Mackerel are becoming scarcer as bluefish invade our waters, but harbor pollock and pogies are making up for the mackerel shortage in some North Shore areas.
Marblehead: (3 hooks) Pogies have been in Marblehead harbor and bass have been keying on them. Snag one and send it back overboard and hold on! Kayakers have been catching flounder in the harbor in good numbers. Bluefish numbers are increasing.
Salem: (3 hooks) The area around Bakers Island has been the scene of several large surface feeds over the last week and anglers have been taking the fish with live lined pogies and mackerel (if you can find them), top-water plugs, pencil poppers and small metal lures. Bluefish and bass catches have been somewhat consistent around Winter Island.
Beverly: (3 hooks) Surface feeding bass under clouds of birds have kept anglers around Beverly Harbor busy as fish in the 30-pound range have been keying in pogies and harbor pollock.
Cape Ann: (4 hooks) Manchester Harbor has had decent amounts of pogies over the last week and large pass love pogies! Anglers trolling with tube and worm rigs or fishing live pollock have done well by Thacher's and off Halibut Point. Surfcasters using chunk bait and clams report good action from Gloucester and Rockport Beaches, while the Essex River system has slowed a bit from its breakneck bass action from the last few weeks. Tuna fever is starting to take hold as fish in the 50 to 70 inch range are being taken on Stellwagen. There has also been an influx of larger sand eels on the bank and with that large areas of surface feeding bass and blues. Weather systems this week have made fishing spotty. Party boats report excellent action for ground fish.
Ipswich: (3 hooks) Fishing has been good from Crane and Pavilion Beach over the last week with bass and blues in the mix. The mouth of the Ipswich River and out into Ipswich Bay has been the scene of many surface feeds with a potpourri of blues and bass to pick off.
Newbury: (3 hooks) Parking lots 1 and 7 remain the only beachfront open to surf anglers at the Parker River NWR. Blues and Bass continue to please anglers using both bait and plugs. The refuge and Sandy Point have a combined total of 25 pairs of nesting plovers, up from only 7 last year. Beach Buggies will not be allowed on the beach until September 1.
Newburyport / Plum Island: (4 hooks): Fishing at night from Deer Island to the Gillis Bridge, especially with eels has been quite effective in attracting large bass. Joppa has been a bit spotty with bass making sporadic appearances along with some bluefish. Mackerel have become scarce as the toothy ones have become more prevalent. The beachfront has also yielded bass over the last week, especially at the top of the tide, with bluefish being harder to entice from the shore. Flounder fishing remains strong just outside the mouth along Plum Island’s shore. As I write this, the coast guard is looking for a missing man from a boat accident at the mouth of the Merrimack River on Wednesday evening. Three other’s were rescued. Please remember, the mouth is no place for an inexperienced captain, which it appears these men were not. Reports are that two of the four were licensed captains and that the boat ran into the jetty on the Salisbury side of the river in rough seas and fog.
Salisbury, MA: (3 hooks) With the shortage of mackerel, shore fishing has definitely taken a hit, but fishing at night is still providing good action from the State Park and off the beach. Bluefish continue to be in the mix.
Seacoast, NH: (4 hooks) Hampton Harbor and Hampton River have seen an up tick in bluefish activity, with some in the 8-pound range. The Great Bay and surrounding rivers continue to hold bass and anglers using cut and live bait along with lures continue to entice good-sized bass. Stripers and Bluefish are taking live-lined mackerel as well as drifted chunks, while cod fishing remains quite good off shore.
TIP OF THE WEEK: