Massachusetts Fishing Report – July 30, 2020

It’s no secret that the pandemic has been a tackle mover since so many are taking to our pastime. One of the bigger demands thanks to far bigger quarry is new line, especially on the North Shore, as giant tuna crash into pogy schools. It’s hard to say which is making the louder sound – screaming drags or wailing anglers who are getting spooled!

Massachusetts South Shore and South Coast Fishing Report

Fast-moving schools of slab stripers have livened up the Three Bays according to Captain Mark Petitt of Fire Escape Charters. There is now a heretofore unavailable class of cows from CCB through the Three Bays according to the skipper but with water temps up the fish are not staying still and tending to stay as deep and cool as possible! As usual a live pogy or mackerel dangled in front of these skittish stripers helps. Provincetown remains productive for bluefish with slot-stripers in the mix. There are no shortage of mixed species of sharks or tuna on the bank and even west of it.

Cody Calabria
Cody Calabria reeled in some nice stripers all on his own while fishing with his Dad Joe with tube-n-worm in the World’s End area of the Weir River in Hingham.

Pete from Belsan Bait and Tackle in Scituate said that the typical outing for most is to find a school of pogies and stick a live one in the hopes that there is an interesting striper there. The ratio of hours spent verses hook-ups due to the high water temperatures is not as favorable as a few weeks ago, but the stripers which are caught are all cows! The appearance of peanut bunker has been confirmed and with that there has been impressive nomadic schoolie surface feeds with the epicenter being the Egypt Beach area. A few more black sea bass have been caught for those willing to drift and jig among rockpiles when the tide is moving. Shore fisherman slinging eels at night in the Glades area who are catching are putting in the time.

If you’re looking for more action consider making a haddock run out to the humps east of Stone Ledge/Stoney Bar where Captain Mark Rowell of Legit Fish Charters is continuing to have his way with haddock. This fishery is the antidote to the long hours/little action ratio which is the current realm of most striped bass fisherman. Shimano Butterfly Jigs and Lucanus Jigs will work well as will a teaser/Gulp Swimming Mullet about 18” above the jig.

Kristen and Bridget Golden
Kristen and Bridget Golden tag-teamed this Wollaston Beach schoolie!

Captain Jason Colby has been into his own sort of can’t miss fishing thanks to big Buzzards Bay black sea bass close to port in Westport. Aboard the Little Sister his patrons are mixing up jigging and baiting depending on their preference and all is working on impressive humpheads and limits of fish. He’s also finding mixed sizes of stripers in the river. What’s working for the captain is sending out a steady clam chum and then after teasing them into the slick, offering them the entree.

Greater Boston Fishing Report

If you were out over the weekend and experienced the prior big bass Boston bonanza I hope you appreciated it, because the following days were very slow! The nights however have been much better for surf fishermen and kayakers fishing area beaches with soft plastics and eels. The good news for the day shift is that August is perennially a change-agent and there is nothing like the predicted onshore storm swells to bring better temperatures, bait and big bass back in again!

Brad Robinson
Brad Robinson with a Boston Harbor “southern sandwich” of a fluke and black sea bass!

There has been plenty of action aboard Get Tight Sportfishing according to Captain Brian Coombs who over the weekend was finding big bass moving between the Boston “humps” at first light and area beaches in the evening. To mix it up, he’s been putting patrons into pretty impressive schoolie feeds in the Swampscott area. Observant eyes however, have watched the commercials spending the entire day on Wednesday trolling the tube-and-worm from Lynn Harbor through Bailey’s Hill and out to the Point of Pines!

Brian Vigil
Brian Vigil caught this cow while aboard Reel Pursuit Charters

Captain Paul Diggins of Reel Pursuit Charters has switched gears now that the outer harbor has cooled a bit and he’s been targeting successfully the PR Can as well as Revere Beach. Schoolies through slot-fish have been hitting Santini tubes and smaller umbrella rigs with shad baits.

Anna Huddleson
Anna Huddleson with her personal best bass caught while fishing with Boston Saltwater!

Captain Sam of Boston Saltwater agreed that surging sea temps have slowed down the bite, but as he put it, “It ain’t dead!”. He has found a pocket of macks by Graves Light and the BG Buoy and that has been the ticket to big stripers. It’s getting ho-hum, but it was yet another week of personal bests which this time was a 42” fish caught by Anna Huddleson whose husband at the same time was busy with a 52” fish! Little Nahant and Lynn Harbor have all been productive.

If you’d like to shake things up than Lisa from Fore River Fishing Tackle in Quincy has just the thing – Quincy Bay black sea bass and even fluke! These catches are far from an aberration, in fact on Thursday two shop steadies – Brad and Beth Robinson – caught a whopping 56 black sea bass and many were keeper size!

Want to get in on the bite? Find an OTW-approved Charter Fishing Captain for Massachusetts

Massachusetts North Shore Fishing Report

Sam from Tomo’s Tackle said that a slight uptick in mackerel numbers from Nahant Bay through Cape Ann has improved striped bass fortunes. Pogy schools are prevalent but sometimes presenting the sated bass a mack snack can pay off in the pod. He’s even heard of a few fluke taken by Deer Island. Blues between 4-7 pounds have become common if not predictable; the same can be said for bonito.

Gloucester is historically ground zero for giants with its storied culture and volume of skilled Charlie chasers but usually the bluefin battles take place well offshore and not in water as shallow as 8 feet! On a nearly nightly basis, my buddy Captain Tom Ciulla, of T Sea Charters, has been taking footage of monster-on-menhaden mayhem barely more than a cast away from the Dogbar Breakwater. The fury of 400 pound plus fish feeding on pogy pods that close is absolutely something to behold.

According to Skip from Three Lantern Marine, ill-prepared anglers are getting schooled and their reels spooled at such a rate that his line winding machinery is working double time. If you have the gear and the nerve, there may never be a better time then now to do battle with a big bluefin this close. Stripers are usually sticking with the pogy schools with those found in pockets of cooler water the more productive. Oddly some of the bass following the pogies are smallish 25-27” fish which are susceptible to Spro Jigs or jigs/Slug-Gos worked under the schools. Shore sharpies slinging serpents at night are doing well off of area beaches. The Boston brigade has been wondering what happened to their pile of big bass and there some indications that some have pushed north. My buddy Carl Vinning told me that his nephew Nick slayed some really nice stripers the other night at Joppa Flats on eels.

Liz from Surfland Bait and Tackle confirmed that the river bite was really good. Further good news is that Parking Lots 6/7 in the Parker River Wildlife Reservation are now open to daytime use; nights will come in time, but for now it’s a start. Bait casters during the day are getting in on plenty of schoolie action off the ocean front. Macks can be found but they are a tough pick. With plenty of pogies, finding a “purple” – tightly packed – school or one that is spraying the surface is the trick to finding striped bass. Blues are around but the inconsistency relegates them to a bycatch.

Want to get in on the bite? Find an OTW-approved Charter Fishing Captain for Massachusetts

Massachusetts Fishing Forecast

All along our coast, having a few mackerel in the livewell bumps up bass success even among pogy schools. The Three Bays out through Scituate has obvious schoolies but those ignoring the smaller fish and probing deeper pockets of water with live bait are finding bigger bass. The South Coast black sea bass action in the Westport side of Buzzards Bay remains a unique alternative to the challenging striped bass fishing. If the harbor humps aren’t working for you then take a few macks or pogies into Revere Beach, Long Beach or King’s Beach and see if you can’t do better. Pogy schools off Beverly have been getting bashed by bass with their counterparts in Gloucester just as likely to have pelagics pulverizing the school as stripers. Off Plum Island, the Parker River Wildlife Reservation is gradually opening up to more angling opportunities with lots 6 and 7 now open. Many are licking their chops for night opportunities, especially now that the graveyard shift has been catching well with eels. Regarding eels, those things are like money now at Joppa Flats!

5 on “Massachusetts Fishing Report – July 30, 2020

  1. Walleye

    Lots of fish and pogies hanging around the three bays early and late as mid day moves them deep! Tight lines!

  2. OTW was awesome they put real pursuit in touch with me right away and Captain Paul talk to me he was very cordial we didn’t use him but he was very informative and helpful

    OTW was awesome they put real pursuit in touch with me right away and Captain Paul talk to me he was very cordial we didn’t use him but he was very informative and helpful

  3. Jim Dangelo

    Hey Ron caught a nice 13 lb 6 oz laker on a Deadly Dick lure last week fishing has been good of late my personal best so far, hope things are well with you.”

    1. Ron

      Hey Jim, Corker forktail! Unlike me, I know you’ve caught double-digit lakers there before too! Nice to hear that the fishing is good. I always like fishing there this time of the year, no crowds and surprisingly cooperative fish. Perhaps I’ll make a Rezy Run soon!

  4. Colin Phillips

    Where abouts is Stoney ledge and stoney bar looking to get into some haddock

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