May 25, 2006

Conditions Slowly Improving

Frank G. Dwyer
May 25, 2006

The weather has been cooperative and has improved fishing conditions—and angler’s moods—all around our region.

Memorial Day should bring good action for both inshore and offshore anglers as fish get into their feeding patterns for the season.

Marblehead: (2 hooks) Fishing the Neck by the lighthouse has been improving as anglers have been tussling with small stripers on both spinning gear with small metal lures and rubber/plastic baits as well as small profile flies. Flounder are becoming more available.

Salem: (2 hooks) The Danvers River has been producing excellent amounts of bass for local anglers. Pogies have also been reported in the area and this favorite striper treat is bound to increase the amount of larger fish in our waters. Fishing around Salem Harbor has also been good with bait and artificial fishermen scoring good amounts of bass.

Beverly: (2 hooks) Good fishing from West Beach, especially in the dawn hours, as stripers have been taking metal lures, popping plugs and small jigs. Anglers fishing around the islands have also found bass, with some keeper size fish now in the mix. The Beverly Fishing Pier has been yielding fish for bait fishermen.

Cape Ann: (2 hooks) Fishing around Manchester-by-the Sea and Magnolia has seen improvement over the last week. Surfcasters fishing from Singing Beach have seen more cooperative fish arriving everyday. Cut mackerel has been working well for the bait fishermen, while poppers, swimmers and jigs are working for spin casters. Fishing from Magnolia Rocks has been yielding decent amounts of small striped bass. Gloucester has also come alive with bass being taken along the usual spots like the State Pier, the Annisquam and many of the ocean beaches. In Rockport, fishing has certainly picked up for those fishing from Long Beach and Cape Hedge beach. The Essex River has been yielding good amounts of striped bass, especially for fly fishermen. Party boats are providing excellent ground-fishing for their patrons.

Ipswich: (2 hooks) Fishing in the Ipswich River has provided good action for school-sized striped bass as hungry fish take most offerings. Pavilion Beach has also surrendered stripers to fishermen working both the incoming and outgoing tides.

Newbury: (2 hooks) The fine folks at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge did a great job of cleaning up the beach at Parking Lot 1 and anglers can now fish from the beach there. The remainder of the beach remains closed as three pairs of Piping Plovers have made their home on the beaches. Sandy Point has also been a good destination for anglers in search of spring stripers.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (2 hooks) Newburyport did a great job cleaning up the beaches and while the water is still somewhat murky, the fish are back and cooperating. Good sized stripers have been taken as far up river as the Lawrence Dam and fishing around the Chain Bridge and the nearby islands has been pleasing anglers. Small bass are falling for most offerings from Fly and Spin fishermen. Joppa Flats is improving every day as the currents and water quality improve. There is no shortage of bent rods along the ocean front and in the River at Plum Island Point. Some mackerel have been seen in the area, but they are not in thick yet. Cod, Haddock, Cusk and Pollock all being taken on the Party Boats.

Salisbury: (2 hooks) Fishing from the Merrimack River at the State Reservation has certainly improved, but the current is still quite strong and debris is still somewhat prevalent. That said, anglers fishing with cut bait, sea worms and clams have all done well for striped bass. Salisbury Beach has also been providing a fairly steady pick of bass in the 14-22” range.

Seacoast, NH: (2 hooks) Striper fishing is finally starting to heat up in the Granite State as anglers have found fish from Seabrook to Portsmouth. Anglers fishing the river systems around Dover and Newmarket have found striped bass to be much more cooperative than weeks past. Some bass have also been taken in and around the Piscataqua and some sporadic mackerel activity has been noted. Off shore, Cod and Haddock fishing has also improved.

Tip of the Week:

When fishing strong currents, use the water flow to your advantage. Cast your offering upstream of the current and tend your line just enough to feel a strike, allowing your bait to run freely in the current. Often, just as your line is at the end of this “free float” you will get a hit.

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