Gone fishin': When the bite is slow

Written by Skip Cornell
 | Wednesday, 11 July 2012 14:00
COASTAL REPORT:  Fishing was off for the Fourth of July with stripers completely missing. Tuna fishing is very slow with just a few fish being caught at the Bar at Peaked Hill. The same holds true for most of Stellwagen Bank. There are large schools of mackerel everywhere from the Golf Ball to the middle of Stellwagen Bank, but not a fish under them.

Over at Peaked Hill Bar stripers are AWOL but there are jumbo size bluefish at 12-plus pounds. Most of the blues are being caught on wire line jigging. Try black and purple or red and black hotjigs. Up at the Race at Provincetown, fishing for stripers is also slow. Best bet here is also wire line jigging. Across the bay at Duxbury and Plymouth, fishing is better than at most other spots. Live lining for stripers has been paying off for many anglers. Best spots in the Plymouth and Duxbury Bay area are Brown’s Bank, Bug Light, just outside the Gurnet in close to the Rock Pile and the Cordage Channel. Also fluke fishing in Duxbury has really picked up with lots of nice keeper fluke. Try fishing fluke rigs tipped with mackerel or squid. Any of the small channels in Duxbury are holding fluke and the best bet is on an outgoing tide.

There have been lots of bluefish in Duxbury in almost every size – small two to three pounds up to 12 pounds. Top water plugs have been working on schools of blues feeding on top while live mackerel have been the best bait. For the angler looking for live bait the best bet is early morning or just at sunset. There are schools of small blues as well as schools of shad and pogies-all of which are great baits for tuna and stripers. Over the Fourth of July, Duxbury and Plymouth Bays were very crowded with lots of swimmers and large crowds watching fireworks. This weekend fishing should once again pick up.

Outside Duxbury and Plymouth Bays, at High Pines Ledge, fishing has been okay with some stripers and bluefish being caught by live lining mackerel or harbor pollock. Small umbrella rigs with sand eel colored worms or deep diver plugs have also been good here. Off the beach at Duxbury, chunking mackerel or pogies has been the best producer, mostly in the early morning or at sunset. Over at the jetties in Green Harbor, fishing for stripers and blues has been okay with some nice catches of stripers coming on chunked mackerel and pogies. Over at Bluefish Cove, fishing has also been okay with most catches coming on live bait near the rocks.

Fishing at the cliffs at the mouth of the North River has also slowed a little. Finding live mackerel has gotten harder with the water warming and the bait moving into deeper water. Also bluefish have moved into the area and they have moved the bait outside into deeper water. Best bet is to fish off Fourth Cliff on a falling tide and try trolling small umbrella rigs from Third Cliff to First Cliff.

Around the entrance bell at the North River, flounder fishing remains good. Inshore cod fishing has been picking up lately with some nice catches off the inner ledges. Small jigs or clams are the best baits here. Out at Stellwagen Bank, cod and haddock fishing has moved into 200 to 280 feet of water and the bite is slow. Let’s hope that the weekend will have a jump start on fishing. With the moon high tides, maybe fishing will return to being hot -- like the weather. On Thursday, July 12, commercial striper season starts. Please read the laws on this and remember, no more yo-yo rigs allowed.

Don’t forget to take a kid fishing!