August 31, 2006

Labor Day Weekend Should Prove to be a Good One for North Shore Anglers

Frank G. Dwyer
August 31, 2006

With the start of Labor Day and the looming Fall Migration not far behind it, anglers should be putting their time in on the water as fishing has been quite good this past week.

Striped Bass and bluefish continue to provide good action for in-shore anglers while bluefin tuna fishing is definitely on the up-tick for anglers heading offshore. Cod, haddock and pollock fishing has also been decent for anglers in search of table-fare.

Marblehead: (4 hooks) Marblehead Neck has been fishing quite well this week with bass and blues pushing bait into the rocks. Large to medium wooden plugs as well as swimming lures have been producing for anglers. Anglers have also had good luck off Devereux Beach with fresh cut bait and clams.

Salem: (4 hooks) The waters around Salem have come alive with bass and bluefish feeding on the surface over the last few mornings in the harbor and just outside. Fishing off Winter Island has also proved productive for blues and bass.

Beverly: (4 hooks) Striped bass have been feeding on top off West Beach as well as around the islands. Larger pass have been taking whole or cut bait in the rocky outcroppings as well as picking up trolled tube-n-worm rigs.

Cape Ann: (4 hooks) Singing Beach and White Beach have been producing legal bass at night on eels, clams and other baits. There have been bass surface feeds just outside Magnolia harbor as well as around Kettle Island this past week. Surface feeds in the Annisquam this past week have kept anglers happy with mid-sized striped bass. Big bluefish continue to be just outside the breakwater as well as outside Lane’s Cove as well as off Halibut Point. Still no consistent reports of bluefin tuna close to the Cape, but anglers are still finding them in around the Southwest corner of Stellwagen Bank.

Ipswich: (3 hooks) Large surface feeds have been happening all week as large bass key on bait with birds overhead near the Ipswich Yacht Club and also at the mouth of the Ipswich River. The Castleneck River has also been home to surface feeds with larger bass and blues in the mix.

Newbury: (4 hooks) Parking lots 1, 6 and 7 have been quite productive for bluefish and striped bass for both bait and artificial fishermen. Early morning has been best for fish in close to shore. Plum Island Sound has also been fishing quite nice with steady pick of blues and stripers.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (4 hooks) Fishing around Newburyport continues to please anglers as striped bass and bluefish have been abundant. Anglers drifting both the outgoing and incoming tides on Joppa Flats have found cooperative shoolie bass on most drifts. Bluefish continue to carouse just outside the mouth of the Merrimack and while drifting with bait on the outgoing tide has produced some large keeper bass. Party boats continue to find good action for cod, haddock and some pollock.

Salisbury: (3 hooks) Angler’s fishing from Salisbury Beaches have found small stripers in close in the wash in the pre-dawn hours. These fish have been taking small flies from long-wanders and small popping plugs from spin casters. Bluefish have been trolled up off Salisbury Beach in the 40-60 foot range.

Seacoast, NH: (4 hooks) The Seacoast is fishing nicely these days as peanut bunker have been in the waters and enticing bass close to shore. The fishing has been especially good around Portsmouth as bass and bluefish have been corralling the bunker at the mouth of the Piscataqua. New Castle and Portsmouth are also producing good numbers of flounder.


Many bait anglers fish their mackerel, herring or pogies by “chunking” them. This is an effective way of fishing, but for even more bends in the rod, considering filleting those baits so that you can “thread” the filet onto the hook allowing a “tail” to wiggle in the current providing additional reasons for fish to hit.

August 25, 2006

Fishing Continue to Please North Shore Anglers

Frank G. Dwyer
August 25, 2006

Striped bass fishing has been quite productive throughout the north shore as bass above 20 pounds have been landed from Marblehead to Portsmouth this past week. Bluefish remain prevalent and bluefin tuna, some legal sized, have moved in off Stellwagen Bank, while cod and haddock fishing has been decent.

The annual Leo Almeida Memorial North Shore Striped Bass Tournament is slated for Labor Day weekend and will include shore, boat and junior categories. The tournament benefits North Shore food pantries. For information on joining the fun pick up an entry form at most North Shore Bait and Tackle shops or by visiting .

Marblehead: (4 hooks) Bluefish and striped bass have kept anglers busy from shore and boat around Marblehead. Fish are keying on eels at night from the Neck as well as 9” Sluggos. Bluefish have been hitting trolled umbrella rigs as well as deep swimming lures.

Salem: (3 hooks) Bluefish continue to feed just outside the harbor and anglers have been taking the choppers on both top-water plugs and by trolling lures and umbrella rigs. Larger bass have been taken at the Salem/Beverly Bridge at night this week.

Beverly: (3 hooks) Feeding bass have been on the surface just off West Beach and around the islands over the past week. Fly anglers using small poppers and sliders have had fun with schoolies, while larger bass have been taken at night on Eeels. Fishing from the State Fishing Pier continues to provide good bass action for bait anglers.

Cape Ann: (4 hooks) Bluefin tuna are active off Stellwagen and Tillies, but have been a bit slow closer to the Cape. Good bass and bluefish action along the Manchester, Gloucester and Rockport beaches and both bait and artificial fishermen have found bass close to shore. Bluefish continue to be landed just outside the breakwater in Gloucester and larger bass have been taken in deeper water off Halibut Point. The Essex River has been fishing well for smaller striped bass over the past week. Party boats have done well for Cod, Haddock and Pollock.

Ipswich: (3 hooks) Surface feeding bass have been taking top-water plugs at the mouth of the Ipswich River over the past week. In addition, anglers fishing from shore at Steep Hill and Crane Beach have found good bass fishing, with fewer sunbathers and no greenheads!

Newbury: (4 hooks) Bluefish and striped bass have been fairly active in both the Parker River and Plum Island Sound. Anglers have been landing fish on larger sluggos rigged on lead heads and small top-water plugs. Larger bass have been taken early in the morning from the beaches of the Parker River NWR.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (4 hooks) Fishing around the Port continues to please anglers as bass and bluefish have been taken from the Route 95 Bridge to the ocean beaches. Small bluefish have been taking small top-water plugs around Deer Island down to the Gillis Bridge. Bass have been taking small baitfish imitations from fly fishermen and sluggos, top-water plugs and metal offerings from spin anglers. Some larger bass have been taken off the beaches by anglers fishing with fresh ocean hearing and clams. Offshore, anglers in search of bluefin tuna have been heading south to the waters off Cape Ann and out to Stellwagen in search of these so called “footballs”.

Salisbury: (3 hooks) There has been decent bass fishing from the shore of the State Reservation has been pleasing bait anglers as keeper size bass have been taken on the end of the outgoing tide. Occasional “bite offs” is proof positive that bluefish are also patrolling the river.

Seacoast, NH: (4 hooks) Good fishing from the beaches of North Hampton and Rye as Striped Bass have been feeding close to shore. Bluefish have invaded both Great and Little Bay in the Portsmouth area and anglers are catching them on most offerings. Larger bluefish have been at the mouth of the Piscataqua River, with some larger stripers in the mix as well. Striped Bass and bluefish have also been taking trolled tube-n-worm rigs out around the Isle of Shoals.

Tip Of The Week:

Many anglers utilize chum to attract fish, but often anglers don’t utilize their chum slick for maximum success. Once you have a good chum slick set up and are ready to utilize live or cut bait, don’t use any weight or a leader. Tie your hook directly to your line and free spool the bait in your slick. Remember, no weight is needed as the chum slick is attracting the fish to compete for food on the top of the water.

August 18, 2006

Depends on the day, but big fish still available

Frank G. Dwyer
August 18, 2006

It may be getting steamy again, but the cool down last weekend certainly helped the fishing in the waters I was fishing in.

Anglers have found larger striped bass cooperating at night around most of the north shore while bluefish and flounder continue to be caught. School bluefin tuna reports are still sparse, but sightings have increased over the last few days.

Marblehead: (4 hooks) Peanut bunker have been enticing bass close to shore over this past week with many smaller bass being landed and some keepers. Small baitfish flies have been landing fish for fly anglers while popping plugs and swimming lures have been catching fish for spin anglers. Bluefish have also been quite active just outside the harbor.

Salem: (3 hooks) Bluefish to 8 pounds have been in and just outside of the harbor and anglers have been having fun with them on light spin tackle. Larger striped bass have been around Winter Island at night with bait anglers scoring on cut bait, worms and eels.

Beverly: (3 hooks) Early morning anglers have found bass surface feeding near West Beach as well as around the islands. While these fish have mostly been in the 20”-26”, they have been quite active in taking most offerings. The Beverly Fishing Pier continues to attract bait anglers at night with some keeper bass being taken.

Cape Ann: (4 hooks) Peanut bunker have showed up around the Cape and that has helped the in-shore fishing. Manchester-by-the-Sea and Magnolia has seen surface feed as stripers and blues chased the bunker close to shore and anglers are landing them on most offerings. Large bluefish have been active off Halibut point and anglers trolling large, deep swimming lures (Rapala Magnums) have done well in 80-100 feet of water. A few school bluefin tuna sightings and landing have been reported offshore, but there has been no consistency. Party boats have been able to put their patrons on good amounts of cod and haddock and evade the dogfish by moving frequently.

Ipswich: (3 hooks) Small schoolies have been seen surface feeding off Crane Beach and fly anglers have been taking them on small clouser’s and deceiver’s and spin

casters taking them on small popping plugs and kastmasters.

Newbury: (3 hooks) Fishing from the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge has improved this week as anglers have had good luck for bass and blues. Bluefish have been chasing bait into the wash at Parking Lot 1, while bass have been keying in on clams and worms. The Parker River has provided decent action for bass at night while bass and blues have been somewhat spotty in Plum Island Sound.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (4 hooks) Bass and bluefish have been more active this week, with rumors of small bluefin tuna in the river echoing from local bait shops! Bass have been taking sluggos and flies from anglers drifting the outgoing tide from the AYC to Woodbridge Island. Larger bass are being taken by anglers drifting the mouth with ocean herring or mackerel. Bluefish have been taken just outside the mouth under clouds of birds as well as by anglers trolling deep swimming lures and umbrella rigs. Some flounder and fluke are also being taken just off the beach as well as in the river.

Salisbury: (3 hooks) Bluefish have been taken early in the morning off the Salisbury beach as well as the Jetty off the State Reservation. Striped Bass have been more active for anglers fishing the Merrimack across from Plum Island Point, with fish taking both cut bait and clams.

Seacoast, NH: (3 hooks) Rye and North Hampton Beaches have had an increase in striper action over the last week as anglers fishing from shore and boat reported good action for keeper sized bass. Bluefish have thickened up
around Portsmouth with choppers taking most offerings at the mouth of the Piscataqua as well as into Little and Great Bays. Flounder fishing has also improved for anglers in New Hampshire as ground fishing has been steady for cod and haddock even with dogfish hounding the party boats.

Tip of the Week:

Poor knots are likely one of the top three reasons for losing a fight with a fish. If you’re not up on the best connections for different methods of fishing and lures, do yourself a favor and go to any bookstore or marine store and pick up a book on fishing knots. There are many resources available on the internet as well including:


More Knots

August 3, 2006

Heat Continues its Grip on Region and Anglers

Frank G. Dwyer
August 4, 2006

As a New Englander, I don’t often complain about the heat, because once winter is here we will be wishing for the warm weather, but this heat is making us anglers work overtime.

Bluefish and flounder remain for the persistent day-time angler and bass have been much more cooperative after dark this past week. Tuna have yet to make a large showing in our area as Party Boats fight through the dogfish to get to the Cod and Haddock.

Marblehead: (3 hooks) Large bluefish continue to take most offerings from anglers from boat and shore along the Marblehead coast, while bass fishing from the Neck at night has found larger bass close to shore.

Salem: (3 hooks) Anglers continue to fish from Salem Willow Pier, but daytime pick ups are slow at best. Larger bass have been taken from Winter Island at night and bluefish continue to be available to anglers in and around Salem Sound.

Beverly: (3 hooks) Flounder are still being caught off the Beverly coast. Anglers do better drifting with sea worms as bait rather than anchored. Bass action is mostly at night, with larger bass being taken from the Beverly Fishing Pier and around the islands.

Cape Ann: (3 hooks) The water off Manchester-by-the-Sea and Magnolia has followed the pattern of most of our area with bluefish showing during the day and bass becoming more active at night. Some larger bass have been found in the deeper water columns off Halibut and Eastern Point while bluefish and dogfish have been wreaking havoc. Boat fishermen have been looking for school bluefin tuna from Thachers Island to Stellwagen, with little success. Cod and Haddock fishing remains somewhat steady even while fighting off the dogfish.

Ipswich: (3 hooks) Small bluefish have been off the beach at Crane and Steep Hill beaches early in the morning the past week. Striped Bass fishing has slowed for daytime anglers, but on the positive side, greenheads have thinned out considerably.

Newbury: (3 hooks) Bluefish and bass have been taken in the early morning from the Parker River NWR as anglers
have been taking fish on top-water plugs, metal and bait. Fishing in the Parker River has slowed with only sporadic bass activity reported over the last week.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (3 hooks) Pre-dawn hours have seen small bass rising on the top of the Merrimack River from Cashmans Park to Joppa Flats. As soon as the sun is up, the fish vanish. Fishing at night, just off the channel, from the AYC moorings to Woodbridge Island, bass have been taking live eels and sea worms as well as clams and cut mackerel. Drifting the mouth of the Merrimack on the outgoing tide with either whole or chunk mackerel has delivered some big fish to anglers willing to deal with the boat traffic and chop. Larger bluefish have been taking trolled umbrella rigs and deep swimming lures
from just outside the mouth and all along the beachfront. Party Boats continue to deliver Cod and Haddock by moving frequently to outsmart the dogfish.

Salisbury: (3 hooks) Bluefish have been hanging around the North Jetty off Salisbury as they await easy meals at the mouth of the river. In addition, trolling from Salisbury to Seabrook has found decent sized blues taking trolled deep running lures.

Seacoast, NH: (3 hooks) Bluefish from Seabrook to Portsmouth has been the most reliable fishery over the past week for the Granite State. Anglers fishing in the Rye and Portsmouth areas have found bass cooperating at night, especially on eels. Larger bluefish have been taken at the mouth of the Piscataqua as well as around the Isle of Shoals.

Tip of the Week:

Trolling is a great way to target fish; however it can cause problems with line twist. To get the twist out of your line, while motoring slowly, drop rod tip and line into the water and put your reel on “free-spool”. Allow all the affected line out and troll with nothing attached to the end of the line. In a short time your line twist problems will be over.