Frank G. Dwyer
July 30, 2006
As the July 4th Holiday Weekend arrives, unsettled weather has been no deterrent for anglers this week as striped bass and bluefish continue to be landed up and down the North Shore.
Flounder and fluke are being landed in more numbers and anglers fishing off shore have found a good mix of cod, haddock, wolf fish and cod. School bluefin tuna have been off Provincetown, so they will be in our waters soon.
Marblehead: (3 hooks) Fishing around Castle Rock and the Lighthouse has been good for both bait and fly fishermen. Anglers reported mostly sub-legal striped bass activity, but consistent action. Cut bait has been working well for bait anglers with sinking lines and bait fish imitation flies being the order of the day for fly anglers. Devereaux Beach has been providing good action for surfcasters for both blues and stripers.
Salem: (3 hooks) Anglers fishing in Salem Harbor have found consistent school bass action as fish in the 22”-26” have been taking most offerings. Bluefish have been patrolling just outside the harbor and as a result, mackerel have not been as evident.
Beverly: (3 hooks) West Beach has produced good numbers of bass this past week, with a few bluefish venturing close to shore. Ober Park and Kernwood Bridge have been hotspots for bait anglers at night as keeper size bass have been in the mix.
Cape Ann: (3 hooks) Drifting sea worms on a fish-finder rig from Singing Beach in Manchester-by-the-Sea has produced keeper size bass this week, especially at night. Fishing around Magnolia and Gloucester has been consistent as bass have been close to shore. Larger fish have started to be landed in more numbers, but school bass are still the norm. Bluefish have been in numbers off Halibut Point and larger bass have been dredged up from the deeper water off the point. Small bass continue to be taken in the Essex River with a few blues in the mix. Fishing off Tillies and Stellwagen has been offering a good mix of ground fish.
Ipswich: (3 hooks) Fishing around Ipswich has been somewhat spotty, but bluefish and stripers are available to persistent anglers. Bluefish and striped bass have been taken at the mouth of the Ipswich River, while Crane, Steep Hill and Pavilion Beaches have been inconsistent.
Newbury: (3 hooks) Fishing in the Parker River has been good, as both bluefish and bass have been chasing bait upriver. Plum Island Sound has also been home to decent numbers of striped bass and bluefish.
Newburyport / Plum Island: (3 hooks) Fishing around Newburyport has been good, as fish have been landed from the 95 Bridge to the mouth of the Merrimack. Over the last week, I’ve had mornings with many fish landed, and others with hardly a nibble. The inconsistency could be related to the still murky water or unsettled weather, however persistence has continued to pay off, especially early in the morning or after dark. Joppa Flats has fished well for fly and spin anglers as larger flies on sinking lines have been working, especially when stripped erratically. Top water plugs have also been enticing bass on the Flats, but again, the fish have been picky. As we lead up to July 4th, Plum Island Point has been crowded with anglers, mostly fishing with bait, so you’ll need patience at this popular spot. The ocean front has also been delivering fish for anglers, with metal and swimming lures working on spin rods and clams and worms working well for the sand-spike crew.
Salisbury: (3 hooks) Boat anglers have found pods of bass just off the North Jetty and along Salisbury beach. While most fish have been in the 22-26” range, keepers are in the mix and bluefish have arrived to keep anglers on their toes. Expect elbow to elbow conditions from the State Reservation this weekend.
Seacoast, NH: (3 hooks) Seabrook, Rye and Hampton have all seen their share of good fishing over the last week. A few surface feeds off Rye at sunset last week had bass and blues in the mix. Boat anglers have had mixed results in the Piscataqua River over the past week, however some keeper sized bass have been landed. Fly anglers do best with large flies presented on a fast sinking line. Spin fishermen have done well with sluggos, broken-back swimming lures and poppers. Bluefish and Bass have been trapping bait offshore at the Isle of Shoals.
Tip of the Week:
Saltwater fly fishing has gained in popularity over the last several years as anglers have found the same excitement experienced on a trout stream can be multiplied when fishing for larger quarry in the salt. One of the best tips I’ve received as it relates to fly fishing in saltwater is to vary the strip/retrieve until you find a rhythm that produces strikes consistently. One day it may be a steady retrieve, while the next it may be two quick strips, followed by a 3-count, followed by two quick strips, and so on. Don’t get stuck in a rut, vary your retrieve and land more fish.