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.

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