June 1, 2006

Good Options Abound for Anglers

Frank G. Dwyer
May 31, 2006

Pleasant weather combined with increasing numbers of bait arriving has perked up local anglers as fish have become more active and are being landed all over the North Shore.

While some areas are still heating up, flounder, bass, cod, pollock and haddock are just some of the species currently being targeted as more bait arrives daily.

Marblehead: (3 hooks) Deveraux Beach has been giving up bass from 8 – 30” and larger fish are arriving every day. Spin and fly anglers have found hungry fish on the top and bottom, so get out there! Pogies have been around in the early morning hours and you know stripers are following them. Flounder fishing in and around the harbor is picking up.

Salem: (3 hooks) Bass fishing has been good around Winter Island and from Salem Willows. Anglers using cut bait as well as clams have done well. Flounder fishing has been improving and anglers have been getting their limit.

Beverly: (3 hooks) There have been decent numbers of Flounder off Beverly Cove this week, but the skates are also increasing in numbers. West Beach has been producing bass in the early morning hours as well as at dusk. Bait anglers continue to score at the Pier.

Cape Ann: (3 hooks) White Beach and Singing Beach in Manchester-by-the-Sea continue to deliver bass to fishermen. Flounder have also been a steady pick just outside the harbor. Gloucester has really cranked up over the last week as bass have invaded the area and are being taken from Ten Pound Island to Halibut Point. Some Pogies have been reported early in the morning and as the numbers increase so will the size of the bass. The Essex River has also been heating up, especially in the early morning hours as fly and light-spin anglers have had fun with schoolies. Fishing offshore has been quite good off both Stellwagen and Jeffries.

Ipswich: (3 hooks) Fishing from the Crane Beach area has been quite consistent as both spin and fly fishermen have been finding cooperative bass. Along Ipswich Neck, anglers have also found bass to 30 inches.

Newbury: (3 hooks) The National Wildlife Refuge beaches remain closed, except for Parking Lot 1, which has yielded good amounts of bass over the past week. Plum Island Sound and the Parker River have also been fishing well as anglers reported more numbers and bigger bass.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (3 hooks) The Merrimack is clearing up with the amount of debris in the river lessening each day and the water clarity improving as well. Bass have been taken from the Route 95 Bridge to the Gillis Bridge. Many anglers have had luck using Sluggo’s and other soft baits. Joppa Flats has shown signs of improvement as well as hungry fish have been taken from the city docks down to Woodbridge Island. The ocean front has had good bass activity from shore on both top water plugs and metal. Plum Island Point has been elbow to elbow with bait anglers scoring consistently and fly fishermen having success from the sand bar. Party Boats have had good success over the past week.

Salisbury: (2 hooks) As it is across the river, anglers have been flocking to the shores of the State Reservation and catching bass on worms, clams and mackerel. Bucktail Jigs have also been working in the river and from Salisbury Beach.

Seacoast, NH: (2 hooks) Striped bass fishing has picked up around Seabrook and Hampton, with school sized fish being taken regularly along the coast. Further north, more stripers are showing up in the Piscataqua River, with reports having the area near the Navy Yard producing quite well. Sporadic mackerel reports are also coming in from the Seacoast and more numbers should arrive daily. Some flounder have been caught, but many have been shorts.


Does color matter? The debate goes on, but I certainly believe that various colors and patterns work better in different conditions. Typically, I find that on overcast days or at night, darker colored lures and baits work best. On bright and sunny days, I find brighter colors and flash attracting more fish. Don’t be afraid to experiment and see what works for you when you’re fishing.

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