December 13, 2008

Two Days Left in Shotgun Season

Frank G. Dwyer
December 13, 2008

The shotgun season for most of Massachusetts ends on Monday and overall the hunting has been good for Bay State sportsman. While the ice storm has slowed some areas of the state, others are still out tracking deer on the last weekend of the season.

Frank Sousa wrote a great article at the beginning of the season which does an excellent job looking at the season as compared to the size of the herd and how it relates to past seasons.

For the non-hunters that might stumble across this article, you should read at least this paragraph from Mr. Sousa's article:

"Deer density ranges from 10 whitetails per square mile in northwestern Massachusetts to 50 to 60 on Nantucket Island, where the state’s highest Lyme disease in humans is recorded. A special hunt was instituted last year at the request of residents. While animals were taken, the total was not significant enough to drastically reduce the Lyme disease threat.
Biologists estimate the deer population increases by more than 30 percent annually.
MassWildlife maintains deer densities between 10 to 30 animals per square mile, depending on habitat and deer nuisance reports.
Biologists indicated that a higher deer per mile ratio could be reached, but higher populations lead to an increase in Lyme disease, car-deer collisions, habitat destruction, and nuisance reports."

Merry Christmas!!

November 18, 2008

Archery Season Winding Down

Frank Dwyer
November 18, 2008
The archery season is winding down in Massachusetts and by all reports I've seen, it's been a decent season for deer.
For a look at recent white tail harvest numbers, you can visit the Massachusetts Deer Harvest Page from Mass Wildlife.
Mass Wildlife also has a great site with maps of all the Wildlife Management Areas in the state.
For some inspiration in the last few days of archery season, check out this article from New England Game and Fish.
Shotgun seson starts December 1st and runs through December 15th in all Zones expect Zone 12 where the season only runs to December 6th.

September 12, 2008

Fall Fishing in New England; A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

Picture by Captain Brett Van Gelder
September 12th, 2008 - Boston Harbor
Bait: Live Pogie

September 5, 2008

Fall’s Bittersweet Arrival

Frank G. Dwyer
September 5, 2008

There was a distinct Autumn feel to the air when I was on Cape Cod over the last few days and back home here on the North Shore, and certainly the annual Fall run is on most anglers minds.

In the back of our minds is also the knowledge that after the fall run comes six months of sheer torture as we wait for Spring’s arrival, so get out there while you can.

Marblehead: (4 hooks) The saltwater fishing has improved as of late and should remain good until hurricane remnants put the fish down. The Neck and beaches have been good for blues and bass as plugs, plastics and bait have all been scoring fish. Fish have been feeding on peanut bunker.

Salem: (4 hooks) Pogies are in thick in Salem Harbor and with that larger bass are there for the taking. Fly fishermen using larger baitfish imitations slipped rapidly have been doing quite well, especially with olive and white patterns. Working your way around Winter Island and environs at dusk and dawn is worth your time.

Cape Ann: (4 hooks) Increased activity has been noted around the Cape as fish gear up for their southern migration. The Annisquam has seen an uptick in activity as bass have been active especially early in the morning and at dusk. Top water action has been good. The beaches in Rockport have been giving up decent amounts of stripers and some bluefish, while some anglers have found larger bass off Halibut Point. Fishing around Essex has also seen an uptick in activity, especially in the river. The Northwest corner of Stellwagen has been hot for both giant and school size tuna and anglers have done well trolling as well as casting spoons and even sluggo type baits.

Ipswich: (4 hooks) Crane Beach usually heats up in September and that is the case this week. Bass and blues have been quite active off the beach for anglers using plugs, swimming lures and sluggos. Fly anglers have found cooperative bass near the mouth of the Ipswich.

Newbury: (4 hooks) Plover season is over on the Federal Reservation and the entire beach is open to walk-on and drive-on anglers. It’s good timing as the fishing has been quite good from Parking Lot 2 down to Sandy Point. Shore fishing has been somewhat hit or miss, but bluefish have been showing up fairly regularly in the early morning hours.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (4 hooks) Fishing has been great around the Port, as anglers have found cooperating bluefish and stripers from the Chain Bridge to the mouth of the Merrimack and beyond. Surfland reports that boat fishermen are outfishing shore fishermen by a healthy margin, as fish seem to be staying farther from shore this year. If you are shore bound, best bets are night fishing from the reservation with bait down by Emerson Rocks or near the mouth of the river. Bluefish have been spotty from the front beaches, but thick less than a mile off shore. Tuna fishing has been good out at Tillies and Stellwagen while party boats are finding good bluefish, cod, haddock and pollock action.

Salisbury, MA: (4 hooks) Boat fishermen have found plenty of bluefish less than a mile off the Salisbury Beaches and the fish are willing to take most any offering. Bass fishing has been slow off the beach but there have been some decent bass taken by shore fishermen from the State Reservation.

Seacoast, NH: (4 hooks) Bluefish remain in large numbers from Seabrook to Portsmouth. The fish have been feeding and it’s not unusual to hook into a 10+ pounder. Striped bass remain fairly consistent for anglers fishing from Great Bay to the mouth of the Piscataqua. Filet baits trailing off drifted hooks are working well. Large bass have been around the Isle of Shoals and ground fishing has been good.

Tip of the Week:
Change Color First: Changing the color of your lure/bait before switching up your lure altogether can sometimes be the difference between a skunking and a good day. Next time, before giving up on your lure of choice, try a different color in the same lure type.

August 30, 2008

Way too Early

Frank G. Dwyer
August 31, 2008

John "Jay" Bonfatti was a big man with a bigger heart. Jay died in North Falmouth, MA this past Thursday while at his parents house preparing for the annual Bonfatti Labor Day festivities. He passed away peacefully in his sleep, apparently of a heart attack at the age of 52.

My small tribute to him here is but one of thousands you can find on the web. I was lucky to know Jay through my good friend, and his brother, Andrew.

Jay was an accomplished Journalist with the Buffalo News and before that the Associated Press and a well known figure in Buffalo and beyond. Jay always had a smile on his face and could make anyone feel welcome. Andrew and I took many a road trip to Buffalo to crash on Jay's floor and watch our beloved Patriots play the Bills.

Years ago when I got my first paid gig writing a fishing column for the Daily News in Newburyport, Jay was one of the first to reach out with congratulations.

I'll miss the two or three times a year I would get to see Jay.

August 28, 2008

Still some good August fishing before fall frenzy

Frank G. Dwyer

Labor Day's arrival combined with the cool air of late has anglers, and probably their targets, thinking about the Fall Migration and the aggressive feed that is to come.

We are still weeks away from the true Fall frenzy, but fishing has been quite good this August and anglers will find many options throughout the North Shore.

Marblehead: (3 hooks) Fishing is still the best around first light and after dark for Bass, with some bigger fish in the mix for surfcasters off the Neck. Anglers have also found keeper bass from the area beaches utilizing cut bait and large plugs.
Salem: (3 hooks) Bass and Blues continue to be taken from Salem Harbor and out into Salem Sound as bait, fly and spin anglers all report good action. Early morning and dusk have seen surface feeds just outside the harbor as well as off Winter Island. Blues have been aggressively hitting popping plugs and neighed sluggos with a vengeance.

Beverly: (3 hooks) There is shortage of bass and bluefish along the Beverly coast as fishermen from shore and boat report good action for blues and stripers. Fishing the Danvers River continues to produce good numbers of bass, with a few decent sized keepers in the mix, especially at night.

Cape Ann: (4 hooks) Fishing around the Cape has been more reminiscent of Fall than late summer as blues and bass have been blitzing from Magnolia to Essex. While most fish are mid-sized, there are some big ones in the mix with 15-pound blues being taken. Tuna fishing has been good off Gloucester with over 20 school bluefins and a couple of giants landed in the recent Tuna Tag Tourney. Bluefish have also been quite prevalent and have been providing good action all around Gloucester from the beaches out to the Breakwater and beyond. Party boats continue to do well ground fishing.
Ipswich: (3 hooks) Steep Hill and Crane Beaches have been somewhat hit or miss this week, with occasional fish showing just outside the designated swimming area as well as towards the Essex side. Bluefish continue to be quite thick in Ipswich Bay. Pavilion Beach is worth a look at night.
Newbury: (4 hooks) The entire beach at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge is open for walk on surf casters and Drive on access will begin on Saturday, August 30th. The reservation continues to see good action for bass and blues with Lot's six and seven seeing the most action over the last week. Plum Island Sound and the Parker River are also fishing well.
Newburyport / Plum Island: (4 hooks) Fishing around the Port continues to be good as stripers to 40 pounds have been landed this past week. While Joppa had a bit of a lull the last couple of weeks, anglers are finding cooperating fish with sluggos, plugs and live eels at night. Drifting the mouth with bait filet's has been productive for both bass and large bluefish. Anglers have also noticed some larger fish holding in deeper holes up river from the Route 1 Bridge to the Chain Bridge, chasing some Pogies that have taken up residence. Bluefish have been blitzing the beaches in the early morning hours while flounder fishing has waned. Party boat captains continue to please their patrons with consistent market size catches of cod and haddock.

Salisbury: (4 hooks) There have been sporadic surface blitzes off Salisbury beach at a variety of locations with blues and bass from 24 — 32 inches in the mix. It really is a matter of being in the right place at the right time, but first light is your best bet. The riverbank at the State Reservation has continued to offer good chances for both blues and stripers.

New Hampshire Seacoast, N.H.: (4 hooks) Bait fishermen using chunk bait have been doing well off Hampton and Rye as stripers have been feeding quite consistently. Further north, Great Bay is chock full of mid-sized bass and blues, while further towards the mouth of the Piscataqua, larger bass have been falling for pogie and mackerel chunks. There are still a decent amount of pogies enticing fish into the river and around the ledges. Tuna have been taken from as close as the Isle of Shoals out to Stellwagen Bank.

August 21, 2008

Warm Weather Brings Successful Fishing

Frank G. Dwyer

The weather has improved north of Boston and so has the fishing. Striped bass, bluefish and flounder are all biting up and down the coast for in-shore fishermen, while off shore the groundfishing and tuna fishing continue to please anglers.

Marblehead: (3 hooks) Striped bass and bluefish have been taken from the Neck this week as anglers have landed bass in the rocks using Sluggos, swimming lures and baitfish imitation flies.

Salem: (3 hooks) Bluefish have taken over in Salem Sound so pogies and mackerel have become scarce. Still the blues are willing to tighten your line and can be found in most areas in the Sound. Striped bass fishing continues to please early morning and night anglers. Bait and large Danny plugs have been working best.
Beverly: (3 hooks) Bluefish should be easy to find around Beverly Harbor, but bass will take more patience. Fishing the Kernwood Bridge area has been productive at night for bass anglers, with most success coming on cut bait or eels. Bluefish have been blitzing the West Beach area at first light.
Cape Ann: (4 hooks) Bluefish are plentiful on the Cape, especially around Annisquam Light. Bluefish have also been hot off Coffin Beach. Swimming Rapala lures and popping plugs have been attracting the fish, but they'll take most any offering. Striped bass fishing continues to be best at night, with some of the deeper holes up river in the Annisquam producing keeper bass. Tuna have been cooperating out on Stellwagen. Closer to shore, school tuna have been reported just past Thacher Island and near Andrews Point.

Ipswich: (3 hooks) The lack of bluefish is a distant memory as Ipswich Bay is loaded with blues, mostly in the 5- to 7-lb range. Striped Bass fishing has slowed some, but anglers working Crane and Steep Hill have found school bass at night.
Newbury: (3 hooks) Bluefish have been blitzing the beaches at the Parker River Wildlife Refuge with some consistency at sun-up this week. Anglers have found the fish to be in the 5- to 7-pound range. Plum Island Sound continues to produce good bluefish and some bass action.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (3 hooks) Joppa Flats continues to fish well, with school-size bass being taken on both incoming and outgoing tides, especially around the AYC moorings. The mouth of the river has been good for anglers drifting the outgoing tide and bouncing bait filets off the bottom. Some flounder remain just off the Plum Island beach front, but the action has slowed. Party boats have reported decent action for cod and haddock but avoiding the dogfish is key.

Salisbury: (3 hooks) Early morning bluefish blitzes have been reported from Beach Access 2 to Beach Access 8 on Salisbury Beach. Anglers fishing near the North Jetty from the shores of the State Reservation report good action for bluefish and bass.

New Hampshire Seacoast: (3 hooks) Striper fishing has slowed a bit in the Granite State, but your best bet is bouncing cut bait along the bottom of the river. Bluefish are in thick from Hampton to Portsmouth and out to the Isles of Shoals. Chunk bait has also been working at night for anglers working Hampton and Rye beaches. Flounder continue to be available around Rye Harbor.

Tip of the week:

Find the Flatties: Flounder are bottom feeder so fishermen should always use enough weight to stay on the bottom. If you want to try casting and retrieving, it is best to retrieve with your rod tip down, so your hook and bait will stay closer to the sea bottom.

August 17, 2008

Water Murky But Fish Still Active

Frank G. Dwyer

Heavy rains have local rivers running high and murky, however fishing remains fairly good for North Shore anglers.

Bass, Bluefish and Flounder are still being caught regularly while off shore the ground fishing and tuna bite continues to please fishermen.

Marblehead: (3 hooks) Fishing around Marblehead has been consistent for plump school-sized bass. Soft plastics and small swimming plugs have been attracting these fish, especially at first light. Bait fishermen report decent sized bass from Devereaux Beach at night.

Salem: (3 hooks) Bluefish are making up for their late arrival and tearing it up in Salem Sound. As usual, these fish will take most offerings with some bruisers in the mix. Winter Island has been producing good-sized bass for anglers slinging eels at night. Mackerel are still schooling off shore.

Beverly: (3 hooks)
Blues and bass are competing for bait and anglers are finding fish on the Kernwood flats and from the Pier. The Salem/Beverly Bridge has been yielding keepers at night for bait fishermen. Early morning at West Beach is also a good bet.

Cape Ann: (4 hooks) School sized bass have been taken along the Manchester and Magnolia coast as anglers report feisty, fat schoolies willing to take small baitfish imitation flies and soft plastics. Bass have been more active in the Annisquam of late, while bluefish have been scattered all over Cape Ann. Anglers looking for larger bass in deeper water around Halibut Point and Thachers have found slow fishing. Reports have tuna as close as 3 miles off the Cape, with the best bluefin catches coming from the Southwest and Northwest corners of Stellwagen Bank, with some larger fish in the mix.
Ipswich: (3 hooks) Bluefish have made their way to Ipswich and have been taken from Crane and Pavilion Beaches. Striped bass fishing has been somewhat slow from Crane Beach, with Steephill offering a better option for surf casters.

Newbury: (3 hooks)
Plum Island Sound has seen good surface feeds over the last week with both bass and bluefish taking poppers, swimming plugs and flies like Puglisi’s and Deceivers. Bluefish and bass have been cooperating for anglers fishing from the wildlife refuge.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (3 hooks) The striper bite has been fairly consistent around Newburyport. Joppa Flats and the mouth of the Merrimack have been fishing well for both surfcasters working plugs across the top as well as for anglers using chunk bait or clams. The oceanfront has yielded some bass and blues over the past week with sluggos on lead heads and large top water plugs working well. Bluefish have been more active this past week, especially just outside the mouth of the river. Party boats report decent catches of cod and haddock.

Salisbury, MA: (3 hooks) The story is the same on the Salisbury side of the Merrimack as blues and bass have been taken from the shores of the State Park, particularly on the first part of the incoming tide. Bluefish have been close to shore off Salisbury Beach.

Seacoast, NH: (3 hooks) Tuna fever has hit the Granite State as schools of tuna have been reported about 10 miles off the Isle of Shoals. Bluefish have also arrived in New Hampshire and have been reported from the Piscataqua to Great Bay. Flounder fishing around Rye continues to be consistent and striped bass continue to be caught from Hampton to Portsmouth.
Tip of the Week:

Circle Hooks Work: If you plan on releasing your catch on a given outing, try to use circle hooks instead of standard hooks. The circle hooks shape drastically decreases the probability of a “gut-hook” and almost always results in a perfect hook in mouth of your target.

August 8, 2008

Stripers, Tuna, Bluefish and Floundrer, Oh Yes!

Frank G. Dwyer
Publication Date: August 8, 2008

Marblehead: (3 hooks) Bluefish are in the mix now outside the harbor, around the Neck and off Devereux Beach. Anglers report good bluefish hits on large Balistic Missiles and Ranger plugs as well as large metals. Bass continue to cooperate at night.

Salem: (3 hooks) Bluefish, striped bass and flounder have all been landed this week in the Salem environs. Fishing near the Salem-Beverly Bridge has been productive at night while anglers fishing from Winter Island and around the harbor have found decent action for bass and bluefish. Flounder have been somewhat spotty, but persistent worm dunkers will find their table fare.

Beverly: (3 hooks)
Fishing near the Kernwood Bridge and Danvers River areas has been better this week as there has been a somewhat steady pick of decent sized bass. The area around West Beach has also been fishing well with good bass action.

Cape Ann: (4 hooks) Offshore, school bluefin tuna have been taken from the northwest corner of Stellwagen Bank as well as closer to Thachers Island with additional reports of small tuna busting near the Groaner outside the harbor last week. Bass fishing has been decent for fish in the 22-26” range, with the occasional cow in the mix. Rockport beaches have been producing good bass action at night for anglers using both cut bait and large plugs.

Ipswich: (3 hooks) Fishing has been hit or miss around Ipswich this week with a few surface feeds reported around the mouth of the Ipswich. Crane Beach has been slow, as the bait has thinned out. Some bluefish are starting to appear in Ipswich Bay.

Newbury: (3 hooks) Parking Lots 1, 6 and 7 remain open to walk on fishermen at the Parker River NWR with drive on access still a few weeks off. Plum Island Sound has had several surface feeding bass blitzes over the last week and decent bluefish action.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (4 hooks) Bluefish have shown up at the mouth of the Merrimack and along the ocean beaches. While not as thick as last year at this time, the choppers have finally shown in decent numbers. Stripers continue to cooperate with anglers, but larger fish are really only available at night. Anglers have done well with eels on Joppa Flats as well as drifting the mouth of the river. Party Boats report decent ground fishing but the crews are working hard to evade dogfish.

Salisbury, MA: (3 hooks) Bluefish and bass are pleasing surfcasters from the shores of the State Reservation. Bluefishing has been better by boat, but they remain available to the land locked angler who can toss a large plug a decent distant. Bass fishing from the Reservation continues to be best at night.

Seacoast, NH: (4 hooks) Bluefish have made their way to the Granite State and reports have them cooperating with anglers from Seabrook to Hampton Harbor. Further north, flounder remain active around Rye Harbor and in Portsmouth, bass continue to feed from Great Bay out to the Isle of Shoals.

Tip of the Week:

Beach Bucket: Surfcasters have many ways to carry their weaponry however I find for a long night on the beach, a 5-gallon bucket with drilled holes strategically placed just below the rim of the bucket to be a great plug and gear tote. Plugs can be hung from the drilled holes and gear and bait placed inside the bucket.

July 31, 2008

August will have anglers working harder for their catch

Frank G. Dwyer

August always finds fishermen working harder for their catch, but many opportunities continue to abound. Mackerel are still unusually thick in the North Shore waters for this time of year, certainly due in part to the distinct lack of bluefish in the area.

Striped Bass fishing has been decent, mostly at night, while flounder fishing is still good. Offshore, ground fishing has been consistent while the tuna bite has been hit or miss, however 100 lb. class fish have been taken over the past week along with decent numbers of school bluefin tuna.

Marblehead: (3 hooks) Tinker mackerel have been around Marblehead harbor for days and there are striped bass feeding on them. Pogies have become scarce, but some are still being taken and livelined off Marblehead.

Salem: (3 hooks) Squid have become thick around Salem—especially around Salem Willows—and with that, striped bass fishing has been good. Flounder fishing continues to be somewhat steady with anglers getting their limit in Salem Harbor.

Beverly: (3 hooks) The waters around the Beverly fishing pier also has an abundance of squid in the water which is attracting bass and increasing catches for pier fishermen. Bluefish remain scarce, but flounder continue to be taken in Beverly Harbor.

Cape Ann: (4 hooks) Fishing around Manchester has been decent for Bass with some nice surface feeds reported out by Kettle Island as bass chased mackerel. The rocks around Magnolia and Gloucester continue to produce bass in the 22”-28” range with swimming plugs and mackerel flies working well. Those checking the deeper waters around Halibut Point and Thachers have found the fishing to be slow. Some reports have been heard of bait and lines being cut in half, but bluefish remain elusive. Essex Bay as well as the area around Hog Island has been home to small, but hungry and willing bass. Sluggos, flies and small swimming lures have been
working well. The Northwest corner of Stellwagen Bank continues to have generous amounts of bait in the water and tuna have been making appearances sporadically all
week. Anglers lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time have landed good-sized tuna.

Ipswich: (3 hooks) Bass fishing from Pavilion and Crane Beaches continues to be good for school-sized bass. Both fly anglers and spin fishermen report willing fish in the 22-26” range. Greenheads have thinned out nicely, allowing anglers a more relaxed environment.

Newbury: (3 hooks) Anglers continue to look for bass from parking lots 1, 6 and 7 and have found early morning or night best, with sea worms and cut bait working best. The Plum Island Sound has seen good school bass action as well as good fishing for flounder.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (4 hooks) Joppa Flats continues to be the best bet for anglers fishing at night. Many 30-40 inch fish have been landed this past week, with eels far out fishing any other offering. The continued presence of mackerel has provided great opportunities for boat angler’s drifting live mackerel in and around the mouth of the Merrimack with large stripers still taking the bait. Shore fishermen fishing cut bait from Plum Island Point have seen some larger bass over the last week. Party boats have been doing well for ground fish if able to evade the dogfish that have become prevalent.

Salisbury, MA: (3 hooks) Fishing the river from the shores of the State Reservation of the North Jetty has found healthy catches of striped bass over the last week. Bait anglers have done best, however large lures like Danny Plugs twitched slowly across the surface at night have attracted fish as well. The Ocean Front remains hit or miss.

Seacoast, NH: (4 hooks) Seabrook and Hampton Harbors continue to see schools of mackerel nearby and with that decent action for bass. Further north, you’ll find plenty of mackerel and squid at the mouth of the Piscataqua River out to Kitts Rocks. There have been reports of large schools of mackerel near the Isle of Shoals and with that reports of larger bass and school bluefin tuna.

Tip of the Week:

Sharpen Up: It is easy to get lazy during the fishing season and neglect certain key equipment maintenance. Besides faulty knots, dull hooks account for probably the most “missed hits” encountered by fishermen. Take the time to change or sharpen the hooks on your favorite plugs to ensure that if you are lucky enough to attract a fish that you are able set the hook with ease.

July 24, 2008

If the Thunder Don’t get you then the Lightning will!

Frank G. Dwyer

Graphite rods and lightning don’t mix well so anglers have had to pick their times carefully and the weather forecast does not show this pattern changing for several days.

While the weather has certainly disturbed the fishing patterns, good fishing is still available in our waters but anglers still need to be wary of the constant threat of thunderstorms.

Marblehead: (3 hooks) There are plenty of fat bass in the 20-26 inch range all around Marblehead, you just need to evade the lightning. Bass have been taken just outside the harbor on top water and swimming plugs and have also been providing tight lines from the Neck as well as the beaches. Cut mackerel from the beach at night has been attracting keepers.

Salem: (3 hooks) Large schools of mackerel continue to hang around Baker’s Island and large bass are keying on them. Live mackerel work great, but these fish have also been taking plastics and large profile flies.

Beverly: (3 hooks) Anglers around Beverly report good numbers of mackerel in the water with bass in close proximity. Fishing from the Pier has been slow during the day but night anglers have found good bass action using worms, eels and cut bait.

Cape Ann: (3 hooks) Rocky inlets from Manchester to Magnolia continue to produce bass for both shore and boat anglers. Soft plastics, swimming plugs and large flies on sinking lines are all working. The Annisquam has slowed, but some of the deeper holes upriver continue to hold large bass. Halibut Point has also been providing good bass action, while bluefish have been scarce. In Essex, Essex Bay and the River are producing decent action for schoolie bass, but greenheads remain thick. There has been plenty of bait out on Stellwagen Bank and if you can get there, tuna and bluefish have been hitting well.

Ipswich: (3 hooks) Mackerel are still plentiful in Ipswich Bay and fishermen have done well live-lining this favorite striper bait. The beaches have been slow this week as storms have made for somewhat difficult conditions from the beach, however some fish have been taken from Crane and Pavilion.

Newbury: (3 hooks) The Parker River NWR continues to offer walk-on fishing for anglers from Parking Lots 1, 6 and 7. Decent bass fishing at dawn has been reported a few mornings this past week. The Parker River and Plum Island Sound are also continuing to yield keeper sized bass.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (3 hooks) During breaks in the weather this week, anglers found good schoolie bass action at the mouth of the river; especially on the outgoing tide. Bluefish have been quite scarce and mackerel are still attracting good size bass. Joppa Flats continues to fish well at night, especially for eel fishermen, however several reports indicate lots of top feeding bass unwilling to take most offerings. Cod and Haddock fishing has been OK during breaks in the weather.

Salisbury, MA: (3 hooks) Anglers braving the North Jetty on the Merrimack have found good action for school-sized bass and a few keepers. Seaworms and clams are working best. Reports have limited success for surfcasters working Salisbury Beach and zero reports of bluefish.

Seacoast, NH: (3 hooks) Flounder fishing remains strong around Rye Harbor as well as just off Hampton Beach. Boat anglers have had to get out between bad weather and big ocean swells, but have found good-sized bass and cod near Isle of Shoals. Anglers have found good fishing at night near the Scammell Bridge at Dover Point. Mackerel remain plentiful and bluefish have been very scarce.
Tip of The Week:

Measure quickly: Fishing from shore or boat can become hectic as fish are landed. Measuring with a tape measure can be time consuming and difficult but is necessary to ensure you are within the law. Many anglers carry a pre-measured length of string or bead chain to easily assess a fish’s length and legality. This practice not only enables anglers to measure quickly but also lessens the time your catch is out of the water.

July 17, 2008

Heat Has Arrived So Head for Deeper Water

Frank G. Dwyer
Publication Date: 7/18/2008

The heat has a firm grip on our region, and with that many fish have headed for deeper, cooler water. As we near the end of July, anglers targeting bass need to be out at night or predawn.

Bluefish are still tearing it up in most of our waters although not in typical numbers, while off shore the tuna fishing continues to be decent.

Marblehead: (3 hooks) Anglers have been using the abundance of pollock in the water and live-lining them off Marblehead for good-sized bass. Jigheads and soft plastics have been working well at night out on the Neck.

Salem: (3 hooks) Pogies are still in Salem Harbor and large bass continue to pursue them. If you can snag a few and either live-line or dead-float them, you should be rewarded with bass over 30 inches. Salem Willows has slowed for bait anglers, but bluefish continue to be plentiful.

Beverly: (3 hooks) Bait fishermen have found some bass action in the predawn hours near West Beach. Anglers fishing the Islands have done well for keeper bass with live-lined pogies and tube-n-worm rigs. The Beverly Fishing Pier continues to provide decent bass action for bait fishermen.

Cape Ann: (3 hooks) Anglers fishing the rocks from Manchester to Rockport have found some larger bass at night. The ledges from Pickworth Point to Magnolia Harbor are well worth investigating. Bluefishing has been quite consistent, with some real monsters in the mix. Rockport beaches are also fishing well at night with large plugs and Sluggos working well. Anglers targeting tuna have done well at Jeffrey's Ledge and the northwest corner of Stellwagen Bank.

Ipswich: (3 hooks) Greenhead season is at its height, making daylight fishing less enjoyable. Small baitfish continues to be in the waters off Crane Beach, and fly fishermen continue to do well exploring the area. There is plenty of action for blues and bass in Ipswich Bay.

Newbury: (3 hooks) On the Parker River Wildlife Reservation, Parking Lots 1, 6 and 7 are now open to walk-on fishermen, but be forewarned that it is the peak of the greenhead season. The Parker River has been fishing slowly, but patient anglers have found bass predawn and at night.

Newburyport/Plum Island: (3 hooks) Anglers are finding bass and blues at Plum Island point and off the front beach. Mackerel are still quite plentiful. Fishermen working Joppa Flats at night with eels, unweighted Sluggos and large swimming plugs have found cooperative keeper-size bass. Boat anglers and surfcasters report decent catches of flounder along the Plum Island coastline. Party boats are still providing their patrons with good ground fishing. Lastly, I neglected to mention last week that an angler fishing off the jetty on Plum Island landed a 28-pound cod. That's quite unusual from shore.

Salisbury: (3 hooks) Trolling off the Salisbury Beach area has been good for bluefish to 15 pounds. Deep swimming Rapalas have been working very well. Bass fishing has been fair at night for surfcasters fishing the beach.

New Hampshire seacoast: (4 hooks) Bait is still thick from Great Bay to the mouth of the Piscataqua, and the fishing has been quite good. Live-lining mackerel is your best bet for a large linesider. Bluefish have been somewhat spotty, so the mackerel have been hanging around. Cod and pollock fishing has been excellent for the charter captains.

Tip of the Week:

See more, catch more: If you don't have Polarized sunglasses as part of your fishing gear, you are doing yourself a disservice. Polarized lenses cut glare and allow fishermen to see into the water with ease to identify bait and catch more fish.

July 11, 2008

Patience Needed as Dog Days are Upon Us

Frank G. Dwyer
Publication Date: July 11, 2008

Marblehead: (3 hooks) Anglers have done well off the Neck at night with large plugs, eels and cut bait as the heat that settled in made fishing for bass during daylight unproductive. Devereux Beach has been producing blues and bass.

Salem: (3 hooks) Boaters report good flounder fishing just outside the harbor, and bluefish continue to patrol the waters in search of plugs to ruin. Salem Willows and Winter Island have been somewhat slow, but anglers working the islands have found decent action for keeper bass.

Beverly: (3 hooks) Fishing near the Kernwood Bridge at night continues to produce good-sized bass for anglers utilizing weighted Sluggos and cut bait. The area around West Beach has been good for boat anglers in search of bluefish and bass, not so much for shore-bound anglers.

Cape Ann: (4 hooks) Boat fishermen have found flounder just off the shore in Manchester-by-the-Sea as well as decent sized bluefish. Bass fishing has been best off the rocks in Magnolia at night with eels. In Gloucester, fishing in the Annisquam has slowed, but bass are still holding in deeper pockets within the river. Bluefish have been plentiful just outside the breakwater, and farther off shore anglers report tuna sightings and catches from Thacher's to Stellwagen. Fishing from the beaches in Rockport has been good at night for anglers throwing large popping and swimming plugs. The cod and haddock fishing remain fairly good if you can avoid the dogfish.

Ipswich: (3 hooks) Bluefish have been the most prevalent catch around the mouth of the Ipswich River. If you can fish the Crane Beach area at night you should be rewarded with decent bass action. Both spin and fly anglers report decent activity over the last week.

Newbury: (3 hooks) Greenheads are here and will greatly reduce your fishing enjoyment during the day off the Parker River refuge. If you can stand it, decent bluefish catches have been reported off the open beaches. Plum Island Sound has seen decent bluefish activity as well but slower bass activity.

Newburyport/Plum Island: (3 hooks) Large bass remain catchable from Joppa Flats at night. Anglers using eels and cut bait have done best. Fishing the front beach from Plum Island at night with cut bait or needlefish type lures has produced bass over the last week. Plum Island Point continues to produce bluefish and bass, with two hours on each side of low tide the best time to fish. Boat anglers drifting bait and eels at the mouth have found both bluefish and bass cooperating.

Salisbury: (3 hooks) Anglers have reported limited success at night off Salisbury Beach, but if you are patient, you may be rewarded with a keeper bass. Best bet is cut bait, clams or sea worms. Fishing from the State Reservation is productive but crowded. Boat anglers fishing the Salisbury side of the river have found good bass action from the Toothpick to Badger Rocks.

New Hampshire seacoast: (4 hooks) Mackerel are still in the waters off Portsmouth so bass fishing has been pretty good. Sand eels have been thick off Hampton, and anglers fishing small plugs and sand eel imitation flies have been catching good-sized bass. Flounder fishing just outside Rye Harbor has been improving steadily for the last few weeks.

Tip of the Week:
Wire won't work. I've said it before and I'll say it again, striped bass have incredible senses so using a wire leader or snap swivel will decrease your catches over time. Instead, use a heavy mono leader or tie directly to your line.

July 3, 2008

Fireworks in the Air and Water

Frank G. Dwyer
Fishing close to shore has been somewhat hit or miss this week as unsettled weather in the late afternoon and evening has disturbed fishing patterns. Striped bass, bluefish and flounder remain plentiful; you’ll just need to work a bit harder to find them.

Offshore, tuna fishing continues to improve as ground party boats try to get their patrons under cod and haddock and away from dogfish.

Marblehead: (4 hooks) The beaches in Marblehead continue to produce good bass at night. Anglers using larger swimming or popping plugs or weighted sluggos have been doing quite well. Bluefish and Flounder remain just off shore.

Salem: (3 hooks) Larger bass have retreated to deeper water as the summer heat settles in. Boat anglers are doing well around Bakers and Great Misery Islands. Surfcasters do well with larger plugs at night.

Beverly: (3 hooks) Anglers around Beverly have found hungry bass at night near the Kernwood Bridge as well as off the Beverly Fishing Pier. Flounder anglers report good action just off shore bouncing worms off the bottom.

Cape Ann: (4 hooks) Tuna fever has hit the cape and anglers have been patrolling the Northwest corner of Stellwagen Bank in search of bluefin. Large amounts of bait and birds have been the norm, with school bluefin tuna available for those in the right place at the right time. Bass continue to hold in the deeper sections of the Annisquam and large bass have been active off Halibut Point. Bluefish have been at the Breakwater in Gloucester and anglers have done well trolling deep swimming rapalas. Rockport Beaches are fishing well at night with eels and cut bait working well as well as large plugs twitched across the surface. Fishing in the Essex River has slowed, but bass remain, especially after dark. Cod and haddock boats continue to catch good amounts of fish while trying to evade the dogs.

Ipswich: (3 hooks) Cranes Beach continues to be a good bet, especially for fly fishermen targeting bass. Larger baitfish imitations stripped rapidly have been working well. Bluefish have been plentiful in Ipswich Bay and have been getting bigger.

Newbury: (3 hooks) The beaches from the Refuge have provided some action for bluefish and bass, however the action has slowed some. Chunk mackerel, worms and clams will work best for bait and larger sluggos rigged on lead heads should provide some strikes. (I prefer the albino white color)

Newburyport / Plum Island: (3 hooks) Joppa Flats is the place to be at night or at false dawn as large stripers are taking eels, tube-n-worms and sluggos. Your best bet is on the ebbing tide. Crowds have decreased my interest in fishing the bank of the river at Plum Island Point, but if your into combat style fishing, you will find striped bass and bluefish willing to take your offering. Flounder have been taken just off the sandbar in the river as well as just off the front beaches. The front beaches have been hit or miss this week for surfcasters but party boats continue to provide good cod and haddock action. Further offshore, bluefin tuna have been marked at Tillies, Jefferies and Stellwagen.

Salisbury, MA: (3 hooks) Camping and Beach season is firmly here and with that the crowds at the State Reservation rival those across the river at Plum Island Point. That said, bluefish and bass are being taken from the beach at the state reservation as well as off the north jetty. Surfcasters report tough fishing off Salsibury Beach.

Seacoast, NH: (4 hooks) Mackerel are still present in numbers north of the border and large bass are still chasing them. Anglers from North Hampton to Portsmouth report good fishing from the beaches and rivers. Flounder fishing has also been quite good for anglers dunking worms near Hampton and Rye Harbors. Cod and Haddock remain steady for the charter boats
Tides and Currents Matter: Many casual surfcasters do not understand the importance that the tidal movement plays in the game of catching fish. Take time to note the tide when you begin fishing and especially when you seem to be on a steady bite. Veteran surfcasters have used the “trial and error” method to discover what tides are most productive and certain locations. Once you are privy to this crucial information, you will catch more fish.

June 27, 2008

Blues and Bass Chase Plentiful Mackerel

Frank G. Dwyer
Publication Date: 6/27/2008

Mackerel are in thick from Boston to New Hampshire and with that come many opportunities for bluefish and striped bass. Flounder continue to be plentiful in our area.

Offshore, anglers are in pursuit of bluefin tuna that are showing up in more numbers in our waters, while ground fishing has been good but impeded by dogfish.

Marblehead: (4 hooks) Just outside Marblehead Harbor has been hot in the early morning for bass and bluefish. Top-water plugs have been attracting bass and bluefish and certainly provide anglers with a great show. Fishing around the Neck at night has been good for surf fishermen.

Salem: (4 hooks) The North and Bass rivers have been fishing well over the last week. Spin and fly anglers are reporting good action for mid- to large-sized bass. The Danvers River is also fishing well. Salem Harbor has been full of schools of mackerel with bluefish and bass in pursuit. Cod and haddock remain plentiful offshore, but more dogfish are now in the mix.

Beverly: (4 hooks) Beverly Harbor and the beaches have seen good fishing continue as fishermen have had good hookups with bass and bluefish. Swimming plugs, Sluggos and popping plugs all produce fish. Kernwood Bridge and Ober Park have also been hot for both bait and artificial anglers. Flounder have been spotty.

Cape Ann: (4 hooks) Mackerel are still hanging around the Cape, and that's good news for anglers as the fish chase the baitfish closer to shore. Manchester remains a strong spot for flounder fishermen using worms and fluorescent attractants. Fishing near the breakwater in Gloucester as well as near Ten Pound Light has seen good bluefish and bass action. Shore fishermen have done well with Sluggos and other such plastics as well as with cut bait and clams. The Essex River has given up a number of larger fish to anglers using popping plugs and large baitfish flies. The charter boats have reported steady action on cod, haddock and some pollock. School-sized bluefin tuna have been chasing pogies out on Stellwagen Bank.

Ipswich: (4 hooks) Fishing from Pavilion Beach has been good at false dawn, as fish have been feeding on top. Fishing around Crane Beach has been good for both fly and spin anglers.

Newbury: (4 hooks) The Parker River National Wildlife Refuge now has the beaches at Parking Lots 1 and 7 open for walk-on surf-casting, and anglers have been finding good bass action at both locations. The Parker River and Plum Island Sound continue to produce their hare of fish.

Newburyport/Plum Island: (4 hooks) Large bass are being taken at night by anglers fishing eels in the Merrimack River. Fishing upriver near Carr and Eagle islands and on Joppa Flats has been producing fish of 30 pounds and over. Anglers fishing the front beach and the river at Plum Island Point have done well with cut mackerel and clams, and bluefish are now firmly in the mix. Boat anglers have done well with freshly jigged mackerel live-lined at the mouth of the Merrimack. Party boats have had a steady pick of cod and haddock.
Salisbury: (3 hooks) Anglers have taken larger bass at night fishing the surf at Salisbury Beach. Cut mackerel, clams and sea worms have all been producing keeper-sized bass. Fishing from the state reservation has been very crowded over the last week, as anglers have lined the shore of the Merrimack in search of large bass.

New Hampshire seacoast: (4 hooks) Mackerel are in thick from Great Bay to the mouth of the Piscataqua, and larger striped bass are the norm now. Bluefish are starting to show up in more numbers as well. Cod fishing not far from Isles of Shoals has been excellent, with many reports of large fish being taken. The rocky points around Rye and Hampton have been producing good-sized bass for surf-casters with large plugs and Sluggos working well.

Tip of the week:

Work the night shift. Even casual anglers know that striped bass are nocturnal, yet many anglers neglect this fact. Sleep deprivation is the norm among some of the best striped bass anglers I know, so if you want a shot at a cow, you need to plan a few overnight trips this season.

June 20, 2008

Plenty of Options for North Shore Anglers

Frank G. Dwyer

Excellent opportunities abound for fishermen on the North Shore and in Southern New Hampshire. Striped Bass, Bluefish, Flounder, Tuna and many species of ground fish are now readily available.

Mackerel are in thick and anglers have done quite well loading up the live well and then live lining the mackerel to entice large striped bass.

Marblehead: (4 hooks) Fishing near the Lighthouse has been quite good over the last few days as stripers and blues have been feeding under hovering birds. Ocean beaches have been fishing well, especially after dark.

Salem: (4 hooks) Anglers fishing near Bakers and Misery have found plenty of mackerel. Use a classic Sabiki rig to jig the macks up and live-line them to catch big stripers! Salem Willows and Winter Island continue to fish well.

Beverly: (4 hooks) Fishing near the Kernwood Bridge has been good for fishermen targeting striped bass. Those drifting sea worms in the current have done best. Bait fishermen report good-sized striped bass from the Pier and Bluefish and Striped Bass are being taken around West Beach.

Cape Ann: (4 hooks) Fishing from Singing Beach in Manchester-by-the-Sea has been good, especially with bait at night. Further north, bass fishing around Gloucester has improved, as schools of mackerel have been swimming not far from shore. Live-lined or trolled mackerel in the Harbor as well as in the Annisquam have been producing keeper-sized bass. Surfcasters fishing the beaches of Gloucester and Rockport report a good mix of bass and bluefish. Boat anglers fishing off Halibut Point have found large bass and further of shore around Thachers and Stellwagen, tuna have begun to show in more numbers. The Essex River continues to produce good-sized bass for both spin and fly anglers. The cod and haddock fishing has been good offshore.

Ipswich: (4 hooks) Cranes Beach as well as Steephill has been producing decent amounts of bass, especially towards the Essex side. Small sand eel flies have been working well as have sluggos of the 6” and 9” variety. The mouth of the Ipswich has been producing a mix of bluefish and stripers.

Newbury: (4 hooks) Anglers finding the deeper holes in the Parker River have found large bass, especially at dawn and dusk. Plum Island Sound has been heating up over the week with fly and spin anglers reporting fairly consistent fishing for bass and bluefish.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (4 hooks) 40 Pound striped bass have been taken out of the Merrimack in the past week, mostly on drifted mackerel. Don’t forget to try upriver spots as there are some large holes that lazy bass like to hang around in. Joppa Flats continues to produce good school bass fishing on the outgoing tide and eel fishermen are taking larger fish on the flats at night. Jetty jockeys and boat fishermen are also scoring large bass at the mouth of the Merrimack. Mackerel and large plugs are working best. The oceanfront has been hit or miss for bluefish and bass but the party boats are having a good year for cod and haddock.

Salisbury, MA: (4 hooks) Beach weather has arrived so the Salisbury oceanfront is mainly an option pre-dawn or late afternoon and evening. It is definitely worth a try as surfcasters have taken blues and bass this week. The State Reservation has been quite crowded but those fishing with clams, worms and cut mackerel have all done well.

Seacoast, NH: (4 hooks) Larger fish have invaded the Piscataqua and Great Bay and anglers have been landing striped bass well into the thirty-pound range. Fishing near the Navy Yard has been producing a good bass bite and large cod have been cooperating with fishermen just beyond the Isle of Shoals.

Tip of the Week:

Logbooks help catch more fish: Keeping a detailed record of your fishing outings is imperative if you want to improve your chances and catch more fish consistently. Jot down such things as date/time, location, tide, light conditions, temperature, wind, lures/bait use and fish caught. Over the years, consulting my voluminous logbooks at certain times of the year has helped me select a location to fish and typically increase my hook ups.

June 12, 2008

The Bite is On!

Frank G. Dwyer

Fishing has improved as steamy weather has warmed the ocean temperatures and increased bait and game fish activity.

Flounder and Striped Bass are all quite available to anglers in our region and bluefin tuna will not be far behind as the speedy fish have been found off the Cape in the past week as well as off Stellwagen Bank. Bluefish have been somewhat absent from our landscape but that is sure to change soon.

Marblehead: (4 hooks) There has been excellent striped bass action reported all around Marblehead. Fishing the Neck, especially around Castle Rock has been consistent for bass, with many keepers in the mix now. The waters around Marblehead Harbor have also been hot for both striped bass and flounder. Cod have been reported close to the mouth of the Harbor.

Salem: (4 hooks) Salem Willows continues to please anglers, as larger bass have become more prevalent in the last week. Fishermen have still reported large schools of pogies in the area and bass find it quite hard to resist a live-lined pogie! Flounder catches are on the up tick.

Beverly: (4 hooks) Bait anglers working the Pier in Beverly have found bass to be quite cooperative over the last week. Cut mackerel and pogie have worked well. West beach and the area that surrounds it has been home to excellent striper action for both fly and spin fishermen.

Cape Ann: (4 hooks) White Beach and Singing Beach have been fishing well with fly and spin anglers landing excellent numbers of bass. Cut bait, sea worms and clams have all been working for fishermen; however watch out for skates! Gloucester beaches and rivers are also producing good numbers of bass, with larger bass increasingly showing up closer to shore. Fishing near Stage Fort Park, as well as off Eastern Point/Niles Beach has also been fairly consistent for bass. Rockport fishermen are also enjoying the influx of bass as most of the shoreline has been producing fish, including Pebble and Long Beaches. In Essex, numbers of bass are in the Essex River with larger fish in the mix. Cod and Haddock fishing has been quite good offshore.

Ipswich: (4 hooks) The Ipswich River and environs continue to please anglers as large bass have been chasing river herring. Crane Beach as well as Pavilion Beach continue to be good choices for fishermen.

(4 hooks) The Parker River continues to produce bass as herring continue to attract fish upstream. Fishing near Emerson Rocks has also been quite hot, as large bass have been hammering both bait and large plugs.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (4 hooks) Bass to 25 pounds have been weighed in at Surfland over the last week with fish being taken from the front beach, Plum Island point and Joppa Flats. Joppa has been especially hot for anglers using eels at night. Fly and spin anglers report a hot bite on the outgoing tide using all variety of flies and lures. Anglers heading to Speckled Apron for mackerel have done live-lining their catch at the mouth of the Merrimack. Cod and Haddock fishing has been quite steady for the party boats.

Salisbury, MA: (4 hooks) As it is across the river, anglers fishing from the State Reservation has found larger bass taking clams, sea worms and cut mackerel. Enterprising anglers have found ways to get to the north side of Joppa Flats via Ring’s Island and have been rewarded for their exploration with large bass. The Salisbury beachfront has also been productive for surf casters.

Seacoast, NH: (3 hooks) Things are looking up for the Live Free or Die crowd as bass fishing from Seabrook to Portsmouth has improved quite nicely. North Hampton and Rye have been pleasing for anglers as plugs and flies have been attracting bass. In Great Bay, pogies have arrived, pleasing angler as large bass have become quite active. Large cod continue to please anglers near the Isle of Shoals.


Catch more flounder: Flounder feed predominantly by sight. If the fish can't see your bait, you won't catch flounder. Try to utilize chartreuse or silver spinner blades and white, chartreuse or pearl buck tail hooks along with your bait to help you put more flounder on the table!

June 5, 2008

Now we’re talking!

Frank G. Dwyer
6/6/2008 Publication Date

The weather the last few days has put a damper on some of the fishing on the North Shore, however before the weather turned, fishing for striped bass was excellent throughout the region.

Cod and Haddock fishing has improved over the last week and bluefish have been feeding heavily on the Cape for some time now, so expect the toothy one’s to be in the mix soon.

Marblehead: (3 hooks) Anglers fishing Devereux Beach have found cooperative bass, especially in the early morning and late afternoon. I worked a large Danny Plug off the beach this past week and found many cooperative bass; however my theory of weeding out the small fish with the large plug was flawed as hungry school-bass continually gave chase.

(3 hooks) Fishermen trolling the reliable tube ‘n worm set up around Salem Harbor have had good success with hungry bass. Fly fishermen have found fish off Winter Island as well as in the Harbor. Fish have been feeding actively so sinking lines and small bait fish imitations are getting the most strikes. Cod and Haddock fishing has been good for those going off shore in search of dinner.

Beverly: (3 hooks) Fishing near Kernwood Bridge has been heating up as anglers are taking bigger bass from the Danvers River. Soft plastic baits and swimming plugs have been attracting the fish. Action off West Beach, as well as around the islands off the beach, has also been good. Flounder catches have also been quite good along the Beverly shoreline.

Cape Ann: (3 hooks) Decent sized schools of mackerel have been off the Magnolia and Gloucester coast and with that, anglers have been finding larger bass. Cut as well as live lined mackerel has been working quite well. The Annisquam and Halibut Point continue to produce good striped bass action. Fishing from Long Beach and Pebble Beach has been quite good, especially at dawn. The Castle Neck and Essex Rivers continue to produce striped bass for fly and spin fishermen. The fish have been quite active with soft plastics, top water plugs, swimming plugs and flies all working. Those targeting cod and haddock have been pleased with the action this week.

Ipswich: (3 hooks) Fishing continues to make fishermen happy as the Ipswich River and Crane Beach areas have been fishing very well. Pavilion Beach has also picked up over the last week with striped bass

Newbury: (3 hooks) Fishing behind Plum Island on Middle Ground has been productive with Sluggos and Storm Shads attracting fish. In addition, anglers have had good luck in the Parker River near the Route 1A Bridge.

Newburyport / Plum Island:
(3 hooks) As usual for this time of year, fishing at Plum Island Point is attracting mega crowds, especially on the weekend. Fishing is best the first few hours before and after low tide. Anglers bouncing clams and sea worms off the bottom have done well, as have fly anglers with sinking lines. The oceanfront has been producing sporadic action for striped bass, but well worth a casting walk from the south jetty towards the Parker River Reservation. I’ve had good luck this week on sluggos rigged on lead heads as well as a few morning of top water action. Joppa Flats continues to produce good action, especially for boat angler’s drifting on the outgoing tide. Off shore, Cod and Haddock fishing has been quite good for the Party Boats.

Salisbury, MA: (3 hooks) Fishing from the State Reservation has been good over the last week, with bait anglers outnumbering other anglers and thus scoring the most bass. Cut mackerel, sea worms and clams have all been taking fish and larger fish continue to invade the river.

Seacoast, NH: (2 hooks) Saltwater fishing in New Hampshire has definitely gotten better over the last week with more and more striped bass invading the coast line. From Seabrook to Portsmouth, stripers have been cooperating with bait and artificial fishermen. The Hampton marshes and surrounding river systems have been yielding good fish and further north, the Piscataqua and Lamprey Rivers have been producing a steady pick of bass. Offshore, cod and haddock fishing has been very good.


Keep it light! The lighter test line that is used when surfcasting, the further you will be able to cast and the less weight you will need to use to hold the bottom. In our environs, 12 to 20 pound test should almost always suffice. The same rule applies when fishing with lures, so try to use the lightest test possible without risking losing a fish.

May 29, 2008

Slow but Continuous Improvement for Fishermen

Frank G. Dwyer
5/30/2008 Publication Date

Unsettled weather earlier in the week put a damper on fishing activity, however fishing should continue to improve for North Shore anglers over the next week.

Mackerel and pogies have made their way into many of our waterways and with that larger bass will follow.

Marblehead: (3 hooks) Marblehead Neck and Castle Rock have been yielding bass to 36 inches for anglers with both cut bait and swimming and popping plugs. Flounder fishing has been slow, but some anglers have been able to bring home dinner.

Salem: (3 hooks) Salem Harbor has continued to hold large amounts of pogies, and with that ample opportunity for fishermen to land striped bass. Anglers fishing with bait from the Salem Willows Pier have been landing bigger bass this week.

Beverly: (3 hooks) Mackerel have appeared in the waters around Beverly and with that the fishing has improved and will only get better. Anglers fishing the pier have found keepers mixed in with school bass while early risers have found surface feeding bass off West Beach.

Cape Ann: (3 hooks) Surfcasters have found bass in the rocks off Magnolia and fish have been active around Halibut Point as well. Mackerel have been spotted in Gloucester Harbor. The Little River and Essex River have been fishing well as bass have been biting most offerings including metal, plugs, plastics and flies. The Annisquam River has also been fishing well with larger bass now in the mix regularly. Rockport beaches have begun to head up for surf fishermen. Cod and Haddock fishing has been good for party boat patrons.

Ipswich: (3 hooks) Fishermen working the backside of Cranes Beach have had good luck this week; especially fly rodders. Medium to Large herring/mackerel imitations have been working well as have been Olive and White Enrico Puglisi Perfect Minnow. The mouth of the Ipswich River has seen more surface this feeds this week, while Pavilion Beach had somewhat sporadic action.

Newbury: (2 hooks) The Parker River has been fishing well near the Route 1A bridge and even further up-river. Anglers taking the ride to Sandy Point have been rewarded with decent fishing and keeper bass in the mix.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (2 hooks) Sand eels have moved into the Merrimack River and Plum Island and bass have been following this favored bait. Terns have been seen working the surface from the mouth of the river to Joppa Flats, with some 20-pound bass in the mix. Anglers using soft plastics, small surface plugs, swimming plugs and sand-eel imitation flies have done well following the birds. The front beach has been somewhat sporadic, with fishing slowed by rough and dirty water. The banks of the Merrimack at Plum Island point continue to attract the largest crowds with most anglers doing well with clams and sea worms.

Salisbury, MA: (2 hooks) The fishing on the Salisbury side of the Merrimack has been good for boat fishermen, especially around the Toothpick and the State Boat Ramp. Shore-bound anglers do well from the banks of the State Reservation using buck tail jigs, sluggos and sea worms.

Seacoast, NH: (2 hooks) The Rivers around Seabrook, Hampton and Rye now have alewives active, which usually means bigger fish will follow. The Piscataqua River and the Great Bay Estuary have also become more active as both spin and fly anglers have caught stripers. Party boats out of the Granite State have been having good luck with Cod, especially around the Isle of Shoals.

Leader and Hook Storage: Many anglers utilize Styrofoam to easily store wire leaders and rigged hooks. One of the easiest solutions is utilizing a swimming “noodle”. Trim the noodle to the size you’d like, and then simply embed the hook or leader swivel in the Styrofoam and loop around the noodle until you can secure the other end into the Styrofoam. Less time rigging, more time fishing!