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!

May 22, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend Should Provide Anglers with Excellent Opportunities

Frank G. Dwyer
The weather has been somewhat cooperative and has improved fishing conditions over the last week in our region.

Memorial Day should bring good action for both inshore and offshore anglers as bait becomes more plentiful attracting the fish we like to catch.

Marblehead: (2 hooks) Wind mid-week made casting fairly tough for both spin and fly anglers. Schoolies have been taken from both Devereaux Beach and the shoreline around the Neck. Bucktail Jigs and Plastics rigged on lead have worked better than top water baits. Sinking lines work best for fly fishermen.

Salem: (2 hooks) Pogies have been around Salem Harbor which means the big bass can’t be far behind. Fish have also been taken from the waters around the power plant as well as at both Winter Island and Salem Willows. Reports also have decent action for Winter Flounder and Fluke.

Beverly: (2 hooks) The Danvers River has been fishing well for anglers, especially in the early morning. Larger bass have been reported this week with fish landed on small flies fished deep on sinking lines as well as sluggos twitched slowly across the bottom. West Beach has seen schoolies over the last week as well.

Cape Ann: (2 hooks) As is the norm for this time of year, the Annisquam River is fishing well, with anglers finding bass chasing herring, especially upriver. Mackerel and Pogies are also active around Cape Ann from Magnolia to Rockport and the striped bass are chasing them with larger fish in the mix every day. Some surface feeds have been reported with excellent top water action for bass to 37 inches.

Ipswich: (2 hooks) Bass have been active in Ipswich Bay as well as the mouth of the Ipswich River. Surface feeds have been noted at the mouth as well as off Cranes Beach, with small Kastmasters and Hopkins working well for surfcasters.

Newbury: (1 hook) Fishing around Sandy Point and in the Parker River has been heating up over the past week with school bass chasing bait and hitting small flies stripped quickly on sinking line as well as on soft plastic baits.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (1 hook) Anglers have found fresh stripers from Deer Island to the mouth of the Merrimack. A few keepers have been reported in the mix with the schoolies. Anglers fishing with soft plastics and buck tail jigs have done well on Joppa Flats as well as off the oceanfront. Bait fishermen report clams and sea worms to be working well of the beach as well as in the river. Shad fishing remains decent at Rocks Village and some bigger bass have been chasing herring around the Lawrence Dam. Offshore party boats report a good cod bite with many market-sized fish and some fish in the 20’s. Some Haddock have been in the mix as well.

Salisbury: (1 hook) School bass have been taken from both the ocean beaches and banks of the Merrimack River in Salisbury, however the action has been spotty. Anglers willing to walk will find decent fishing off Rings Island.

Seacoast, NH: (1 hook) The Blackwater River and Taylor River have been full of Herring and with that striped bass. While the action has been somewhat sporadic, anglers have been having luck with medium to large soft plastics. Hampton Harbor should be heating up in the coming days.

Tip of the Week:

Teasers: Seasoned anglers know that more is better and that adding a teaser to your line doubles the chance of landing a fish and also gives you the opportunity for the heralded “double”. Uses an Andrus Teaser or a fly like a Lefty’s Deceiver and either a dropper loop or UniKnot to a barrel swivel. The teaser should be tied at least 4 feet in front of the plug.