The start of July 4th week – coming off some smoking hot fishing, we’re going to see everything that can float (and some things that can’t) on the water. Fishing will become very much a nocturnal endeavor, with the prime action at first and last light.
The bluefish are in, which usually means the mackerel are out. Want more info? Start sending me those reports. The more info I get, the more info you will get.
That’s it – on to the reports!
From Steve at Surfland Bait and Tackle:
I’ve been hitting the water as much as possible this past week. Between Plum Island and Cranes Beach there are certainly some quality fish to be had. Last weekend I got to watch a good friend and excellent fisherman Gabe Chuckran land a personal best striper at 43? and just around 25 pounds. He’s put a ton of time in and nobody else is more deserving….
I’ve also been putting in some time down on Plum Island, mostly around the new sandbars with not too much to show except for a few schoolies and …….wait…..a ”shad”??? yup, a shad, jumped clean out of the water too. Poor mans tarpon I believe they call them…..
Tight lines, see you out there….I fished Cranes the last couple nights with only a few fish to show and alot more dropped fish…..here’s one that made it to the beach….
RT forum member Bunker reports from Joppa:
Took some time off of work this week and tried the + tides at night Sunday thru Tuesday. Wish I could say it was a Stellar weekend but NOOOTTT! 3 fish total for the 3 days. Nothing on Sunday night, 2 on Monday and 1 on Tuesday. I did the typical night time thing trolling eels behind the yak. There are a lot of fish on the flats but they weren’t eating all that well. I couldn’t even blame it on the full moon as there was mostly cloud cover all 3 nights. One of the fish was about 15lbs the others between 5-8 lbs
I bumped into a few other people and they had the same results. Not many if any fish caught. Still enjoyable and I wasn’t in work.
Tomo Shiraishi at Tomo’s Tackle in Salem reports:
There has been abundance of stripers on 30 – 35” range by the island in Salem Sounds and rocky shore line of Magnolia and Cape Ann. Live lining mackerel and eels has been what most of guys are doing. Capt. Jay Shields has been having very good luck with Daiwa SP Minnow in Chicken Scratch color. More larger stripers from 30 to 40+ Lb. seems to have move in with the big tide. Schoolie size stripers has been found surface feeding frequently in Salem and Beverly Harbor. Tautog have been caught near the pilings. Some tautog are over 10#. Pines River and Devauraux Beach area has produced sub-legal and small legal sized fluke. Squid fishing remained slow, but a few anglers scored a dozen each one night in Gloucester Harbor.
Capt. Jay Shields at Purelife Charters had this report from the Salem area:
No giants today, but really good numbers of fish in this low thirty in size class. I would have liked to have put a bigger fish in the boat today, but you can’t convert every opportunity.
Rhumbline reports from the Hahbah:
It’s been a few years since I have fished Boston Harbor and it was great to get back there on Thursday night. Weather was great, almost full moon, tide running strong.
I fished mostly near deer island and rams head. Tons of bait around.
The fleet moved with the birds, however, I did not see anyone in the fleet get tight to a fish.
We moved to shallow water, which produced some nice fish into the mid 30 inches.
All in all a great night on the harbor.
Capt. Dave Bitters over at Baymen Charters reports:
Yesterday, I guided repeat client, Jessica Heil for striped bass on the bay. We fished light tackle and then jigged up bait offshore and came back inside to liveline. We took two keepers on top-water poppers, and eight more fish on rubber crank baits. Nothing would hit the live baits in the East wind…! We saw several fish in the 38” inch range, a 40” inch fish, and a 43” inch fish swimming around on the bottom in crystal clear water. A very nice morning on the bay that ended with two keepers and eight shorts all on LT.
Today, I guided repeat clients, Dwight Pierce of Dux and John Soucy of Rhoddy, and Dwight’s friend, Stefan up from CT. The day was choppy with SW winds all morning. We fished LT and ran from Plymouth to Duxbury and boated 32 fish! A fresh school of small bass came into the bay this morning and were a lot of fun on LT. Then, we started fishing structure in search of bigger fish. Nothing in most of my spots. However, at the end of a drift, a big bass hit Stefan’s rubber crank bait and made an absolute scorching run of one hundred plus yards! Line was screaming off the reel and it was pretty exciting on light tackle. Stefan brought that fish to the boat and we got it on board. Total catch for the morning was 31 shorts, and 1 keepah all on LT. Not a bad morning considering we had to battle SW chop the entire trip!
Here’s to wishing you an awesome weekend and great fishing!
And again from earlier in the week:
I had repeat clients Howard Soep on board, along with his grandson, Nathan, Howard’s friend Jim and Jim’s grandson, Alex, for light tackle striped bass.
With today’s drainer, I told my charters if we boat six fish this morning, we will count ourselves lucky. In 18 years of guiding on the bay, I have never done well on extreme minus tides – until today!
At first light, with about two hours of tide left, we found TOP-WATER striped bass working under birds in a tiny rip. Every drift produced a fish. Then, about five-hundred yards away, I spotted a larger school of top-water stripers in 2-3 fow, over a sandbar. We moved over there, set our wicked fast drifts, and got into numerous triple hook-ups! Once the tide bottomed out, the bite shut off like a switch and no birds or bass could be found…
We decided to go across the bay and fish out the slack tide. Good move! To my surprise, we found singles chasing bait to the surface in 14 fow. We would set a long drift, wait for one or two to break water, and then cast right to them. It was slow fishing, but a lot of fun. Once the tide turned, we moved around the bay some more and picked up our last fish of the morning – number seventy-three (73)!
All our fish were landed on 4” rubber crank baits in pearl and bunker. We also landed a couple of fish on a Gibbs white bottle popper of about 2 ounces. We got bit off by blues only once or twice.
We called it a great morning on a –1.9 tide with a total catch of 73 striped bass and 3 keepers to 34 inches, all on LT.
Capt. David Bitters