Great fishing weekend follows in wake of storm
Fish Finder
Frank Dwyer



With the nor'easter behind us and a good weather forecast for the days ahead, all things are pointing to fishing activity heating up. Tuna, bass, bluefish and plenty of ground fish will be feeding this weekend, and I believe will be a great one to be on the water. Bass are getting into feeding mode and bluefish are plentiful from Portland to Cape Cod.

Marblehead: Before the storm, and probably as I write this, bass were feeding on juvenile herring and mackerel, and anglers are catching keepers. Try your luck just about anywhere around Marblehead, from the Harbor to the neck and you should find fish, be it stripers or blues.

Salem: Salem Harbor and out into the Sound has been littered with surface-feeding bass and bluefish as the fall feed really seems to be starting up. Top water plugs, metals and bait have all been taking bass, with predawn your best shot at catching one of these fish.

Beverly: Fishing from the Pier was landing blues and bass this week before the rains came. There are rumors of fish taken off Brackenbury Beach by surfcasters at night, and bluefish have been taken off West Beach and other points off Beverly Farms.

Cape Ann: Tuna up to 60 inches have been as close to shore as Thacher's chasing mackerel and larger bluefin are being taken off Stellwagen and Tillies. Mackerel have been popping up in Manchester and Gloucester Harbor at dawn, and some big bass have been chasing them. Bluefish continue to be caught around the entire Cape, with some real monsters being taken on deep water trolls off Halibut Point. Rockport beaches have been fishing well at dawn, especially with top water plugs. A good mix of groundfish is available to party boat patrons.

Ipswich: There are plenty of bait fish in the waters around Ipswich Bay, and they are being chased by bass, bluefish and even some tuna pushing the inside edges of the bay. Try your luck at Steep Hill or Crane and just about any offering will work if fish are present.

Newbury: The beaches off the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge continue to produce bass to 20 pounds for bait fishermen at night. The beach is open to drive-on anglers now, but only 50 permits were issued, and they went very quickly. Clams, worms and cut bait are all working. Plum Island Sound has also had decent action for schoolie-sized bass and some bluefish.

Newburyport/ Plum Island: Joppa was popping pretty well just before we stormed up so I expect this weekend will be fun for those who go out at night with eels. Additionally, drifting the edge of the channel by the moorings on the outgoing tide has been productive in the early morning. The oceanfront and the mouth will also be offering up action for bass and bluefish this weekend, both at dawn and after dark. Swing by Surfland and ask for the latest news on the Island. Party captains report happy customers with good numbers of cod, haddock and pollock.

Salisbury: I re-tested my theory that the beaches of Salisbury are underrated and I was correct, warranting a bump up in hooks. Stripers and bluefish are there for the taking by beach-trudging surfcasters from the arcades north, with top-water plugs and Kastmasters both working.

New Hampshire seacoast: Good numbers of mackerel remain from Hampton to Portsmouth, so the bass and blues fishing has been good and should be terrific this weekend. Bass are taking live eels from anglers fishing many rocky locations on the Piscataqua at night. The Isles of Shoals area has seen decent numbers of bass and bluefish, while out in the Gulf of Maine, tuna and groundfishing have been quite good.

Frank Dwyer is a freelance fishing and outdoor columnist. Contact him at dwyer.f@gmail.com or www.frankdwyeroutdoors.blogspot.com. Facebook users can search for Frank Dwyer Outdoors.



Tip of the week: Keep it real

Live bait is the best way to hook a large striped bass. Many anglers rig their mackerel or what-have-you through the lips. This may be OK for trolling a dead bait, but you should hook a live fish through the back, just behind the head, to allow the fish to swim naturally.