May 29, 2009

Fishing Continues to Improve from Boston to Portsmouth

Frank G. Dwyer

Unsettled weather the last few days seems to have thinned the crowds, but the fishing is still quite good from Boston to Portsmouth.

Striped Bass continue to show in more numbers as mackerel make their annual push north. Cod, Haddock and Flounder are also being caught in more numbers on the North Shore.

Marblehead: (3 hooks) Bait fishermen have been doing well around Hovey Park and the Neck. Big chunks of cut mackerel have been working best to attract bigger bass. Surfcasters have found bass off Devereux Beach, especially at dawn and in the early evening hours.

Salem: (3 hooks) Flounder fishing has improved in and around Salem Harbor as some 4-5 pound flatties have been landed recently. Striped Bass have been chasing mackerel just outside the Harbor and anglers using soft plastics and cut bait have done well. Fishing around the islands has also been good and pogies should make their annual appearance soon.

Beverly: (3 hooks) Action is heating up around Obear Park as striped bass continue to make their arrival known. Sea worms and clams have been working for bass of the Pier, while anglers fishing the river near the Kernwood Country Club have also found cooperative bass. Flounder fishing around the harbor has been good.

Cape Ann: (3 hooks) Fishing has improved around the Cape as mackerel have become more active. The Annisquam is still fishing well with striped bass becoming quite active with keepers in the mix. Anglers have found larger bass off Halibut Point, with large chunks or live-lined mackerel. The beaches off Rockport have been yielding striped bass to both fly and spin fishermen. In Essex, the rivers have been fishing well as bass continue to feed on river herring.

Ipswich: (3 hooks) The mouth of the Ipswich continues to fish well for striped bass, as does the Crane Beach area. Bass has been pounding soft plastics on lead heads. Fly fishermen have found fish on sinking lines with small baitfish imitations.

Newbury: (3 hooks) Fishing from the Parker River NWR Lot 1 has been good over the last week. In the early morning hours, top water plugs and metal have been working while bait slingers report decent hook ups in the morning and at dusk, with some keeper sized bass in the mix. Stripers are still chasing herring in the Parker River.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (3 hooks) There are plenty of striped bass to stalk in the Newburyport area; you just need to be in the right place at the right time. Anglers fishing from Rock’s Village to the Route 1 Bridge report decent activity for striped bass on the moving tides. Small flies and sluggos twitched slowly on the bottom have been working well. Joppa continues to produce fish with some keeper fish falling for the tube and worm and chunk bait. My daughter Caitlin and I have been down on the oceanfront and the fishing has been good, mostly in the pre-dawn hours. Plum Island point continues to attract throngs of fishermen. Wednesday had birds working over feeding fish in the middle of the river by the jetties for a solid hour around low tide, so the fish are certainly active. Flounder catches are slowly improving and party boats are starting to pick up decent sized cod and haddock.

Salisbury, MA: (2 hooks) Salisbury State Reservation was packed with RV’s over the Memorial Day weekend and that had the Salisbury side of the river packed with anglers in search of striped bass. Worms, clams and cut bait were mostly in use when I was there and all three seemed to be working just fine.

Seacoast, NH: (2 hooks) Flounder fishing near Rye Harbor has been good over the last week as has been cod and haddock fishing near the Isle of Shoals. Further north, striped bass continue to chase river herring in the Newmarket and Portsmouth vicinity. Mackerel have been reported at the mouth of the Piscataqua, so get the jigs out and start live lining!


Keep Moving:
It sounds silly, but don’t stay put when fishing from shore or boat in one spot for too long. Sure, the fish could swing by the bank you are fishing or near where your boat is drifting, but you have a better chance of hooking up if you leave an unproductive spot in search of better waters.

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