August 19, 2005

No reason to complain

Frank Dwyer
August 19, 2005

While the fishing is not tremendous—and never is this time of year—there are plenty of opportunities for North Shore anglers to wet a line and land a fish.

Striped Bass continue to be caught from Marblehead to Portsmouth, with most large fish still being taken at night. Bluefish remain in large numbers in our area while tuna have been a hit or miss proposition.

Marblehead: (3 hooks) There are plenty of bluefish swimming the waters in and around Marblehead, most in the 3-7 pound range. Boat anglers report stripers hanging around in pods just outside of the Neck, with many keeper size bass being taken on chunk baits as well as large plugs. Fly anglers report slower action, which is normal for this time of year. Surfcaster report decent action on clams, worms and cut bait from Devereaux Beach. Flounder fishing seems to be on the upturn, especially just outside the Harbor.

Salem: (3 hooks) Bass seem to be on the move quite often lately as a hot location one day is not so hot the next. Pogies can still be found early in the morning in Salem Harbor and live-lining this striper favorite will increase your chances of hooking a big one dramatically. Bluefish remain in good numbers in and just outside the Harbor, with anglers trolling large, deep swimming lures doing quite well.

Beverly: (3 hooks) The action for bass at the Salem/Beverly Bridge has been somewhat sporadic as anglers fishing with clam strips and tube-n-worm rigs report moderate success for bass to 35 inches. Anglers fishing from boats off West Beach and around the islands report decent action for bass, especially in low-light hours. Tube-N-Worm, cut bait and large popping plugs have all been attracting fish.

Cape Ann: (3 hooks) Surfcasting from White and Singing Beaches in Manchester has been more productive over the last week as anglers report good action for both bluefish and striped bass. Flounder catches have increased for anglers drifting sea-worms near the mouth of Manchester Harbor. Some herring remain in the harbor. Fishing from the beaches in Gloucester, surfcasters also report good action, mostly on worms, cut bait and clams. Boat anglers have been having good luck for bass in the 20-30 pound range in the deeper waters off Halibut Point. Bluefish remain numerous all around the Cape. School Bluefin Tuna have been reported from just east of Thachers Island, out to Tillies and Stellwagen. Trolling covers more water, but if you get the chance, casting plugs and jigs into fish on top can also provide a hook up. The Essex River has seen decent action for school-sized bass over the last week, but no large fish to report. Good numbers of Cod and Haddock reported for those who like to get out on the Party Boats.

Ipswich: (3 hooks) Bluefish and striped bass have been caught in better numbers this past week in and at the mouth of the Ipswich River. Some nice surface feeds have been reported with bluefish and stripers churning up the water and taking both plugs and surface twitched plastics. Fly fishermen report slower fishing from the shores of Crane and Steep Hill Beach, with fast sinking lines and larger flies only registering an occasional hit.

Newbury: (3 hooks) With the additional beach front to work with, anglers have reported decent action for both bass and blues from the beaches at parking lots 6 and 7 at the Plum Island National Wildlife Refuge. Early morning has been good for top water plug action as stripers and bass have both been cooperative.
Newburyport / Plum Island: (3 hooks) Bass have been cooperating around Newburyport, but mostly for anglers out at night. Bluefish have been in quite thick around Newburyport with the choppers venturing further onto Joppa Flats than in weeks past. Several times this week I was cut off when fishing for stripers on Joppa. Some of the bluefish have become quite large as they have fed over the last few weeks and some bluefish in the 15 pound range have been taken. Fishing from Plum Island Point continues to be somewhat sporadic; however decent fish continue to be caught every day, mostly on bait. Outside the mouth of the Merrimack, larger bluefish have been falling for large, trolled swimming plugs, as well as popping plugs twitched on the surface. Fishermen in search of Tuna report decent sightings but sporadic hook ups for bluefin tuna. Cod and Haddock fishing remains strong.

Salisbury: (3 hooks) Surfcasters fishing from the State Reservation have landed a mix of bluefish and stripers over the last week. Most fish have been attracted to bait much more so than lures, with clams and worms working best. Some anglers have been having success with bluefish by casting Kastmaster’s and other metals from the Jetty and Salisbury Beach.

Seacoast, NH: (3 hooks) Like much of our coastline, fishing from Seabrook to Portsmouth has been fairly consistent for bluefish and somewhat more sporadic for striped bass. Larger bluefish and striped bass have been reported around the Isle of Shoals and there has been a few feeding frenzy’s reported just outside Hampton Harbor over the last week. The Piscataqua has been somewhat slow for bass, but bluefish have been active just outside the mouth.

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