Massachusetts Fishing Report – June 9, 2022

For generations of anglers “50” was the gold standard by by which striped bass were judged. And in some ways it still is! But the modern conservationist is not putting their trophy through the duress of a scale but rather taping and releasing their catch. The 50 pounder has given way to the 50-incher. And right now such a fish is a real possibility.

By now I should be preaching to the choir but at the risk of redundancy I’ll repeat what I’ve learned and espouse about big striped bass behavior. While there will always be exceptions, the stealthy old breeders will cruise into the shoreline under cover of darkness and then slink off to deeper water at dawn. Throw in inclement conditions and there will be spillover behavior. Within a recent 24 hour period one friend of mine caught a 50” among the Boston Humps on live mackerel another on a swimming plug in Quincy and last on an eel just north of the Hub. Not surprisingly the last two were taken at night!

LegitFish striper
Charters aboard LegitFish are all smiles thanks to South Shore slots!

Massachusetts South Shore/South Coast Fishing Report

How about some bluefish? Pete from Belsan Bait and Tackle in Scituate has heard of a few toothies coming from the Three Bay Area. With pogies now off such spots as Egypt Beach can it be long before they move up north a bit? Deep water mackerel trollers have bumped up their standard of a big fish now to the upper 40”! Mackerel remain the magic bullet but they are an inconsistent inshore find. Stellwagen holds scads of macks but with gas prices as they are, for most the haul isn’t worth it. Maybe if more blues move in from offshore they’ll push more in closer to the coast. Pete also said that the rivers are still holding schoolie to slot fish.

Captain Mark Rowell of Legit Fish Charters has been spending some time at Race Point but has found little more than schoolie-to-slot fish. He’s expecting a wave of blues to sweep in in about a week. Ironically the volume of 20+ pound stripers which he is experiencing just outside of Scituate Harbor negates the need to burn petrol in pursuit of the Provincetown area! Macks can be had inshore but it takes more effort than in the past. Haddock fishing is hardly hot unless you’re interested in catch-and-release cod. The skipper was on Stellwagen recently and just as he found the fish, a dragger rumbled by and in one fell swoop seemed to empty the sea.

Greater Boston Fishing Report

50-inch striped bass
Captain Jason Colby took a break from flounder and put a patron into this 50” striper on a swimming plug.

Over the weekend I received a text of a nicely proportioned 50” striper from my friend Captain Jason Colby of Little Sister Charters. While the skipper made his reputation catching monstrous striped bass from Montauk for years, it was nearly a lifetime ago when he had far fewer obligations. Knowing him and seeing that the picture took place in the dark I automatically assumed he caught it while three-waying an eel, something he’s mastered to an art form. The truth is he put a charter on the fish and the guy was using a nondescript swimming plug. While eels will give you an edge, there is no substitute for finding fish in the mood to feed!

Get Tight Sportfishing striped bass
Captain Brian Coombs of Get Tight Sportfishing with a crew which caught a 50” striper recently at the Boston Humps.

The next morning Captain Brian Coombs of Get Tight Sportfishing sent me a picture of yet another 50” fish which walloped a mackerel among the Boston Humps. Captain Coombs is among the more skilled at this outer harbor honey hole!

Steven Langton
Steven Langton’s first kayak trip of the year resulted in a 50” striper!

That night, the “Nightstalker” kayak troupe, of which I’m a proud member of, passed on the torture of the Celtics loss and instead went fishing. In a Greater Boston harbor my friend Steve Langton also nailed a 50” fish, this one on an eel. Far from a lone wolf encounter, the rest of us also took some sleigh rides that night and many of the fish were caught with soft plastic stick baits as well as eels.

Little Sister
Scup have been an interesting bycatch aboard the Little Sister!

While catching flounder, Captain Colby is catching an inordinate amount of scup on the Quincy side of the harbor. Some scup is not usual but a 10 fish trip in these parts certainly is! Pogies are still present but the purse seiners have made a huge dent in numbers in the harbor.

Laurel from Hull Bait and Tackle told me that Cohasset Harbor and Gunrock Beach are fishing well for flounder and schoolie-to-slot stripers. She also said that macks can be found by the BG Buoy. George’s Island has also been good for flounder. Lisa from Fore River told me that while mackerel and pogies cannot always be counted on, the tube-and-worm can! Many anglers are catching well by trolling the tube off Crow Point Flats, Wessagusset Beach and Veazie Rocks.

Pete Santini of Fishing FINatics in Everett said that the rivers are still giving up a lot of stripers but it’s hit or miss depending on the movement of herring. When anglers are fishing near the forage they are catching, when those herring move upstream or downstream from anglers – it seems dead.

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

Massachusetts North Shore Fishing Report

“There’s big fish around!”, was the first thing Tomo, of Tomo’s Tackle, said to me when we spoke. To which I replied, “you too huh?”. Pogies in North Shore harbors such as Marblehead and mackerel from the Beverly Pier out to Misery Island are drawing in big striped bass! The Danvers River has also been holding mixed sizes of fish from schoolies to cows. When asked for a North Shore best bet, Tomo recommended finding the pogy schools and live lining. Squid can still be found from inshore lit piers at night such as the Fisherman’s Beach Pier and the Beverly Pier. Lynn Harbor and Beverly Harbor are still holding winter flounder.

If you’re setting sail on the North Shore for haddock you’re in luck according to John from Three Lantern Marine because haddock have moved in closer than the offshore ledges and there even seems to be an increase in wolffish numbers inshore; there’s a moratorium in effect so wolfies must be released. Flounder fishing remains fantastic, in fact John recently caught a few right behind the shop while working on a boat! The presence of pogies along the backshore make that spot a big bass best bet! Anglers are beginning to find mackerel not long after clearing the Dogbar Breakwater.

Martha from Surfland Bait and Tackle said that Joppa has been jumping, and not coincidentally, upstream of the Merrimack River to the Lawrence Dam has grown cold. Although this rain should be a trigger for pike to become more active and move closer to shore now that there’s more water. Amesbury Flats has been holding mixed sizes of fish and the ocean front has been fishing well. Boaters who are picking up mackerel near Breaking Rocks or Hampton Shoal Ledge have had their best bass success of the year so far with drag-pullers in the offing. Only parking lots 1/7 in the Parker River Wildlife Refuge are open but bait soakers are catching from there.

Massachusetts Freshwater Fishing Report

Rainfall is a conduit for more current in rivers such as the Housatonic according to Spenser from Berkshire Bass and this has picked up pike activity. He knows the ambush points where they stack and with water temperatures up they will hit spinnerbaits and chatterbaits. River bass are hanging among “wood” making it necessary to thump offerings against timber. Pond/lake bass however are prowling around piers and pounding perch and sunnies. Having the right outfit and baits are as essential as technique. Douglas X Matrix rods/Strike King Sexy Dawgs are doing it; having the capability of making long casts matters. Not only is Spenser for hire but Berkshire Bass is a one stop shop for all that swims in the Berkshires!

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Massachusetts Fishing Forecast

For many of you, your PB striped bass is out there and calling! With a bump in mack numbers and the ever present possibility of sea herring, boaters would do well trolling macks from South Shore Ledges through the Boston Humps. Those who can afford losing a few winks should throw serpents and big soft plastics in tight to area beaches. Rivers from the North River on the South Shore through Amesbury and Joppa Flats on the Merrimack River all hold good fish. For great groundfishing, Cape Ann rules with plenty of flounder inshore and haddock not all that far out!

7 on “Massachusetts Fishing Report – June 9, 2022

  1. H.T


    Sounds like you are having yourself a ball out there! As fish begin to settle into their summer patterns, it’s been a tough pick in the surf. Lots of sub-slot fish with the occasional mid 30incher. The bites have been extremely subtle and I’m not sure what’s causing the fish to behave like this….lots of short strikes.

    Tight Lines

  2. Ron

    Hey H.T.
    Been there with fussy linesiders! And lord only knows what’s going in their striped heads! I guess those frustrating outings make the successful ones all the sweeter or is that just the masochist in me talking again?

  3. Steve. Langton

    Another great report Ron.It is really just the beginning of the opportunity to catch big fish. June is a big fish month especially at night but they can also caught in the day time with some diligence and a good solid plan. We wait all year winter for this time and it is here.

  4. Walleye

    Good week on the three bays with keepa’s on the Fly, 30 pounders on livey mac’s, and rivers holding bait and bass! Tight Lines.

  5. Ron

    Looks like something for everyone in the Three Bays Walleye and good to hear your getting macks! ! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Bunker

    Never seen the inner harbor so devoid of bait in my life…thanks to the sein netters every last pogie is f-ing gone, thx guys!

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