North Shore

Tuna are still the order of the day for most as evidenced by this report from the apparently mis-named Pinstriper:

Trolled birds and squid bars off Cape Ann in 63 degree water for a couple hours early Tuesday and landed a couple tuna. Saw LOTS of humpback and finback whales.

Ran further offshore to well-know bank and ran into 66 degree water with plenty of tuna busting on the surface. Fish were pretty finicky and wouldn’t take any flies, plugs or jigs we tried. They were moving very fast and erratically so it was impossible to get ahead of them and wait for them to come to you (which has been VERY successful for me this year in other tuna blitzes). So we went back to the bars and birds and did quite well.

Essex Fly Guy had this in answer to a question asked about Crane’s:

Fishing has been good around Cranes recently. Be aware you may run into blues, so you may want to pre-rig some flies with wire/heavy mono. I have found small and white seem to work pretty well. Crease flies and gurgles are always fun and usually produce, olive/white clousers sparsely tied are also good. If fish are picky, I have found very small white Gummies can get them to eat. As far as lines medium or floating would work. Heavy sinking lines might be a little much, but you could probably amke them work as well. Definetly monitor the birds and move down the beach if you see them working near shore. Also, look for the near shore bars and places where they funnel water. Its a long haul, but the tip of cranes tends to be very active. Dawn and dusk tend to be prime time, but not always.

Good luck, it’s definetly one of the nicest place to fish.

Now I know a lot of you consider Crane’s a UDL of the first order (Undisclosed Location).  Let’s face it, several miles of beach with an inlet attached to it really can’t be considered UDL.  Now the rock pile just inside the mouth by the estate…that’s different

Dumpcast had this from the 14th:

Coffin Beach, scene of yesterday morning’s bluefish extravaganza, was barren today. Paddled the kayak from Plum Cove Beach in Lanesville to Annisquam Light and then for a mile along Coffin without seeing a thing. Picked up two small and one decent schoolie bass by blind-casting the coves on the return leg.

It’s the fall pattern – here today, gone tomorrow.  But you’re as likely now to get into good shore action as you are all year long.  Just ask Rian Wykes who took his first +40" fish off Gloucester recently!

GCW reports:

Fished outgoing this morning – I think I was a little late. There were fish off the rocks inside Sandy Bay at 6:30ish (saw them, didn’t fish them). Launched at 7:30 and went as far south as Good Harbor, as far north as Halibut point, and east/southeast to the Cape Ann Buoy. Not much going on.

Finally found blues on the surface at Andrews. they were moving around a lot and seemed to disappear – moved in really tight to shore and caught blues and bass for the next hour or so. Blues took small metal, bass were taking a large half and half (I think that’s what it’s called) fly. Bass were just under legal and there were a lot of them.

Went in for lunch and some work, back out at 4ish. Thacher’s Bay went off. On the way to the huge groups of birds, found a bunch of birds sitting on the rocks (Flat Rocks), not doing much just sitting there (just like in the morning at Andrews) – cast towards rocks, double hook up, one blue fish on a popper, one 34" bass on a small metal mackerel.

Moved out to the big flocks of birds – tons of blue fish. Lots of fun. Bluefish took small flies – would not take the big half and half the bass took in the morning – they kept hitting it and missing. Small stuff worked well. Popper and metal worked on the spinning rod. Fat fish, puking up lots of peanut bunker.

GCW also had this today:

Acres of bluefish crashing bait off Coffin Beach this morning (big ones, not the ubiquitous 3-pounders of the last couple of weeks). Two other boats were having at them, and there were so many blues that we each were able to concentrate on our own pods of fish. Started the morning casting a yellow Deceiver to small stripers that were feeding in the Annisquam River (as they seem to be doing around-the-clock), and that was the fly, without benefit of shock tippet, that I lost to my first blue. Switched to a hi-tie bunker pattern, with 50-pound-test mono shocker, and the rest of the morning was sweet. Fish ranged from 6 to 9 pounds. I might have been on these same blues in the same place last evening, but I never got a fly in front of the fish; they were moving fast and often, and every drift took me where they weren’t. Had to settle for small bass, again in the river. Tons of bait — peanut bunker, small herring, and perhaps silversides — in the creeks, river, and oceanfront coves. A few mornings ago I staked out a school of adult pogies, the first I had seen in a while, that was milling about in the Annisquam River; nothing ever molested them. It’s a real gamefish buffet out there, which bodes well for us inshore fly guys.

Capt. Charlie Crue at Channel Edge Charters reports:

The inshore fishing has definitely moved onto the late season mode. The river is full of peanut bunker and the stripers and blues have been blitzing all over the area. Lately the Salisbury side of the river has been producing schoolie stripers on the outgoing tide. Soft baits that resemble the baby bunker in size and color are working well on light spinning gear. Flies made with of white/blue/purple materials with pearl flash do the trick for fly fishing.

I haven’t been out along the beaches recently due to nasty conditions at the mouth of the river and large swells from distant storms.

Football tuna have been taken off shore. There are also reports of many different species of whales. There was one report of a shark sighting off of the Parker Wildlife Refuge beach.


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 Harbor, North Shore

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