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.

1 comment:

T. Brook Smith said...

Nice blog!

Stop by mine sometime.

Fishing-conservation issues with a slight Midwestern slant and lots of general discussion.