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.

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