July 20, 2006

Heat Wave Sends Fish to Deeper Water

Frank G. Dwyer
July 20, 2006

Hot weather sent striped bass to cooler, deeper waters this week, while bluefish have become more active with some 10-15 pound fish in the mix.

Dogfish have also showed up in numbers and are hindering the fishing for cod, haddock and cusk. Tuna have been seen out by Stellwagen Bank, but have yet to show in big numbers.

Marblehead: (3 hooks) Mackerel have become scarce around Marblehead, but anglers are still doing well for bass with cut bait, mostly at night. Bluefish have been quite active during the day. Flounder fishing is decent just outside the harbor.

Salem: (3 hooks) Anglers fishing around Bakers Island have found decent amounts of bass. The fish have been taking eels at night as well as cut bait. Salem-Beverly Bridge has also been producing bass for anglers at night. There are plenty of bluefish for the taking around Salem.

Beverly: (3 hooks) Flounder fishermen are being annoyed by numbers of dogfish, so it’s tough going. Bluefish have been carousing all along the Beverly and are quite fun to catch on light action rods. Striped Bass fishing around the islands off West Beach has been sporadic, with more bass coming at night.

Cape Ann: (3 hooks) Manchester-by-the-Sea anglers have found schoolie bass in the rocks along the shore and they are taking both small plugs and flies. Bluefish are quite available as anglers have been catching blues to 15 pounds around the cape. In Gloucester, bluefish have been quite active just at the entrance to the harbor and anglers trolling deep running swimming lures and tube-n-worm rigs have done quite well. Off Halibut Point, dogfish continue to annoy anglers using bait, but some bass are being taken, along with bluefish. Rockport Beaches have been producing bass for anglers, especially at night. The Essex River has slowed down considerably, with only sporadic catches being reported. Party boats have had decent fishing over the last week, but need to keep moving as dogfish are in our waters in numbers.

Ipswich: (3 hooks) There is no shortage of bluefish in Ipswich Bay as anglers are catching the fish on top water plugs as well as trolled swimming lures. Bluefish have also been landed from Pavilion and Steep Hill Beaches, while striped bass have headed for deeper waters.

Newbury: (3 hooks) Anglers itching for new sand to explore can now fish from Parking Lot’s 1, 6 and 7 at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. Bluefish have been hitting close to shore in the morning as anglers have been having fun catching these fish from the Beach. The Parker River is still producing bass, but mostly at night.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (3 hooks) Fishing behind Carr Island and in Town Creek produced some nice sized bass on top water plugs and eels for this columnist a few nights this past week. In addition, anglers anchoring up and using bait by the Gillis Bridge have found decent sized bass at night. Joppa Flats has been somewhat sporadic as fish have been quite evident, but somewhat finicky. The best bet is eels at night on the flats. Bluefish have been taken from the shore of the front beach on Plum Island and some bass have been taken at night, mostly on clams and worms. Plum Island Point has also been providing decent action for bass and bluefish. Trolling from the south jetty to Emerson Rocks has found decent sized bluefish for boat fishermen. Party boats have been fighting through the dogfish, but are still finding some cod, haddock, cusk and wolf fish.

Salisbury: (3 hooks) Fishing from the State Reservation banks of the Merrimack has offered a decent mix of bass and bluefish for surfcasters. Trolling from the North Jetty up to Hampton has seen decent action for bluefish in the 8-12 pound range.

Seacoast, NH: (3 hooks) Bluefish have made their way to the Granite State and are being caught by anglers from Seabrook to Portsmouth. Top water plugs, tubes and umbrella rigs are all taking the blues. Bass fishing has slowed a bit, but fishing the rocks around Hampton and Rye has produced bass for anglers, especially at night. There has been some bass activity in the lower Piscataqua and around the Navy Yard, but mostly sub-legal fish being landed. Larger bass and bluefish have been taken around the Isle of Shoals.

Tip of the Week:

When eel fishing, hook the eel directly through the lower jaw, then bring the hook up through the snout. In addition, eels can make quite a mess of your leader and line, so a little stretch goes a long way. Prior to hooking the eel, gently stretch the eel so that they are not in full wiggle mode when baiting your hook.

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