August 28, 2008

Still some good August fishing before fall frenzy

Frank G. Dwyer

Labor Day's arrival combined with the cool air of late has anglers, and probably their targets, thinking about the Fall Migration and the aggressive feed that is to come.

We are still weeks away from the true Fall frenzy, but fishing has been quite good this August and anglers will find many options throughout the North Shore.

Marblehead: (3 hooks) Fishing is still the best around first light and after dark for Bass, with some bigger fish in the mix for surfcasters off the Neck. Anglers have also found keeper bass from the area beaches utilizing cut bait and large plugs.
Salem: (3 hooks) Bass and Blues continue to be taken from Salem Harbor and out into Salem Sound as bait, fly and spin anglers all report good action. Early morning and dusk have seen surface feeds just outside the harbor as well as off Winter Island. Blues have been aggressively hitting popping plugs and neighed sluggos with a vengeance.

Beverly: (3 hooks) There is shortage of bass and bluefish along the Beverly coast as fishermen from shore and boat report good action for blues and stripers. Fishing the Danvers River continues to produce good numbers of bass, with a few decent sized keepers in the mix, especially at night.

Cape Ann: (4 hooks) Fishing around the Cape has been more reminiscent of Fall than late summer as blues and bass have been blitzing from Magnolia to Essex. While most fish are mid-sized, there are some big ones in the mix with 15-pound blues being taken. Tuna fishing has been good off Gloucester with over 20 school bluefins and a couple of giants landed in the recent Tuna Tag Tourney. Bluefish have also been quite prevalent and have been providing good action all around Gloucester from the beaches out to the Breakwater and beyond. Party boats continue to do well ground fishing.
Ipswich: (3 hooks) Steep Hill and Crane Beaches have been somewhat hit or miss this week, with occasional fish showing just outside the designated swimming area as well as towards the Essex side. Bluefish continue to be quite thick in Ipswich Bay. Pavilion Beach is worth a look at night.
Newbury: (4 hooks) The entire beach at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge is open for walk on surf casters and Drive on access will begin on Saturday, August 30th. The reservation continues to see good action for bass and blues with Lot's six and seven seeing the most action over the last week. Plum Island Sound and the Parker River are also fishing well.
Newburyport / Plum Island: (4 hooks) Fishing around the Port continues to be good as stripers to 40 pounds have been landed this past week. While Joppa had a bit of a lull the last couple of weeks, anglers are finding cooperating fish with sluggos, plugs and live eels at night. Drifting the mouth with bait filet's has been productive for both bass and large bluefish. Anglers have also noticed some larger fish holding in deeper holes up river from the Route 1 Bridge to the Chain Bridge, chasing some Pogies that have taken up residence. Bluefish have been blitzing the beaches in the early morning hours while flounder fishing has waned. Party boat captains continue to please their patrons with consistent market size catches of cod and haddock.

Salisbury: (4 hooks) There have been sporadic surface blitzes off Salisbury beach at a variety of locations with blues and bass from 24 — 32 inches in the mix. It really is a matter of being in the right place at the right time, but first light is your best bet. The riverbank at the State Reservation has continued to offer good chances for both blues and stripers.

New Hampshire Seacoast, N.H.: (4 hooks) Bait fishermen using chunk bait have been doing well off Hampton and Rye as stripers have been feeding quite consistently. Further north, Great Bay is chock full of mid-sized bass and blues, while further towards the mouth of the Piscataqua, larger bass have been falling for pogie and mackerel chunks. There are still a decent amount of pogies enticing fish into the river and around the ledges. Tuna have been taken from as close as the Isle of Shoals out to Stellwagen Bank.

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