July 31, 2009

Saltwater Action Remains Good

BY Frank Dwyer
Publication Date: 7/31/2009

Despite Mother Nature’s best efforts, fishing remains quite good on the North Shore and off the New Hampshire coast.

Surface feeding bass and blues have been seen this week from Marblehead to Portsmouth while the tuna bite has remained consistent for offshore fishermen.

Marblehead: (3 hooks) Mackerel and Ocean Herring remain plentiful around Marblehead, and with that, bass and bluefish have been crashing the surface in search of an easy meal. Large baitfish imitation flies stripped quickly have been attracting bass, while anglers live-lining mackerel have been weeding out the small fish.

Salem: (4 hooks) Salem Sound and its environs has been fishing quite well as mackerel continue to attract bass and bluefish. Just outside the harbor, several bass over 30 pounds have been taken, mostly on live lined mackerel. Chunkers fishing off Winter Island also report good action, especially at night.

Beverly: (3 hooks) Early morning surface feeds off West Beach have attracted anglers in search of fish prior to the arrival of sunbathers. Bass and blues are intermingling to key in on mackerel and some ocean herring, and when feeding are taking most offerings. Anglers working the nightshift near the Salem-Beverly Bridge have found decent action for bass, mostly with bait.

Cape Ann: (4 hooks) An abundance of bait has kept the fishing off Magnolia and Gloucester quite hot. Large bass are keying in on mackerel and you can find the macks by the breakwater and groaner. Eels have been producing good numbers of keeper bass from the beaches around the Cape at night while anglers fishing deeper water by Halibut Point and Thachers have found some 40-pound bass on live mackerel and tube and worm rigs. The Essex River fishing has been quite spotty, with greenheads making things even less enjoyable. Ground fishing has been good according to the Party Boat fleet.

Ipswich: (4 hooks) Crane Beach has been fishing well this week with surface feeds breaking out on several occasions. Larger bass have been in the mix along with some monster bluefish. Large popping plugs, hopkins/kastmasters and swimming plugs have all been taking fish.

Newbury: (3 hooks) Fishing from Parking Lot 1 of the NWR has yielded good numbers of bass and bluefish for bait and lure fishermen, and some flounder are also being taken on worms. Lot’s 6 and 7 remain open and a decent option for surfcasters. Bluefish numbers have increased in Plum Island Sound while the Parker River has slowed considerably.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (4 hooks): The Port remains a hot fishing destination as several 30+ pound bass have been taken from Joppa Flats, the Oceanfront and the sand bar near the mouth. Eels, cut bait, large plugs and needlefish have all been taking fish. Flounder remain available just outside the mouth and off the beach near the south jetty. Bluefish are around, but most have been taken from boats trolling deep swimming lures. Party boats continue to please their patrons with good cod, pollock and some haddock catches. Tuna fishing out by the NWC of Stellwagen continues to attract throngs of boaters in search of fresh sushi.

Salisbury, MA: (3 hooks) Bluefish and Bass continue to be taken from the river bank of the State Reservation, with anglers using clams and cut bait out scoring most other methods. Surfcasting off the northern end of Salisbury Beach has been good, especially at night.

Seacoast, NH: (4 hooks) Flounder fishing off Rye remains good, as many anglers are catching their limit. The Great Bay has been yielding some big stripers, mostly on bait, while the Piscataqua has been quite hot this week as mackerel are still abundant and with that blues and bass are quite active. Offshore, cod and pollock are being taken by the Isle of Shoals with some consistency.

TIP OF THE WEEK: There are many choices for fishermen when it comes to selecting a new pair of waders. Surfcasters tend to cover a lot of beach and I have found that Neoprene Waders are the most comfortable for long walks. Neoprene, while perhaps not flattering for some anglers body shape, provides a comfort that is unequaled by traditional wader materials.

Frank Dwyer is a freelance Fishing and Outdoor Columnist. Contact him at dwyer.f@gmail.com or http://www.frankdwyeroutdoors.blogspot.com/ with your fishing news!

July 23, 2009

No Reason to Sing the Blues

By: Frank G. Dwyer
Publication Date: July 24, 2009

Deep into the summer, big bass are in a different feeding pattern, meaning most big fish will come at night. Look on the positive side; you have your days free!

Bluefish, Flounder, Tuna and assorted ground fish remain available to North Shore anglers; you’ll just need to use your knowledge, skill and time to find the fish.

Marblehead: (3 hooks) Fishing around the Neck continues to be best at night with eels or large plugs. Fly fishermen report good action on large profile flies stripped fast on sinking lines. Bluefish are hit or miss, but remain in the area, while flounder are still around but in deeper water.

Salem: (3 hooks) Salem Harbor and environs has seen some decent schools of surface feeding bass over the last week, with fish feeding quickly and dispersing. Bluefish have been somewhat scarce, but flounder have been on the up tick in the harbor.

Beverly: (3 hooks) Fishing at night is the ticket, be it from the Pier, near the Bridge or along the shoreline. Bass have gone for deeper in many cases, but make sporadic appearances closer to shore, especially around structure. Bluefish make their presence known intermittently.

Cape Ann: (4 hooks) The Manchester and Magnolia shorelines have been good for bass over 30 inches, with large plugs and eels working best. Pre-dawn and after dark provide the best time for keeper sized bass. Flounder have also been found in the 20 to 30 foot water around the harbor. Surfcasters have found the local beaches to be hit or miss. Bluefish have thinned out a bit, but still remain from the breakwater to Thacher's. Trolling off Halibut Point has yielded both bass and bluefish this week. Deep swimming broken back lures, tube-and-worm and umbrella rigs have been picking up the fish. Rockport Beaches have provided somewhat consistent hookups at night for bait fishermen. Tuna fishing has been spotty off Stellwagen, but bigger fish are now in the mix.

Ipswich: (3 hooks) Fishing has been hit or miss around Ipswich with bass and bluefish still hanging out around the mouth of the Ipswich River, but only being caught sporadically. Boaters have found larger bass in deeper water in the Bay and bluefish have been taking trolled swimmers.

Newbury: (3 hooks) Parking lots 1, 6 and 7 remain open for walk on fishermen at the Parker River NWR and bass are there for the taking with some bluefish and flounder in the mix. Plum Island Sound fishing has cooled down while greenhead activity has increased.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (4 hooks) News of a 51 pound striper landed on Plum Island has many anglers interested in getting on the water. (The fish was taken on chunk mackerel) Bass over 30 pounds have come from the Flats as well as near the river mouth. Flounder fishing has been quite strong for anglers using seawoms off the beach as well as boat anglers drifting just off shore. Bluefish have been spotty, but are still in the area to wreak havoc on your gear. Party boats are still producing good numbers while the Tuna fleet has found larger fish on Stellwagen.

Salisbury, MA: (3 hooks) You can sum up Salisbury this way: bluefish scarce, greenheads plentiful. You’d be better off fighting the midges and mosquitoes off Salisbury in search of bass, as larger fish have been taken at night. Chunk bait, worms and clams are attracting fish, with a few daytime blitzes popping up here and there.

Seacoast, NH: (4 hooks) Fishing around Hampton and Rye has yielded good amounts of flounder in and just outside the harbors. Further north, the Piscataqua continues to fish well as anglers have found bass from the mouth to the Great Bay. Eels at night as well as trolled deep swimmers or umbrella rigs have been attracting larger bass. There are some bluefish around, but not in huge numbers.

TIP OF THE WEEK: Clean Hands Catch Fish. I’m not talking fishy hands; I’m talking those hands you just lathered yourself up in sunscreen and bug spray with. Wash your hands with soap and water or some type of cleaning solution if possible after applying these products as they can and will adversely affect your fishing if you get the scent on your tackle.

Weather has provided good fishing opportunities over the last week

By: Frank Dwyer
Publication Date: July 17, 2009

The last ten days of weather have really afforded anglers the opportunity to get out and explore, and with that added time on the water, the fishing has been good.

All the usual suspects remain in our area with bluefish making the biggest splash as we’ve seen them settle into our area.

Marblehead: (3 hooks) Bass remain active off the Marblehead coast, but have moved into more sporadic feeding patterns. The best bet is false dawn or after dark with live eels off the Neck, or near the mouth of the harbor. Bluefish remain present so prepare for cut offs.

Salem: (3 hooks) Some larger bass have been around Salem this past week. Fishing around Winter Island and even Pickering Wharf has yielded bass over the last week. Bait has been working best. Bluefish have been all over Salem Sound and taking just about anything in your tackle box.

Beverly: (3 hooks) As bass fall into deeper summer feeding patterns, fishing has been a bit more sporadic around Beverly, but fishing the Danvers near the bridge or Kernwood at night has still been producing fish. Fishing by boat near West Beach and the Landmark School has been hit or miss for bass as bluefish have been more prevalent.

Cape Ann: (4 hooks) While the weather has been clear, wind on some days around the Cape has made the surf quite rough, creating a smorgasbord of bait offerings for fish in the white water, and a dream come true for surfcasters. The Magnolia shoreline has been good for bass at night, with fish falling for live eels and large plugs or needlefish. Bluefish have been patrolling from the breakwater to Thachers with some big one’s in the mix now. Rockport Beaches continue to fish well, especially at night, while deeper water anglers have found large bass off Halibut Point. The tuna are biting quite consistently out at the NWC of Stellwagen, with fish well over 70”s being taken. Ground fishing remains quite good for party boats.

Ipswich: (3 hooks) Fishing has slowed a bit around Crane Beach, however if you are willing to put in the time at night, large bass are still around. Bluefish and Bass have been active in Ipswich Bay, however the fish are feeding in a more inconsistent manner at this point in the season.

Newbury: (3 hooks) Parking lots 1, 6 and 7 are open for walk on fishermen at the Parker River NWR and bluefish and bass are there for the taking. Bait in the early morning or at dusk has been working best. Fish have become finicky in Plum Island Sound.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (4 hooks): Joppa Flats has been fishing well for bait and wade fishermen. Bass and bluefish are on the flats in the morning and the bass are taking dark plastics, eels and tube and worm set-ups at night. The surf has been productive off the Plum Island beachfront at times over the last week with bass and blues willing to take metal offerings and bait like clams, worms and cut mackerel. There are still some flounder being taken just outside the mouth while the party boats report good action for cod and haddock. The tuna fanatics from the Port have been finding good-sized tuna at the NWC of Stellwagen.

Salisbury, MA: (3 hooks) The State Reservation is in full summer swing, so you won’t be lonely should you choose to fish across from Plum Island Point. Bass and Bluefish have been taken this week, mostly on chunk bait. Salisbury Beach is a decent option for surf fishermen at night.

Seacoast, NH: (3 hooks) The Seabrook, Hampton and Rye coast has been fishing OK this week, but most of the action seems to be in the Great Bay out to the mouth of the Piscataqua and beyond. Larger bass are still in the Great Bay and anglers are taking them on bait and lures. The Piscataqua has been fishing well for both shore and boat anglers with bass and bluefish taking most offerings if the timing is right.

TIP OF THE WEEK: Less is more when you are a surf fisherman. Learn what works for the area you are going to be fishing, and lessen your load by taking a smaller version of your tackle bag with you in a backpack or waist pack. You will find you are more nimble, less tired, and able to fish longer.

July 5, 2009

Blues and Bass Between Rain Drops

BY Frank Dwyer
Publication Date: July 3, 2009

Let’s face it, June really stunk it up this year, and although the fishing has been good, the weather has made for conditions that are less than enjoyable.

Hopefully the fish are just as sick of the rain as all of us and this weekends dryer forecasts will provide anglers with more fishing opportunities north of Boston.

Marblehead: (3 hooks) Cut bait floated in the rocks off the Neck has been a productive method of catching keeper-sized bass this week. Fish have been busting just outside the harbor as mackerel are still in the area. Bluefish continue on their quest to bite everything offered.

Salem: (3 hooks) Bass action in the Danvers River has been good, but the larger bass have been absent. Bluefish and bass have been feeding at the entrance to the harbor with live-lined mackerel still your best bet for big fish.

Beverly: (3 hooks) Anglers fishing the West Beach area at night have found surface feeding bass as well as some bluefish in the mix. Flounder fishing continues to be good, in between the rotten weather. Anglers fishing from the State Pier report a decent mix of bass and blues, mostly on bait.
Cape Ann: (4 hooks) Surf caster hopping rocks around Magnolia have found good numbers of bass as the wind has been blowing bait into the rocks. Small broken backs, needle fish and medium sized top water plugs have all been producing. The Annisquam is still yielding bass, especially in some of the deeper holes up river. Larger bass continue to take eels and tube and worm rigs around Halibut Point and Thachers, while off shore fishing has been very much contingent on the weather over the last week. Some party boats have found good numbers of Cod during breaks in the weather. Fishing in the Essex River for bass takes more work, but the bass are still there.

Ipswich: (3 hooks) Blues and stripers have been taking offerings from shore-bound fishermen off Crane Beach. Anglers have found black pencil poppers, dark soft plastic baits and wood plugs working well. Larger bass have been on the surface at the mouth of the Ipswich a few times this week at false dawn, and taking most top water and metal offerings.

Newbury: (3 hooks) The east wind has been pushing bait towards the beach and with that the NWR lots 1 and 7 have been providing good action with bass sometimes right in the wash. Sluggos and metal have worked best over the last week with bait (clams and worms) coming in a close second.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (3 hooks) Fog has plagued the Port over the last several days making fishing a bit interesting for both shore and boat anglers. Upriver, anglers are still finding bass taking live eels and top water plugs at night. The waters around Deer, Carr and Eagle Island have all been producing decent action for bass. The flats have been hit and miss, as fish will be on top one day and gone the next. Sluggos and top water plugs on the outgoing tide have worked well. Flounder fishing off Plum Island remains decent when the weather cooperates and Plum Island Point continues to attract anglers (and bass) on either end of low tide.

Salisbury, MA: (3 hooks) Mackerel have become harder to find near Breaking Rock, mostly because bluefish numbers have increased. Fishing from the State Reservation has been good for bait fishermen with worms and clams, while surf caster report sporadic action off Salisbury Beach.

Seacoast, NH: (4 hooks) Mackerel have still been around Hampton and Portsmouth and anglers using cut, fillet strips or whole mackerel have been finding good numbers of fish to 30-pounds. Bluefish have been thick at times at the mouth of the Piscataqua all the way out to the Isle of Shoals.

TIP OF THE WEEK: Rinse your gear in fresh water after every outing, no matter how tired you are. Wear and tear is only heightened when salt and other environmental matter is allowed to build up on your tackle.