May 10, 2006

Weather may be foul, but fish are here!

Frank G. Dwyer

The nice weather we had last weekend enticed the striped bass to show up in more numbers. Anglers up and down the coast found hungry schoolie’s in river systems as well as along the ocean front.

While we seem to be in for some more unsettled weather in the coming days, fish are still out there for the hearty angler.

Marblehead: (2 hooks) Anglers fishing the Neck have found newly arrived bass close to shore. While these fish average 14-18”’s, they are the scouts for a new season and bigger fish will not be far behind. Flounder fishing has been spotty.

Salem: (2 hooks) Fishing in the Danvers and North Rivers has been good with hungry stripers providing the action. Winter Island and Kernwood Bridge have also been good locations to try your luck. Some flounder have been taken in the harbor and when the weather allows, cod and haddock fishing has been decent.

Beverly: (2 hooks) Veterans Memorial Bridge and the White Fuel Bridge have been yielding striped bass for both spin and fly anglers. West Beach has also been providing action for school-sized bass. Small flies, plastic/rubber baits and small poppers have all been working.

Cape Ann: (2 hooks) A few flounder to be found off the Manchester and Magnolia coast, but stripers have been more cooperative. Singing Beach and White Beach saw hungry bass in the wash this past weekend. The Annisquam has heated up over the last week despite the miserable weather. Many locations have been yielding decent numbers of striped bass in the 14-18” range on average. Small flies on sinking lines and sluggo’s or fin-s are working quite well. The Essex and Castle Neck have also seen an awakening over the past week as hungry schoolies have been taking most offerings. Cod and Haddock have been caught on the party boats, but weather has been hindering efforts.

Ipswich: (2 hooks) Fish have arrived at Pavilion and Crane Beaches and they’re hungry! Olive/White and Chartreuse/White clouser and deceivers on a sinking line have been working quite well. Small popping plugs along with bucktail jigs have also been enticing the fish to hit.

Newbury: (2 hooks) Fishing in Plum Island Sound was decent last weekend with schoolies in many spots. The Parker River has also been presenting anglers with good fishing as hungry striped bass take most offerings.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (2 hooks) Fishing upriver has been spotty for Shad, but the fish are being taken from Rock’s Village to the Gillis Bridge. Small stripers have also been congregating upriver around Carr, Eagle and Deer Island, probably hiding from the weather like the rest of us. Joppa Flats was sparsely populated with anglers this past weekend, but small fish have been cooperating from the AYC to Woodbridge Island. The ocean front yielded small bass on almost every cast for over an hour last Saturday on the last of the incoming tide, while the same spot yielded only 3 fish the next day, after all, it’s still Spring!

Salisbury: (2 hooks) Fishing from the State Reservation across from Plum Island Point has yielded decent numbers of bass over the last week. Fish are still small, but they are there for the taking. While many anglers are using sea worms and clams, this early in the season you’ll do just as well with artificial baits.

Seacoast, NH: (1 hook) The Granite State appears to be lagging behind Massachusetts just a bit as things are slowly starting to get underway. Some small bass have been taken off Seabrook and Hampton, while some early arrivals have also been taken around Portsmouth.

Tip Of The Week:

Bucktail Jigs are an excellent choice from both shore and boat in targeting many species of fish in our waters. It’s important to maintain contact with the bottom during your jigging to ensure the bait is being presented to the fish feeding on the bottom and to create an easier target for the fish to strike.

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