North Coast Angler
Fly and Light Tackle Angling
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(978)363-5786 W. Newbury
|Friday Report 7-18-2014
||I wish I had a better report....but I don't. The Cape Ann bite is well off of what it should be with regard
to numbers. But if you put in the time, especially before sun up, you will have a shot at some keeper sized fish along the beaches and rock fronts.
Steve and Brian continue to grab some nice fish for their efforts at various locations, no single area has been hot or better than another, just put
in the time and move to other spots after a few casts. Commercial guys are taking some bigger fish out in the deeper water at Halibut and off the
groaner in Gloucester, but even their trip numbers are down. Gloucester Harbor is showing an occasional morning and late afternoon surface feed near
Wonson Cove and off Niles Beach. There has also been a pretty squid bite near the State Pier. Local water temps continue cold at around 52 degrees so
that may be a contributing factor to why bluefish have yet to show.|
The Merrimack and Plum Island beach continue to be the most consistent bite to be found. Plenty of bait is keeping the stripers in place. The night flats fishing has also improved with quality fish being had drifting live eels on the tide drop. That's it! CPR please!
|Friday Report 7-11-2014
||The Cape Ann bite has slowed significantly with the best action happening early morning.
A very few larger bass are being had on live macks in Gloucester Harbor at the usual spots and along the backside of Thacher in Rockport.
It's going to be a long summer especially since we're not seeing bluefish as yet. Brian and others reported a slowdown in and around Crane,
Sandy Point and the Ipswich River mouth as well. As a side note the commercial gang are also finding few keeper sized bass and the catch quota is well below expected. |
However, the Merrimack continues to enjoy the company of lot's of stripers, albeit that the actual bite is on again and off again. The bass need only open their mouths to feed with tons of sandeels to munch on. Again, best time to get a tight line is at first light or otherwise you will have to run and gun out along the beach front for the sporadic feeding blitzes under the birds. I have no word on the Joppa night fishing.
|Friday Report 7-4-2014
||Steve and Brian have been out and about just about every morning over the past week and they are picking some stripers here and there.
Brian been fishing near the Essex River mouth and has been into stripers most every morning, not big fish or big numbers. Steve has done well fishing early at the local beaches,
again not anything special with numbers or size. You're gonna be working hard for a few fish!|
I got out only once last week and had some fairly good action early morning up on Joppa and later at the river mouth, but again we worked hard as the Merrimack stripers are well fed as tons of sandeels provide much competition and many refusals of flies, soft stuff and topwaters. The boats dragging live macks are picking some quality stripers, especially early at the river mouth. I haven't heard of any consistent night action on Joppa but that should be changing soon with the moon tides. Happy 4th!
|Friday Report 6-27-2014
||The Cape Ann waters have been relatively quiet all week along the shore while some boat anglers dragging live bait
have done better with larger stripers.
It's going to be a long summer for shore bound surf guys with too few quality stripers to chase their topwater plugs.
Most of the action has been in the deeper water in the usual spots off Gloucester and Rockport.
Ipswich Bay has been on again off again, inside and outside, over the past week with a mix of schoolies and some fish around 40 inches. |
The Merrimack and flats continue to fish well, again with a mix of small schoolies and some quality keepah quality fish. We have been taking most our stripers on flies and soft plastics with other anglers doing well with cut and live bait. We are also starting to see some drop back herring beginning their return to the salt. The river mouth and nearby sand bars both north and south of the river mouth are hosting tons of sandeels so the stripers are well fed and can become picky after brief all out blitzes. I expect more stripers to arrive and hang for a while as the table is set and the ocean water holding in the upper 50's. Big tides coming up and they should produce some quality night fishing inside and outside.
|Friday Report 6-20-2014
||With the big initial push of migration fish all but over, the catch numbers have dropped significantly from just a week ago.
The huge school of the 2011 year class schoolies have now dispersed up and down the north coast leaving behind a void of continuous light tackle action.
The light tackle angling has become quite challenging for anglers tossing flies or lures, we are working hard for a few takes from the remaining stripers as the fierce competitive feeding
behavior of a week ago has waned. The bait anglers on the other hand are still catching (and keeping) a fair number of quality stripers, far too many to sustain a reasonable bite through
the summer. I wish some anglers would become more educated about the long term value of catch and release instead of catch and kill, oh well! The mackerel live liners and chunk bait anglers
are enjoying a steady bite at the river mouth while anchored up boats on Joppa, pitching chum with their chunks, are limiting out quickly.
The Cape Ann and Ipswich Bay bite has also declined this past week as reported by Brian O'C and Steve P. who have fished the beachfronts and backwaters most everyday this past week. But again the bait anglers are taking quite a few big stripers from boats and shore locations within Gloucester Harbor. The good weather this weekend will see a huge number of anglers at the Merrimack and around Cape Ann so you won't be alone. CPR!
|Friday Report 6-13-2014
The striper fishing at the Merrimack River remained very strong all week . The morning bite was exceptional each day with stripers pushing sandeels and small herring up river
to the 11 green can for an hour or so. The early morning rising tide produced the best action as the dropping tide was impacted by the bright sun and Gin clear water on Joppa.
We had some good results out at the river mouth and upstream in the backwater around Deer Island. On Friday I had Den Kelly aboard tagging stripers and along with Murray from the
west coast, they landed at least 50 stripers, tagging 37 . The stripers ranged from 16 to 35 inches. Best bet baits were soft plastics, weighed and un-weighed in white or olive,
sandeel and baitfish patterned flies and topwater plugs like the OL surface swimming herring, the MD sandeel and the Rapala -Xwalk .
The Cape Ann bite slowed as the week went on and especially after the mid week cold front shifted the wind direction. The Annisquam backwater has become inundated with biting midge flies so be sure you got wind before heading out on the marsh. Brian O'c reported slow fishing at Crane and Castle Neck and as well, the bugs were the worst he has seen in years.
Rick W. above sent this pic of a nice one he got from his kayak
Den Kelly tagging a schoolie
|Friday Report 6-7-2014
||Stripers and more stripers everywhere, from Cape Ann to Saco, ME. The mix now includes some fish to over 40 inches...sorry no pics,
but Steve P. landed three 40+ from the beach this morning using the Ocean Lures Surface Swimming Herring (he'd kill me if I said what beach). We had excellent fishing
all week on Joppa with a good mix of schoolies to mid 30 inch stripers. We did better tossing sandeel flies than with soft plastics.
Should be good coming week of fishing. Backwaters are full of no-seeums so bring the repellent!
||Friday Report 5-30-2014
||This past week of striper fishing found tons of small schoolie bass (with an occasional keeper sized mixed in) throughout the Cape Ann backwaters and
large pods gorging on small sandeels at area beachfronts. The same was true for Plum Island Sound at the Rowley and Parker River mouths. I also got out twice and fished the
Merrimack from Joppa to several upriver spots as far up as the Whittier Bridge. I'm sure the stripers have moved all the way to the dam at Lawrence. Both sides of the tide top fished well with
the drop giving up more hits. We were successful with weighted white soft plastics including Hogy, FinS and RonZ tails on jig heads. Best flies were baitfish streamers with lots of white
and olive. Along the beachfronts we were happy to get most of our hits with topwater JM's in bone.
Below: Matt A. with very first striper on the fly, my small keeper sized Merrimack striper taken on soft plastic and Steve P. with a nice beachfront striper taken on a JM.
Practice CPR, Catch, Photo, Release----Please!
|Friday Report 5-16-2014
||The long and short of it this week is SLOW for stripers and very good for Shad. I put in 6 hours this week tossing jigs, soft plastics and flies at the Candy House with only 1 schoolie landed. Interestingly, there is a good supply of baitfish in the general area, but not many stripers to be had. I have heard of some keeper sized stripers just to the south so maybe this week we'll start seeing more and bigger fish at Cape Ann. Brian Moc has also noted the presence of bait but few stripers as well. Water temps have been rising and that should help attract more fish.|
The shad bite continues very good from Rocks Village to the Lawrence dam. Also there are some keeper sized stripers in the mix at the dam (not sure if they fresh or holdovers).
My boat goes in today and I hope to get out and about on the Merrimack next week.
|Final Report 2013
The 2013 Young of the Year (YOY) data has finally been released and it's not great but better than many were fearing since the 2012 YOY was less than 1.0|
Here is the report; Click Here