September 5, 2008

Fall’s Bittersweet Arrival

Frank G. Dwyer
September 5, 2008

There was a distinct Autumn feel to the air when I was on Cape Cod over the last few days and back home here on the North Shore, and certainly the annual Fall run is on most anglers minds.

In the back of our minds is also the knowledge that after the fall run comes six months of sheer torture as we wait for Spring’s arrival, so get out there while you can.

Marblehead: (4 hooks) The saltwater fishing has improved as of late and should remain good until hurricane remnants put the fish down. The Neck and beaches have been good for blues and bass as plugs, plastics and bait have all been scoring fish. Fish have been feeding on peanut bunker.

Salem: (4 hooks) Pogies are in thick in Salem Harbor and with that larger bass are there for the taking. Fly fishermen using larger baitfish imitations slipped rapidly have been doing quite well, especially with olive and white patterns. Working your way around Winter Island and environs at dusk and dawn is worth your time.

Cape Ann: (4 hooks) Increased activity has been noted around the Cape as fish gear up for their southern migration. The Annisquam has seen an uptick in activity as bass have been active especially early in the morning and at dusk. Top water action has been good. The beaches in Rockport have been giving up decent amounts of stripers and some bluefish, while some anglers have found larger bass off Halibut Point. Fishing around Essex has also seen an uptick in activity, especially in the river. The Northwest corner of Stellwagen has been hot for both giant and school size tuna and anglers have done well trolling as well as casting spoons and even sluggo type baits.

Ipswich: (4 hooks) Crane Beach usually heats up in September and that is the case this week. Bass and blues have been quite active off the beach for anglers using plugs, swimming lures and sluggos. Fly anglers have found cooperative bass near the mouth of the Ipswich.

Newbury: (4 hooks) Plover season is over on the Federal Reservation and the entire beach is open to walk-on and drive-on anglers. It’s good timing as the fishing has been quite good from Parking Lot 2 down to Sandy Point. Shore fishing has been somewhat hit or miss, but bluefish have been showing up fairly regularly in the early morning hours.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (4 hooks) Fishing has been great around the Port, as anglers have found cooperating bluefish and stripers from the Chain Bridge to the mouth of the Merrimack and beyond. Surfland reports that boat fishermen are outfishing shore fishermen by a healthy margin, as fish seem to be staying farther from shore this year. If you are shore bound, best bets are night fishing from the reservation with bait down by Emerson Rocks or near the mouth of the river. Bluefish have been spotty from the front beaches, but thick less than a mile off shore. Tuna fishing has been good out at Tillies and Stellwagen while party boats are finding good bluefish, cod, haddock and pollock action.

Salisbury, MA: (4 hooks) Boat fishermen have found plenty of bluefish less than a mile off the Salisbury Beaches and the fish are willing to take most any offering. Bass fishing has been slow off the beach but there have been some decent bass taken by shore fishermen from the State Reservation.

Seacoast, NH: (4 hooks) Bluefish remain in large numbers from Seabrook to Portsmouth. The fish have been feeding and it’s not unusual to hook into a 10+ pounder. Striped bass remain fairly consistent for anglers fishing from Great Bay to the mouth of the Piscataqua. Filet baits trailing off drifted hooks are working well. Large bass have been around the Isle of Shoals and ground fishing has been good.

Tip of the Week:
Change Color First: Changing the color of your lure/bait before switching up your lure altogether can sometimes be the difference between a skunking and a good day. Next time, before giving up on your lure of choice, try a different color in the same lure type.

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