Massachusetts Fishing Report – May 27, 2021

West Marine

Serious stripers have now invaded Massbay with talk now turning to taping fish in excess of 40”! Flounder fortunes remain positive while the hot haddock fishing continues unabated. Speaking of hot, the early season surge in temperatures is already bringing some southern visitors to our realm.

Massachusetts South/Boston Fishing Report

While not exact, generally breeder-size stripers that wind up as resident fish from the South Shore through Boston travel through the canal. North Shore through Cape Ann fish, however, are often inclined to migrate offshore and around the cape. For the time being, anglers fishing for bigs up north seem to be doing better than their South Shore/Boston counterparts as I’m hearing of fish up to the mid-40” range! That will change soon enough as more breeders move into the Bay State, meanwhile mackerel trolled around offshore ledges is right now a Scituate/Hull best bet for catching a “get the net” early season cow.

Captain Rich Antonio of Black Rose Charters was practically giddy when we spoke and almost conflicted as to what to fish for next! He’s put an emphatic check mark next to slab scup and knothead black sea bass in Buzzards Bay and is now considering targeting tautog there – just to mix it up! All indications are that this is a banner year for BSBs with some setting the keeper threshold at 20”!

Captain Mark Rowell of Legit Fish Charters told me that 100’ of water seems to be the groundfish sweet spot for him. He’s still finding limits of haddock there plus catch-and-release cod and hake as well. Mackerel are not a problem to acquire in CCB and when trolled or fished under a balloon among inshore structure are not likely to last long before being pulverized.

Every year around this time, Pete Belsan from Belsan Bait and Tackle in Scituate and I reminisce about the “Memorial Day Massacre” which happened 10 years ago on the South Shore and if you experienced that day long clash of bait and bass you’ll never forget it. The bait is in place, the bass on the way and with an east wind potentially blowing bedlam inshore, you never know! Pete did say that anglers employing eels in estuaries are catching bigger fish than most. Surface feeds from the Three Bays out through Cohasset are fairly common. Flounder can be found off Egypt Beach, Mann Hill Beach and Peggotty Beach.

Fire Escape Charters haddock
The fine haddock fishing continues aboard Fire Escape Charters.

Captain Mark Petitt of Fire Escape Charters said that while numbers of mackerel inshore are hit or miss, acres of this prime cow candy can be found from CCB out to Stellwagen. The last time he checked, Three Bays bass topped out at just under the slot threshold but bigger is expected any day. Haddock fishing in 130-170 feet of water has been outstanding for size and numbers.

Greater Boston Fishing Report

If you’re a bit envious of the black sea bass and scup action in Buzzards Bay you may find satisfaction a lot closer. Both Lisa from Fore River Fishing Tackle in Quincy and Peter from Fishing FINatics in Everett reported catches of both species in the Quincy side of the harbor! With warmer-than-usual May water temperatures, this year is looking like it will mirror the previous season with scup, black sea bass and fluke (early July) all taking up residence in the harbor. Right now the first two species are cooperating off Pemberton Pier and the Nut Island Pier. Hull Gut and West Gut are also possible options.

Captain Mike K and first mate Captain Carl Vinning had their way recently at Quarantine Rocks dragging red Santini tubes to tally schoolie through slot-sized stripers. Jackknife Ledge, Veazie Rocks and Sunken Ledge are all good options for the tube or a live mackerel. Macks can be found from Boston Light and out towards deep water ledges. Great Esker Park has been a productive shore spot. Captain Tom Cronin has been loading up on mackerel from just offshore and trolling them from Deer Island through Short Beach in Revere and getting steady striper action.

Little Sister
Patrons aboard the Little Sister are finding bigger blackbacks and more of them!

Aboard the Little Sister, Captain Jason Colby’s priority is shifting from limits to “phonebook” flounder. As water temperatures increase the feeding window for flounder is increasing and during some outings the fish are pushing 3 pounds! Fittingly as the flounder fishing gets better, the skipper is keeping his boat now off Hough’s Neck which for generations was known as the “Flounder Capital of the World”!

Always a guy with his finger on the pulse of the migration, Captain Brian Coombs of Get Tight Sportfishing has solid intel that Boston breeders are nearing Buzzards Bay en masse and will soon pass on through the canal and swim their way to harbor shores.

Captain Paul Diggins of Reel Pursuit Charters is poised to jump on those bigger bass once they settle onto a herring feed by the Boston Humps. While for most it’s mackerel or bust for those fish, Paul employs a Mojo Rig as well as bait. Inshore he’s trolling up schoolies through slots from Spectacle Island to Castle Island on 9er Rigs and Santini tubes.

Jonathon W Striper Boston
Jonathon W holding a 30 inch Boston Harbor striper he caught using a Rapala X-Rap.

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

Massachusetts North Shore Fishing Report

Tomo’s Tackle Shop striper sharpie, Sam, has been catching big backwater bass already. You have to give him more meritorious points because he’s caught those 40” plus fish from shore! Bucktails/Gulp combos have been doing the most damage. Those fresh fish are inshore at night for herring and even pogies which are present in pretty good numbers from Lynn through Gloucester. Sam took to his kayak with a pal and limited out on flounder while drifting Beverly Harbor. As he put it, “It’s pretty good out there!”. Mackerel have been encountered not far from Tinker’s Island, Misery Island and Halfway Rock.

Sam Stavis striper
Tomo’s own Sam Stavis with a herring-eating north shore striper.

Matt from Three Lantern Marine told me that surface feeds are par for the course in Manchester Harbor and Gloucester Harbor. Pogy numbers have dropped off largely due to the pounding they are getting from the purse seiner fleet. Mackerel are no problem once the harbors are cleared. The shop is selling a lot of seaworms as the fine flounder season continues.

Martha from Surfland Bait and Tackle said that the mouth of the Merrimack River exploded over the last few days largely thanks to the ideal combination of fresh fish, big tides and an ebb coinciding with daybreak! White bucktails as well as jigheads/soft plastics are doing most of the damage. Anglers running and gunning the ocean front are doing well also. Look for the bite to really kick in at the onset of the east wind this weekend. Mid- 40” stripers have found the herring upstream of the Merrimack River with the Lawrence Dam the strike zone! Tinkers can be caught by the Speckled Apron and Hampton Shoal Ledge.

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

Massachusetts Fishing Forecast

If you still have on leader and main line of questionable vintage from last season, you may want to consider freshening it all up. While schoolies will cut you slack, a 40” plus striper – the likes of which we know have – is more likely to cut you off! Some have already taken up residence as far up as the Merrimack River and I suspect are a tide or two from moving into other areas in Massbay. Big fish prefer a big meal with one local angler doing well with a bucktail/Gulp curly tail combo. The casting crew will always fare better after sundown but the boater will find them soon off Minot Ledge, Saturday Night Ledge as well as the Boston Humps. Sooner than later, Halfway Rock will be one of the first hot spots on the North Shore. Mackerel which have arrived right on time will be the go-to offering for the deepwater fish. Flounder from Mann Hill Beach to Manchester Harbor remain a hot alternative. Regarding hot, rising water temperatures are already pushing black sea bass and scup into northern environs. For those envious of Buzzards Bay, if you can cool your engines a little longer you may have your own fish a lot closer!

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4 on “Massachusetts Fishing Report – May 27, 2021

  1. Walleye

    If you “Haddock” with mowing the lawn and yard work get out and catch some! but bring your sea legs. Tight lines.

  2. Joppa man

    Get your bass out there and enjoy some great fishing this weekend!

  3. Benjamin Hurd

    “Purse seiner fleet” in Ipswich Bay. Yet I hold a striper the wrong way in a pic and people jump down my throat. You want to save the oceans, go after the commercial guys and leave the recs. alone.

  4. Walleye

    Hobbs hole lit up, with plenty of slot fish and bigger running around the other morn. “The tug is the drug”, as they say….Tight lines.

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