September 15, 2006

Fall Feed is On!

Frank Dwyer

The weather feels like autumn, and the fishing is starting to fit the season. Striped Bass and Bluefish continue to feed aggressively in North Shore waters, as the offshore fishery has also been heating up.

Bluefin tuna, cod, haddock and pollock are all in play as the fishing season gets ready for the final death rattle.

Marblehead: (4 hooks) Fishing from the Neck continues to be hot as striped bass and bluefish have been taking most offerings. Anglers fishing the rocks at night have found keeper-size bass willing to take live eels and large plugs.

Salem: (4 hooks) Salem Harbor and the area around the Misery Islands have been producing good numbers of bass and bluefish. Trolling tube-n-worms as well as using large plugs tossed into the rocks has been very productive. As usual, larger bass are being taken at night.

Beverly: (4 hooks) The fishing has been terrific around Beverly Harbor as well off West Beach. Striped Bass and bluefish continue their aggressive feeding habits in preparation of the Fall migration. Metal lures, sluggos and popping plugs have all been quite productive.

Cape Ann: (4 hooks) The Manchester and Magnolia coastline has been fishing quite well over the last several days as anglers have found large bass along the rocky coast. Fishing around Wingaersheek Beach and Good Harbor in Gloucester has also been good with large bluefish and stripers in the mix. Large bluefish have also been taken from the breakwater to off Halibut Point. The school bluefin tuna bite has been somewhat in consistent but most offshore types agree that the southwest corner of Stellwagen Bank has been the best waters to target. Party boats have done quite well for cod and haddock this past week.

Ipswich: (4 hooks) The area around Pavilion Beach has been loaded with bluefish and bass as anglers have found these fish to take most offerings. The fish have been keying in on small peanut bunker and sand eels, so lures and flies that resemble those baits are working best.

Newbury: (4 hooks) The Parker River NWR continues to provide excellent opportunities for anglers as fish have been taken from most Parking Lots, as well as from Sandy Point. Plum Island Sound has also seen good action for
bass and blues.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (4 hooks) There are plenty of striped bass in the Newburyport area as smaller bass have been feeding on top during the daylight hours and larger bass coming at night, especially for anglers using eels on Joppa Flats. The ocean front has seen several days of bluefish and stripers available to surfcasters working the beach, while anglers in boats have found larger bass at the mouth of the Merrimack on the outgoing tide. Party boats have found ground fish in closer to shore over the last week.

Salisbury: (3 hooks) Bass and bluefish have been close to shore and anglers have landed fish from both Salisbury Beach and the shores of the State Reservation. These fish are actively feeding and while bait can still work, plugs and lures have been quite productive all week.

Seacoast, NH: (4 hooks) Bluefish are still thick from Hampton to Portsmouth and striped bass have been feeding heavily in preparation for their migration south. Many bluefish have been in both Great and Little Bay, and are taking most top-water and metal offerings. Several bass surface feeds have been happening off the Rye and Portsmouth coast, with good action in the Piscataqua as well.


Fishing surface lures like Danny Plugs, Needlefish, Atom Poppers and the like is more of an art-form than most anglers realize. You need to make these lures “dance” across the surface with erratic movements like the injured baitfish they are intended to mimic. Work on your retrieve method to land more fish.

September 7, 2006

As September begins, fishing continues to please anglers on the North Shore of Massachusetts

Frank G. Dwyer
September 7, 2006

While Tropical Storms made the last week difficult for offshore anglers, things have calmed down and the fall migration is imminent.

Fishing for Bass and Bluefish slowed during last weeks stormy weather, however the action has begun to heat up again on the North Shore. Bluefin tuna fishing has been good from just off Cape Ann to Stellwagen Bank.

Marblehead: (4 hooks) Fishing from the Neck at Lighthouse Point has been quite productive for anglers using cut bait, eels and large plugs. Striped Bass to 35 inches have been taken this week. Devereux Beach continues to deliver both bass and bluefish action to surfcasters.

Salem: (4 hooks) Silversides have been in Salem Harbor and the surrounding river systems and that has kept fishermen happy. Bass and bluefish have both been feeding on the surface and anglers have done well with smaller flies and 4-6” sluggos. Larger bass have been taking live eels at night from Winter Island and around the Misery Islands.

Beverly: (4 hooks) The Beverly Fishing Pier and Danvers River have both been offering consistent fishing action for bass, with keepers coming in mostly at night on cut bait or eels. West Beach continues to see surface feeds earlier in the morning.

Cape Ann: (4 hooks) Bluefish and bass have been feeding on top just off Coolidge Point in Manchester-by-the-Sea. Further north, you will find Magnolia offering similar action for blues and bass as fly fishermen and spin anglers alike have been having good luck. Large bluefish have been thick throughout the waters of Gloucester as anglers trolling and plugging have landed fish over 10 pounds. Schoolie bass have been in close to shore feeding on baitfish off most beaches around Gloucester and have been taking plugs, plastics and metal offerings. Anglers in search of bluefin tuna have found some fish closer to the Cape than in weeks past, however much of the action remains around Stellwagen. Silversides have been all over the Essex River and with that, bass fishing has been good for school-sized bass and the occasional keeper in the mix.

Ipswich: (4 hooks) Silversides have been in large numbers in Ipswich waters enticing bass and allowing anglers some excellent fishing in and around Ipswich Bay. Fishing from Crane and Steep Hill beaches has also been good as fly fishermen using small silverside imitations have done quite well.

Newbury: (4 hooks) Sandy Point and Plum Island Sound have been home to numerous surface feeds this week as fish were feeding on small silversides. Some larger fish have been in the mix, especially around Sandy Point. The Parker River NWR continues to produce good numbers of bass, especially for bait fishermen.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (4 hooks).Schoolie bass have been surface feeding from Deer Island to Joppa Flats on moving tides early in the morning. Small flies and un-weighted sluggos have worked well. Drifting the outgoing tide at the mouth has continued to produce keeper-sized bass for anglers drifting bait and large buck-tail jigs. Bluefish have been available from the South Jetty to Emerson Rocks for boat anglers, but lately have seemed to be just out of reach of surfcasters. Party boats have had good fishing despite the storms over the last week.

Salisbury: (3 hooks) Fishing from both Salisbury Beach and the State Reservation have been providing steady action for smaller striped bass and some bluefish. Bluefish have been abundant to boat fishermen with fish being taken from the North Jetty to Hampton.

Seacoast, NH: (4 hooks) Hampton Harbor has been fishing well for smaller bass as anglers fishing clams and cut bait have had success with fish to 25 inches. Bluefish have also been just outside Hampton Harbor all the up to Kittery Point. North Hampton Beaches as well as Odiorne Point in Rye have also produced good bass and bluefish action for the shore-bound angler. Bluefish have been thick in Little and Great Bay, as the fish have been chasing pogies. Striped bass have been cooperating with anglers off Pierce Island as well as at the mouth of the Piscataqua while flounder fishing seems to be on the up-tick off Kittery Point.


When drift fishing in a rapid current—especially in a lighter boat—you can whisk past the action if you don’t take action. If you utilize a “drag bucket” by tying a 5-gallon bucket off a stern or bow cleat (depending on current and wind) and allowing it to fill, your drift will be slowed allowing you to enjoy more time over the bite. Experiment with a number of holes drilled in the bottom of the bucket to fine tune your drift.