May 19, 2006

Tough Start to the Season

Frank G. Dwyer

Wind and rain pushed many fish out of reach of local anglers and kept party boats at bay most of the last week. As things calm down and local waters become more fish-friendly, we should have a more consistent bite.

Bluefish have started to appear in Cape Cod waters, so the toothy one’s should be in our environs soon.

Marblehead: (1 hook) Mother Nature can work wonders and hopefully one of those will be clearing out the debris and weed and bringing the fish closer to shore. Flounder should be available in numbers by this time of year, but again the weather has changed that schedule.

Salem: (1 hook) Patience is the word as we wait for our waters to become stable again. The Danvers and other rivers in the area are murky and debris-ridden. The Harbor in Salem has not yielded many fish over the last week.

Beverly: (1 hook) At the risk of sounding like a broken record, anglers fishing from West Beach and other locations in Beverly have found weed infested waters and little action.

Cape Ann: (1 hook) Striper fishermen are not the only one’s suffering with the weather as the cod and haddock bite has been hurt by the storms. While more unsettled weather is predicted for the weekend, it’s nowhere near the magnitude of our last week so hopefully things will quickly improve. As with the rest of the area, favorite river and ocean fishing spots like the Annisquam and Halibut Point have yielded very few fish. The Essex River should yield fish soon for anglers itching for a tight line.

Ipswich: (1 hook) Provided we can get a few days of somewhat decent weather, anglers prospecting around Crane Beach should find fish reappearing slowly. Pavilion beach and the back side of Ipswich Neck should also provide opportunities to anglers looking for fish.

Newbury: (1 hook) The southern end of Plum Island, aka Sandy Point, would typically be a great place to fish this weekend, but with our extraordinary weather over the last week, fish have been nowhere to be found. If you’re going to give it a go, the Parker River would probably be your best shot.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (1 hook) The Merrimack has raw sewage and massive amounts of trash and other objects floating down river. The ocean front also was a mess of flotsam, trash and weed making fishing not only difficult but somewhat depressing. Anglers looking for fish would do well trying in the Plum Island River or upriver around Deer Island.

Salisbury: (1 hook) Much like the beaches on Plum Island, Salisbury Beach has lot’s of washed up trash and debris as well as a good amount of weed in the water. It will be a few days at least before it’s truly fishable. The Merrimack as previously mentioned is a mess.

Seacoast, NH: (1 hook) New Hampshire anglers are experiencing the same frustrations as those of us in the Commonwealth as the weather has wreaked havoc on most fishing locations. Hopefully next week the beaches from Seabrook to Rye will offer the Spring fishing that we all dream about during the winter.


As things warm up, skates will start to show in more numbers. If you’d like to avoid this winged bottom dwellers when bait fishing for striped bass, flounder and many other fish, you’ll do well applying a small float to your line, six to eight inches above the hook. Your bait will now float just above the bottom, allowing you to catch more fish and weed out the skates.

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