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!

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