Massachusetts Fishing Report – June 3, 2021

West Marine
Boston Saltwate schoolie
Charters aboard Boston Saltwater are tallying 50 schoolie outings in the inner harbor!

As is typical of early June, the availability of bigger bass opportunities is increasing with impressive fish now being caught offshore as well as inshore. In spite of “striper mania” not everyone has adopted a linesider or nothing approach as flounder and haddock have plenty of fans.

Massachusetts South Shore/South Coast Fishing Report

Finally mackerel trollers are intercepting big bass migrating through Massbay. Pete Belsan from Belsan Bait and Tackle in Scituate said that he’s hearing of 30 pounders now from Minot Ledge and other deepwater haunts. Equally nice fish are now being encountered by surf sharpies as well as kayak anglers. History tells us that the next few weeks will be among the best of the season for striped bass and the love will be spread evenly around. While the principal bait for boaters – mackerel – are not that numerous, the once found they are real specimens with enough meat on them to catch multiple stripers. During a recent rock-hopping, shore-fishing outing with my buddy Dave Flaherty I was able to jig only one mackerel but once sliced up there was enough of it to catch seven decent stripers!

Alan Swiman Hull MA 38 Striper
Alan Swiman of Hull, MA caught and released this healthy 38” striper caught trolling a Santini tube and worm in Hull Bay this week where he reports catching plenty of solid fish this week.

There seems to be a spike in sand eel numbers this year from CCB through Stellwagen which bodes well for Charlie chasers in time. Meanwhile, finding those sand eels is the key to finding the mackerel as well as haddock according to Captain Mark Petitt of Fire Escape Charters who also told me that schoolie to slot stripers are common throughout the Three Bays. Bigger bass are less common but you can up your odds by fishing mackerel among inshore ledge/rips.

Mike Dumais black sea bass
Mike Dumais with proof that the Buzzards Bay black sea bite is on fire.

With a heat wave as well as another warmer-than-usual summer predicted, expect the appearance of southern visitors. Some of that may already be apparent as young anglers working paddletails are seeing “flounder” chasing the bait. With news of fluke catches from Bug Light, it could be an early start for them on the South Shore.

Captain Rich Antonio of Black Rose Charters continues to find a consistent Buzzards Bay black sea bass bite and he is now given to anchoring and having patrons pepper fish-holding structure with jigs. Next on the schedule is drifting for doormat fluke at Nantucket Shoals. Rich recently added this intriguing fishery to his repertoire and is stoked to get back there after last years results. Captain Mark Rowell of Legit Fish out of Scituate said that the North River is teeming with schoolies which he’s having patrons coax with mackerel. Haddock remain a short haul from shore and he’s expecting them to transition soon to the Southwest corner of the bank.

Greater Boston Fishing Report

One of the harbor’s goodwill ambassadors, Johnny Hoffman of The Fishing Academy, is sponsoring a season long striped bass tournament to benefit the young family of the late Skip Distefano. Along with his father Chuck, Skip for years was a prominent member of Boston’s recreational fishing community and was just an all around great guy who was taken from his family and friends way too early. There is but a small entry fee, biweekly prizes and an eventual grand prize but the greater good is that proceeds will help out Skip’s wife and four young children. You can register for the derby and get additional information at

Dan Masters tautog
Dan Masters took this nice tog near Hangman Island.

Regarding Johnny Hoffman, he’s been putting a hurt on size-able stripers off the northeast corner of Long Island with bubblegum Santini tubes. As for the pioneer of that tube, Pete Santini, he told me that the flounder continue to cooperate at the Lower Middle, Governor’s Flats, Deer Island Flats and Lynn Harbor. He even knows of an occasional tautog taken by Hangman’s Island.

Andy Poirier
Andy Poirier with a fine Little Sister flattie.

Captain Jason Colby of Little Sister Charters has been floating around a picture of a bucket full of substantial flounder which kind of speaks for itself! He’s been finding that there really is “no place like home” as he’s located limits to near limits of flatties very close to port off Hough’s Neck.

Lisa from Fore River Fishing Tackle in Quincy told me that shore anglers are doing well with plus-size stripers among the public parks of the Weymouth Back River. Kayak anglers are catching mid-40-inch fish on soft plastic stick baits between Wollaston Beach and Quincy Bay.

Aaron Brunner kayak-caught striper
Aaron Brunner with a kayak-caught Quincy cow!

Captain Sam of Boston Saltwater says that the harbor is “schoolie central”! His charters have had 50 fish outings on fish up to 26”! There is no need to travel far since the action has been in the inner harbor. Mackerel may be spotty but he’ finding it doesn’t matter so long as his crew is throwing a pink Hogy Protail!

Captain Vinny Schettino striped bass
Boaters can now expect better bass such as this one caught by Captain Vinny Schettino.

Captain Vinny Schettino is a pal of Captain Brian Coombs and his catch results are beginning to mirror those of Get Tight Sportfishing as he has been catching impressive early season stripers in the harbor. Brian seems to think he’s catching while bridling pogies. As for Captain Coombs, he is hunkered down in Vineyard Sound at the moment but should soon be back just in time to take advantage of the deep water top water bite on Boston Humps.

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 in Salem said that schoolie to slot stripers have been ubiquitous with early morning feeds in Salem and Beverly Harbors. Larger are around with Sam taking a lower 20 pounder recently. He’s been having luck with SP Minnows, bucktails, Slug-Gos and Dannys. Flounder fishing is still fine but in some cases anglers are doing better in water as deep as 30’! The current mackerel snapshot is of big fish but not many of them with the bet being that mixed sizes will appear soon.

Skip from Three Lantern Marine told me that in spite of the pounding the pogies are taking from the pogy boats, there are still pods around and anglers are beginning to find big fish with them. More consistent are fish pushing small bait and herring in the Essex, Ipswich, Little and Merrimack Rivers. Some are finding haddock a lot closer than the offshore ledges and mackerel may require searching to find but when found are big. Harbor pollock in tight to the Cape Ann crags are attracting plenty of striped bass making brownish plugs and pollock strips effective.

Martha from Surfland Bait and Tackle said that shad and stripers big enough to eat them are upstream of the Merrimack River close to the Lawrence Dam. Fishing is very good off the jetty with seaworms the popular choice. Putting that worm on the end of a trolling tube has been effective for kayakers on Joppa Flats. In spite of surging striped bass interest, flounder fans are finding them outside of the Merrimack River and off Crane’s Beach.

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

Massachusetts Fishing Forecast

Tackle-testing striped bass are in our midst out deep, off beaches and in rivers. Offshore find the mackerel and a nearby ledge and you just might check off that first cow catch of the season. With hordes of herring swarming the runs, those spots are the most reliable for the shore angler. Beaches are holding some nice fish but they are fast-moving fish leading to the prototypical “here today, gone tomorrow” tale. Haddock and flounder remain an attractive alternative to striper-fever, especially when “what’s for dinner” is a priority!

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5 on “Massachusetts Fishing Report – June 3, 2021

  1. Wayne Walgreen

    Hey Dan ,fishing is good everywhere! that’s a no-brain-err! Tight lines

    1. Ron Powers

      “Yours” are up too Walleye! Good to hear, the Boson runs are insane! Gotta love it!

  2. Walleye

    River Herring counts are way up, and so is the size of the spring bass migration. Good news from an avid angler….Tight lines.

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