September 2, 2005

Labor Day Should be Fun for Anglers

Frank Dwyer
September 2, 2005

Labor Day Weekend is here and it certainly feels like it on the water. Even with the heat and humidity earlier in the week, there has been plenty of bait in the waters around the North Shore and no shortage of fish feeding on that bait.

Fishing from Marblehead to Portsmouth will only get better from here on out as we approach the dreaded fall migration which signals the beginning of the end of our saltwater fishing season. That said; get out there now as the best fishing of the season is yet to come!

Marblehead: (4 hooks) Striped bass fishing has improved over the last week as anglers report good action from the beaches and on the Neck near the lighthouse. Spin anglers using mid-sized plugs like Skitter Pops have done well, as have fly fishermen with poppers and sliders. Devereaux Beach has been home to several surface feeds as stripers chase peanut bunker.

Salem: (4 hooks) Salem Sound has been full of bait and with that has been home to several surface feeds over the past week with a mix of blues and striped bass foraging on peanut bunker. When the fish are feeding like this, you can’t go wrong with most poppers, metals or swimming plugs while fly anglers will have most offerings devoured. Fishing from Winter Island and Salem Willows Pier continues to produce good numbers of bass.

Beverly: (4 hooks) Fishing for bass in the Danvers River has been good for anglers from both boat and shore. Bait casters using chunks, clams and worms near the Salem/Beverly Bridge have been landing good numbers of bass. Anglers fishing just off West Beach have seen a number of surface feeds over the last week.

Cape Ann: (4 hooks) While flounder fishing has declined as of late, bass fishing has picked up nicely as peanut bunker have invaded the Cape. Manchester Harbor and the beaches of Manchester have seen several bass and blue surface feeds this week as both fly and spin anglers reported good catches. In Gloucester, the fishing has been quite good for bass, blues and school bluefin tuna. Bass have been more active in the Annisquam this past week and surface feeds have been reported off Brace Cove, Cape Hedge and Milk Island. Tuna fever continues as anglers have found tuna in the 30-100 pound range off Thachers Island and Halibut Point. Fishing off Rockport has also been quite consistent with bass and blues being taken from Pebble Beach, while the Essex River has been heating up with several surface feeds at the mouth this past week. Inshore cod action has slowed, but Party Boats have been returning with good numbers of cod and haddock.

Ipswich: (4 hooks) Crane Beach has been good for shore bound anglers as bass and blues have been corralling peanut bunker just off the beach. Anglers hovering near the mouth of the Ipswich River have seen many surface feeds this past week and many have said it certainly feels later in the season than the calendar says. Pavilion Beach has also had its fair share of fish taken from its shores.

Newbury: (4 hooks) Good news for the beach buggy crowd as September 1 was opening day for drive-on access to the beaches of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. Permits can be purchased at the gate house or at the Reservations headquarters and all the typical gear is required to gain drive-on privileges. All beaches at the reservation are now open and reports have good fishing from the shore for bluefish and bass.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (4 hooks) Newburyport anglers have been pleasantly surprised with an up-tick in action over the past week. Surface feeds have been seen from just off Cashman’s Park to the mouth of the river. Joppa Flats has been quite active with many sub-legal fish being taken by spin and fly anglers alike. Bluefish have ventured onto the flats a bit more this week, so don’t be surprised if you get cut off. Fishing from Plum Island Point and the front beach on Plum Island has been quite good as bluefish and striped bass activity has increased this past week. Fishermen trolling for bluefish from just outside the mouth all the way down to Emerson Rocks have seen plenty of hook ups. Anglers leaving from Newburyport in search of tuna have found them off Cape Ann, specifically off Thachers Island and around Halibut Point. Cod and Haddock catches remain plentiful for the Party Boats.

Salisbury: (4 hooks) Surfcasters will be happy that Labor Day Weekend is typically the last big beach weekend, thereby freeing up Salisbury Beach just in time for autumn. Bass and Bluefish have been taken by anglers working the beachfront just before dawn, with bluefish and stripers venturing into the wash in search of bait. The State Reservation continues to produce good numbers of bass and blues for those who like to fish with plenty of company.

Seacoast, NH: (4 hooks) Fishing around the mouth of Hampton Harbor has seen an increase in bass and bluefish activity as both spin and fly anglers have reported good action. Further north, fishing the beaches from North Hampton to Rye has also proven productive for anglers casting for bass and blues. The Piscataqua has been fishing somewhat slowly, however there have been a few surface blitzes at the mouth. Further offshore, cod and haddock fishing around the Isle of Shoals has been very good.

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