June 4, 2010

Bigger bass chasing newly arrived baitfish

BY Frank G. Dwyer
Publication Date: 5/28/2010

Fishing is really starting to pick up as bait is becoming more abundant in North Shore waters and attracting larger bass.

One word of caution: There have been two drownings in the Merrimack River in the last two weeks. Neither was fishing-related, but they are another reminder that the waters we fish can be quite dangerous. Know your surroundings and please be careful and use common sense out there.

Marblehead: Fishing the harbor this week on the outgoing tide has been consistent for bass over 25 inches. Closer to shore, the Neck has provided good action for bass for fly and spin anglers alike. Try poppers during the day, Sluggos at night.

Salem: The Salem Harbor entrance has seen several surface feeds of hungry bass. Poppers via spin or fly rods have been working best. Mackerel have been active around the islands so if you can get a few and live-line them, you will likely find yourself with a keeper-sized bass. Flounder catches are on the rise just outside the harbor.

Beverly: Striped bass are being taken in the environs around the Beverly-Salem Bridge, with small flies and Sluggos working best. The areas around West Beach and Endicott College have been fishing quite well, especially at sunrise. Mackerel were taken this week off the Beverly Fishing Pier.

Cape Ann: Fishing has been great from Magnolia to Essex as bass and bait become more abundant around the Cape. Just outside the breakwater to Thacher's, there have been good schools of mackerel to attract bass. Larger bass have been taken in deeper water off Halibut Point with both tube-n-worm set ups and bait working well. The Annisquam continues to provide good fishing action, especially around deeper holes. Rockport Beaches are fishing well and the Essex River also has been good for striper activity.

Ipswich: (3 hooks) Pavilion Beach and Crane Beach have both been fishing well, especially in the early morning or after sundown. Top-water activity persists at both beaches, with the mouth of the Ipswich also yielding its fair share of fish.

Newbury: The backside of Plum Island has been fishing well around high tide. Fishermen have found top-water plugs and lures as well as soft plastics working well. The Parker River continues to fish quite nicely from the 1A Bridge out to Plum Island Sound.

Newburyport/Plum Island: Fishing from Deer Island to the mouth of the Merrimack has been good this week, with more bait arriving and larger bass in pursuit. Anglers drifting worms, clams and chunks by Deer Island and the I-95 bridge have found keeper bass, especially at night. Joppa continues to please fly and spin fishermen as larger bass feed on the surface and take most offerings. The oceanfront has been producing but has been hit or miss, with the rising tide the best time to fish. Plum Island Point continues to yield keeper-sized bass, especially on the last two hours on either side of the low tide. Flounder catches are increasing along the Plum Island beachfront and party boats report a consistent pick of good-sized cod.

Salisbury: Boat fishermen bouncing worms have been limiting out on flounder just off Salisbury Beach. Bass fishing has been good from the banks of the State Reservation with worms, clams and chunks working best.

New Hampshire Seacoast: (2 hooks) Fishing is still a tad slow in the Granite State, but as bait continues to increase, I'd expect in the next week that from Seabrook to Portsmouth fishing will improve greatly. Bass have been taken off the beach in North Hampton as well as at Rye. Jigs, Sluggos and flies have all been working. The Great Bay area has provided bass opportunities for the patient angler, while striper activity in and around the Piscataqua has definitely improved. Cod catches have been good off the Isles of Shoals.

Tip of the Week: In case of emergency

Whether you are heading out to fish on a boat, jetty, sandbar or anywhere else, always let a few folks know where you are and your time-line for return in case of emergency.

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