July 24, 2008

If the Thunder Don’t get you then the Lightning will!

Frank G. Dwyer

Graphite rods and lightning don’t mix well so anglers have had to pick their times carefully and the weather forecast does not show this pattern changing for several days.

While the weather has certainly disturbed the fishing patterns, good fishing is still available in our waters but anglers still need to be wary of the constant threat of thunderstorms.

Marblehead: (3 hooks) There are plenty of fat bass in the 20-26 inch range all around Marblehead, you just need to evade the lightning. Bass have been taken just outside the harbor on top water and swimming plugs and have also been providing tight lines from the Neck as well as the beaches. Cut mackerel from the beach at night has been attracting keepers.

Salem: (3 hooks) Large schools of mackerel continue to hang around Baker’s Island and large bass are keying on them. Live mackerel work great, but these fish have also been taking plastics and large profile flies.

Beverly: (3 hooks) Anglers around Beverly report good numbers of mackerel in the water with bass in close proximity. Fishing from the Pier has been slow during the day but night anglers have found good bass action using worms, eels and cut bait.

Cape Ann: (3 hooks) Rocky inlets from Manchester to Magnolia continue to produce bass for both shore and boat anglers. Soft plastics, swimming plugs and large flies on sinking lines are all working. The Annisquam has slowed, but some of the deeper holes upriver continue to hold large bass. Halibut Point has also been providing good bass action, while bluefish have been scarce. In Essex, Essex Bay and the River are producing decent action for schoolie bass, but greenheads remain thick. There has been plenty of bait out on Stellwagen Bank and if you can get there, tuna and bluefish have been hitting well.

Ipswich: (3 hooks) Mackerel are still plentiful in Ipswich Bay and fishermen have done well live-lining this favorite striper bait. The beaches have been slow this week as storms have made for somewhat difficult conditions from the beach, however some fish have been taken from Crane and Pavilion.

Newbury: (3 hooks) The Parker River NWR continues to offer walk-on fishing for anglers from Parking Lots 1, 6 and 7. Decent bass fishing at dawn has been reported a few mornings this past week. The Parker River and Plum Island Sound are also continuing to yield keeper sized bass.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (3 hooks) During breaks in the weather this week, anglers found good schoolie bass action at the mouth of the river; especially on the outgoing tide. Bluefish have been quite scarce and mackerel are still attracting good size bass. Joppa Flats continues to fish well at night, especially for eel fishermen, however several reports indicate lots of top feeding bass unwilling to take most offerings. Cod and Haddock fishing has been OK during breaks in the weather.

Salisbury, MA: (3 hooks) Anglers braving the North Jetty on the Merrimack have found good action for school-sized bass and a few keepers. Seaworms and clams are working best. Reports have limited success for surfcasters working Salisbury Beach and zero reports of bluefish.

Seacoast, NH: (3 hooks) Flounder fishing remains strong around Rye Harbor as well as just off Hampton Beach. Boat anglers have had to get out between bad weather and big ocean swells, but have found good-sized bass and cod near Isle of Shoals. Anglers have found good fishing at night near the Scammell Bridge at Dover Point. Mackerel remain plentiful and bluefish have been very scarce.
Tip of The Week:

Measure quickly: Fishing from shore or boat can become hectic as fish are landed. Measuring with a tape measure can be time consuming and difficult but is necessary to ensure you are within the law. Many anglers carry a pre-measured length of string or bead chain to easily assess a fish’s length and legality. This practice not only enables anglers to measure quickly but also lessens the time your catch is out of the water.

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