AS SEEN IN THE FISHERMAN MAGAZINE NEW ENGLAND EDITIon
By: Capt. Greg Metcalf
The Plum Island beach front and the Merrimack River have been producing impressive numbers of striped bass as well as some very big fish. The fishing has been consistent for several weeks now and would be a good bet for anyone looking for a big striper.
Pete Santini from Fishing Finatics reported the 17th annual Boston Harbor Striper Shootout is in the books. 28 boats fished in the tournament and 15 bass over 34 inches were measured in by Massachusetts biologist Matt Ayer at the Admiral Hill Marina fuel dock. The event raised money for the soldier’s home and included donations from the Boston Bruins foundation, City Point Financial, Prezza Rinos Restaurant, Avellino’s Catering plus many more generous donations. Pete also wanted to extend appreciation to his girl Denise, his daughter Lauren, the staff at Admiral Hill Marina and Willie Goldsmith. The top 3 place winners were; 3rd place- 45 inches Jeremy Furtado fishing aboard the Pole Dancer, 2nd place went to Greg Lauria on the Good Time with 45.25 inch striper and the $3000 1st place winner was to Russ Burgess. Flounder and tautog are thick off of Rainsford Island. Jimmy Brennan of Strike Charters has been hammering both species on Zobo Rigs. Mackerel are plentiful and can be found at all their usual haunts. Haddock and pollock fishing have been very good just east of the bank. Freshwater bass fishing is awesome at Harold Parker State Forest and with the best bait being shiners. Rainbows are being caught at the Horn Pond culvert by anglers using Power Eggs.
Paul from Bob’s Bait Shack told me it was another strong week of fishing. Mackerel fishing has been off the charts and the store has a good supply of fresh frozen mackerel for chunk baits. Flounder, tautog is biting off of Deer Island Flats and Rainsford Island. The striper fishery continues to grow every week with more and bigger fish showing up every day. The store is open Monday-Thursday 7am-8pm, Friday and Saturday 6am-8pm and Sunday 6am-6pm if you can’t make it in during business hours check out their 24 hour vending machine that carries fresh bait like, sea worms, clams, pogies and mackerel as well an assortment of tackle. Visit http://www.bobsbaitshack.net and Bob’s Bait Shack on Facebook for current hours and updates.
Tomo from Tomo’s Tackle reported that good number of 15 - 25 pound class stripers have moved in to north shore area from Winthrop to Cape Ann. Winthrop beaches, Broad Sound and the Egg Rock area has produced good number of stripers weighing up to 25 pounds. Mackerel had been scarce in near-shore waters in recent weeks; however they have come back in good numbers. Flounder fishing is good overall on north shore and tautog have been caught on flounder rigs in the same area. Summer flounder have been occasionally caught in the Revere, Lynn and Marblehead areas. Squid fishing has been slow for the most part but it is improving. Mackerel and harbor pollock are being caught from the piers in north shore harbors. Tomo's Tackle is open from 5 AM to 8 PM on weekends, and 6 AM to 8 PM on weekdays.
Bill from Yankee Fleet told me Captain Rob had another very good week of fishing on the inshore grounds. Haddock limits and some nice pollock came over the rail every day .Visit www.yankee fleet.com for details on future trips and schedules.
Billy from Surfland reported that striper fishing excellent. One lucky angler landed a 53 pound, 53 inch striper on a live mackerel while fishing from his boat. There is tons of baby herring, sand eels and mackerel for the stripers to feed on and keep them in the area. The fishing on both the ocean front and in the Merrimack has been very productive. Reports of improved flounder fishing on the south end of the beach are very encouraging as well. The store is open seven days week; weekdays from 6 AM to 9 PM and weekends from 5 AM to
Captain Rocky from Al Gauron Fishing Fleet told me the fishing from Hampton Harbor is the best of any place in the Gulf of Maine right now. Legal keeper size haddock are everywhere, mackerel are thick and hungry and both flounder and stripers along the beaches and in the river.
Brandy from Webhannet Bait and Tackle reported during the latter part of last week and weekend, the striper fishing slowed a little. Most of the fish caught were taking worms, clams or chunk mackerel off the bottom. There were a few caught off Drakes Island Beach and a couple off of Moody Point which was the first stripers reported from the surf this season. The overall sizes were from eighteen to thirty-two inches. She also heard of a thirty-seven inch caught in the Kennebunk River on mackerel early in the week. Mackerel fishing has been spotty all week. Offshore reports have been awesome. Scott went out yesterday and his crew of three caught over 70 fish of various species. Matt caught a halibut, but it was under the legal size limit. They limited out on haddock that were devouring Dick Shelly’s pink flies while fishing Jeffrey’s Ledge in about 300 feet of water.
Pete from Saco Bay Tackle reported the fishing remains insanely strong as the month of June pushes on. Anglers are still seeing fresh fish covered in sea lice arriving daily. As these fish show up to their final migration destinations they are being greeted by hordes of sand eels, alewives, and river herring. Most of the fish appear to be from 2011-year class that we have all heard so much about. These fish are in the 23 to 27 inch range and feeding heavily. Most mornings start with a surface show that rivals those seen in the past. It appears as if there are acres of bass that could be walked on. While there is an enormous amount of fish presently in and around the rivers, lure presentation is extremely important. The stripers are keyed in on sand eels, so do not get discouraged if you do cast through a school of breaking fish and do not hook up, you are one in a billion. Just keep at it, and the bass will find you. Top lure choices are any top water lure i.e. pencil popper, or spook style. Swimmers like the Yo_Zuri Mag and Crystal Minnows have been producing great numbers as well. Soft plastics are still reigning supreme though, the slim profile of the Ron-Z, and Slug-Go are matching the profile of the bait the bass are chasing but the fact that these lures are just a bit bigger give the bass an added incentive to eat. The fly anglers will be best suited to throw Clousers and small deceivers right now. Pete hasn’t’ seen a color preference yet, but stick to the standards; white, olive over white, chartreuse over white, and pink over white. If you do that you can safely bet that you will come tight on more than one bass. There have been some bluefish sightings as well, while this typically happens every June. We all hope this is just the start of things to come after hearing reports of large schools of blues south of us. Be mindful to keep some wire handy in the event that you get a few cut offs. Within the last week we have also seen the arrival of large schools of mackerel, from what I have been seeing these fish appear to be perfect live lining size, so keep a Sabiki ready and a rod rigged with a circle hook. Saco Bay Tackle is seven days a week.