Massachusetts Fishing Report – April 29, 2021

West Marine

Well, they are here! Fresh schoolies have invaded Greater Boston and while I haven’t heard, I suspect the South Shore as well! However, if you can cool your engines just a little longer, you may find incredible haddock fishing! Still, it is only April and the freshwater fishing is so good that it underscores the “sweet” in sweetwater!

I don’t exactly need an arm-twisting to talk about fishing, so it didn’t take much prodding from Captain Brian Coombs of Get Tight Sportfishing to convince me to give my take on flounder fishing at Monahan Marine in Weymouth Saturday. While I believe it went well, there were times I may have looked a bit distracted. A last minute cancellation freed up the chance to hit the haddock grounds with Captain Jason Colby and friends aboard the Little Sister . I viewed my phone as my nemesis that day and steered clear of any torturous messages at all counts. Once home, I fired it up and with one eye closed looked at the report. Not surprisingly they had a blistering bite and limited out in no time. Redemption came my way Wednesday morning as it was my turn as me and 5 skilled anglers not only achieved limits but did so by 8:20 in the morning. All that kept us from hitting the dock by mid-morning was Jason having to carve his way through over 100 haddock! The average size of the haddock this year is indeed living up to the hype. Aboard the Little Sister, the 17” size limit was academic as anything under 18” went right back! What’s out there right now is very special and if you can hold off on all things striper for awhile, give this a try – I have a hunch you won’t be disappointed!

Ralph DiMartino haddock
Ralph DiMartino caught this whopper haddock while aboard the Little Sister.

Now let’s get right to what most of you are interested in, namely the return of the striped bass! Something can be said for persistence and Captain David Panarello of the mighty Bite Me II had been doggedly putting in his time in Greater Boston estuaries looking for that first fresh fish and on Monday he found it, along with a few of it’s buddies! Inspired by that news, I tipped of my friend Steven DeVincent who promptly hit his favorite early-season river and was rewarded with his first striper of the season! Another buddy, Dave Flaherty, knocked the rust off the season on the North Shore with an April striped bass! Additionally Captain Coombs was out in the inner harbor breaking in the engine of his new ride when he marked a lot of fish off Castle Island, which were probably stripers also. And on Wednesday morning while scoping out Deer Island Flats with Captain Colby he pointed out a number of marks on the sonar, shrugged and said, “stripers”! Have fun folks, they are back!

Captain Brian Coombs schoolie
Captain Brian Coombs of Get Tight Sportfishing has found Boston Harbor stripers!

There are also signs that a certain favorite flatfish is waking up. The flounder have been in residence for awhile but until water temperatures crest 50 degrees they won’t do a heck of a lot of feeding! Captain Colby and first mate Armindo Ramos did pick up a few 16 to 16 1/2” fish off Peddock Island however! Waking up is an appropriate way to put it because those fish are already here, it’s simply a case of water temperatures rising a few degrees to get them in a feeding mood.

Massachusetts South/Boston Fishing Report

According to Pete Belsan of Belsan Bait and Tackle in Scituate in Scituate those first fresh fish are likely in Plymouth by Ellisville Harbor, the Eel River and the Town River. Green Harbor is always a first bass best bet as are the South and North Rivers. Give it about another week before you’ll see honest-to-goodness surface feeds in the Three Bays and Scituate Harbor.

Lisa from Fore River Fishing Tackle in Quincy said that World’s End, the Neponset River, Webb Park, Bare Cove Park, Great Esker Park and the Black Creek/Wollaston Beach effluence are all early season striper spots. Regarding that Wollaston stretch, that area warms up earlier than most and with the diversity of bait is a pick to catch that first drag-puller as well!

Dighton MA Spring Striper
Bob Peixoto’s first striper of the season, caught on Apr. 17.

Fresh from hearing the good news of marked fish, Captain Pete Santini of Fishing Fishing FINatics in Everett alerted me that the Amelia Earhart Dam as well as the Charles River are now holding stripers! If you don’t have boat or kayak, poke around the parks such as the Paul Revere Park, Seven Draw Park and the Schraffts Office Complex to put you close to the action. A few flounder have been picked up off Castle Island and Lynn Harbor. Pete did say that it would be a fools errand to dismiss freshwater fishing since the best batch of trout for the season have just been stocked in ponds such as Horn Pond as there are now tiger trout, brook trout and brown trout swimming there!

Captain Sam from Boston Saltwater is at it again and hauling in limits of haddock from 180’ depths! When the bite is hot, your back and arms will appreciate cranking them in from such relatively shallow water. Wolffish continue to be more of a factor this year.

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

Massachusetts North Shore Fishing Report

This week our roles were a little reversed as I was the report-giver when I spoke to Sam from Tomo’s Tackle in Salem. Upon hearing news of fresh fish, Sam offered the Danvers River as an early season prospect. Deep in Salem Harbor where the Forest River dumps in is also an interesting first fish option. He also has news of flounder being taken inside of the Blyman Canal in Gloucester and behind the Gloucester High School. For a freshwater alternative check out Chebacco Lake where herring-eating hawg Larrys have been pounding swim baits!

Steven DeVincent North Shore striper
Steven DeVincent of Saugus with a first fresh North Shore striper!

Matt from Three Lantern Marine has had patrons catching flounder inside of Gloucester Harbor. He tossed up the Little River behind the Nichols Candy Shop as a good bet for a fresh fish. Haddock as well as other groundfish are the big draw still and some are catching as close as Sunny Hump. Jeffrey’s Ledge, Tillies Ledge and Polygon Ledge all have their fans as well.

The ladies of Surfland Bait and Tackle have good news for the Plum Island contingent – stripers have been caught at the mouth of the Merrimack River! As is usually the case, if those schoolies are there than they are probably in most every river in the North Shore! It’s time to get out and take a look for yourself folks.

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

Massachusetts Freshwater Fishing Report

Freshwater fishing remains as hot as ever!
Captain Patrick Barone of Charter The Berkshires continues to focus his fly fishing forays among western rivers and the results are eye-popping. Big browns have been falling for a size 14 Flashback Pheasant Tail. When he’s not coaxing up a brownie, he’s targeting smallies and walleyes as well as shad. All this and it’s minutes from his home court in South Hadley and not far from the Connecticut River.

Patrick Barone brown trout
Patrick Barone of Charter the Berkshires with a trophy western mass brown!

Another week, more reports of trophy landlocked salmon from Quabbin Reservoir according to Rod from Flagg’s Fly and Tackle in Orange. Again, the hot offering is Rod’s hand-tied Fire Smelt streamer. The key to this pattern is the orange color, salmon love orange! Some salmon sharpies employ a jigging machine which moves the rod and offering as the angler trolls. I’ve seen those things in action and they give wares moves that no fisherman can emulate; they are not cheap but the Q’s best use them and Rod carries them. Fish can still be found close to the boat launch areas and from shoreline spots. Gate 35 is getting rave reviews from slab smallie specialists with 2 to 3 pound lakers so numerous they are almost annoying.

Wachusett also offers more of the same, said Eddie of B&A Bait and Tackle Co. in West Boylston. Gate 30 has been money for big bronzebacks and lakers. For a shot at a salmon floating a shiner off the causeway remains the top ticket.

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

Massachusetts Fishing Forecast

After reading about those first fresh fish, I have to admit I’m a little worried that some of you dropped your device and never made it this far into the forecast! For those who are more composed look for your first striper among rivers, estuaries and marshes, especially in the afternoon/evening on an outgoing tide which will ebb warmer water. Once you scratch of that first schoolie consider larger which will be sniffing around herring runs. Haddock remain so hot, that they cannot be dismissed in spite of the building striper insanity. Should you not have a ride at the ready, contact one of the OTW endorsed captains who are as versed in groundfishing as they are in striped bass. Freshwater remains an attractive option and in addition to blue ribbon cold water gems, herring slamming largemouth bass are on the feed in tailwaters.

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6 on “Massachusetts Fishing Report – April 29, 2021

  1. Jim Leahy

    When you see a bunch of clowns exploring your early spring striper spots this weekend, you’ll know why. Thanks again OTW.

  2. Walleye

    Jim Leahy needs to grow up, and stop being a Karen! Tight lines!

      1. Walleye

        Roger that Ron,….Personally the best time of the year in old NE for any type of fishing! especially after what our country just went through! Tight lines! and thank you for facilitating our sportsmen and sportswomen through out NE!

  3. dave

    i wish there were more pictures of schoolie stripers and less pictures of halibut

  4. HT

    Finally connected with my first striper of the season. About a week later than usual, but my first nonetheless. Tight Lines ladies and gents….its GO TIME!!!

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