Massachusetts Fishing Report – October 7, 2021

West Marine

There’s a change in the air and the one I’m referring to has less to do with foliage and a nip to the mornings and more about anglers attitudes. While the truth – that many breeder bass have left – stings, anglers are simply reveling in catching stripers in October! In southern Mass tog continue to thrill and some are rediscovering their love affair with – trout!

Tautog are feeding heavily on the South Shore and the South Coast!

Massachusetts South Shore/South Coast Fishing Report

I expect to hear of a brisk blackfish bite in Buzzards Bay this time of they year, but not from the South Shore! Yet, Pete Belsan of Belsan Bait and Tackle in Scituate said that that tog are on such a tear off such rocky abodes as Bryant Rock that’s he’s now carrying green crabs! Anglers are not only catching but talk has turned to limiting out!
Night stalkers will always do better for big bass than the daytime crowd and those working dark Yo-Zuri Hydro Minnows, Bombers, Super Strike and Gibbs Needlefish and of course eels are all getting there due. But even the hardcore nights-or-bust crowd are now given to chasing surface feeds which are mainly the work of schoolie to slot stripers. After months of antisocial fishing, the feeling among many is just to simply enjoy the last waltz of the run. Peanut bunker continue to be the draw from the Three Bays all the way into the northernmost coast of the Bay State. The fish are feeding all day and on just about anything tossed their way – you have to love October.

With ponds such as Little and Long freshly stocked with trout, some are flipping the script and targeting rainbows on Power Bait and a smattering of spinners, spoons and flies.

Of course there is the Charlie factor and according to Captain Mark Rowell of Legit Fish Charters more than almost all season you have a legitimate chance at scoring a football. From the bank to Peaked Hill Bar and out to the Golf Ball spinning-friendly bluefin are belting mackerel, sea herring, sand eels and halfbeaks. With all the bait around is there any wonder the tuna fishing is terrific?

For a chance at a haddock limit without the drudgery of dealing with dogs stick to Stellwagen! Drop off the bank at your own peril because that’s where the pack is patrolling.

For the second Tuesday in a row I had to eat crow because of unforeseen circumstances which prevented me from having an epic tog outing with Captain Jason Colby aboard his Little Sister! I cringed when I got the cruel call that night which the skipper began with “Man, we went through a lot of crabs!”. In adding to limits of 6-8 pound tog, Jason along with our friend Dalton Clayton began the day plugging up all kinds of stripers in Westport River and ended the day catching and releasing dozens of knothead black sea bass! If you head down there bring plenty of crabs!

Greater Boston Fishing Report

While the funny fish of Buzzards Bay and Vineyard Sound can breathe a sigh of relief, blues and bass in Boston are nervous once again because like “Arnold” in the Terminator, Captain Brian Coombs and Get Tight Sportfishing are “back”! He told me that the bite is so widespread and ferocious that you can pretty much ditch your clock, tide chart and other intel you normally use for striped bass because they are feeding non-stop! Deer Island is holding fish as is the stretch from Seal Harbor through Broad Sound. Bass Point all the way through Nahant Bay is harboring a blue and bass bite also. Those cows of summer are pretty much gone save the lone wolf moby that doubtless is still swimming around. But something can be said for a 50 fish day of schoolies to slots which are hitting most everything tossed their way. If there is a common theme, it is that most are downsizing and dusting off lighter gear to add more sport while fishing for smaller fish. You wont’ find Brian in Boston over the next few days however because he has word of Charlie on a tear between the Shipping Lanes out through the backside of the Cape and he’s prepared with a full thank of gas, squid bars, spring gear and all kinds of offerings to tempt tuna.

I received two interesting responses from friends regarding a post last week regarding smelt! Captain Pete Santini of Fishing FINatics in Everett said that anglers are catching a few smelt with Sabiki rigs from the Winthrop Public Pier. He also told me that Johnny “Plankton” Hoffman has been tubing and worming mixed sizes of stripers from Spectacle Island and Long Island. Trout stocking is ongoing with some impressive reports coming in from Walden and White Pond. Fishing FINatics now has fully stocked 24/7 vending machines/bait dispensers in front of the shop and among other goodies you’ll find Power Bait, meal worms and trout worms.

Lisa from Fore River Fishing Tackle in Quincy also had smelt reports from Summer Street, Hull, Hingham and Winthrop. For some odd, wonderful reason there was a bump in estuarial bait this year. There were more silversides and “chubs” than in memory. Just maybe the same environmental conditions which favored the uptick in these species also will benefit smelt! Rainsford Island through Hull also has had some neat surface feeds. Mackerel have moved in closer are but a Sabiki rig away from the ledges off Hull out to Graves Light.

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

Massachusetts North Shore Fishing Report

Reports from the North Shore about bluefish and even bonito still in residence in October left me shaking my head! The fishing is so good that even Sam from Tomo’s Tackle who is an avowed member of the Graveyard gang has been fishing during the day. Peanuts continue to get pummeled from Lynn Harbor through Nahant Bay into Marblehead and all the way into Magnolia. On a recent trip in Beverly Harbor, there were mixed sizes of stripers feeding on one side of the harbor and baby bonito on the other side. Just when anglers are ready to write off blues an unfortunate angler comes equipped with nothing but eels only to leave with nothing but “cigars”!

Although the “15 second” cod season for the recreational angler is over, for those looking to catch and release a brown bomber, swarms of cod have moved into 50-80’ depths a short distance off of Magnolia. Some of these fish are big too; I saw one picture of a corker draped over a kayak. The crags off Cape Ann are fishing well also with a topwater bite off the backshore of Gloucester noteworthy. Gloucester Harbor has also held some recent surface feeds.

From Liz of Surfland Bait and Tackle, the news is that angling in the Plum Island area is nothing short of spectacular. Once again it’s peanut bunker fueling the feeds and anglers from the sandbar at the mouth of the Merrimack to the jetties, and all along the ocean front, are catching a lot of stripers of various sizes. As much as days can be great this time of the year, anglers are reporting a bump in the size of the fish as darkness settles in. Ninja night stalkers fishing Plum Island Sound and Joppa are still catching, and typical of the breed, close-lipped about most everything else.

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

Massachusetts Fishing Forecast

In some ways October is all about comfort! Both water temperatures and air temps are picture perfect and bugs are pretty much a thing of the past. With stripers and blues feeding both day and night, you can catch fish, grab some sleep and take care of responsibilities without missing a beat! On the South Shore follow the peanuts and you’ll find the predators with Rexhame Beach, Cedar Point and the Fourth Cliff among the latest hits. Tautog continue to terrorize crabs not only in Buzzards Bay but Bryant Rock as well! Boston is featuring Hull through Broad Sound bedlam with unfussy fish falling for most every lure tossed their way, There are even promising smelt reports from Winthrop. Farther north Beverly has had bass and bonito (!) blitzes and the Surfland ladies tell me that the surf off Plum Island is living up to it’s lore!

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2 on “Massachusetts Fishing Report – October 7, 2021

  1. Steve

    Good point Ron about it being a relaxing time of year to target Stripers and blues during any time other than the dead of night.It is nice to fish into the light for a change.The variety of fish easily available to catch now is a tough choice but is great to have options.Another great report 👍

  2. Boat Dog

    Marblehead supplied a mix of blues and bass all week. stripers to 34″ and blues to 10lbs, 30″ with most around 8lbs.

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