Massachusetts Fishing Report – June 25, 2020

Regarding striped bass in much of Massbay, it’s about as good as it gets right now! To put it in perspective, many who are reveling in 30, 40 and even 50-pound stripers are whispering among themselves, “How big do you think the biggest bass down there is right now?”. It’s hard to get any better than that!

Greater Boston Fishing Report

Ordinarily, I begin on the South Shore and proceed north, but Boston is the big story and it can’t wait. Congratulations to Captain Brian Coombs on achieving his first 50 pound striped bass aboard his Get Tight Sportfishing Tidewater center console!

Lauren Aloisio 50-pound striped bass
Captain Brian Coombs prepares to release a 50 pound striper caught by charter Lauren Aloisio while aboard Get Tight Sportfishing.

Typical of Captain Coombs’ cow compassion, he never hoisted the trophy onto his boat for a photo op but kept it in the water and had a buddy boat snap a quick shot. The priority was not the perfect picture but the survival of that big breeder and she is swimming today! I also know of three more 50s which were caught by an old school friend of mine who prefers to remain anonymous and goes about his business by “snapping” wire and jigs/sea rind. At false dawn and away from prying eyes he caught three monsters in rapid succession and then sped home as soon as others arrived. That’s the sweet irony of that method, which I wrote a story in about years ago in OTW, while everyone else is going through the bother of procuring baits, the bucktail brigade is fishing! Additionally, there have been plenty of 30 pounders and numerous 40-pound stripers primarily taken among the deepwater humps in outer Boston Harbor. Mackerel and pogies have been the ticket for most but all manner of artificials are working at low light.

Evan Geist
Evan Geist with a big bass caught on Reel Pursuit Charters.

Captain Sam of SOS Fishing Charters in Quincy has been finding mackerel around the inner ledges early morning and in deeper water around the B-buoy in afternoon. Large bass have been on a feeding frenzy at first light from Deer Island to BG buoy and over to Thieves Ledge eating just about anything you throw at them, but the bite often dies out mid-morning. He’s also been enjoying schoolie blitzes all over inner harbor – just  follow the birds!

Captain Paul Diggins of Reel Pursuit Charters has been crushing them while trolling Rapala X Raps as well as Mojo Rigs and some of the fish have pushed 48”! The bite has been best among “Boston humps” such as what you’ll find off Martin’s Ledge, Graves Light, the BG Buoy and the NC Buoy.

However, according to sharpies such as Captain Anthony Ahrens of Chasin Tail Fisheries, there is evidence that some of those cows have pushed in all the way towards the Tobin Bridge. It’s the pogies that are attracting the predators and some serious fish have been taken by Deer Island and Castle Island. With all the pogies the key is to find rushed or balled up bait which often looks “purplish” and make sure you keep a pogy tight with the school. I also know of some good fish in the sites of surf fishers/kayakers with eels at night the solution.

Surging water temperatures are pushing flounder towards offshore which is the reason Captain Jason Colby is pulling his Little Sister and heading toward Westport for an early July launch. “Coxes Ledge cod anyone?”! That will be one of the fisheries the captain will pursue once in port at Tripps Marina and in my experience, these trips have been nothing short of incredible! It is like a trip back in time, since south of the cape – cod can be kept! We have caught fish up to 30 pounds on these trips and the supporting cast often consists of mahi-mahi, humphead black sea bass and doormat fluke!

Massachusetts South Shore Fishing Report

According to Mark from Monahans Marine in Weymouth, while shore anglers have had a tougher go of it than boaters and kayakers, the extensive shoreline of Plymouth has been most consistent. Not surprisingly serpent slingers at night are doing the best.

According to Captain Mark Petitt of Fire Escape Charters there are better fish showing in Cape Cod Bay as well. With all the schoolies in the Three Bays, it’s a fun factory there and a sign of good things to come as those mid-20” fish grow! Still, the skipper is having a hard time shaking the haddock-in-close obsession as humps, lumps and clumps in close are still holding fish!

Captain Mark Rowell of Legit Fish Charters broke in his new Southport ride the other day and to put it mildly is “excited” about it. He said that he’s been able to slice through 4 footers at 30 mph, without even employing the trim tabs. First on the hit list was haddock a scant 9 miles from Scituate Harbor and on the very first try they achieved 6 guy limits! It’s better still east of the bank in 200’ plus depths. Tuna from 70-100” have become numerous along the 100’ contour line and towards the 21 Can on the South Shore.

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Massachusetts North Shore Fishing Report

The North Shore is shaping up to be reminiscent of last season, which was pretty special! Huge schools of pogies, plenty of harbor pollock and the mackerel mob are attracting cows from Nahant out through Ipswich Bay! While aboard my friend Captain Tom Ciulla’s T Sea, we spent a couple of days crushing cows on everything from topwater plugs to trolled mackerel with the bite best between Salem Sound and Halfway Rock. Look for blackback gulls to point the way. These apex shorebirds are masters at finding sea herring and other large forage and dipping gulls often point to bass pushing bait towards the surface.

Captain Tom Ciulla
Captain Tom Ciulla of T Sea Charters with a beautiful North Shore cow caught on a live mackerel.

Liam from Tomo’s Tackle in Salem said that the scads of pogy schools among the North Shore have attracted big bass. Obviously live bait will do the trick but cranking big plugs such as OutKast Lures Dannys has been effective also. There are plenty of mackerel off Salem/Beverly and trolling them, especially early or late during the day has been effective for fish up to 48”! Schoolie shows are numerous inside the harbors from Marblehead to Manchester to Gloucester. Haddock are hottest on the NW Corner of Stellwagen.

Skip from Three Lantern Marine told me that pogy schools off Thacher Island have drawn fire from big bass. Picking the right pogy school, one that is under siege, matters! Be aware of prowling pelagics which are pounding pogies very close to shore in Ipswich Bay. Inadvertent hook-ups to bluefin are inevitable which is keeping the shops busy spooling up new line!

John from Surfland Bait and Tackle said that anglers having the most success there are targeting pogy schools where big bass are following the forage. Shore anglers casting eels at night at Joppa Flats, the oceanfront and Plum Island Sound are doing best at night. The Kayak crew continues to do well at Joppa but with surging water temperatures that bite is on borrowed time. The mouth of the Merrimack River as well as off the Parker River Wildlife Reservation has had dependable schoolie to slot fish action.

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Massachusetts Fishing Forecast

It may be feeling like the dog days of summer but it’s fishing as if that dog is a Westminister Best in Show winner! The harbor at the moment is the hub of big bass with an offshore hump bite at least partially transitioning to inshore. On the South Shore haddock remain a fixture in close while tuna are the talk of the town in Cape Cod Bay. Northern Mass is fishing somewhat like Boston Harbor where it’s a simple case of finding the feed and you’ll find the fish!

4 on “Massachusetts Fishing Report – June 25, 2020

  1. Steve L

    The Bluefish have arrived at North Shore Harbors mixing with Stripers in early AM blitzes. What great fishing from shore these past 5 or so weeks (Stripers)! The copious amount of herring and Pogies is incredible! Pick a harbor from Lynn up to The Plum, and it’s jammed-packed with bait from what I have witnessed. Poppers are still working well for me. Best wishes…..

  2. Hunter Thayer

    The “magical window” is in full force for the surf caster this year! It seems to be happening during a 45-minute window focused around the outgoing. Big fish finally have moved in tight and are being fooled on a variety of presentations. Did I mention to throw a darter?

    Tight Lines

  3. Hunter Thayer

    Macks out front, pogy schools scattered around and hungry stripers hot on their heels…

    Tight Lines

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