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.