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.