diving plugs have reported blues to 12 pounds. Fishing off Halibut Point has been yielding more bluefish and dogfish, however some bass have been taken in deeper water. Party boats report good action for Cod and Haddock.
Ipswich: (3 hooks) The greenheads have become a bit more bearable around Crane Beach, but the best angling for bass remains at night. Fly anglers casting large black sliders have reported bass action close to shore. Bluefish remain plentiful throughout Ipswich Bay and especially close to the mouth of the Ipswich River. Pavilion and Steep Hill have also yielded their fair share of bass.
Newbury: (3 hooks) Fishing from boat off Emerson Rocks over the last week has produced a good mix of bluefish and striped bass. Trolling off the reservation beaches has been quite productive with many double hook ups on my boat during the past week. Striped bass fishing in the Parker River has slowed a bit, however some smaller bluefish have ventured upriver.
Newburyport / Plum Island: (4 hooks) Upriver of the Route 1 Bridge has been quite productive at night. If you can find a nice hole or change in surface structure, dunk your bait and hold on. There are nice drop offs and holes near the Gillis Bridge as well as off Ram, Carr, Eagle and Deer Island. Joppa Flats has continued to yield good numbers of schoolie sized striped bass in the early morning, however the bigger fish are being taken at night by anglers using both bait and artificial lures, especially around Woodman Island. Bluefish continue to be available just outside the mouth of the Merrimack and along the entire length of the Plum Island Beaches. Off shore, anglers have been pleased with the numbers of school bluefin tuna available near Stellwagen Bank and the Party Boats continue to please patrons with Cod, Haddock and Bluefish trips.
Salisbury: (3 hooks) With camping season in full swing, most of the fishing from the banks of the river at the State Reservation is of the elbow to elbow kind. Bluefish have been taken from the North Jetty for those anglers willing to brave the walk on the jagged rocks. Striped Bass—some keepers—have been taken at night from Salisbury Beach.
Seacoast, NH: (4 hooks) Bluefish have know thoroughly invaded the waters off the coast of New Hampshire and are available and willing from Seabrook to Portsmouth and out to the Isle of Shoals. Striped bass have been somewhat fussy during the day, but anglers fishing the rocks near Hampton and Rye have done quite well with chunk baits and eels. Further north, the Piscataqua has been somewhat quite, however bluefish and stripers have been congregating at the mouth.