Frank G. Dwyer
July 14, 2006
Unsettled weather combined with heat has made for tough going for anglers, but persistent fishermen are still putting fish in the boat.
Fishing at night is becoming the best option for large bass, while schoolie bass and plenty of bluefish are available for the daytime crowd.
Marblehead: (3 hooks) While it may not exactly be the summer doldrums, fish have become a bit picky in the waters around Marblehead. Anglers fishing the beaches at night have reported decent catches on both live bait (eels) and chunk bait. (mackerel) Soft plastics, popping plugs, or swimmers tossed along the rocky shore at night have also produced fish for persistent anglers. Fish are still being landed around the Harbor, Light House Point and Castle Rock, you just need more patience than earlier in the season.
Salem: (3 hooks) It seems things have slowed down around Salem for bass fishermen, with the stripers becoming harder to find. Anglers getting out before dawn or after dark have had better luck. There were however reports of good fishing in close to the rocks off Baker’s Island earlier in the week. Cut bait has been working best. The Danvers River has been slow. Flounder have been available, but you’ll need to fight through numbers of dogfish to get them.
Beverly: (3 hooks) There have been some reports of bass surface feeds off the Beverly coast this past week, but mostly small fish reported. Shore fishermen have reported slower activity off West Beach and the action seems to have slowed in the harbor as well. Some bluefish activity has at least allowed anglers to feel the bend of the rod.
Cape Ann: (3 hooks) Manchester-by-the-Sea and Magnolia has seen the fishing action slow over the last week, but the fishing off Gloucester and Rockport has been good. There have been reports of mackerel showing up in the waters again, which is good since the bass should be in pursuit. Schools of small pollack have also been in close to shore. The Annisquam River and the Essex River, and surrounding waters have been slower this week. Dogfish continue to annoy anglers looking for cod and haddock, but party boats are still returning with good catches.
Ipswich: (3 hooks) Reports from Crane Beach and Steep Hill Beach have had a few surface feeds over the last week with the bass chasing sand eels in close to shore. Fly anglers tossing small epoxy sand eel imitations and Ray’s fly have done well, as have spin fishermen using popping plugs. Some bluefish have been around the mouth of the Ipswich River.
Newbury: (3 hooks) If you can stand the Greenheads, then Plum Island Sound is a good option as a good mix of blues and stripers have been landed over the past week. Anglers fishing from Sandy Point have found good surface action early in the morning.
Newburyport / Plum Island: (3 hooks) Fishing remains steady around the Merrimack River estuary. Upriver, anglers have been scoring big bass on the higher tides off Carr and Eagle Islands. Deer Island has been a popular place for shore bound anglers in search of bass. Joppa Flats has been OK over the last week, with bait anglers seeming to out fish all others. Boats anchoring off the Toothpick and Badger Rocks have also done well drifting sea worms and cut bait just off the bottom. Anglers have also reported landing small fluke over the past week. The ocean front has also been home to several good fish, caught on both bait and lures, with a few bluefish in the mix. The party boats are still bringing in good numbers of cod and haddock.
Salisbury: (3 hooks) The Salisbury beach front has been slow during the day for the most part, but anglers fishing the early morning hours and after dark have been tallying some decent sized bass. Buck tail jigs, live eels and cut bait have all been working well along with sand eel imitations for fly fishermen. Fishing the Merrimack River from the State Reservation has been fairly consistent, however smaller bass have been the rule. Also, some sporadic bluefish activity reported.
Seacoast, NH: (3 hooks) Seabrook and Hampton have had good fishing over the last week, with some big fish falling for both live and cut bait. The marsh and river in Hampton have both produced keeper sized bass recently. Boat anglers have had good luck close into the rocks along the shore, or at the mouth of the rivers. Further north, fishing around Portsmouth and Dover Point has been somewhat steady. There are some big bass and blues out at the Isle of Shoals.
Tip of the Week:
Sea worms are often baited using a typical fish-finder rig or perhaps just a barrel swivel and an egg sinker. While this works nicely, there are other ways to rig a worm. Much like bobber fishing in a freshwater pond, set a worm on a 3-4 foot leader, and then utilize a cork float to allow the worm to float on or just under the surface. This technique tends to work best at night.