August 12, 2005

Stripers a bit Finicky

Frank Dwyer
August 12, 2005

The summer heat has pushed many of the striped bass in our area to deeper water as they seek relief from the heated shallow waters of the North Shore. Bass have been much more active at night; however the next few weeks will see a resurgence of bass activity as the beginning of the fall migration approaches. Bluefish remain ever present, while cod, haddock and school bluefin tuna remain in good numbers.

Mark your calendars, as the Third Annual Leo Almeida Memorial North Shore Striped Bass Tournament will be held Labor Day weekend. Last year 350 anglers entered and $3,500 was raised for three North Shore food pantries, the Cape Ann Food Pantry in Gloucester, Our Neighbor’s Table in Amesbury, and the Danvers People to People pantry. For full details, visit

Marblehead: (3 hooks) Fishing the beaches in Marblehead has slowed as the waters have warmed to a near season high. Fishing around the Neck has been more productive than the beaches as anglers look for deeper holes near rocky structure. Bluefish remain active around most of Marblehead.

Salem: (3 hooks) Bluefish have been both inside and outside of the harbor in Salem and anglers targeting them with light spinning gear and fly rods have been having a ball with fish ranging from 3- 12 pounds. Stripers have been reacting to the heating waters and moving to deeper environs, however night anglers have reported success with chunk bait off Winter Island.

Beverly: (3 hooks) Fishing in and around Beverly has been somewhat slow in the daylight hour’s, however bluefish and flounder have been taken in the sunlight by persistent anglers. Fishing the Beverly Fishing Pier at night has produced good results for anglers finding the right tide at night. Boaters around Bakers and Misery Island report good bass action at night.

Cape Ann: (3 hooks) Things have slowed for surfcasters off Singing Beach in Manchester-by-the-Sea, with only sporadic action reported over the last week. The same story is being heard in Gloucester as well as surfcasters struggle to find decent action for striped bass. Bluefish remain plentiful, but most seem to be out of the casting distance of shore bound anglers. The big attraction for anglers with boats that can travel some distance are the good numbers of school bluefin tuna that are being caught about 10 miles off Thachers Island. Tuna have been taken by anglers trolling Green Machines and casting metal jigs and even tossing chunk baits. You’ll need at least 30 pound test and 300 yard capacity or a 12 weight fly rod to have a shot of landing these fish. Rockport and Essex striped bass fishing has slowed as well, with bluefish remaining the more prevalent catch this past week. Party boats continue to please their customers with good numbers of cod, haddock, cusk and wolfish.

Ipswich: (3 hooks) Fishing from the beaches of Ipswich has been slow for anglers casting from shore. Many bluefish have been hanging around the mouth of the Ipswich River with a few striped bass in the mix. Pavilion, Crane and Steep Hill beach continue to produce for anglers willing to get out in the dark of the night.

Newbury: (3 hooks) Fishermen have gained additional real estate to work with on the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge as parking lots one, six and seven are now open and ready for anglers to wet a line. Some reports of decent striped bass catches in the early morning hours, with seaworms and cut bait working best. The Plum Island Sound has also gotten better over the last few weeks with both striped bass and bluefish catches reported.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (3 hooks) Fish have been finicky around Newburyport this week, even at night. Slurping bass have been on top working small bait fish from the central waterfront right out to the Toothpick. While most of the fish are small, some bigger fish have been in the mix, but most remain quite temperamental with plenty of bait and lure offerings going untouched. The Point continues to attract throngs of anglers, but most of the fish of any size are coming at night. Bluefish remain present from the mouth of the Merrimack and along most of the Newburyport beachfront. Some flounder catches have been had over the past week but are not as plentiful in weeks past. Many anglers have been heading out into Ipswich Bay in search of the school bluefin tuna that have started to populate our waters. Cod and Haddock Party Boats continue to please anglers with good market-sized catches.

Salisbury: (3 hooks) Some bluefish have been taken by surfcasters off Salisbury beach, most just after sunrise. Large plugs, Kastmasters, Rangers or Ballistic Missiles should do the trick. Bass fishing has slowed from the beach, but some bass are still hanging around the Merrimack with anglers fishing the jetty and State Reservation having limited success.

Seacoast, NH: (3 hooks) Striped Bass fishing from Seabrook to Portsmouth has also seen a slow down mostly driven by rising water temperatures. Anglers need to find deeper holes, or head out at night to increase their chances. Big bluefish have been carousing off the Isle of Shoals as well as some bigger striped bass hanging around the cooler rocky structure. The Piscataqua and Great Bay area have also seen a slow down in fishing activity.

No comments: