August 17, 2008

Water Murky But Fish Still Active

Frank G. Dwyer

Heavy rains have local rivers running high and murky, however fishing remains fairly good for North Shore anglers.

Bass, Bluefish and Flounder are still being caught regularly while off shore the ground fishing and tuna bite continues to please fishermen.

Marblehead: (3 hooks) Fishing around Marblehead has been consistent for plump school-sized bass. Soft plastics and small swimming plugs have been attracting these fish, especially at first light. Bait fishermen report decent sized bass from Devereaux Beach at night.

Salem: (3 hooks) Bluefish are making up for their late arrival and tearing it up in Salem Sound. As usual, these fish will take most offerings with some bruisers in the mix. Winter Island has been producing good-sized bass for anglers slinging eels at night. Mackerel are still schooling off shore.

Beverly: (3 hooks)
Blues and bass are competing for bait and anglers are finding fish on the Kernwood flats and from the Pier. The Salem/Beverly Bridge has been yielding keepers at night for bait fishermen. Early morning at West Beach is also a good bet.

Cape Ann: (4 hooks) School sized bass have been taken along the Manchester and Magnolia coast as anglers report feisty, fat schoolies willing to take small baitfish imitation flies and soft plastics. Bass have been more active in the Annisquam of late, while bluefish have been scattered all over Cape Ann. Anglers looking for larger bass in deeper water around Halibut Point and Thachers have found slow fishing. Reports have tuna as close as 3 miles off the Cape, with the best bluefin catches coming from the Southwest and Northwest corners of Stellwagen Bank, with some larger fish in the mix.
Ipswich: (3 hooks) Bluefish have made their way to Ipswich and have been taken from Crane and Pavilion Beaches. Striped bass fishing has been somewhat slow from Crane Beach, with Steephill offering a better option for surf casters.

Newbury: (3 hooks)
Plum Island Sound has seen good surface feeds over the last week with both bass and bluefish taking poppers, swimming plugs and flies like Puglisi’s and Deceivers. Bluefish and bass have been cooperating for anglers fishing from the wildlife refuge.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (3 hooks) The striper bite has been fairly consistent around Newburyport. Joppa Flats and the mouth of the Merrimack have been fishing well for both surfcasters working plugs across the top as well as for anglers using chunk bait or clams. The oceanfront has yielded some bass and blues over the past week with sluggos on lead heads and large top water plugs working well. Bluefish have been more active this past week, especially just outside the mouth of the river. Party boats report decent catches of cod and haddock.

Salisbury, MA: (3 hooks) The story is the same on the Salisbury side of the Merrimack as blues and bass have been taken from the shores of the State Park, particularly on the first part of the incoming tide. Bluefish have been close to shore off Salisbury Beach.

Seacoast, NH: (3 hooks) Tuna fever has hit the Granite State as schools of tuna have been reported about 10 miles off the Isle of Shoals. Bluefish have also arrived in New Hampshire and have been reported from the Piscataqua to Great Bay. Flounder fishing around Rye continues to be consistent and striped bass continue to be caught from Hampton to Portsmouth.
Tip of the Week:

Circle Hooks Work: If you plan on releasing your catch on a given outing, try to use circle hooks instead of standard hooks. The circle hooks shape drastically decreases the probability of a “gut-hook” and almost always results in a perfect hook in mouth of your target.

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