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.

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