North Shore Report From First Light Anglers

North Shore Report- Still fishing well!

July 6th- Well now that the fireworks are over and the masses have left the water, it is great to see that the fishing is still good. My last trip was Sunday morning with Greg from Tampa. He had not done any striper fishing on the fly other than one very slow day on the Kennebec a couple of years ago. Saying this, he was thrilled to catch 30-35 bass in the rocks all on fly the largest three being 26-27”. We fished from House Island outside of Manchester down to Kettle Island and almost everywhere we stopped had two or three fish. As it was low and incoming we concentrated on the deepest holes and drop offs. The fly was one of Dave Skok’s Pollack flies, very deadly for big fish too. (A good friend took a fish in the mid-20lb class last week off of Baker’s on that fly.) Frankly, it was just nice to spend a morning with someone who found the whole fishery so new and exciting. He didn’t need massive fish, just good catching and that was perfect for me. He actually helped remind me how freaking fun fishing the whitewater with a nice swell but zero wind can be here on the north shore, even if they are just schoolies. The best part was we were in by 9am as the masses poured out onto the water. Nat and I then took 4th of July off due to the crowds and the need for a bit of rest.

July 5th Nat was back out to run a kid’s camp with Randy Sigler out of Marblehead and had some great fun fishing bait at the mouth of Salem Harbor and Manchester Harbor catching a bunch of legal fish in the mix. Nat then went out and fished the same fellow Greg, from Tampa with 4 kids and his brother in law last night with bait and hammered the fish. As the kids were counting, Nat said they caught 76 stripers with a whole mess of legal fish in 4 hours. They were fishing a couple of rock piles around the Singing Beach and Magnolia border. Gotta love that fresh herring for catching! He was back out with the kids today doing pretty much the same thing. As I well be out the next couple of days I will try and keep you posted.

Reports from the rest of Cape Ann have been good to great. Friends who spend a lot of time at the groaner have still been reporting some huge bass but some serious headaches with the bluefish and dogfish. They also tell me there are still live mackerel to jig around the State Fish Pier in Gloucester Harbor. The rocks from Eastern Point to Halibut have also had good numbers of small fish with a decent mix of legal fish. Both shore anglers and boat anglers have been doing well on Slug-go’s and poppers (Jumpin’ Minnows, Skitter Pops, and Creek Chubs) early in the morning for some larger fish along with big flashy flies, mainly imitating Pollack. Ipswich Bay has been infiltrated with bluefish ranging from 6-15lbs, mainly around the green cans off both the Ipswich and Essex rivers as well as Halibut. I did hear one report of some decent surface action around Milk and Thacher’s Islands with birds working bait over bluefish but I have not seen that personally. A good buddy of mine fished the Essex last night and said it was great with a whole mess of bass out around the mouth. He fishes that river a lot and it had been slow. The front side of Crane’s now that the boat traffic has thinned should be fishing well. We know the big fish are around and I would bet those who know the sight casting routine and put their time in should be rewarded. This week has some perfect incoming tides if we get any sun to see them.

Apparently, the mouth of the Merrimack also fished well last night with a couple fellows reporting great schoolie action off the jetty and one reporting that some bigger fish moved in and he caught a bunch all on the fly. I have heard mixed reports on Joppa. Most say the fishing has slowed to catching schoolies and watching huge fish on the flats. I have heard that the fish are eating tiny crabs or shrimp and also that they just are not eating. Anyone have any ideas??

As far as the tuna are concerned, I keep hearing scattered reports of some little pods of little fish up on Jeffries around the Cove and the flat ground between there and Pigeon Hill. A buddy was out on Saturday and saw nothing, but I talked to a whale boat captain on July 4th who said they have been seeing scattered pods, but that they were not staying up for long. Nat and I will be busy with bass and kid’s camp through next week but then the tuna hunt may have to begin in earnest. As always, please call the shop or send me an email for more information. Thanks, Capt. Derek (978-948-7004


Mark N. Cahill has been writing and editing for since 1995. He started fishing in the mid-1960's and caught his first striper off World's End in Hingham in 1966. From there on in it was an obsession. He loves fishing for tuna, and fly fishing for striped bass. In a pinch, anything with fins will do...

Posted in Boston and Eastern Massachusetts, North Shore

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